Horse Equipment -

US Cavalry Link Strap
Item #: AA1352
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This is a link strap used by Union Cavalry forces during the Civil War and on into the Indian Wars. These link straps were used to enable a dismounted rider to lead his horse. The trooper simply snapped the spring hook onto the M1859 bit ring and held onto the free end. They were also used to control riderless horses when the cavalry was required to fight on foot. Every fourth trooper became a "horse holder". In this instance one end of the link strap was buckled to a horses headstall. The snap hook was utilized to link together the three mounts of the troopers engaged on foot. This enabled the horse holder to control four mounts at one time. The black bridle leather strap measures approximately 15 1/2" in length and 3/4" wide. The leather remains very flexible, with no flaking and crazing anywhere. The black japanned buckle and spring hook retain the majority of the black, and work perfectly. There is no makers mark on this strap, but it is stamped with C 42. I'd just be guessing, but I would say it stands for C Troop, Trooper or mount 42. These link straps are hard to come by today, but were an essential part of the 1880's Cavalryman's gear. Your Cavalry collection isn't complete without one of these!