Richmond / Clarksville Saddles & Horse Equipments

Trooper’s Saddles: Predominantly “Skeleton” Jenifer (or “New” Jenifer) pattern saddles were issued to troopers until the summer of 1863. At the same time the McClellan saddle (or some variance of it) was manufactured in limited numbers by a few commercial contractors until the summer of 1863 when the Ordnance Department began a gradual changeover of all production to the McClellan pattern. In November 1863, the Ordnance Department’s main Harness Shops at Clarksville, Va. received machinery to make its own McClellan trees which were thereafter manufactured on-site. Clarksville-made trooper’s saddles appear to have often used black harness leather on quarter straps and lighter-weight russet-colored skirting leather on the skirts, fenders and the hoods (on wood stirrups). Richmond Arsenal issue saddles are believed to have been the only Confederate saddles that were issued with the “CS” embossed pommel plate and “clipped corner” strap plates.

Valises &. Saddle Bags: Jenifers saddles were issued with leather and/or cloth valises. Records indicate that few saddle bags were manufactured or issued (probably only for Officers) until the McClellan was adopted after which they became somewhat more common. Saddle bags were made from cloth after February 1864.

Officer’s Saddles:
At least three different high quality Officer’s saddles were made at Clarksville including a “plain” Jenifer, a “Shafted and quilted” Jenifer, and a “Quilted Hood” saddle. High ranking officers were allowed the additional option to embellish their saddles with fancy stitching, tooling, etc. All saddles were sold in sets with valises or saddle bags, and likely other components.

Trooper’s Bridles: Cavalry bridles (three buckle, single rein) were issued with either a single rein bit or occasionally a double rein bit. Some “Single English” (six buckle with single rein) were made early in the war. Most bridles were issued with hand forged, loose ring “Troopers” bits. Apparently, russet colored flat “bridle” leather was most often used on bridles. Bridle bits generally appear to have been issued with leather chin straps utilizing a light weight horseshoe shaped buckle.

Officer’s Bridles:
At least two types: the “Double English Round Bridle” (six buckle, double rein, round leather) and “Double English” bridles (six buckle, double rein, flat leather). All appear to have been issued with a domestic manufactured brass or brass-plated bit or possibly an imported bit of some kind.

Halters: Troopers: Some five-ring halters were made early in the war but then beginning some time in 1862 single ring halters appear to have been predominantly manufactured. For officers: The five ring halter was made particularly after January 1863.

Saddle Blankets:
Variously made of wool (imports and domestics), felt (various including English “Numnahs”) and “Moss” blankets (increasingly common, beginning November 1861).

Nose Bags:
Apparently of the Ordnance Manual pattern but no other description could be found.