Union Cavalry Artifacts

Buy mid-1863 the Union cavalry had achieved the upper hand, having adequate leadership and far superior equipment to those of the Confederacy. Some units, such as the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry had started the war with nine foot-long lances made of Norwegian fir (3) but this was quickly shown to be an anachronism and, with few exceptions the usefulness of the saber (18) was also over, leaving repeating, rapid fire weapons to dominate the battlefield.

The most important of these was the Spencer carbine (17) which became the principal weapon used by Union cavalry during the last two years of the war. Other aspects of cavalry life did not, however, change:

the horses still had to be saddled (10) and looked after by farriers (23) and the men still wore elaborate and eyecatching uniforms (5, 15).

1 Carbine cartridge box

2 Metal curry comb, used in horse grooming

3 Lance with pennant, (in total nine feet long), of the type used between 1861 and 1863 by the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry, Rush's Lancers

4 Cavalryman's gauntlets

5 Cavalryman's shell jacket

6 Forage cap

7 Double-breasted overcoat for mounted troops

8 Picket rope

9 Rubber blanket

10 Regulation US Army saddle, the

Regulation Bugle

repeating carbine

18 Model 1860 saber, with protective scabbard and tassel

19 Regulation curb bit and reins

20 Girth

21 Saddle blanket

22 Bugle

23 Farrier's pocket knife

Model 1859 McClellan saddle with blanket roll

Shoulder sling for a carbine Rolled overcoat Saber belt

Pair of field glasses and case Bugler's shell jacket Saddle bags

Model 1860 Spencer breechloadmg,

11 12

16 17

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