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Funeral London

Horses are such amazing animals, whether its for the army for for doing a funeral horses really get noticed and people are fascinated by them.

Joan Nicholson

Pfc. Arthur Carlson, Blackjack's handler, has stated in several interviews that the horse was NOT black, but a very dark bay. This can be clearly seen in the color photos of the processions. Regarding his behavior: "He'd always been a calm horse. He knew his job and he did it. No problem," Carlson said.

The Sunday after the assassination, the day Lee Harvey Oswald was shot, they followed the coffin to where Kennedy would lie in state. A metal gate resting against the wall of a tunnel they passed through came crashing to the ground.

"It made a hellacious noise," Carlson said. "Black Jack got spooked, he stayed wild for two days and then he was back to normal." from


Thank you for this lovely story about a beautiful, spirited horse.

Eber L Pearson Jr

I often wondered what happened to this wonderful horse and was pleased to find out the complete story of his life and his service to his country. Thank you very much.

mary stacy

I was 14 years old when I first saw Black Jack. We were watching the funeral of President John Kennedy on television.We were so sad I thought we were all gonna die and than I saw him. I knew he was mis behaving, but he made me smile through my tears. I never dreamed he was in the Army. I thought he was just another pretty face.Than I found out he was the last of his kind. The last horse that was ever drafted into the Army.Branded and given a seriel number, all on his left shoulder and left neck.He was the last horse in American history to have been marked this way.Black Jack was a war horse, but instead of him going to war,He helped US thru the most horrible time the country has seen in this century, the murder of a sitting president,John F Kennedy. MY GOD,THEY KILLED MY PRESIDENT.

Lorraine Sawyer

I was seven yrs old at the time of President Kennedy's funeral and it was Black Jack that I remember the most. Thank you for the information on him.


Interesting-Thank you for this wonderful story.

Judy Flanagan

Thank you for your research on this very special tradition.

Nina Krantz

Remember visiting Black Jack. We took apples but were not allowed to feed him directly. His spirit, barely controled was/is still a strong symbol for us all, America :8-)) Thanks for the story and the book option :8-))

Michelle Burcham

Thank you for posting Black Jack's journey through life! I was 8 years old watching President Kennedy's funeral and it was Black Jack that I remember so well prancing beside his handler....Very interesting story...I feel sure this is why I love a black majestic horse, with a white star....very beautiful horse!

Helen Clanin

I believe he was brown, not black. Sometimes a brown horse looks black until they are out in the sun and fade a little. The hair around their eyes and nose looks brown instead of black on a black horse. He was a beautiful animal.

Bonnie Miller

Thanks for the story. So good to read details about Black Jack. I'll never forget. . .

sonya gabbert

I love horses and I definitely remember seeing Black Jack during President Kennedy's funeral procession. I was twelve years old at the time and I remember feeling so sad for the family. Black Jack's beauty and spirit was a beautiful symbol that death is a doorway to another life (hopefully one that will be lived with Jesus Christ. Thank you so much for your research - I really enjoyed reading about such a character in the horse world.

Connee Woods

Very interesting! A beautiful tribute! Thanks for sharing!

Caryll Prokosch

Thank you for posting Black Jack's journey through life!

CL Coronios

Wonderful history - thank you so much for sharing!

Barb Dunniing

I attended JFK's funeral & I will never forget Black Jack...& yes, he was misbehaving!!!

Damien LeGallienne


This was written so nicely, I cut and pasted it -- in other words, I plagiarized it.

Judith Haworth

I remember Blackjack so well that day. The images of him dancing down the street are among rhe most memorable of that funeral march so long ago.


@Mary Stacy: Thank you for the sentiment, 'My God, they killed my president.' I thought I was the only person alive who characterized the nation's loss this way. He was MY president. He was YOUR president, and ALL OF US were violated in a way not many of us can articulate. We know it when we feel it, even fifty years later, and perhaps especially so!

Black Jack

Several photos above are not Black Jack. Black Jack did not have any white on his legs whatsoever.

Philip Mayberry

The picture that says "Black Jack-with his famous white star" is not Black Jack. The horse is Omar and the funeral that he is walking is for General Alexander Haige in 2010.

Mrs Francine Iuliucci

What a beautiful story! Thank you. I was 15yrs old when our President Kennedy was killed, and having a horse of my own, was so touch by Black Jack in the funeral procession. I still cry when I see the pictures. I know Mrs Kennedy was also touched. Thank you again.

Loretta  Howard

Thank you for this information on Black Jack. He was a wonderful horse and truly served his country. May God Bless!

John Thornton

Being a Horse Lover, this was special to me.

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