Carrying saber on the saddle (CW and IW period)

Weaponry used by mounted forces, including individual and crew-served arms.
Post Reply
User avatar
Fossilhorse
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2008 2:22 pm
Last Name: Ramey

Carrying saber on the saddle (CW and IW period)

Post by Fossilhorse » Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:20 am

During that period from the Civil War through the late Indian Wars (1860-1890) were sabers typically carried attached to the saddle while the trooper was mounted?

If so, what was used to attach them? Did they have short, buckling, saber straps like we see from the Span Am period onward?

Thank you for any info!

Cheers,
Tim

User avatar
Pat Holscher
Website Admin
Posts: 26760
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2000 6:51 pm
Medals: 2
Last Name: Holscher
Location: USA
:
Society Member Donation - Origin
Contact:

Post by Pat Holscher » Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:00 pm

The saber was carried "attached to the saddle on the off side in a position somewhat similar to that of the carbine."

Boniface: The Cavalry Horse and His Pack, 1903. While far from an expert on sabers, I think it was basically carried in the same fashion and by the same means throughout this period, although I'd certainly accept corrections if I'm in error. This, I'd note, was from the post Indian Wars period forward, given the reference to the carbine and its attachment. I think it likely that the same was true of the method of carrying during the Civil War but I'll have to check to be sure.
Pat

Animadvertistine, ubicumque stes, fumum recta in faciem ferri?

User avatar
Fossilhorse
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2008 2:22 pm
Last Name: Ramey

Post by Fossilhorse » Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:32 am

Thanks Pat.

Do you know if there were actually made-for-purpose saber attachment straps prior to the 1885 equipments?

User avatar
Todd
Website Admin
Posts: 2399
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2000 4:10 pm
Medals: 2
Last Name: Holmes
Location: USA
:
Society Member Donation - Origin

Post by Todd » Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:36 am

That's a pretty specific request for a time period of really non-specific activity :)

I'll have to do some digging around, but there are some great tidbits to be found in various reports in the old 'Reports to the Chief of Ordnance' annual reports. These were massive books that covered everything the Ordnance Dept had their fingers into (which was everything) from the late 1860s through just prior to WW1. WW1 was just so massive an undertaking that an annual report would have been impossible.

I recall finding a wonderful report from an ordnance officer that was tasked with visiting all the major and minor outposts and gathering information on what the troops in the field were actually doing with their equipment, and if changes and modifications were in order at the arsenals. The report was from 1880, with location at Cheyenne Wyoming depot. The officer mentioned in detail about modifications to revolver holsters to fit over web belts (leather belts not being used), fabrication of 'carbine holsters' in lieu of any sort of carbine socket, that sabers were left in their shipping crates and completely ignored, canteens (leftover CW surplus) were being refitted with leather straps and snaps, the list went on and on.

In general, if you find new types or configurations of equipment issued by the arsenals post-civil war, it was generally being cobbled up by the troops in the field some time before that. If something looked like it would work better, they tried it - if it worked, they kept doing it until the arsenals heard about it and started making a better quality item for general issue.

It is one of the characteristics of the American military, especially on the frontiers, where you can have some real difficulty trying to pin down what 'the standard issue' was at any given time - beyond what an observant reporter may have noticed.

User avatar
Trooper
Society Member
Posts: 2214
Joined: Wed Dec 13, 2000 7:49 pm
Medals: 2
Location: United Kingdom
:
Society Member Donation - 9th

Post by Trooper » Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:44 pm

IMG_0611.JPG
IMG_0611.JPG (486.54 KiB) Viewed 159 times
The right to manufacture the Stuart sabre attachment, from which the 1885 attachment was modified, was purchased in 1859. 10,000 were ordered produced at Frankford Arsenal in 1864. It is likely that some of them continued in service thereafter until replaced with the 1885 version. The 1872 and 1874 sabre belts had separate slings with small brass hooks that could be easily detached and hooked into saddle rings.
Dušan

User avatar
Fossilhorse
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2008 2:22 pm
Last Name: Ramey

Post by Fossilhorse » Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:07 pm

Thank you gents.

And Todd, your explanation makes a lot of sense.

Perhaps the real question should have been, did frontier troops, in the post CW era, actually carry sabers on their saddles, or were they "left in the crates" and not even carried afield during the IW era?

Post Reply

Return to “Arms”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests