Columbus Georgia Arsenal Saddles & Horse Equipments

Very little is known about the manufacture of saddlery at the Columbus Arsenal as most all of its records were destroyed by Gen. James Wilson’s expedition from Tennessee through Alabama and Georgia at the close of the war.  However, it is known that as of September 1863 the Columbus Arsenal was issuing sets of saddle equipments with a halter-bridle (through some with a halter and bridle “separate”), breast strap, crupper and Spanish Moss Blankets. Cloth cavalry horse equipment were certainly made in Columbus as were significant numbers of  Spanish-moss-made saddle blankets. Also some artillery harness and infantry equipments.
It is known at least three contractors from the Columbus area (Crown & Co., Folsom & Cody and Sherman Co.) made saddles or horse equipment. Both Folsom & Cody and Sherman, also had with contracts for saddlery with the Macon Arsenal. Crown & Co. is believed to have made various equipments largely of cloth. From December of 1863 thru February 1864, Crown supplied some 959 cloth cavalry saddles and infantry equipments to the Columbus Arsenal. In addition, the renown local sword-makers, L. Haiman & Bros. may have also manufactured some saddlery by contract to Columbus.

Interestingly, the Columbus Arsenal appears to have been a prolific provider of Spanish Moss-made saddle blankets. A ready source of Spanish Moss growing along the banks of the deep south Chattahootchie River provided a ready source and supply. Records show tens of thousands of moss blankets were requisitioned from Columbus to all of the other Western arsenals and even Richmond during the war. Nonetheless, scant records or references to horse equipment manufacturing for this arsenal leave little in which to draw further conclusions.