View Full Version : Indian war saddle
08-04-2009, 05:35 PM
I have an Indian war display i am trying to put togeather of the 1876 US Cavalry era, [Custer] The saddle i have i've been told is not correct for that time. I have a chance to buy a model 1858/59 McCellan saddle that is black with the rawhide exposed and leather skirt's attatched with screw's, would this saddle be to earley for the 1876 time frame? Were the saddles of that time in the US Cavalry covered in full leather or were some still using exposed raw hide? And were they still using the leather shirts at that time?
I know this subject is not about the trapdoor, but part of my display is an 1873 trapdoor carbine. Thank's for any help or advice.
According to "United States Military Saddles, 1812-1943" by Randy Steffan, The Ordnance Department recognized early on that the saddles used in the Civil War were unsuitable for the harsh climate out West. From page 80; "in 1868 the Ordnance department recognized that the war saddles were only lasting a few months in the climatic extremes prevalent in the West, and a series of modifications was begun that attempted to remedy the shortcomings of the exposed rawhide-seat Model 1859 McClellan." In short, they covered the saddle trees with leather and made many other modifications very soon after the Civil War. So, a Civil War era McClellan is probably a little too early for a Custer era display.
08-06-2009, 07:16 PM
Thanks for your info. I was going to try and get this very rough McCllean saddle but i'll guess i'll hold out for a full covered leather one. Thanks.
Just a thought, you may have to wait quite awhile before you find an original and correct 1868-72 saddle as they are extremly rare and very expensive if found. Consider that not many were made because of the small number of Cavaty troops there were during that period and the wear and tear on the saddles.
My suggestion would be, that is unless you get lucky and find a 68-72 saddle, I would get the CW one if the price is reasonable. They were used into early 1870 or until replaced by the later ones, Ray
08-07-2009, 03:38 PM
Thank's Ray, Your suggestion makes good sense.
Ray don't you have a Cavalry display? If so, I sure would like to see your pic's agin, Thanks.....boos.
Check here, for photos of my collection I put on another site. My mannequin displays - U.S. Militaria Forum (http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=2364)
There's some CW & IW saddles shown as well as some complete IW mannequin set-ups, Ray.
08-08-2009, 05:02 PM
Ray, Ive never seen a collection as good or as large as your's, It is wonderful.
Thank's for letting us see it, I really like your C/W and Indian war displays, esp. the uniforms and Cavalry equip. I think i'll go get me a beer and look at it agin.
I guess i'll give up on my saddle for a while, There just out of my price range, But i'll keep looking. There was not one saddle at the civil war show today and the one i was looking at on ebay end's in 4 hr's and is now at $725 and i feel sure it will go for well over a $1000, and probley worth it.
Thank's agin for the great pic's of your collection....boos.
08-15-2009, 12:07 PM
The '59 is too early for '76, but if you are doing late 1860s, it could be right. Get a Sharps 50-70 conversion and it would make a good display. One thing a lot of troopers did in the southwest was to take the skirts off '59s, which kept the horse cooler. Of course, that made the rawhide come off faster, since there were a bunch of open holes in it.
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