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 west’s largest saddle supplier, the Atlanta Arsenal produced both the McClellen and the “Texas” saddles at varous times even while the official saddle was the Jenifer and before being ordered to switch to the Texas saddle in early 1864.
What’s New On This Site??….
UPDATE!!! ….NEW SADDLE BOOK IN THE WORKS!!! …I have finished writing and now in the “vetting and editing” stage. Unfortunately, time, family, health, work and “life” has encumbered the rapid completion I had hoped for but….we are now progressing nicely on our timetable. I remain “cautiously optimistic” that it will be published in this calendar year.
The working title is, AMERICAN RIDING SADDLES, 1790-1920. It encompasses all non-military American riding and work saddles. The effort is to provide the origins, history and development of the major American “riding” and “working” 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 American manufacturing from the late 18th through early 20th centuries. 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 treatises on the major American patterns: 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 and, commercial military saddles. Many others including some well known national commercial patterns and regional makes will also be included (Shaftoe, Shackleford, Granger, Ferguson, Race, Polo and Pad saddles,….McBride, Richardson, Ferguson, Florida, etc. ). Other historical topics related to the saddle manufacturing industry are covered as well: trees, leather, hardware, patents, manufacturing #’s, exports/imports, influential persons and regions, etc and,….The “Golden Age of the Horse”. 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 and 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 extensive but will include lots of saddle photos and illustrations from period catalogs to enable one to identify 19th century saddles. I have finished the writing, it is now being vetted, next is editing and layout then printing. Watch here for more details. More to come!!
In the meantime…..Check out my saddle and horse equipment photos in PHOTO GALLERIES! The ONLY place on the web to see such a wide assortment of “pre-1900″ saddlery! In addition…. tons of photos of civilian saddles, bridles, bits, stirrups, etc.; Confederate and Federal Saddles, Confederate/Federal Horse Equipments, Dragoon and Indian War saddlery; photos of CW artillery teams, artillery horse equipment, quartermaster wagons and ambulances; mounted Federal and Confederate Cavalrymen and more! All from public and private collections, some have NEVER before been published or seen the light of day. Over one thousand photos!
HEY! my book…MADE IN THE C.S.A. SADDLE MAKERS OF THE CONFEDERACY…is OUT OF PRINT and ALMOST OUT OF STOCK!!! Right now I have only a very few left….only a handful! On ebay these go for $60! From me, ONLY $40 plus $8 shipping. Look under “Ken’s Books” Soon out of inventory! LESS THAN 10 REMAIN! Better get it now while they last. They will NOT be reprinted!
(NOTE: The hardbound CONFEDERATE SADDLES & HORSE EQUIPMENT still available at “full” price). Signed copies available.
Collectors and Reenactors!: I still have some nice items for sale in “Relics and Reproductions” LOTS OF NEW (repro and original) PERIOD BRIDLE BITS!!! ALWAYS NEW “STUFF” …. Keep an eye out. I have a lot of really neat, sometimes rare horse equipment,… very “attractively” priced! And MUCH MORE to come from my collection.
Last updated: January 28, 2017……………………………..