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McClellan Saddle with Stirrups and Straps
used by Calvin Mitchell and donated by
Ethel Mitchell through Lois Mitchell,
former librarian at the Gouverneur Library.

The McClellan saddle was a riding saddle designed by George B. McClellan(1826-1885), a career Army officer in who played a major role in training and organizing the Union army at the start of the Civil War. McClellan proposed this saddle design that was adopted by the Army in 1859. The McClellan saddle was a long-lasting success and continued in use, in various forms, from the period of its adoption until the U.S. Army's last horse cavalry and horse artillery was dismounted in World War II.

This particular saddle was used by Calvin Mitchell, from Hailesboro. He and his brother, Lewis, enlisted in the Army in 1861, entering two different units. Both reenlisted in 1863 until the war's end. Lewis was a member of the 6th Regular NY Volunteer Calvary and had two horses shot under him. He was slightly wounded, and after the war, came home to be a carriage painter. He wrote a diary of some time during his service.

go Read a transcript of that diary, 11/5/1861adobe


Calvin Mitchell
1838 - 1914

Lewis Mitchell
1833 - 1909

Calvin Mitchell, son of Hiram and Sally Mitchell, was the father of Ethel Mitchell Risley, who, in 1962, donated the saddle, a canteen, cut, sewing kit, eyeglasses, a Bible, a ring made from a Confederate shell, numerous badges and a silk purse. Supposedly, Calvin traded a young lady in the south in exchange for his felt hat. Calvin fought in 21 Civil War battles.

go Calvin's Obitadobe

Visit his monument in
Maple Grove Cemetery,
De Kalb, NY

go Lewis' Obitadobe

Visit his monument in
Riverside Cemetery,
Gouverneur, NY