Category: Material Culture

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, …

Horse Equipment, McClellan, United States

Before The First McClellan – the Pattern of 1856

The prototype saddle first fabricated by Lacey & Phillips, through the coordinating efforts of Capt. George McClellan, was delivered about 20-21 December, 1856, to the War Department in Washington, DC.  Its description can be determined primarily by taking the M1857 model, and adding back all the pieces and parts that were removed from its predecessor.The …

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 …