The Augusta Arsenal Pattern Saddle & Horse Equipment

Saddles: Jenifer, then the McClellan pattern with “webb sling girth”, crupper, covered wooden stirrups, saddle bags and some times a breast strap. Saddles made of cloth appear with regularity as an item of issue in August 1864.

Saddle Bags:
First appear in July 1862 but construction details are unclear. Cloth saddle bags appear as issued items in August 1864.

Bridles and Halters:
Bridles and halters were always separate items as per the Ordnance Manual although of unknown configuration. Apparently no halter-bridles were manufactured or issued. A small amount of link straps were supplied with some bridles. Bridoon bridles were still being issued as late as January 1864, albeit on a very limited basis.

Saddle Blankets:
Large numbers of moss saddle blankets were issued from Augusta. A fair number of imported felt and English “numnahs” were sold to officers.

Curry Combs and Horse Brushes: Augusta was the South’s single largest supplier of brushes and combs though they were probably made entirely by local contract suppliers. In the fall of 1863, these items were severely criticized for their poor quality. Nevertheless, huge numbers were made here and shipped all over the Confederacy particularly to Richmond for issue to the Army of Northern Virginia.

Officer’s Equipment: It does not appear Augusta manufactured a large amount of officer’s-grade equipment “in-house”, as was often the case at other facilities. Rather, large numbers of imported English cavalry equipment and numnahs were sold to officers through the Military Storekeeper. . The majority sold as single sets to individual field officers, provosts, surgeons and Engineering officers, etc. for “their own use.” Very late in the war they appear to have been issued in significant numbers to unit commanders for issuance to enlisted men.

Artillery Horse Equipment:
Artillery saddles and bridles, differing from Cavalry, were also issued from Augusta.  Artillery saddles included the “off” horse with valise and the “Drivers” saddles. Interestingly, the bridles and halters for the “off” and “near” horses appear to differ from each other as they are separately noted as such in the records. Another interesting factor is that when artillery pieces were issued they would included the battery wagon with its accompanying equipage but never the artillery horse equipments, excepting harness.

Later in the war it appears Cavalry saddles were often issued with artillery harness, collars, etc. indicating artillery saddles were not always available.  Also, not appearing until late in the war were halter-bridles, referred to as “bridle-halters”, issued to artillery units.