View Full Version : Another "Mounted Yank" cavalryman photo surfaces....
06-06-2012, 11:02 PM
A "friend" of this forum was kind enough to send me this. Not sure if he would appreciate the use of his name so I refrain. Regardless, Robert- Thank you!!! It is currently up for auction "somewhere". No identification or other pertinent information accompanied the photo.
A nice "mounted yank" photo huh? Also, a nice (although ugly) dapple grey too. He is rather a typical "Yank" however we all know mounted photos of any kind are rare and I am always interested in seeing new ones.
Perhaps some of you fellas might be able to spot some items of discussion. One thing I note with more frequency (at least in photos) is the use of three buckle bridles as opposed to the six buckle bridles and, the use of "unofficial" bits. I wonder how common this was as an issue item? Any thoughts from you Federal guys on this subject? Tom? Also, nice shot of his colt pistol too.
Ken R Knopp
06-07-2012, 12:20 PM
Ken , What do you think he did with his halter ? I have seen a number of photos that the horse did not have a halter. Do you think this is something we should do with out? Of course this could be "I am going to town to get my picture and I am not packing everything." Just a thought. Nice picture and thought provoking.
Or could this be, because it is a "staged" shot?
06-07-2012, 02:06 PM
While it is always possible that any of these photos are "staged" shots, we also sometimes forget that many (not all) of these riders were excellent horsemen even before the war. Some of those horsemen had been trained, prior to the war, in the English or European schools of equitation and were enfluenced by the same and the purist in those disciplines do not ride with the headstall (bridle) over the halter as we usually do. So that could have been at play here.
Of course, the formal schools of equitation are not really set up to tell you how to run through the woods, jump off your horse, and tie your mount to a sapling while all around you is chaos, either, ha. :rolleyes:
06-07-2012, 03:33 PM
I think I fit in the that lowly last category. I ain't got much formale edugaton on those harses. Dad always said" hang on tight and don't fall off. " That leads me through most tight spots of life too.
What or where would you put the halter while on the campaign or just do with out? maybe I should just look at the reports and see how many did have halters. I have watched for other items like pistols and canteens.
06-07-2012, 03:38 PM
Is there a possibility that's the photographer's horse?
Seems to me, there's a whole lot of "normal" equipment missing.
06-07-2012, 04:38 PM
I have never read a thing that they carried it separate, so I have to assume that they did without and tied off the horse with the reins.
I think this was much in the minority especially as they gained an understanding of what they were in for and as Huck and Dave have mentioned, it may be staged for the photo and then for real world purposes he placed the halter on.
I don't know, but I have been trail riding with folks that go by this and when we take a break and they tie the horses off I always wonder if their horses will still have teeth should something spook the lot of them, ha.
Oh, and I learned in that same "jump on and hold on for all you're worth" school, too.
06-07-2012, 06:53 PM
One other thing that I want to point out that is noteworthy but is NOT applicable to this photo is the that it was quite prevalent in that day to use a halter/bridle that at first glance gives the appearance of just a bridle (or headstall) but in reality is a combination device where the bit portion detaches from the upper part by way of buckles and the ride takes the lower portion (inc. reins) with him and links to the upper portion.
I am attaching photos of Stonewall Jackson's horse (Little Sorrel) where he is using a halter/bridle. In this portion the lower jaw strap has been removed so I am also attaching a reproduction of a similar design with the lower strap intact. Again, this is not what we see in Ken's photo, but can give a quick glance appearance of no halter. For what it is worth.....
This shot was taken in a town and could very well had been the photographers horse. Otherwise the trooper needed to review the proper way to fold a saddle blanket. The missing halter would had to be used while on a campaign because of the necessity of the link strap.
I'm with Mark one this one that tying a horse by the reins, while not likely to actually pull teeth, could still result in a cut mouth, broken reins and a runaway horse. They were trained to be pretty much spook proof although not against snakes, bobcats, bears, lions, wolves and other critters that heavily populated the terrain they often rode through. That's something I hadn't considered before. I wonder how often camps were visited by angry mama bears?
Good photo, Ken.
06-08-2012, 12:03 PM
Thanks for posting! As you say, mounted pictures are relatively rare, and it's always nice to see a new one.
This guy is pretty "stock in trade" for a mounted federal. He's about as common and generic as they come really. I would see no reason to suggest that it wasn't his horse. I can't blow up the picture too large, but he appears to be riding a Mac, and doesn't have a bedroll. Mounted pictures with bedrolls aren't all that common for portraits, so it doesn't surprise me to see him without his...if he even used one since many federal troopers abandoned theirs in favor of putting the blanket under the saddle.
He is lacking saddlebags, which could either be for photographic effect, or he may just not have them. Three buckle bridles are WAAAAAAY more common than the 6 buckle variety, which came out mid way through the war. Civilian (non-issue) bits are also very common in federal images.
What he did with his halter is a mystery, but I would lay my money on either that he took it off for the picture, or as Mark suggests, that it's a halter-bridle combo. I can't imagine that any trooper would waste his time taking off a halter, and then having to pack it/hang it on the saddle. It just doesn't make any sense. Likewise, I'm not sure how you could function on a day to day basis without a halter, unless you used a rope made into a halter, or a neck rope. The animals were tired enough that they wouldn't go far, but there HAD to be times where you'd need a halter for a variety of reasons.
1st Maine Cavalry
06-08-2012, 11:39 PM
Tom, I am with you on interpretation of this photo but help me out with more info on the six buckle bridle as coming out at midwar. Seriously. I am not clear on this. Is there any good information out there about that aspect in terms of numbers, commonality, theater of war, etc. etc. of the six vs. the three buckle bridle? What about leather width? Were they similar? Did they both employ the standard bar buckle? In short, are there any directives that can provide some guideance on their appearances, prevelance or "in general" use of the six buckle versus the three buckle bridle? I am not familiar with these particulars.....any guideance for aspiring Feds? Please advise.
Ken R Knopp
Ken, perhaps someone answered you in a pm, but I'll bump it back up to see if there will be a public answer for us all to read.
If you didn't get your answer, then I will no longer feel bad when some of mine don't get answered.
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