"I rode a mule, a large gentle one, a good traveler and gentle. My bridle was made of home tanned fox or coon hides. The bit was made in a shop near by and was what was called a curb bit.
The saddle, home made also, consisted of two pieces of poplar - shaped so it was supposed to fit the mule's back as they lay length - ways on her. They were fastened together in front by a piece of tough oak with rivets made of iron in the shops nearby, the back part was fastened the same way by tough oak out so as to resemble any ordinary saddle.
This saddle had holes mortised, through which a leather strap fastened with a ring and this made the girth. The back had holes mortised by which to tie on the belongings of a soldier of the C.S.A. When this was covered with a heavy woolen blanket spun and woven at home by my mother and sister and colored with bark, the soldier, dressed in clothes made the same way by the same loving hands, was ready to mount and be off [for] the war.
Neither the boy nor his equipment would make a formidable looking soldier or inspire terror, you will say. True! But the mule could travel and the boy could shoot, and either could very nearly find their own rations. These three formed the chief requisites for a soldier in Forrest's Cavalry."
- Mrs. Calvin S. Brown Papers, Z/0182.000, Mississippi Department of Archives & History
From: Civil War Talk