McClellan Saddle

Physical Description
Leather seat, straps, and skirt with wooden stirrups.
General History
Captain George B. McClellan toured Europe with a military commission looking at new military tactics. Reportedly influenced by the saddles of Hussars he observed in Europe, McClellan returned and developed a new modified cavalry saddle. In 1859, the U.S. War Department adopted the McClellan saddle. They remained the standard issue throughout the history of the horse cavalry. The saddle was simple and less expensive than most. It was light enough not to weigh down the horse, yet it was sturdy and gave good support to the rider and his gear. In its original form the seat was covered with rawhide but was changed to leather in later incarnations. It featured a thick leather skirt and a leather covering for wooden stirrups. In addition, there was a girth strap made of woolen yarn. The McClellan saddle was placed on top of a saddlecloth, shabrack, or saddle blanket.
Currently not on view
McClellan, George B.
Physical Description
leather (overall material)
wood (stirrups material)
overall: 24 in x 40 in x 30 in; 60.96 cm x 101.6 cm x 76.2 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
See more items in
Armed Forces History: Armed Forces History, Military
Data Source
National Museum of American History


Add a comment about this object