A scarce set of saddle bags, generally quite used up, as they were a necessary and popular cavalry accoutrement.
These 1879 Whitman saddle bags are in relatively very good condition considering the heavy use they received while in service. Made to go with the Whitman saddle, these bags show modification to the yoke (leather section connecting the two bags) by cutting slots to conform to the McClellan saddle brass furniture for attaching saddle bags. There is a faint early ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL stamp on the yoke just above the left side bag.
The bags are complete with all furniture, (keys and brass plates, “D” rings & chapes, and leather lacings that holds the canvas liners, (not present). The only brass missing is the round brass plate that was used to fortify the the leather where the middle of the yoke fastened to the cantle.
Leather is supple, with some wear on some of the straps. The yoke shows the most wear with the leather crackled and flaking toward the center. There are two slots cut into each side of the yoke for holding some other equipment, etc.
A nice set of bags, each having the oval “US” embossing quite visible. No tears to leather.
Very good condition.