Laidley Cavalry Forge Harness

The following is from from Report of the Chief of Ordnance to The Secretary of War for The Year 1881, Washington: Government Printing Office. 1881.




Saddle.-Cavalry, with stirrup-straps, stirrups, and web girth; singletree attachment on rear, riveted through arc of saddle (rivets 1 inch by ¼ inch), and screwed on to the cantle with ¾ inch No. 12 iron screws.

One 1-inch square riveted on center of arc in rear, for attaching backstrap; rivets Nos. 8 and 9; 2 tugs, each with 1-inch buckle, and standing loop sewed into the rings on the side bars in front of the pommel.

Bridle, artillery. —Off-horse, with coupling strap.

Leg guard.-Artillery.

Traces.-Two traces made of two thicknesses of leather, sewed with two seams, 3/8-inch thick, with cockeyes and S’s on one end, fastened with rivets ¼-inch by ¾-inch. Holes punched in other end to buckle into breast strap.

Breast strap.-One body single leather, with under edges reduced so as not to gall the horse; 1 lay, containing in fold on each end two loops, and 1 1½-inch barrel-shaped roller trace buckle; 2 side straps sewed into 1¼.inch rings; these rings sewed between the lay and body of the breast collar, 7½ inches from each end; lay to be reduced ¼-inch in width between the side straps.

Crupper.–One dock made of leather folded lengthwise, with edges turned in; 1 ¾-inch buckle with loop sewed on each end; 1 body, the rear end split into two billets 8 inches long to buckle into the dock; 1 back-strap; the rear end is sewed on, the body, forming a lay, which has a 1-inch buckle and three standing loops; an opening is made between the lay and body 11 ½ inches from the ends of dock billets for the loin strap to pass through.

Loin strap.-One loin strap, made of single leather, with holes punched in each end to buckle into the trace loops.

Trace loops.-Two trace loops, made of single leather, folded sufficiently to admit 1 loop and buckle 7/8-inch.

Single-tree pad.-One loop sewed on back with opening for back-strap to pass through and return; 1 leather lining sewed on back and filled with goat’s hair.


Bridle-One artillery briddle [sic], off-horse, with coupling-strap and link.

Saddle.-One artillery valise saddle, having a brass frame with rollers, firmly fastened across the saddle 7 inches from the top of the pommel by eight brass screws, 1 5/8-inch; No. 9 leather; 1 back-band made of two pieces of leather sewed together with two seams, to pass through frame and buckle into shaft tugs.

Shaft tugs.-Two shaft tugs made each of one piece of leather, folded and sewed, with one loop, having in one end a 1½-inch buckle, in the other end the upper triangle of the hook attachment.

Shaft-tug billets – Two billets, made of single leather, and sewed in the lower triangle of hook attachment.

Belly-band.–One, made of single leather, the buckles 1 ½ inch, fastened on each by chapes with one loop, and set far enough back for the projection to act as a safe.

Collar.- One artillery collar.

Hames.-One pair of artillery hames, with loops made in the bottom 1 1/8-inch wide by 3/8-inch deep, for hame strap; 2 safes sewed around the hames under the joint loops to protect the collar; 2 hame straps 1 collar strap.

Hame tugs-Two hame tugs, each made of one piece of leather doubled and stitched on a safe, containing in the fold on one end the hame cock-eye, on the other end the cockeye of chain for shaft attachment; thickness of hame tug, 0.375-inch.

Breeching-Two breeching straps, firm leather, each with 1 ¼-inch buckle, and two loops in the fold, and one slide loop; 1 breeching body, single leather, under edges reduced as on breast strap 1 lay; l D 1 3/8-inch by 2 inches in each end of the fold, and sewed on to the body with two seams; width of lay between tugs reduced ¼-inch to correspond with breast strap; 4 breeching tugs, made of two thicknesses of leather, and sewed on to safes, each with three loops and 11-inch buckle; two of the tugs to be sewed on to D at each end of the lay, the remaining two to have 1-inch squares in the bottom and sewed between the lay and body 7 ½ inches from each end; 2 hip straps of single leather to buckle into the breeching rings.

Crupper.-Made the same as for the lead-horse, with the exception of having two openings between the lay and body at distances of 10 ½ to 12 ½ inches from billet end, for hip straps to pass through.

Dimensions of parts of Laidley forge cart harness manufactured at Rock Island Arsenal.

Number Width Buckles
Cut Finished Number Width
LEAD HARNESS Inches Inches Inches Inches
Saddle tugs 2 1 5.5 2.25 2 1
Traces 2 1.5 72 72
Loin straps 1 0.875 60 60
Trace loops 2 0.875 13.5 6.25 2 0.875
Breast strap
Body 1 2.25 43.25 43.25
Lay 1 1.5 51 42 2 1.5
Side straps 2 1 22 19.25
Dock 1 4 13.5 13.5 2 0.75
Body 1 1.75 18 18
Back strap 1 1 42 42 1 1
Single-tree pad
Loop 1 2 4.5 4.5
Back 1 3 6.25 6.25
Lining 1 3.25 6.25 6.625
Saddle back band 1 1.5 36 36
Shaft tugs 2 1.5 9 3.75 2 1.5
Shaft-tug billets 2 1.5 15 12.5
Belly-band body 1 2 25 25 2 1.5
Hame safes 2 7 12.5 9.75
Hame tugs 2 1.5 29 13
Hame-tug safes 2 2.875 11.25 11.25
Hame straps (bottom) 1 1 22 19 1 1
Breeching straps 2 1.25 72 62
Body 1 2 42 42
Lay 1 1.25 51 43.5
Tugs 4 0.875 13 6 4 0.875
Tug safes 4 2 6.5 6.5
Hip straps 2 0.875 48 48
Dock 1 4 13.5 13.5 2 0.75
Body 1 1.75 18 18
Back strap 1 1 50 50 1 1