Category: Artifacts & Details

One-on-one examination of various artifacts – exploring the various facets of history, construction, use and other details of interest.

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 …

Artifacts & Details

McClellan Model 1859 saddle rings and staples

One of the distinctive characteristics of a civil war McClellan saddle are the four saddle rings, ‘holdin down the corners’.  On reading the Ordnance Manual of 1861 and it’s description for how these were to be installed, it was a little bit confusing.  The rings were to be installed with iron staples driven through the …

Artifacts & Details

US Model of 1859 iron buckles for cavalry equipment

US Model of 1859 iron buckles for cavalry equipment In 1859, the McClellan model cavalry saddle specifications were extensively revised from the previously tested Model 1857 McClellan (commonly referred to as the Trial Saddle). One of these alterations was the substitution of the hardware used for the bridle, saddlebags, carbine loop and coat straps with …