Military Horse Equipment -

8th Cavalry Martingale
Item #: AA773
Click on an image to enlarge
This is a brass martingale of the 8th Cavalry from the Indian Wars period. The martingale measures 3 7/8" tall and 3 5/8" at it's widest point. The brass number 8 is attached by wire hooks soldered to the back of the martingale. The three brass hooks used to attached the martingale to the horse's breast strap are still securely soldered on. The martingale's were not standard issue Cavalry equipment, mostly private purchased. It was a common practice for Cavalry troopers to afix their unit's numerical designation to the martingale, out of unit pride. The 8th Cavalry was organized as a regiment on 21 September, 1866 at Camp Reynolds, California. The majority of the enlisted soldiers were from the Pacific coastal region, many of them former gold miners from the rush of 1849. Needless to say, they were a pretty wild bunch and did not take to military discipline very well. The first commander of the 8th, Colonel John Gregg, and Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Devin, had both been Generals during the Civil War and commanded Cavalry Divisions. The 8th Cavalry served on the frontier throughout the late 19th century, engaged in tryng to control various tribes of Native Americans in Nevada, Oregon, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas between 1867 and 188. After the capture of Geronimo the 8th was transferred to South Dakota, North Dakota and Montana. 18 troopers of the 8th Cavalry were awarded the Medal of Honor for gallantry in action during combat actions on 20 September, 1869. The battle took place at Rocky Mesa in the Chiricahua Mountains against Chiricahua Apache led by Cochise. In May 1888 the regiment made the longest march ever made by a cavalry regiment. With the increased number of settlers moving to the Northwestern United States the regiment was ordered to march 2600 miles to it's new headquarters at Ft Meade, South Dakota. The regiment was stationed at Ft Keogh, Montana. Part of the march route was along the Santa Fe trail in New Mexico. Along this part of the trail large boulders and trees show carvings made by the soldiers, giving mute testimony of the troops on the longest trail ride made by any Cavalry unit. If you collect Indian War cavalry relics this one should not missing from your collection!