Smith, N. – Selma, Ala

N.  Smith was a large producer of every facet of, and obviously high quality cavalry and artillery horse equipments to the Selma Arsenal from August 1862 through June 1864. Very complete records of this company exist from March 1863 to March 1864 indicating this company had contracts for horse equipments and supplies totaling over $491,700!

Production included the following: Cavalry saddles (3,508 probably Jenifer or McClellan at from $6 to $54.65); Bridles (3,242, $1.35 to $15); Halters (489, $5.50); Cruppers (2,311, 50 cents to $2.75); Cavalry bits (3,269 iron, $$2.50 to $5); Valises (1,878, at $6.25); Officers Saddles (93, $11.80 to $115 probably depending upon quality); Officers bridles (121, $17-$21); Officers Breast Straps (91, $5,30); Officers Cruppers (112, $5.30); Saddle Trees (1,344 in addition to finished saddles, at $4.50); Gun Boots (787, $3); Gun Slings (1,991 at $2, Snaps 1,549 at $1.50); Link Straps (500). Also a few unattached surcingles, girths and  martingales; a number of Artillery Drivers and Valise saddles, harness, collars, traces and hames. Iron products in the tens of thousands including buckles (iron: 5/8, 7/8, 3/4, 1 3/4 inches), rings (iron: _, 1, 1 _, 1 3/4 inches. Brass: 3/4 inch), 3/4 inch roller buckles, silver plated buckles, rein snaps (307), halter bolts, saddle staples (1 1/2 inch for rings), sword belt buttons, sword belt buckles and copper tacks. Also Harness, bridle, sole and skirting leather; sheep skins and wool; Many yards of enameled cloth, girth webbing, duck and osnaburgs; shoe thread, saddlers thread, wooden saddle trees and stirrups. All of these equipments were sold individually and likely later compiled into sets at the arsenal for issue.

Based upon available records the following can be discerned about equipment manufactured by N. Smith: Cavalry saddles were the Jenifer’s or McClellan. The McClellan was made with skirts, fenders, cruppers, iron saddle rings, either 1 1/4 or 1 1/2 inches in diameter driven in with 1 1/2 inch iron staples and quarter straps utilizing either 1 1/2 or 1 3/4 inch diameter round iron rings. The saddle had leather covered wood stirrups, webb girths and approximately _ of them may have had valises issued with them (its possible some of these valises were for Artillery).

The bridle headstalls (probably halter-bridles) were leather and used 3/4 (or 7/8) and 5/8 inch iron buckles. An iron bit was later attached at the Arsenal which had a leather throat strap and webb reins. Some may have had a link strap attached with them and a few may have had iron rein snaps.
The halter also was likely based upon the Ordnance Manual pattern (Five-ring) using the prescribed iron bolt (which was rare elsewhere in the Confederacy). Fewer than 500 were made by this firm.

Officers saddles appear to be made with breast collars and some with surcingles while the “cavalry” (private’s) models were not. They also were of different quality probably due to the grade of leather (and possibly color) and stitching. Officer’s saddles had adorned fenders and skirts, and different appearing bridles, halters, cruppers and stirrup  leathers than their enlisted counterpart.