History of the Lancers
January 20, 2010
The History of the Lancer
During the Civil War, a Col. Richard Rush was commissioned, by Gen. McClellan, to command a new volunteer cavalry regiment from Pennsylvania comprised of literate, intelligent men, many who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. With no other weapons available, McClellan asked Rush to arm his soldiers with the lance. With little choice, Rush agreed and the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry known as Rush?s Lancers was born.
Each man received a nine-foot-long wooden lance tipped with an eleven-inch long steel blade. The lances, copies of an Austrian pattern, each weighed about eight pounds, and were topped by a scarlet swallow-tailed pennant. Although the weaponry seemed archaic, the men learned to be soldiers. Historians state that Rush?s Lancers won acceptance and admiration of the regulars by their combat ability, tactical skill, intelligence, bravery, and stalwart service as they served shoulder to shoulder on many a hard-fought field. After nearly four years of service the regiment was mustered out of Federal service in August 1865.
In 1968, Eastern Wyoming College decided that they wanted a mascot that reflected the western heritage of the valley, yet was unparalleled to other mascots in the region. Nearby historic Fort Laramie, which housed many cavalry units, provided the starting point in finding the right mascot. After researching cavalry units with unique names and traits, the Lancer stood out above all the rest. EWC voted in the Black and Gold colors and the Lancer mascot, and to this day they are symbols of academic and athletic excellence.