Regulation Civil War Artillery Saddle Valise



Regulation Civil War Artillery Saddle Valise – These artillery saddle valises were made to carry the artillerymen’s gunner tools; they were to be strapped to a miniature version of the Grimsley artillery driver’s saddle on the so-called “off horses” of the six horse team pulling the caisson, limber and cannon. The Grimsley artillery valise saddle was an essential component of the harnessed, artillery, horse team; the team’s harness attached to the valise saddle, as well as to the adjoining driver’s saddle. Although too small to support a rider, the valise saddle had the artillery valise strapped to it; it was used to carry the driver’s personal belongings, as well as gunner’s tools. As author Stephen Dorsey points out in his highly informative work, “The American Military Saddle, 1775 – 1945”, thousands of saddle valises were produced during the Civil War for military use; due to their obvious ability to be utilized as a means of carrying tools, clothing, documents, etc., many not worn out by extensive military use, saw equally extensive civilian use, after the war, thereby greatly reducing the survival of many. Although the diminutive, Grimsley valise saddles are occasionally encountered today, the artillery valises that were made to be carried on these saddles rarely turn up today.

This artillery saddle valise, constructed of black, bridle leather, remains in overall superb condition – it retains all three of its original cover straps, as well as all three, iron, strap- securing buckles. As with all of the issue artillery valises, this example exhibits a “D-shaped”, end cap profile, with a flat bottom. Both end caps are flat and each has a flat, leather handle, nailed and sewn to the end cap proper; this is the first of these that we have had that retains both handles intact. The exterior cover exhibits some decorative, hand-tooled designs. The interior of the cover flap, as with all regulation artillery valises, is lined in  a blue and white striped, cotton, pillow ticking; the designed split in the center of the pillow ticking, provided access to an additional, lined storage space under the flap; this space is lined with a light, brown cotton, decorative fabric – on the center of this inner lining is the original paper label of the manufacturer of the valise, which states:






No. 6, Centre-Buildings, Genessee-Street,


The inner cover is lined, as is the interior of the tool compartment, with a green, thick cotton fabric. The inner cover has slits that close over five brass, standing loops, thereby allowing the inner cover to be locked down by a leather strip that passed through the loops, when the inner cover was closed; this leather strip is no longer present.

These artillery valises are rarely found today, and this example is, by far, the best we have encountered; it is an essential component to any Civil War artillery collection.

Measurements: Outer cover width: 20.75 “ ; Inner cover width: 19.25  “; Overall body length: 19.25”  “; Upper body width:  7. 5“; Flat bottom width: 5.5”