”The Rout of the White Hussars” is an short story by Rudyard Kipling: This story was first published in the first edition of Plain Tales from the Hills in 1888 and was included in subsequent editions of this collection.
The White Hussars were a first class cavalry regiment, who 'knew that they could walk round any Horse and through any Guns and over any Foot on the face of the earth.' They were particularly proud of their Regimental Band and of their Drum Horse who carried the silver kettle-drums. A new colonel takes over as Commanding Officer, and to the fury of the whole regiment insists on replacing the Drum Horse with what they see as a much inferior beast. One of the subalterns buys the horse, pretends to have it slaughtered, and mounts a skeleton on its back. One evening, while the horses are being watered after manoeuvres, the spectral-looking Drum Horse is seen riding towards his old comrades, and the regiment flees in disorder across the countryside. The Colonel, after much argument, is persuaded to bring the old horse back.