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
4 Cavalryman's gauntlets
5 Cavalryman's shell jacket
7 Double-breasted overcoat for mounted troops
8 Picket rope
9 Rubber blanket
10 Regulation US Army saddle, the
18 Model 1860 saber, with protective scabbard and tassel
19 Regulation curb bit and reins
21 Saddle blanket
23 Farrier's pocket knife
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,
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