When I first read this thread it had ony two posts. I'm relieved to see it has all worked out.
While attaching the saber to the saddle did occur, it wasn't as commonplace as some of our reenacting bretheren would have us believe. Reading Congdon's Compendium and perusing photographic evidence, you'll see that the saber attached to the belt/person is the most common way of carrying it.
Some interesting additional information: Maj. Benjamin Crownshield of the 1st Mass. Cav. wrote: “Of the soldier’s equipment, the rattling scabbard, with iron rings, made a ceaseless noise… The men finally learned to fasten the sabre, scabbard and all, firmly to the near side of the saddle, parallel to the horse’s body, and when mounted throw the left leg over it. It was then ready to be drawn when mounted, and was not in the way of the dismounted soldier, who had quite enough to do to take care of himself and his carbine in the thicket into which he had so frequently to march when skirmishing. On foot a sabre is seldom of use and is dreadfully in the way. “Thillman, Civil War Cavalry & Artillery Sabers p.26 The author also observed that “Both enlisted and officers’ scabbards are sometimes found bent sideways in a gradual arc of from one to three inches on the reverse side. Reenactors have stated this is from hanging the scabbard on the saddle and putting the left leg over it thereby conforming it to the horses body.”
Post by Nutmegtrooper on Nov 3, 2009 22:36:37 GMT -5
Hi All, There is actually a growing body of evidence that in the AoP cavalry after mid 1863 that attaching the sabre to the saddle became very common practice. Now, that is not to say that every trooper and every unit made it standard practice, but there is a growing amount of documentation. The quote from Crowninshield above is one small example. Sidney Morris Davis in his book "Common Soldier, Uncommon War" makes a similar reference when he talks about being jealous of the volunteers because they could tuck their pants into their boots, and wear their sabres on their saddles.
That said, it still depends on the event being portrayed, and the unit as well. I know that some folks get really nervous about stuff like this giving justification to farbs to do whatever they please. I'm not worried about teaching farbs bad habits, I am concerned with reenacting history the way it happened.
I use the standard era 1851 brass hook equipment belt/sword hanger. Attach to either loop or slot of the McClellan equipment loop lower left of saddle tree skirting. Ensure scabbard passes over the stirup strapping, and use a leather tie to tie scabbard to stirup strap, if done and aligned correctly the loop of the lower scabbard attachment ring will line up with with stirup strap. Several referenced pictures of 1st Nebraska show the sabre attached to saddle in this manner.
Post by Dave Myrick on May 9, 2010 19:06:48 GMT -5
At a recent event, 1st Maine once again experimented with attaching sabers to the saddle. Success was had by using the saber straps from the saber belt, the rear strap being buttoned to the off side crupper ring and the front strap being buttoned to the off side front ring on the saddle and passing the scabbard under the quarter straps prior to tightening the girth and surcingle. The saber was held securely in place at all gaits and was easily accessible.