Horse Equipment

Campbell vs. McClellan

Of all the speculations about the design evolution of the McClellan military saddle, the clearest ‘progenitor’ is that of the Campbell cavalry saddle of 1855.  I don’t intend to delve into the various other theories here – that sort of debate can go on for far longer than most peoples attention span and patience!In 1855, …

Artifacts & Details, Horse Equipment, Material Culture, United States

US Civil War Federal Ranger Saddle

One of the real treats that occasionally happens for the student of old historical artifacts is the discovery of a true rarity.  Not just a hard-to-find item but an item that could be termed a ‘unicorn’ – so rare is it that there is no readily apparent logical reason that it should still exist.  Such …

Artifacts & Details

Civil War McClellan Pommel Shields

Pommel ornaments or ‘shields’ were a fixture of US military saddles going all the way back to the first Ringgolds, circa 1842.  A natural solution for reinforcing the mortise holes in the pommels and cantles, subjected to the daily wear and tear of the coat straps, these fittings were used continuously on US cavalry and …

Artifacts & Details

Civil War McClellan inspection mark, circa 1863

This inspection mark was found on an original civil war 1863 vintage McClellan saddletree.  This specimen was found under a civilian saddle built circa 1880s.  This rather large, bold mark was present on both the rawhide and the wood, in roughly the same cantle position.  It appears to have been made with heavy printers ink …

Profiles

Major Samuel Ringgold – Hero of Palo Alto

In the rosters of influential US Army officers of the early 19th century, the name of Samuel Ringgold is held in high esteem. Reknowned for his work in introducing and development of light artillery in the US Army, he is also known here for a side project to promote an Americanized take on the French …