The unfortunate result of a major conflict is the effects are felt for generations. Such conflicts result in an overly generous production of articles necessary to carry on the battle. As a result the Civil War was indeed "overstocked". At the end of the war majors amounts of surplus items including uniforms, sabers, firearms, and items like this bit filled warehouses.
Eventually some of these items found their way into collections where they are preserved as a reminder of the hell the country went through.
This horse bit is the type used with teams of six horses to pull field cannon and caissons. In unissued condition. Note the "gilding" on the brass "US" rosettes. Measuring 8 3/4" long by 5 7/8' wide.
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