Cowboys had “war bags,” too It was the sack where he kept all his personal possessions, as meager as they usually were. It contained extra ammunition, of course; spare parts for equipment repairs, an extra set of clothes, playing cards, sometimes a harmonica, tobacco and all the makings for a cigarette, maybe a bill of sale for his horse and any personal letters he may own. Not much, but then, these guys—most often, young men between 20 and 25—didn’t have permanent homes and were happy when they found a bunkhouse that went with the job. And at the average pay of $25 to $40 a month, there wasn’t much chance of affording real estate. So the “war bag” was an important part of his life.