A large part of American history was written from the seat of a military saddle. While the United States Army used horse-mounted fighting men from the very beginning, it was in the nineteenth century - from the decade before the Mexican War through the Indian wars - that the dashing cavalry units captured the American imagination.
The horse solders remained part of the army until 1943, when the military converted them to mechanized forces. Even so, West Point did not tear down its stables and abandon its riding-proficiency requirement until 1947. The long retention of the cavalry was due to affection for the memory of the glorious role of the cavalry in American military history.