Ancient History Of The Mule





The mule seems to have been used by the ancients in a great variety of

ways; but what should have prompted his production must for ever remain

a mystery. That they early discovered his great usefulness in making

long journeys, climbing mountains, and crossing deserts of burnings and,

when subsistence and water were scarce, and horses would have perished,

is well established. That he would soon recover from the severe effects

of these long and trying journeys must also have been of great value in

their eyes. But however much they valued him for his usefulness, they

seem not to have had the slightest veneration for him, as they had for

some other animals. I am led to believe, then, that it was his great

usefulness in crossing the sandy deserts that led to his production. It

is a proof, also, that where the ass was at hand there also was the

horse, or the mule could not have been produced. Any people with

sufficient knowledge to produce the mule would also have had sufficient

knowledge to discover the difference between him and the horse, and

would have given the preference to the horse in all service except that

I have just described. And yet, in the early history of the world, we

find men of rank, and even rulers, using them on state and similar

occasions; and this when it might have been supposed that the horse,

being the nobler animal, would have made more display.



The Scriptures tell us that Absalom, when he led the rebel hosts against

his father David, rode on a mule, that he rode under an oak, and hung

himself by the hair of his head. Then, again, we hear of the mule at the

inauguration of King Solomon. It is but reasonable to suppose that the

horse would have been used on that great occasion, had he been present.

On the other hand, it is not reasonable to suppose that the ass, or any

thing pertaining to him, was held in high esteem by a nation that

believed they were commanded by God, through their prophet Moses, not to

work the ox and the ass together. It must be inferred from this that the

ass was not held in very high esteem, and that the prohibition was for

the purpose of not degrading the ox, he being of that family of which

the perfect males were used for sacrifice. The ass, of course, was never

allowed to appear on the sacred altar. And yet He who came to save our

fallen race, and open the gates of heaven, and fulfil the words of the

prophet, rode a female of this apparently degraded race of animals when

He made his triumphal march into the city of the temple of the living

God.





List of Mules Received, died, and Shot, at the Depot of Washington,

D.C., from 1st February, 1863. to 31st July, 1866.



1863 1864 1865



Month Received Died Shot Received Died Shot Received Died Shot



Jan. .. .. .. 624 14 76 3,677 66 226

Feb. 135 96 7 329 16 62 1,603 84 150

Mar. 2,552 150 4 448 10 64 2,823 77 169

Apr. 2,906 118 61 1,305 15 47 6,102 106 223

May. 1,087 56 46 2,440 18 52 11,780 68 211

Jun. 3,848 120 118 4,410 76 48 19,304 178 49

Jul. 1,731 94 335 4,702 74 125 13,398 462 68

Aug. 5,250 51 159 5,431 88 231 1,275 284 23

Sep. 2,834 72 248 1,198 64 176 1,536 3 18

Oct. 1,166 36 202 1,468 81 134 876 .. ..

Nov. 2,934 30 204 3,036 35 123 252 3 ..

Dec. 2,832 14 113 3,923 66 158 324 4 ..



Total 27,275 837 1,497 29,414 557 1,296 62,950 1,335 1,137



1866

Received Died Shot



169 .. ..

34 2 1

13 .. ..

29 1 ..

20 1 ..

2 .. ..

62 .. ..

.. .. ..

.. .. ..

.. .. ..

.. .. ..

.. .. ..



329 4 1







DATE RECEIVED DIED SHOT

1863............. 27,275 837 1,497

1864............. 29,414 557 1,296

1865.............. 62,950 1,335 1,137

1866.............. 329 4 1



Total........... 119,968 2,733 3,931





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