Cavalry Horses

Early on, cavalrymen learned that their horses were their most valuable items of equipment. The credo of most cavalrymen was that they took care of their horses before they took care of themselves and while

1st Maine CalvaryHorse Cavalry Gun

The distinctive yellow facings of this cavalryman's uniform mark him out to be a bugler. Note also the double seams of yellow on his trousers and the fancy stitching on the top of his boots. The bottom of his pistol holster can also be seen poking out from underneath his elbow. David Scheinmann.

The collar of this cavalry private's jacket looks uncomfortably high. He poses wearing a wide shoulder belt with a large brass buckle; and on this shoulder belt he would carry his carbine, suspended from a clip. David Scheinmann.

an infantryman might be able to relax at the end of a day, cavalrymen spend hours grooming, feeding and watering their mounts.

In the winter of 1861 the 1st Maine Cavalry built stables for their horses while the men themselves slept out in the snow. But all the attention lavished on horses couldn't alter the effects of battle and supplying enough mounts was a problem until the Union War Department established the Cavalry Bureau in 1863.

The bureau was given the responsibility of mounting and equipping all Union cavalrymen and in 1864 it supplied over 150,000 mounts to troopers.

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