Carbine slings were essential Civil War cavalry accouterments. Worn over the left shoulder, the wide leather belt has a snap hook that can move along it on a small roller bar. With the snap hook fastened to a ring on the side of the carbine and the muzzle jammed through a small leather socket attached low down to the saddle, the trooper had some freedom of movement, but was in no danger of losing the weapon while mounted or leaving it on the horse if dismounting to fight on foot.
This is one is in excellent and supple condition with lots of original finish showing just minor crackling. Some protective archival grade tape has been added at some point to prevent the rivets from rubbing into the leather.
In addition to condition, a real selling point for this sling is that it has not been shortened or restored. Slings sometimes had their brass buckles and tips cut off by surplus dealers for scrap and the (now slightly shorter) leather belts were later refitted with old or reproduction parts as their rising value made it worthwhile. This one is completely original and not messed with. The sling measures its full, correct 56 inches. The buckle is secured by correctly doubling over the sling and securing it with rivets and stitching, which is the proper technique for the middle and late war. The belt tip is also correctly attached and shows the slight edge lip that often shows on original pieces. At both buckle and tip the rivets show some verdigris, which is a nice sign of age, but should be cleaned off to prevent damage. The snap hook is marked by North of New Haven, a well-known contractor who delivered these hooks in mid 1863 through the Fall of 1864, which is the correct period for the sling.
This is a very nice example that would look great on a cavalry shell jacket, attached to a minty carbine, or both.