ca. 1885 CABINET CARD OF A CAVALRY SOLDIER AND HIS
FULLY SADDLED HORSE AND TWO CANINE COMPANIONS -
EXCELLENT CAVALRY OUTDOOR VIEW:
This is a particularly
nice cabinet card image of an Indian Wars Cavalryman,
ca. 1885, standing with his horse and two dogs -
probably the company mascots. Overall, this image has
who appears to hold the rank of corporal, presents as a
seasoned veteran and is dressed and equipped for duty
“under arms” - including the cartridge belt full of
cartridges, his pistol on his belt, and his carbine
seated in the carbine boot hanging from the saddle.
While the Model 1885 Mills Cartridge Belt with the
holstered pistol is normally an accoutrement set
associated with field or campaign wear, however the lack
of saddle bags on the horse indicate this soldier was
probably on duty in an assignment closer to the post
rather than going into the field for an extended
period. Perhaps the presence of the dogs suggests he
was going hunting closer to the post.
The horse is
mounted with what appears to be a Model 1885 McClellan
Saddle complete with all the coat straps and a Model
1885 Saddle Blanket – items that do not often appear in
these period images.
by 6”, this is a good sized image that provides a
detailed view of all the subject matter. The cabinet
card has seen some aging and exposure to handling, but
the image is still quite sharp, the image and the card
are very stable with no damage.
There is an
ink inscription on the reverse, “Sister Ella From
Johnnie”, likely indicating the image was sent home by
the soldier to a loved one.
This is an excellent view of an Indian Wars cavalry
soldier turned out with his saddled horse, with
considerable detail. Mounted soldier images are fairly
scarce and have always been one of the premier subjects
sought in Indian War photography.