Non Commissioned Officers Personal Equipment

The trooper and NCOs wore a heavy 3-inch wide black leather carbine sling about 60 inches long across the left shoulder. The sling buckled at the back with a large brass two-tongued buckle at one end and a brass belt tip held in place with rivets at the other. To hold the carbine on the belt, sliding loosely, was a three-piece swivel consisting of a loop and polished steel snap hook, which attached to a carrying ring or bar set in the left side of the carbine in the small of the stock. The buckle was usually worn at the back, and the carbine hung down at the right hip. To help overcome the problem of having the carbine hanging loosely against the horse and man, when mounted, a carbine socket was provided for in the Regulations. This was a waisted cylinder of black leather inches high and 2| inches in diameter, with a buckle and strap attached to the quarter strap on the right side of the saddle. The muzzle of the carbine was pushed into this socket when mounted to hold the carbine steady. The waist belt was also black leather, which adjusted to size by folding back to the right through a slot in the belt plate, with a single sharp brass hook fitting into one of the holes in the belt. A brass catch on the left end of the belt engaged in a flat blunt hook on the back of the plate to fasten the belt on. The buckle was covered by the heavy brass lead-filled rectangular eagle belt plate like the infantry officers'. The two sabre slings were attached separately to the belt by brass rings on stitched-on straps, a short sling at the front at the centre of the hip, and a longer sling 7-8 inches round to the rear. Joining the brass rings of the belt, just above the slings, an additional strap could be worn. This was narrower than the belt and adjusted at the back with a single hook, passed over the right shoulder and hooked with a heavy brass hook onto a large brass ring on the left hip, and was intended as extra support for the sabre.

On the waist belt a smaller version of the infantry cartridge box was worn; flatter and with a single tin inside, usually at the rear of the hip. This was for carbine ammunition. A second box of the same type was worn on the other hip to hold revolver ammunition. At the front was a cap pouch like that of the infantry for percussion caps, again one for the carbine, one for the revolver. The trooper might reduce this bulky load by carrying the caps and cartridges mixed, or by using combination pouches. A brass oval 'US' plate was worn on the cartridge box.

Spurs were, of course, issued to all mounted troops. The regulation spurs were brass, with loops for the leather straps which passed over and under the

Carbine swivel hook.

CS button.

foot. The spurs had goosenecked up-curved shanks and small sharp-toothed steel rowels, which could cut a horse badly if misused. The spurs could be, and were, modified to make neck spur rather than strap spurs. The strap slots were cut off, the edges rounded and three small holes bored in the spur, at the ends and below the rowel shank. Small nails were then used to nail the spur to the boot heel.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment