The majority of the Norman army was highly armored foot troops, with only a small contingent of cavalry. Swords, spears, javelins, axes, and shields were most likely among their armaments. Consider the armour and weaponry that a Saxon Housecarl and a Norman Cavalryman might have worn. The Housecarl would have been protected by a coat of mail, a metal helmet, and wooden leg guards. The Norman cavalry soldier would be equipped similarly except that he would also have had a sword or spear.
There are several medieval sources for information about the Norman army. One such source is Count William's Table, which contains details on military equipment used by various armies throughout Europe. According to the table, the Normans used a heavy cavalry force armed with swords, spears, and arrows. They were probably mounted on larger, war-trained horses than the average European knight. A large number of soldiers are shown carrying bows in the illustrations of the table. These may have been Housecarls who used them as patrol weapons or perhaps mercenaries hired by the king. There is also evidence that some Saxons may have been converted to Christianity and employed by the Normans as priests. Perhaps they served as an archery reserve team or carried extra weapons for use against other cavalry.
In conclusion, the Norman army was made up primarily of heavy infantry soldiers armed with swords, spears, javelins, axes, and shields.
Cavalry troops fought mostly on horseback and were armed with carbines, pistols, and sabers. Only a tiny fraction of Civil War forces fulfilled this criterion, notably Union mounted forces in the Eastern Theater during the war's first half. However, many more countries have used cavalry in combat than just these two nations, so this fact should not be considered unique to either the United States or Canada.
Confederate cavalry was organized into regiments that were given names related to their location in the Confederacy or the person who commanded them. There were eight Confederate cavalry regiments at the beginning of the war; six more were mustered in before it ended. Most were formed from state militias or civilian volunteers and only one regiment was made up entirely of regular army soldiers. All told, Confederate cavalry played an important role in several major battles during its existence.
Union cavalry was organized into regiments that were given names related to their leader or the nation they represented. There were four Union cavalry regiments at the beginning of the war; another four were formed during its course. All told, Union cavalry participated in about 100 battles over the course of the conflict.
Both sides also used African-American cavalrymen as troopers. The Confederates owned several hundred horses when they entered the war in 1861 and quickly acquired more through capture and trade.
The significant distinction was the use of cavalry by the Normans. English troops utilized horses to travel around, but they fought on foot on the battlefield. In contrast, William's cavalry force of 2,000-3,000 men served as the backbone of his army. These disparate military traditions collided during the Battle of Hastings. The English soldiers were unable to cope with the Norman knights on horseback and were defeated in just over an hour.
In fact, cavalry played a crucial role at every stage of medieval warfare. Cavalry could strike from a distance, harass enemy troops, or raid towns and villages. It was also useful for scouting out enemy positions or chasing down fleeing enemies.
Cavalry has been used in many forms throughout history: Persian riders on Arabian steeds, Macedonian phalanxes armed with spears and swords, Roman legions equipped with pila (spears) and catapults (ballistae). Even today, several countries have large armies that are mainly made up of soldiers on horseback. These include Russia, India, and France.
At the time of William the Conqueror, cavalry consisted primarily of knights who rode war horses. They wore heavy armor so they could fight on foot while being protected by their shields and swords. In addition, some soldiers were trained in the use of lances and maces. They too wore armor to protect themselves. Other soldiers had no special armor other than helmets.