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MODEL 1879 WHITMAN SADDLE BAGS BELLY STRAP – A SCARCE PIECE TO COMPLETE A SET OF THESE KEY SADDLE BAGS:  The Model 1879 Whitman Saddlebags were introduced with the other Horse Equipments recommended by the Cavalry Board of 1879.  While the saddles apparently were not made or issued in any great numbers, these unique saddle bags gained a substantial acceptance in the field, and were not only used with the Whitman saddles, but with the McClellan Saddles - Models 1874 and 1885 - available in the field at the same time, as evidenced by known period photographs.    

The Model 1879 Saddle Bags incorporated a belly strap, developed specifically for the bags.  As the bags passed from use in the field and into the surplus market, these straps became separated from the bags.  They were a utilitarian strap in their own right, and no doubt they were put a wide variety of uses beyond their original design, and now have become difficult to find to restore to a set of saddle bags.   

This Model 1879 Saddle Bag Belly Strap is full length in the body, is complete with both brass buckles and leather keepers, and the billets are present, and are full length with no tearing or wear.  The leather is strong with no weak points, and it retains an overall smooth shiny surface with only minor flexing.  The body of the strap and one of the billets are stamped with arsenal piece worker and inspector’s initials.   

Seldom found on the loose, this belly strap will certainly add to the value of a set of saddlebags.   (0212)  $225






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