hip, as a side-arm, for which purpose it was well adapted, having a curved edge with a sharp point.
The standard pistol was the Colt
's revolver, army or navy pattern, loaded with powder and ball and fired with percussion caps
Within its limitations, it was a very efficient weapon.
The saddle was the McClellan
, so-called because adopted through recommendations made by General McClellan
after his official European
tour, in 1860, although it was in reality a modification of the Mexican
It was an excellent saddle, and in an improved pattern is, after fifty years of trial, still the standard saddle of the United States regular cavalry.
In its original form it was covered with rawhide instead of leather, and when this covering split, the seat became very uncomfortable for the rider.
Although the original recruiting regulations required cavalry troopers to furnish their own horses and equipments, this requirement was later modified, and the Government
furnished everything to the recruit, in volunteer as well as in regular regiments.
Many troopers sold their private horses to the Government
and then rode them in ranks.
It was argued by some cavalry officers of that period that this system was eminently successful in securing men for the cavalry who could ride and who would care for horses.
As is usual in a country weak in trained cavalry and utterly unprepared for war, vexatious delays occurred in receiving the equipment of newly organized cavalry regiments.
Long after the Western
regiments were organized, they were kept inactive from lack of equipment, for which the Federal Government
had made no provision in the way of reserve supplies.
In some instances months elapsed before saddles were received, and in several cases arms were even longer in putting in an appearance.
The interim was employed by the commanders in teaching their men to ride and drill, to use their arms, and to care for their horses.
In the absence of saddles,