Author Topic: Saddler/Saddler Sergeant impressions  (Read 13919 times)

Offline WolfWalker

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Saddler/Saddler Sergeant impressions
« on: May 19, 2006, 10:45:34 am »
Howdy the Camp,
I'm new to CAS, And I'm working on my outfit. Since I'm interested in leatherworking and gunleather, I thought I would do an Indian War era U.S. Cavalry saddler/saddler sergeant. I'm looking for as much information as I can on the uniform, Insignia (I know the saddler sergeant wore three stripes with a saddler's knife above it, but what about a regular saddler?), equipment, tools, methods, etc., and also places to buy them. I want to go as authentic as possible and any help would be greatly appreciated. (I figured if anyone would have the info, it would be here). Thanks in advance-Wolfwalker SASS#69874
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Re: Saddler/Saddler Sergeant impressions
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2006, 02:03:27 pm »
  try the NCOWS site
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Offline Malachi Thorne

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Re: Saddler/Saddler Sergeant impressions
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2006, 04:03:47 pm »
Good Afternoon, WolfWalker;

For Saddler and Saddler Sergeant insignia, you might try Rio Grande Sutler.  Here is a link to their chevrons and insignia, which features a Saddler's insignia:

http://riograndesutlery.com/chevrons.shtml#11

As for the proper equipment, there are several antique dealers who specialize in this sort of thing.  You can do your research at a place like this:

http://www.antiqbuyer.com/leather_tools.html

...then look online for brand new tools of the same type.  Many of the tools developed in the 19th Century for working leather simply haven't changed that much in the intervening years.  I would steer clear of actually using a true 19th C. tool in your impression if an identical sample of modern manufacture was available, by the way; after all, those tools would have been brand new at some point -- most likely when the saddler first started his career in the Army...

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Offline Delmonico

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Re: Saddler/Saddler Sergeant impressions
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2006, 07:08:06 pm »
When Pitzpiter or St. George show up they may be able to help.
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Offline WolfWalker

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Re: Saddler/Saddler Sergeant impressions
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2006, 01:10:32 pm »
Thanks for the assist so far, gang.
River City, thanks especially for answering one of my questions, as I was getting ready to order the Ordnance Memo 18, now I know it's got part of what I'm looking for.

As far as the tools go, I know most of them are still around, plus it looks like a lot were made by C.S. Osborne.  I have a few pictures of an antique Cavalry Harness menders kit, that was also used for modification of the Cavalry Flap holster that I found on a website for a bunch called Antique Militaria(need to dig it up) and I believe it mentions C.S. Osborne.

Thanks again for the help, so far.
I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same of them--John Wayne, The Shootist.

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Offline Delmonico

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Re: Saddler/Saddler Sergeant impressions
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2006, 01:30:34 pm »
I got busy at work and cut my first post off short, Pitspiter works at Fort Hartstuff here in Nebraka out in the sandhills.  If I remember right their saddlers shop is pretty well set up.  Don't know where you are, but any restored fort should have a decent saddle shop, don't over look that source, on can at least see what the tools look like.
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Offline St. George

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Re: Saddler/Saddler Sergeant impressions
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2006, 04:38:10 pm »
After the adoption of the 1872 Uniiform Regulations, the rank of Saddler Sergeant was adopted within a year.
The design in the angle above the chevron features a saddler's knife, handle up.
The 1884-pattern dress chevron had the gold lace placed in such a way as to give the knife added realism - the lace representing the handle being veritcal, that representing the ferrule - across, and the lace comprising the blade was crimped to run across the curved blade axis.

One Saddler Sergeant was authorized for each Cavalry Regiment until 1899, when he was replaced by a Saddler - who wore only the knife.

Although only the Cavalry was authorized Saddler Sergeants, the Philadelphia Depot ordered 95 pairs of this chevron for the Artillery in 1900 - they were never issued, and were sold at auction after 1902.
 
As to tools - C.S. Osborne was a supplier to the leather trade - as were many others.

The tools were generally shelf stock that was purchased as needed and as has been mentioned - little difference has emerged over time - chief among the 'changes' being the use of stainless steel in the blades.

Avoid 'that' and you should be able to accumulate quite a bit of equipment fairly reasonably - once you know 'what' it is that you're looking for, and a copy of Ordnance Memoranda No.18 will show you what to look for - and original material can be found damned near everywhere - antique shops, estate sales, flea markets, et al...

To further enhance your overall Cavalry Saddler's knowledge - you really 'do' need the four-volume set by Randy Steffens - 'The Horse Soldier'.

The U.S. Cavalry Museum has an excellent display of a saddler's work area - they're located at Fort Riley, Kansas.

As to 'creating your own' - remember - the Saddler Sergeant would've been working from the authorized Patterns for the most part - and not busily creating his own.

Those 'Mexican Loop' styled holsters were not common by any means and were never adopted  - though the inventor - Lt. Col. James W. Forsyth - certainly tried his best - and they 'did' get tested by the Cavalry Board.

The Miller-Fechet - as 'envisioned' by Capt. E.G. Fechet and made by Sergeant William Miller of the 8th Cavalry was never adopted and no known example exists.

Building 'experimental' holsters will require the buyer to do more actuall research when creating his Impression (not a bad thing) so as to have some veracity as to the 'why' of his wearing non-Regulation equipment.


If I can be of further assistance - ask here - or send me a PM, and I'll do what I can.

Vaya,

Scouts Out!





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Offline Pitspitr

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Re: Saddler/Saddler Sergeant impressions
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2006, 03:48:25 pm »
I portray the post saddler at Fort Hartsuff Nebr. As St. George said most of the leather working tools are nearly unchanged since early Egyptian times. Make sure your tools aren't stainless or plastic and you're pretty much ready to go. I personally have original Osbornes as well as modern ones and other than the fact that the new ones look new you can't tell them apart. Watch flea markets, rummage sales and E-bay. Our display contains more tools than appear on the inventory for 1876 because of political reasons. (benefactors have donated tools and want to see them on display) It would be sometime next week at the earliest but I think I could find that inventory and list it here if you wanted.
About cheverons: remember there were only 10 Saddler Sergeants in the whole army. I wouldn't go to the trouble or expense to have custom Saddler Sergeant cheverons made. Most often the post saddler wasn't a Sgt. but occassionly was. If you really want to portray a Saddler Sergeant, Frazier Bros. should be able to fix you up.
I remain, Your Ob'd Servant,
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Offline Troublesome River

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Re: Saddler/Saddler Sergeant impressions
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2006, 11:09:01 am »
Sorry to take so long to reply, guys. Right at the moment, I'm stuck using a library computer, and with work, and what little bit of a home life I have(mostly taken up by family medical problems,namely one with diabetes and one with alziemers) I only get to use it once or twice a week.

Anyhow, first a big thanks to St. George and Pitspitr for the assist.  A lot of good information thats a big help.  But I do have a couple more questions.

First-St George:  You mentioned that the Saddler Sergeant rank was authorized until 1899, when it was replaced by a Saddler that only wore the round knife insignia.  But what about the saddlers that worked under them?  Did they wear any special insignia?  From what I understand, a saddler was given the same rank and status as a corporal(15 Dollars a month), did they just wear the round knife, round knife/corporal stripes, or was there just no special insignia uniform to set them apart.  (Figure could just do a saddler if there were onlly 10 Saddler Sergeants).

Second-Pitspitr:  If you could either post that inventory list, or if I can arrange something with you to get a copy, it would be greatly appreciated.(I'd like to have pictures,but unfortunately living here in Illinois, I doubt I'll be inyour area anytime soon. Plus I don't know of any Frontier forts in the area, other than Civil War Museums). At least with the listing, I could probably do a web search.

Third for anybody:  Does Memoranda 18 show any drawings of a Saddler's Chest for battery wagon, A saddler's tool roll, or a military portable stitching horse made by C.S. Osborne?  I found a listing for it on an online auction, but no pictures.  Anyone know what one looks like?.

And finally, For additional reference, what about the book"Dictionary of Leather-Working Tools 1700-1950"?  I have a lot of antique stores in the area that especially sell old tools, plus I live in an area with a large Amish population.(I've found a few leather tools in the past).  Would this be a good book to get.

Sorry about all the questions, gang.  But your assistance is greatly appreciated.  Hope you all have a good Memorial Day weekend.
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Offline St. George

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Re: Saddler/Saddler Sergeant impressions
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2006, 11:27:27 am »
In answer to your question about sleeve insignia.

No.

The Troop's Saddler was essentially a 'slick-sleeve' - with no distinguishing marks, whatsoever.

The Saddler Sergeant's device was the 'only' one worn - and there were a very few of those particular NCOs in the Army of the period - none located at the Troop level.

The 'lesser' distinguishing device would come - but after 1899 - and it's seen once in awhile on WWI-era photos as a round disk of wool - with the up-handled knife centered.

It meant that the man was a 'specialist' and during the Great War - also served as the insignia for a 'First-Class Private' (and 'not' Private, First Class - by any means).

As to your questions about 'Ordnance Memoranda No. 18' - it features line drawings of the Tool Bags - as well as the Cavalry Forge Cart.

Vaya,

Scouts Out!



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It Wasn't Schoolboys and Ladies - It Was Cowtowns and Sin..."

Offline WolfWalker

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Re: Saddler/Saddler Sergeant impressions
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2006, 12:55:46 pm »
St. George,
Thanks for the assist.  I'm extremely grateful. ;D ;D
Just got my copy of Memo 18, and after I get through looking at it, I'm sure I'll have more questions.

Also want to thank you all for showing me tha benefits of research.
Tahts all for now.
I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same of them--John Wayne, The Shootist.

Member of the Bretheren of The Lost Arts: Our Motto: Take yer time, and do it yer ownself, Ye'll have a more harmonious outcome.

Offline Pitspitr

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Re: Saddler/Saddler Sergeant impressions
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2006, 01:00:29 pm »
Hi WW
Sorry It's taken me so long to get this posted. I've been having computer problems.
The following is an excerpt form the January 1876 inventory of Fort Hartsuff.



List of Quartermaster Stores at Fort Hartsuff Neb. January 1876

No. & Quantity      Article                  Condition     Remarks
1                         Awl, Collar             Good
1                         Compass, P.L.           "
1                         Creaser, Double         "
1                         Creaser, Single          "
1                         Divider                     "
1                         Guage, Pistol Draw    "
1                         Hammer, Riveting      "
1                         Hammer, Shoe          "
3                         Handles, Awl             "
1                         Horse, Stiching          "
1                         Knife, Head               "
1                         Knife, Round             "
1                         Knife, Shoe               "
1                         Knife, Splitting           "
1                         Mallett                      "
Papers 1               Needles, Glovers        "
1 1/2                   Needles, Saddlers       "
1                         Nippers, Cutting         "
1                         Pincers                      "
3                         Pincers, Cutting          "
1                         Punch, Bay                "
12                       Punches, Straight       "
1                         Plyers                       "
1                         Rounder, Rein            "
1                         Rule, Saddlers            "
1                         Set, Rivet                  "
1                         Slicker                       "
1                         Tickler                       "
1                         Tool, Claw                 "
1                         Tool, Edge                "

I remain, Your Ob'd Servant,
Jerry M. "Pitspitr" Davenport
(Bvt.)Brigadier General Commanding,
Grand Army of the Frontier
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Offline WolfWalker

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Re: Saddler/Saddler Sergeant impressions
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2006, 12:18:18 pm »
Thanks for the listing,(Sorry took so long to reply). If I have any other questions I'll let you know.
I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same of them--John Wayne, The Shootist.

Member of the Bretheren of The Lost Arts: Our Motto: Take yer time, and do it yer ownself, Ye'll have a more harmonious outcome.

Offline Blackey Cole

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Re: Saddler/Saddler Sergeant impressions
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2006, 06:18:57 pm »
I get my sadler strips from Coon Creek.  Leta even sews them on for me.

Now not to hijack this thread but to answer a question about where in the unit was the saddler sgt at.  Was he assigned to each company or letter unit or was he assign to the numbered unit?  I want to know becuase currentlly on my kepi and slouch hat I have a 5 above the crossed sabares.  Should it be a letter or is the number correct?
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Offline Pawnee Bill

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Re: Saddler/Saddler Sergeant impressions
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2006, 07:24:39 pm »

 I have never in 30 years seen an image of an enlisted man wearing hat brass on a non regulation hat.
 I f you have I would love to see it as it is a long going point of contention, thanks.
 As a matter of fact most quality reenacting companies absolutely forbid it’s use.
 Here is a link to the General Mills Marching and Chowder Society’s web sight might be some useful information there as they are considered by most to be the premier Indian Wars org.
http://www.nouveauwest.com/GMMACS.htm


Cheers
Pawnee Bill

Offline Pitspitr

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Re: Saddler/Saddler Sergeant impressions
« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2006, 10:04:09 pm »
You mean like this? Click on the thumbnail for a larger view.

Thank you! We ( the GMMCS) are known for our historical accuracy but the web site hasn't been updated in years. By the way Bill, I love your avatar.

Blackey, Like Pawnee Bill I would sure discourage the use of insignia on the slouch hat, but to answer your question, the saddler Sgt. was a member of the command staff (like a Sgt. Major) of each of the ten cavalry regiments
I remain, Your Ob'd Servant,
Jerry M. "Pitspitr" Davenport
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Grand Army of the Frontier
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Offline Blackey Cole

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Re: Saddler/Saddler Sergeant impressions
« Reply #16 on: July 10, 2006, 10:13:54 pm »
First of all I am not in to reenacting, I am a SASS shooter.  My uniform is more John Ford / Hollywood than authentic.
Second, So on his kepi he would have a number relating to the which Cav he belonged to, correct?
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Offline Pitspitr

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Re: Saddler/Saddler Sergeant impressions
« Reply #17 on: July 10, 2006, 10:36:42 pm »
Right.
I understand the part about being a SASS shooter. I wasn't trying to get you to conform to my standards. When someone requests information on a subject I know something about, I feel a responsiblity to share that information as accurately as possible in a way that isn't judgemental. Maybe the person wants to do an historically accurate portrayal, maybe not, I have no way of knowing. Many times it is as easy to be accurate as it is to be hollywood. It's up to you to choose wether you do an accurate portrayal or not.
I remain, Your Ob'd Servant,
Jerry M. "Pitspitr" Davenport
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Offline Blackey Cole

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Re: Saddler/Saddler Sergeant impressions
« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2006, 12:42:24 am »
Well I can't afford the wool clothes yet and out here in th edesert I don't think I could wear them that much because of th eheat.  I do plan on getting the real uniform in the future, matter of fact I desire to get several uniforms from te  fatique to the dress uniform for a Sgt.  I plan on allera from civil war to rough Riders.  I think the first CW will be a southern uniform from VA or GA as I was born in Va and grew up in GA.  I was going to be a scout but I decided there was too much latitude there nad I waaanted something more structured most of the time.  Not to say I might not be a scout that was a NCO and got fed up with the military and was hired back as a tracker/scout.

Now do I have the correct brass on my Kepui?
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Offline Pawnee Bill

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Re: Saddler/Saddler Sergeant impressions
« Reply #19 on: July 11, 2006, 08:23:12 am »
You mean like this? Click on the thumbnail for a larger view.

Thank you! We ( the GMMCS) are known for our historical accuracy but the web site hasn't been updated in years. By the way Bill, I love your avatar.

Blackey, Like Pawnee Bill I would sure discourage the use of insignia on the slouch hat, but to answer your question, the saddler Sgt. was a member of the command staff (like a Sgt. Major) of each of the ten cavalry regiments
Thanks for the image is it dated by any chance?
Pawnee Bill

Offline Pitspitr

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Re: Saddler/Saddler Sergeant impressions
« Reply #20 on: July 11, 2006, 12:30:16 pm »
Thanks for the image is it dated by any chance?
Pawnee Bill
I think so. I'll check when I get home. I got the photo out of The US Army in the West 1865-1880 by Doug McChristian
I remain, Your Ob'd Servant,
Jerry M. "Pitspitr" Davenport
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Grand Army of the Frontier
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Offline Pitspitr

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Re: Saddler/Saddler Sergeant impressions
« Reply #21 on: July 11, 2006, 12:52:37 pm »
Well I can't afford the wool clothes yet and out here in th edesert I don't think I could wear them that much because of th eheat.  I do plan on getting the real uniform in the future, matter of fact I desire to get several uniforms from te  fatique to the dress uniform for a Sgt.
Now do I have the correct brass on my Kepui?
Having never portrayed an enlisted member of regimental staff I've never specifically studied their insignia, but my assumption would be that you insignia would be correct. They wouldn't be assigned to a company so there would be no company letter and they weren't officers so they wouldn't wear officer forage cap insignia.
I deffinately understand about the cost of wool uniforms. I do a little at a time. I've been putting mine together for about 12 years and it still isn't done. I wouldn't have what I do except that I wear it to work at a state historical park and I wouldn't work there if I hadn't gone broke farming.
About the heat; while I realize it doesn't get as hot here (it seldom gets above 110) but I think you might be surprized how comfortable good wool is. If the humidty is low and there is any breeze at all my uniform isn't that bad even at around 100+. I'ts when I wore cotton under it that I was miserable. Wool breathes so much better than cotton (especially today's blends) that with the evaporation of your sweat most of us find that it isn't nearly as uncomfortable as most folks think.
I remain, Your Ob'd Servant,
Jerry M. "Pitspitr" Davenport
(Bvt.)Brigadier General Commanding,
Grand Army of the Frontier
BC/IT, Expert, Sharpshooter, Marksman, CC, SoM
NRA CRSO, RVWA IIT2; SASS ROI, ROII;
NRA Patron Life; AZSA Life; NCOWS Life

Offline Blackey Cole

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Re: Saddler/Saddler Sergeant impressions
« Reply #22 on: July 11, 2006, 04:41:07 pm »
Thanks Pitspitr, I was thinking of joining the GAF until I figure it wasn't anyothers around here doing it and that it was CW era only.  If I am wrong I would be interested in hearing more.
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Offline Pitspitr

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Re: Saddler/Saddler Sergeant impressions
« Reply #23 on: July 11, 2006, 08:17:31 pm »
Hi Blackey
It isn't CW only. In fact I don't do CW, I'm IWP. The GAF includes the entire Victorian era and we even have at least one member who does the Mexican war. I'm not sure what we have for membership in your area but our membership is free, growing, worldwide and very active in cyberspace. If you hae an interest in the Victorian era and CAS I'd sure encourage you to join. It's well worth the price of admission ;)
I remain, Your Ob'd Servant,
Jerry M. "Pitspitr" Davenport
(Bvt.)Brigadier General Commanding,
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Offline Blackey Cole

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  • Posts: 110
Re: Saddler/Saddler Sergeant impressions
« Reply #24 on: July 11, 2006, 10:56:15 pm »
How authentic do you have to be for GAF? 
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