Civil War - General Grant's Saddle
This is the primary saddle that General and future President Ulysses S. Grant used for the duration of the Civil War. It is a Grimsley model, a style which had been in service with the regular army since 1847 when it replaced the Ringgold saddle. It will be featured in the museum's new Civil War exhibit
Borrowing some characteristics from Mexican styles, this model improved upon the Ringgold by using a shrink-fit rawhide tree instead of relying upon iron strapping and screws for its strength. Eliminating the need for the metal braces and screws created a lighter saddle with a stronger tree. It was the regulation model until it was replaced by the McClellan saddle in 1859, but continued to be used for at least another decade. This example has a quilted seat, a feature common on officer's saddles.
At the conclusion of the Civil War, General Grant gave this saddle to his friend and fellow officer, Colonel A.H. Markland. The saddle first came to the Quartermaster Museum on loan from a descendent of Colonel Markland's. Upon her death, it was purchased and made part of the permanent collection.