Gen. Edward M. McCook was a career soldier who rose through the ranks. His horse is of near-pure Morgan extraction, an excellent example of the “plump and pleasing” outlines which made these horses easy to identify. Note the wavy or kinky texture to the hairs of the mane and tail. McCook was an excellent rider; note the horned stock saddle. The bitting is of great interest; while it shows the usual martingale on the snaffle, the curb reins articulate with a very short-shanked “Baucher bit” by means of a loose-jointed metal “slobber strap.” This style of bitting would be used on a horse that was easy to control.
An anonymous trooper, part of a Wisconsin troop, at the Siege of Atlanta in 1864. His horse is what we might call “standard-issue Army,” Thoroughbred/Morgan with more emphasis on the Morgan. It is heavy-bodied, with a very beautiful shoulder and powerful hindquarters. The neck is lovely and the limbs and hooves very correct. The Army sought horses of just this type as being practical and durable. The soldier sits very well, and his horse bridles obediently with, however, some tendency to break at the third vertebra. Of interest here is that there is no snaffle rein; the martingale is used on the curb.
Allan Pinkerton, head of the Secret Service, at Antietam in 1862. Abraham Lincoln (bearded, white shirt and bow tie, top hat) is visible inside the tent behind him. Pinkerton is posing on an Army-issue “guest horse,” a Morgan
There’s no inexpertise with this rider. This 1863 photo of Capt. Charles H. Howard shows one of the bravest and most capable of Army men, a despatch rider. The horse is a handsome Morgan/Thoroughbred cross. Note the leather breast-collar and crupper. Captain Howard’s mount is equipped with regulation double bridle, but instead of the typical S-shanked cavalry bit he uses a short-shanked Weymouth.
Capt. Edward A. Flint posed for this shot with his Morgan-type horse in 1864. This is a fine view not only of typical Morgan conformation, but the regulation McClellan saddle. The horse is in a straight-shanked bit with no bridoon or noseband.