I learned for the first time today that South Carolina is one of only 14 states to have its very own breed of horse -- The Carolina Marsh Tacky. This rare breed, descended from the mounts of the 16th-century Spanish explorers, was once thought to be extinct. It is still an endangered breed with less than 100 breeding mares in existence.
The animals were popular in South Carolina because of their ability to traverse the marshy ground of the Lowcountry. Francis Marion ("The Swamp Fox") used them in the Revolutionary War, and after the Civil War they became the favorite horse of the Gullah population of South Carolina because they were small, cheap, easy to feed, and strong enough to handle the farm work of the Lowcountry. Their numbers decreased in the 20th century because they were no longer needed as plow animals. The had something of a resurgence, however, in World War II, when they were used for beach patrols against Nazi invasion. Today, efforts are underway to restore the breed, and it became the State Horse of South Carolina in 2010.
Here's a brief article describing the breed:
Do not be surprised if some of these beautiful little animals find their way into a chapter or two of "Yankee Reconstructed."