Category: Material Culture

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 …

History, Horse Equipment

The French Hussar Influence

This is a rather simple descriptive post – many years ago, I was given an image of a plate showing the basic French hussar saddle, of similar vintage to the formation of the American dragoon regiments, and the Ringgold saddle This first plate is the illustration used in the 1826 cavalry tactics manual that was …

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 …

Artifacts & Details

WW1 saddle ovals – variations

Anyone that has worked with a number of surplus war contract M1904 McClellans will likely have run across this variation in the brass mortice plates, also known by the manufacturers name as ‘saddle ovals’.  In general, nearly all McClellans used the smaller, slightly elongated form.  Occasionally, you’ll find a mortice plate that is rounder shape, …