Boots of Sergeant Charles Darling (leather), American School, (19th century) / Private Collection / Photo © Civil War Archive / The Bridgeman Art Library
Unfortunately during the American Civil War (1861-1865) unscrupulous contractors supplied below par footwear and many of the cavalry boots were mass produced using reinforced cardboard. Climatic conditions took their toll and the soldiers suffered deep cuts to their feet. The English language was enriched with the word “shoddy” which described manufacturers willing to compromise quality for profit. Many experts believe the final victory was in no small part due to the superior footwear of the Union army.
The post on boots from “Bootmen’s Tutorial” in its original context. http://www.hotboots.com/bootinfo/cavalry.html