The .44 caliber Colt Army was one of the sidearms most commonly issued to the cavalry during the Civil War. This particular pistol, with its ivory grips is a civilian model. This was only one of many options offered by Samuel Colt on this popular weapon. The cap and ball revolvers of the day required loose powder and lead balls or prepared cartridges of paper, foil or even animal hide. The ammunition was rammed into each chamber by the loading lever below the barrel. The Colt and its holster are resting on a Navajo style saddle blanket.