Need help...What is this? From my mom's collection.

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Cavalry Charger

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I have never heard of these and certainly not in the context of any battle. Is there any mention of them in soldier's writings?

It's like a less deadly form of a mine aimed at horses, in the sense it would disable though not seriously maim them.

When did these first come into use? Were they more popular in some areas than others? It makes me wonder how much damage they did, or how effective they were in preventing incursions in certain areas.

Great share and thanks for posting @smcgee22 .
 

lelliott19

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It's like a less deadly form of a mine aimed at horses
Caltrops sometimes called "Horse Cripplers" would be scattered along on the ground in the anticipated path of enemy cavalry troops. The shape/design of the caltrop was such that, however it landed, it would always have one of the spines up. When a horse came along and stepped on it, it was game over. I believe they were small enough to fit inside the U of the horse shoe, so even a shod horse was susceptible. Even if the caltrop did not penetrate the horse's sole, it would cause severe bruising to the sole of the foot and the frog, making the horse lame and unusable.
 
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lelliott19

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Lots of debate on these "Caltrops". Many saying there were never any reports of them being used in the ACW.
I searched extensively, and can only find this one story, which sounds like second or third hand information, reprinted in several newspapers.
1557628463232.png

Alexandria Gazette., February 03, 1863, page 4.
1557628731512.png

Civilian & Telegraph. (Cumberland, MD), February 05, 1863, pp. 2-3.

The same story, apparently reprinted from the Philadelphia Inquirer:
1557628867287.png

The Morgantown Monitor. (Morgantown, WV), February 14, 1863, page 4.
1557629184538.png

Dayton Daily Empire., February 12, 1863, page 2.
 

Cavalry Charger

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I searched extensively, and can only find this one story, which sounds like second or third hand information, reprinted in several newspapers.
View attachment 306938
Alexandria Gazette., February 03, 1863, page 4.
View attachment 306940
Civilian & Telegraph. (Cumberland, MD), February 05, 1863, pp. 2-3.

The same story, apparently reprinted from the Philadelphia Inquirer:
View attachment 306941
The Morgantown Monitor. (Morgantown, WV), February 14, 1863, page 4.
View attachment 306942
Dayton Daily Empire., February 12, 1863, page 2.
Thanks for finding and posting these. It appears to be the same information reprinted several times, but all proving these items did exist and were used during the CW period.
 
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lelliott19

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It appears to be the same information reprinted several times, but all proving these items did exist and were used during the CW period.
I'm not so sure Cavalry Charger. Maybe just a rumor? Seems to be second or third-hand information reported by one correspondent, and reprinted in several newspapers?
 

KHyatt

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This may be an old thread but new to me. Interesting that the Northern press attributed the invention of this “infernal” and “demoniacal” device to the Confederates. The use of caltrops dates to at least ancient Rome. Seems a classic example of demonizing one’s enemy.
 
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