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 Post subject: '33 Dragoon saddle
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 6:29 pm 
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There is a mystery that has plagued the military living history community since reenactors began to look outside the era of the last half of the 19th century American military, particularly the mounted cavalry of the late Indian Wars. What did the 1830's dragoon saddles look like? The fallowing is pretty good research on the subject. Not a commonly done "western Fur trade era" impression but one to be considered is one portrays a "former dragoon" or deserter.

Keep in mind the more recent belief was that the '33 saddle was a "English riding saddle" style.

http://www.militaryhorse.org/1833-dragoon-saddle/

https://www.militaryhorse.org/1833-drag ... quipments/

Here's a rare photo.

https://www.militaryhorse.org/wp-conten ... ly1850.jpg

Here's another.

https://www.militaryhorse.org/wp-conten ... ysdrag.jpg

I hope someday to have one made. I am waiting for a 1830's-40's "Hope style" saddle.

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"Nope!....If I gotta choose.....I'll ride the mule and pack the horse!" WD Bennett


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 Post subject: Re: '33 Dragoon saddle
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 6:46 pm 
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This is such a great photo I thought I would post it. Notice the gourd canteen.....rest of the saddle is typical dragoon equipment with valise, pommel holsters, horse shoe pouch, picket line, narrow stirrup leathers with brass stirrups. Military bridle and halter also seen. This has to be near the end of the '30's at least since it's a photograph and odd there doesn't appear to be any regulation clothing.However some company commanders could be quite lax on clothing on patrol...or perhaps government surplus sold to civilian. Anyway it is as Thornton Grimsley described.

Image

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Doug/Mule Man

"Nope!....If I gotta choose.....I'll ride the mule and pack the horse!" WD Bennett


Last edited by Mule Man on Fri Jan 08, 2016 2:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: '33 Dragoon saddle
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 10:26 pm 
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Thanx for the articles Mule....... very interesting


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 Post subject: Re: '33 Dragoon saddle
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 4:29 pm 
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Location: Yosemite
this photo I have seen in a book I own. I'll have to find it. I think it is more recent than 1830s. maybe more like the 50s. for some reason The Greaves expedition is popping into my head, but I could be wrong.

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 Post subject: Re: '33 Dragoon saddle
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:23 pm 
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Found it! in Time Life Book "The Scouts" page 65. I was kinda sorta right... lol.

This is a picture of Dr. Samuel Woodhouse (nearest the pony's head). He served as surgeon and naturalist with the "Topographical Engineers" during the 1850 surveys of Creek and Cherokee Indian Territories in 1850. This picture is of their camp on the Red Fork of the Arkansas River. One year later, Woodhouse joined the "Sitgreaves Expedition" in the Southwest, led by famous scout Antoine Leroux.

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 Post subject: Re: '33 Dragoon saddle
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 4:10 pm 
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Trying to do more research on this saddle not only opens up possibilities for 30's and 40's Dragoon impression but brings to light what Grimsley's "Ashley" contract saddles looked like. Frequent references to "Spanish saddles" both in regards to the military version as well as fur trade saddles..... seems to indicate that the concept of rawhide covered saddles with "horns" seems to be more in use by Anglo-Americans from at least as far back as the mid-1820's than most folks generally believe. I am enclosing a close up of the "1850" photo to show more closely the similarities of this early military saddle to later western saddles clear up to the present time. I once owned a "Santa Fe saddle" that was sold by "White Buffalo Saddles/Bob Schmidt" that was advertised as a "Ashley Contract Saddle" but I have yet to find on line a photo of an original. If anyone knows of one and could post it here or on one of the other forums, I'd really appreciate it.
The typical "Hope Saddle" is said to have much later provenance........but the style, whether specifically named a "Hope" saddle or not seems to have been around at least 2-3 decades earlier.
Image

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"Nope!....If I gotta choose.....I'll ride the mule and pack the horse!" WD Bennett


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 Post subject: Re: '33 Dragoon saddle
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 10:28 pm 
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Doug why aren't your pictures showing up in the top post?

Shotgun


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 Post subject: Re: '33 Dragoon saddle
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 10:38 pm 
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Steve.....I just posted them as links rather than my usual "Photobucket" account........probably should have posted the photos at least............. :oops:

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"Nope!....If I gotta choose.....I'll ride the mule and pack the horse!" WD Bennett


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 Post subject: Re: '33 Dragoon saddle
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2016 11:54 pm 
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Your option but folks tell me that the pictures is one of the main things they like about the site.

Shotgun


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 Post subject: Re: '33 Dragoon saddle
PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2016 3:42 pm 
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Gotcha.............here's the one I didn't post........this is young Lt’s Alexander Hays and Ulysses Grant, taken in 1845
Image
Arrow pointing to horn on saddle......it also shows a Shabraque "cloth cover" over the saddle common to officer model accoutrements. Looks like the "cantle" is rawhide without leather cover.....more like the Civil War '59 model McClellan.....but I'm still not sure the specifics of the '33 Grimsley model. It could be that the senior officers had leather covered models while the Jr. officers...possibly non-coms, had rawhide saddles with Shabraque coverings. Grimsley apparently wanted to put leather Shabraques on all models...much like the Spanish/Mexican/Californian Mochilla, but the Army decided against it. It appears in the other 1850 photo there isn't a cover, which is likely what the enlisted saddle always looked like the 17 years previously.

I am investigating the Shabraque on the horse Dodge is riding in Catlin's painting "Comanches meet the Dragoons" It appears to be red with gold trim and possibly gold eagles on the corners......odd since red was typically associated with the Artillery. However there is little about Dodge's clothing/weapons and possibly horse equipment that looks regulation in the painting.
Image
Officer's often purchased their own uniforms and equipment. It looks like Dodge chose to continue wearing the same clothing for campaign as he formally did as commander of the "US Mounted Rangers" in 1832 or as he previously had as a militia officer during the "Blackhawk War". Wearing a buckskin hunting coat, a top hat and carrying a half stocked rifle/shotgun? shows off his frontier mindset and somewhat independent spirit as the new commander of the 1rst Regt of Dragoons.
Image

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"Nope!....If I gotta choose.....I'll ride the mule and pack the horse!" WD Bennett


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