Reference Items
Uniforms
CSA Enlistedman's Jacket - Richmond Depot 3rd Pattern

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After the Confederate surrender, the Southern enlistedman who had lived through the war now had to return home and make do with what little he had.  While more affluent officers could store away their frock coats and preserve them for future generations, the average private could ill afford to lay such a practical jacket aside.  More often he went back to wearing it in the fields, and in a short while used it up. Thus, enlistedman’s jackets are much rarer than officer’s coats today.

Of the few Confederate enlistedman’s jackets that do survive, still fewer can be positively linked to a specific maker.  However, thanks to extensive research by experts in Civil War uniforms, different patterns made at various depots can be identified by their cut and the materials used in their production.  This jacket is one of few known regulation Richmond Depot Third Pattern jackets, and the only known example with contemporaneous regulation blue infantry piping on the sleeves.  These Richmond Depot jackets are commonly associated with issue to the Army of Northern Virginia.

This garment is the standard single breasted nine button jacket made of cadet gray wool kersey.  The body is composed of six pieces and the sleeves, two.  It is fastened by eight remaining Federal infantry cuff buttons that have Fine Gold Plate back marks and are original to the jacket.  One button, the second from the bottom is missing.  The four ornamental cuff buttons on the sleeves are also original and have blank backmarks.  The sleeves are lined with a cotton osnaburg.

The body of the jacket has an attractive striped, coarse homespun inner liner with two breast pockets which are lined with osnaburg.  The extensive bleeding of the lining dye was caused by the wearer’s perspiration which only embellishes the jacket’s historical perspective and brings it to life.

This same garment is pictured in Collecting the Confederacy by Shannon Pritchard.  pgs. 255-256. 


Member - Mike Sorenson
Item #: CIV-297

Hospital Steward's Jacket

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This is a rarely seen cavalry hospital steward jacket.

It is single breasted and made of six piece construction from dark blue wool broadcloth. The privately tailored jacket is mounted with twelve small (17mm) U.S. Cavalry officers buttons on the breast, with two at each functioning cuff and two on each face of the standing collar. The buttons are not backmarked. The collar is made of grey wool broadcloth, original in color. There are no bolsters present.

The tapered sleeves measure 8⅝” at the elbow, 4¼” at the cuffs and are well gathered at the shoulder seam. Of special note are the two hospital steward’s chevrons set in the sleeves and contemporary to the jacket. Made of light green woolen material, each is 2” wide with a wavy metallic gold braid at the border and a gold embroidered caduceus device with red highlights at the center, its head facing the outer portion of the sleeve. The two chevrons are slightly different in their manufacture.  One is 9" long along its top edge, the other is 8½".  Both are made of a light green woolen material but the chevron on the left sleeve is backed with a cheesecloth-like fabric.

Medical Department Staff included hospital stewards who were non-commissioned officers that ranked comparably with sergeant majors. Regulations authorized each regiment to have one hospital steward, chosen from among the enlisted men in the unit. This policy was modified on September 6, 1862 by General Order 126 to allow two stewards in Cavalry regiments.

Regulations called for Union hospital stewards to wear an emerald green half-chevron with a two-inch long embroidered caduceus and gold braid trim on each sleeve. Their coat was to be an enlistedman’s frock coat trimmed with crimson facings and a worsted wool crimson sash (an example pictured above.) Latitude appears to have been given as photographs exist of stewards wearing short length jackets such as this. Army regulations specified that men selected as hospital stewards had to be of good character and must be "temperate, honest, and in every way reliable." Temperance was important as the hospital steward controlled and dispensed medicinal whiskey. They also assisted in field surgery.


Member - Mike Sorenson
Item #: CIV-259

Confederate Frock Coat - G. Julian Pratt

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A well tailored Confederate cavalry lieutenant’s frock coat worn by G. Julian Pratt of the 18th Virginia Cavalry. Its fabric remains in excellent condition; its color is fresh and bright.

The coat’s double breasted six piece body is tailored with cadet gray wool broadcloth, two rows of seven large eagle staff buttons are set in the breast, six buttons on the cuffs and four on the skirts all with "Extra Quality” backmarks. The breast panels containing the button holes have been cut in a manner to form a projecting breast, the whole forming a fitted look with narrow waist. Faded yellow broadcloth piping sets off the collar, the front edge of the coat and the pocket flaps and vents. Sewn into the collar are two flat ½” gold braid bars, the top bar being 3 ¾” long, the lower bar a half inch longer, the pair indicating Pratt’s rank of 1st Lieutenant.

The sleeves are 10” across at the elbows and 5” across at the non-functioning cuffs. A lengthy galloon reaches above the midpoint of the sleeve with a gold braid sewn in a single strand. The coat measures 19¾” from the collar to waist seam, the skirts another 22 ½”. The skirts are lined with an interesting weave mixed of brown cotton thread and black/green wool thread. The sleeves are lined with light brown cotton. The interior left breast has a slit pocket.

This coat surfaced from Lieutenant Pratt’s estate along with his kepi and the 18th Virginia’s battle flag. Both the kepi and coat are published in the work Civil War Art of Don Troiani, pg. 199.

George Julian Pratt served initially with the 59th Virginia Infantry, enlisting on July 15, 1861. After being captured at Roanoke Island and subsequently exchanged he joined the 18th Virginia Cavalry, Imboden’s Brigade, in 1862. As a lieutenant he participated in action at Gettysburg, New Market and Piedmont and numerous cavalry skirmishes. Pratt was wounded on September 19, 1864 during fighting at Third Winchester, having three horses shot from under him in the process. After the war Pratt married Mary E. Brown and settled on a farm ("Walnut Grove") in South River Township, Augusta County, Virginia where he bred livestock. He died at Waynesboro, Virginia on 25 December 1924.


Member - Mike Sorenson
Item #: CIV-258

Addison W. Preston 1st Vermont Cavalry

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Lieutenant Colonel Addison Preston served with the 1st Vermont Cavalry and was killed during fighting at Haws’ Shop in the Cold Harbor campaign. This grouping includes his frock coat, officer’s grade trousers, shoulder straps, leather boots and spurs, belt rig, sash and Model 1840 officer’s grade cavalry saber.

Frock coat: double breasted, six piece body, indigo blue broadcloth with fine finish. Two rows of seven eagle C buttons on the front, each backmarked Schovill Mfg. Co./Waterbury. The collar stands 1” high at the throat with metal clasp, the interior is finished with black velvet, toned to a dark brown. The one piece sleeves measure 8½” at the elbow and 5¼” at the cuff and are lined with white polished cotton. The coat measures 18½” from the base of the collar to the waist seam and 22½” from the waist seam to the bottom of the skirt. At the inside cuff of the right sleeve is written in period ink "A W Preston Lt Col.”

Trousers: Bright sky blue broadcloth with 1/8” cavalry yellow broadcloth piping down the outside seam. Slash pockets on both sides with waist adjuster on the back, button fly and cotton lining at the waist.

Belt: Black bridle leather with fancy officer’s grade stitching decoration in double rows along edges. The stitch pattern on the belt and saber drops matches. Two belt keepers are intact as is the original shoulder strap. Belt plate and keeper have matching bench numbers stamped on the reverse, "#82”. The plate is cast brass with excellent relief. The protective leather tabs inside the carry hook and behind the plate remain intact. All the brass fittings are uncleaned with a mellow patina.

Boots: 12” tall with two-layer leather sole fastened in place by wooden pegs. The leather tugs are interior to the boot upper. The stitching on the side welts is solid. Fastened to the boots are original private purchase fancy grade spurs with decorative brass yokes and billet at shank, multi-pointed rowel.

Shoulder straps: Double border 7/16” wide, alternating dead bullion and bright bullion strands with bullion wire trim, cavalry yellow velvet field, 1 7/8” wide by 4 7/8” long, fastened with four cloth ties. Black polished cotton backing with metal stiffener inside, brown cotton ties with japanned metal aglets.

Sash: 110” long, 1¾” wide turned over and sewn, unblemished tassels

Sword: M1840 officer’s grade cavalry saber with curved blade, single edge with two fullers. Blade is 35 5/8” long and of Clauberg/Solingen origin. Etched with panoply of arms, US and floral motifs top of ricasso flat marked "Iron Proof”, remains of leather washer intact. Straight grip with sharkskin and wire wrap, fancy brass leaf designs cast on pommel, wrist guard and knuckle bows. The two have never been apart. Scabbard is browned with brass mounts and carry rings, the drag shows wear, throat is held in place by retaining screw.


Member - Mike Sorenson
Item #: CIV-257

Summer Navy Uniform of J. Schultz

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Presented is the Summer Navy uniform, frock and pants, of J. Schultz. His name and "ships number” are stamped in black ink on the inside front of the frock on a line above the hem.

The "78" after his name would have been his ships number. This is similar to the serial number used in later years. This number was assigned to each sailor as he signed aboard a specific ship. It corresponded to different stations aboard the ship that the sailor was to report to, and different duties he was to perform during different evolutions, such as where his battle station was, where his cleaning station was, and so forth. This number was not permanent to the sailor and would have changed from ship to ship.

To date we have not been able to identify J. Schultz based on this ships number as pension records only list those enlisted sailors who applied for pensions following the Civil War. Ship records are often incomplete and pose a daunting search task.

This uniform has been fully analyzed and is a rare example of a mid 19th century US Navy enlisted white (summer) uniform. It consists of two pieces, a white frock with blue collar and cuffs and a pair of white broadfall trousers. The uniform is linen. The blue overlay on the frock cuffs and collar is a cotton fabric known as "Nankeen.” The trousers are lined in the top in the form of "shorts” of cotton drill. The entire uniform is hand sewn. The fabrics used and considerable detail in tailoring (decorated rear vent, the blue piping set into the seam on the side of the fall of the trousers, the button pattern and the pointed cuffs on the frock, etc.) indicate that this uniform was not an issued item but rather, sailor made. The detail of the uniform’s construction all points to Civil War era.

No buttons were present on the trousers. Ten period bone buttons were added to support the weight of the garment for display. These buttons were of the type commonly used at the time on sailor’s trousers. The original thread that was present at the button locations was not removed, but a lighter gauge of thread was used to attach the present buttons.

Member - John Beckendorf
Item #: CIV-247

Enlistedman's Fatigue Blouse

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General Order #3, of March 24, 1858 initiated a new trend in military garments. Enlisted soldiers could now be issued different garments for fatigue and dress duty. Uniforms then in use, heavily influenced by European tailoring were to be gradually replaced by a uniquely American coat, the enlistedman's fatigue blouse. Known to collectors today as a "four-button sack coat," it was loose fitting in body and sleeve, and better suited to the rigors of campaigning. The process of change over to the sack coat was gradual, and continued through the entire Civil War. By late in the war, all branches of service were issuing this coat as evidenced by period photographs.

In 1861, the four button sack coat was produced for $1.87 per garment. Between the federal government and private contractors, over 5½ million were made during the war years. Approximately one third were unlined. Their flimsy flannel construction, and continued use by soldiers after the war's end have contributed to their scarcity today. Ironically, the most common coat of the war, now is the scarcest and commands the highest prices of any standard issue Federal Civil War garment.

This coat is made of dark blue flannel; it has a machine stitched seam down its back center, rounded cuffs and collar. It measures 29" down the back; the sleeves are 23½" including a 1" sewn cuff. The sleeves are 5¾" at the wrist, 8" at the elbow. Three eagle buttons are absent backmarks, the fourth (at the collar) has raised markings "*Scovill Mfg Co* Waterbury" in a depressed channel. There is no provision for cuff buttons. The body and sleeves are unlined. It bears a sewn interior pocket on the left breast with stitching visible on the front of the garment.

Member - Mike Sorenson
Item #: CIV-224

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