This is the second volume of a projected four-volume work. In Volume I the author delineated the uniforms, arms, accouterments, and equipment of the period from 1776 to 1850. In this volume he addresses himself to the eventful, bloody tragic mid-nineteenth century. Here he describes the dress and equipment of the horse soldier of the early frontier, the Mexican War, the Civil War, and the wars with the Indians. The uniforms, insignia, decorations, arms, and horse gear are described and profusely illustrated in three color plates and 126 black-and-white drawings. For his models the author used actual uniforms and equipment, supported by official government documents.
Among the subjects covered in this volume are the dress and equipment manufactured to meet the needs of cavalrymen at the early outposts east of the Missouri and in the brief War with Mexico that was a testing ground for the Civil War to come. (Ironically, much of the equipment and arms used by the United States Cavalry was designed by officers and government employees who later joined the Confederates.)
After the war came a new duty for the horse soldier--pacification of the hostile Indians of the West. As the needs of this harsh and demanding duty became clear, radical modifications were made to meet them. All these changes are described and minutely illustrated in this, the second volume of an indispensable reference work for American historians.