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.
The 3rd New Jersey Cavalry, the "Butterflies," has already been mentioned on pages 64-65. Their armament alone made them formidable, with the repeating Spencer carbines and the Remington .44 revolvers, but then there was their uniform, with its frogged jacket and the splendid, red-lined, flowing talma (cape), which gave more of an impression of Napoleonic-era hussars, rather than American horsemen fighting in the 1860s. Despite this somewhat archaic appearance, however, this first sergeant, is still every inch a soldier and a formidable cavalryman.
First Sergeant, 3rd New Jersey Cavalry, "the Butterflies," U.S.A.
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