The early history of our country saw many conflicts, large and small. There was the French and Indian War (1754-1763), the Revolutionary War, (1775-1783), the War of 1812 (1812-1815), the Mexican-American War (1846-1848) and the Civil War (1861-1865). In all of those conflicts the horse (and saddle) provided great advantages to officers and cavalry.
Since they were made primarily of leather and wood, very few saddles from that period have survived. But the much more resilient metal pommel horns are still found here and there.
The brass eagle officer’s saddle pommel horn shown here was in common usage throughout early American military history, and during all of the early conflicts. This example was dug up in a Nottingham Township yard in the early 21st century. It is evidence that some former military or militia officer from Washington County served his country in one of those conflicts.
Unlike most items featured in the 100 Objects column, this pommel is not part of the collection of the Washington County Historical Society. However, the owner of this pommel has bequeathed this object to the society upon his passing. So, as you contemplate your estate plan, be sure to pass along objects of historic significance to historical society.
Chip Zelch is a member of the Washington County Historical Society.