Indiana Daily Student

Heroic Civil War horse's story chronicled in new book

Indiana resident and IU graduate writes history

Bridgette Z. Savage of Stanford, Ind., recently wrote and illustrated her new book "Fly Like the Wind." \nThe book is based on the true story of a horse, Fly, and her rider George Barrett in the American Civil War. Savage got the idea to write the story from the Working Men's Institute in New Harmony, Ind., where she came across the mare's skeleton, along with a four-page account of the mare's life titled, "The Story of Old Fly." The book tells of Barrett and Fly's experiences in the Civil War in the Union Army's 1st Calvary, 28th Regiment, and how their friendship carried them through the war. \n"The librarian at the museum told me that someone should make the story into the book," Savage said. "So I started thinking about it."\nSavage said she used the oral history passed down through the Barrett family, thanks in large part to Barrett's grandson's wife, Patricia Johnson. \n"The first thing she told me about the horse is that they called her Fly because she was so fast she could fly like the wind, hence the name of the book," Savage said.\nSavage said she used a combination of oral history, regimental histories for Barrett's unit and newspapers to tell her story. \n"I stayed as historically accurate as possible," she said.\nSavage said it is not uncommon for famous Civil War horses to be found in museums, and she said Fly's bones in the museum help to keep the story alive.\n"The story is a living history in Posey County," Savage said. "It's like having a local hero."\nSavage said she received a great response from her first full-length book and plans to continue writing. Savage said this book was very rewarding to write.\n"It's the epitome of what makes a good story," Savage said. "Fly was not affiliated with political ideas, like the Civil War was. She's a mascot of the best of all intentions."\nSavage graduated from IU in 1979 with a degree in fine arts. She has a teaching certification in art education, endorsement in gifted and talented education and a master's degree in counseling with an Indiana Public Schools Counseling license.

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