Overview: Horse Equipment in the Civil War
Just how important was horse equipment in the scheme of battlefield victories? Arguably, just as important as were arms, ammunition or any other article of military necessity. Despite the evolving tactics of mid-19th Century warfare, the cavalry and field artillery’s role nevertheless remained central to an army’s effectiveness. [...]
Did You Know
That the western arsenals had a difficult time providing adequate saddlery forcing western cavalry commanders such as Wheeler, Morgan and others to establish their own unauthorized manufacturing operations.
What’s New On This Site??….
NEW SADDLE BOOK IN THE WORKS!!! …STILL working on it but now in “vetting” and editing stage. Sorry, time, family, health, work and “life” has encumbered rapid completion but we are progressing.
The working title is, AMERICAN RIDING SADDLES, 1790-1920. It encompasses all non-military American riding saddles. The effort is to provide the origins, history and development of the major American “riding” saddles and the saddle making industry. This will include the origins of their Spanish and English influences and the story of the rise and demise of manufacturing by the 19th and early 20th American saddle industry. This is NOT an effort to recapture the military saddle. That has been done quite well by others. Rather, it will cover all other saddles including the American, Spring seat, American English, Wagon saddles, Somerset, Attakapas, Spanish, Half Spanish, Hope, Texas, California, Kilgore, Morgan, Morgan Muley, Kentucky Spring Seat, Wilbourne/Buena Vista, multiple Stock “Cowboy” saddles (Texas, Cheyenne, Pueblo, Miles City, Applehorn, etc.) and their California (o) influences, Ladies side saddles, Ladies Astride saddles, Princess saddles, Children’s/Youth saddles, Park & Police saddles, catalog saddles and, commercial military saddles. Many others including well known national and regional makes will be included (Shaftoe, Shackleford, Granger, Ferguson, Race, Polo and Pad saddles,….McBride, Richardson, Ferguson, Florida, etc. ) as well as the history of topics related to saddle manufacturing (trees, leather, hardware, patents, manufacturing #’s, exports/imports, influential persons and areas, etc). Yes, a massive undertaking!
Of particular note will be inclusion of excerpts from the VERY FIRST American saddle catalog, …The T.Smith & Co. catalog c. 1858, (today: Smith & Bourne) made up of water color saddle illustrations commissioned by the iconic Hartford Connecticut saddle making firm. The saddle patterns and styles that were offered by this firm prior to the Civil War are incredible will most certainly stand conventional wisdom and understanding of pre-war saddle making on its head!
Expect quite a bit of new research information that confounds heretofore general knowledge of American saddlery along with photos of never before seen saddles from private and public collections. The breadth of this project is comprehensive but with lots of photos and excerpts from catalogs to enable one to identify 19th century saddles. I “hope” to have it finished very soon, then edited and published sometime next year. Watch here for more details. For now, some of my recent research has been posted on the Authentic Campaigner web site…http://www.authentic-campaigner.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?4-Cavalry-Discussion. More to come!!
BTW, added some really excellent repro Federal artillery/officer’s lead-backed, “USA” intertwined bridle rosettes to Relics & Reproductions (pg. 16) …Only $15 a pair!
HEY! my book…MADE IN THE C.S.A.…is OUT OF PRINT!!! Right now I have only a very few left….only a handful! On ebay these go for $60! From here, ONLY $40 plus $8 shipping. Look under “Ken’s Books” Soon out of print! LESS THAN 10 REMAIN! Better get it now while they last. They will NOT be reprinted! (NOTE: The hardbound CONFEDERATE SADDLES still “full” price). Signed copies available.
Cavalry Reenactors!: I still have some nice items for sale. The Newest additions for “Relics and Reproductions” starts on the final five (5) pages Usually 18 - 22! LOTS OF NEW (repro and original) PERIOD BRIDLE BITS!!! Including ….(Just added…original 19th century British bits), Mid 19th century “period correct” leather care products! Leather Wax and “Crown Soap” f/period recipies. The finest (perhaps ”only”) available in the hobby today. Also added saddles, spurs, stirrups, etc. ALWAYS NEW “STUFF” ….on “Relics & Reproductions” Keep an eye out. I have a lot of really neat, sometimes rare horse equipment,… very “attractively” priced!
HEY! LOOK!!… Some time ago I added a WHOLE NEW SECTION! in the PHOTO GALLERIES!! “Artillery, wagons, etc.” …..!! Nearly 80 new photos of artillery teams, artillery horse equipment, quartermaster wagons, wagon saddles, ambulances and photos of all of them in the field. And, recently, new photos of civilian saddles, mounted Federal Cavalrymen, Confederate Saddles, Confederate Horse Equipments and Dragoon saddle photo galleries!!. All from public and private collections, some have NEVER before been published or seen the light of day. Over one thousand photos!
Last updated: June 22, 2016……………………………..