HAVERSACK, or HAVRESACK (through the French from Ger. Habersack, an oat-sack, a nose-bag, Hafer or Haver, oats), the bag in which horsemen carried the oats for their horses. In Scotland and the north of England haver, meaning oats, is still used, as haver-meal or haver-bread. Haversack is now used for the strong bag made of linen or canvas, in which soldiers, sportsmen or travellers, carry their personal belongings, or more usually the provisions for the day.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)