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CIVIL WAR CANTEEN CONFIGURED FOR USE BY THE CAVALRY w/ SCARCE SNAP HOOK LEATHER SADDLE HANGER STRAP Ė AN EXTREMELY RARE CANTEEN:  Without question, the rarest of the Civil War and early Indian Wars canteen configurations, this Civil War canteen is fitted with a mounted or saddle hanger strap of the style which would not be introduced as a piece of Ordnance Department approved equipment until the adoption of the Model 1885 Cavalry Equipments. 

In all the years of collecting Civil War and Indian Wars US Army horse equipment, this is the first Civil War era canteen that Iíve seen with the mounted strap arrangement.  There is no doubt that the strap has been on this canteen since its period of use, evidenced by the way in which the strap has formed a set around the tin strap guides on each side of the canteen.  Further, this canteen was not subjected to the Indian War period US Army modification where triangular hangers were attached to the sling guides to convert the canteens to the 1878 Pattern, so it appears to predate those modifications.  Finally, the wear to the woolen covering on the one side is consistent with the sort of wear the canteen would have sustained during considerable use in the field from the motion of the horse while the canteen was attached to the saddle.     

This strap strongly resembles the form of the regulation Model 1885 Cavalry Canteen Strap, in that it provides an alternative to the shoulder straps previously issued to all soldiers - a shorter doubled strap fitted with a steel snap hook on a sliding loop which enabled the mounted troopers to securely hang the canteen on any of the equipment rings mounted on the saddle.   

The strap is pliable, is full length and complete with all the standing and sliding loops, and the fully functional original steel snap hook is properly oriented on its separate leather loop so as to hang the canteen flat against the saddle.  The leather shows evidence of use with some flexing, but no crazing or flaking and there are no weak points or excessive wear to the leather.   

The canteenís original brown wool cover is still present and all of the seams are intact.  There is some light wear to one side, presumably the front, and the other side shows more wear as noted above, likely the result of wearing against the saddle and horse while being carried in the field.  All of the wear is fully visible in the photographs below.  The spout is full form and has the added value of retaining the legible Civil War era makerís stamp.  All three tin sling guides are still present.  The original cork and chain are present and the cork retains its full form with no cracks or splits.  Overall, this canteen presents in very good condition and is certainly above average in comparison to those regularly offered on the market.   

One of the most desirable canteens of the 19TH Century US Army, and easily one of the rarest, this canteen set will definitely be a nice addition to your Cavalry collection and would be an excellent addition to display on any of your Civil War or Early Indian Wars McClellan Saddles.  SOLD

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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