Grave of Billy Sherman.

Roadside Grave of Billy Sherman: Rebel War Horse

Field review by the editors.

Wilson, New York

Billy Sherman, "the secessionist horse," was captured from some nameless Rebel during the 1863 Battle of Chattanooga. He was grabbed by Lorenzo M. Pratt, a bugler in Battery M of the Union's New York Light Artillery, and subsequently ridden by Lorenzo during Gen. William Sherman's March to the Sea (hence the horse's pro-North name).

When the war was over Lorenzo brought Billy back to the family farm in Wilson, New York. The two became local celebrities, with Billy performing routines to Lorenzo's bugle calls.

Billy died in September 1889 and was buried in the corner of the Pratt farm with an American flag draped over his head. Veterans of Battery M each threw a shovel of dirt on the beloved old war horse.

In 1973 the Wilson Historical Society placed a plaque on a rock to mark Billy's grave, which was now beside Wilson Burt Road. The landowner added small American, Confederate, and Tennessee flags; a state historical marker was added in 2017; and a booklet, "The Story of Billy Sherman," is available at Wilson Town Hall for two dollars.

Roadside Grave of Billy Sherman: Rebel War Horse

Address:
4259 Wilson Burt Rd, Wilson, NY
Directions:
A half-mile east of town, on the north side of Young St./Wilson Burt Rd. Look for the historical marker. If you drive fast, you'll miss it, but it's easier to see driving back west.
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In the region:
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