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McClellan Saddle

McClellan Saddle

Catalog #: 273382    Accession #: 54537
Credit: Division of Military History and Diplomacy, National Museum of American History

Dimensions / Weight

Dimensions: 24" H x 40" W x 30" D

Physical Description

Leather seat, straps and skirt with wooden stirrups.

General History

Captain George B. McClellan toured Europe with a military commission looking at new military tactics. He returned and developed a new modified cavalry saddle. In 1859, the U.S. War Department adopted the McClellan saddle. They remained the standard issue throughout the history of the horse cavalry. The saddle was simple and less expensive than most saddles. It was light enough not to weight down the horse, yet it was sturdy and gave good support to the rider and his gear. In its original form the seat was covered with rawhide but was changed to leather in later incarnations. It featured a thick leather skirt, and leather coverings for wooden stirrups. In addition, there was a girth strap made of woolen yarn. The McClellan saddle was placed on top of a saddlecloth, shabrack, or saddle blanket.


Country: United States
Era: Expansion and Reform (1801-1861)
Service: Army
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