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

A/i'fsets coanosy of J Craig Nannos Collection 5- W 12. ¡3 15. W. 19-22, The Cm! War ütxcv and Museum Philadelphia. r>a 14 )} 14. 17 --

1859 Mcclellan Saddle

Model 1859 McClellan saddle with

repeating carbine

blanket roll


Model 1860 saber, with protective

11 Shoulder sling for a carbine

scabbard and tassel

12 Rolled overcoat


Regulation curb bit and reins

13 Saber belt



1A Pair of field glasses and case


Saddle blanket

15 Bugler's shell jacket



16 Saddlebags


Farrier's pocket knife

17 Model 1860 Spencer breechloading,

Union Cavalryman

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