Everything about the cavalryman of the Union, seemed to denote color and excitement. His short blue woolen shell jacket, gaily trimmed in yellow to denote the mounted service, stood out above his sky blue pants, all of it framed and trimmed by the polished black leather of his belt, boots, shoulder belts and black-trimmed blue kepi. While there were many variations, especially among privately raised and militia groups from pre-war days, most Yankee troopers looked like this cavalryman from Illinois. They rode on the same McClellan style saddle, carried the same regulation saber, wore the same Colt .44 Model 1860 Army pistol and, if they were fortunate, carried the same Spencer carbine repeater. Even their spurs were regulation issue, though the fitness of their horses varied widely. All that could not be issued to them was experience in combat, which they had to learn for themselves, with a little help from Johnny Reb.
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