CONFEDERATE "COLUMBUS DEPOT" JACKETS

The Material Evidence

Geoffrey R. Walden

 

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INTRODUCTION

   This article discusses a style of Confederate army jacket that is a popular choice among modern Civil War reenactors for their reproduction uniforms.  It was originally published in the Camp Chase Gazette, a magazine for reenactors.  It has been revised for this online version, with the addition of photos of the original jackets, and period images of Confederate soldiers wearing this type of jacket.  For ease in internet use, this page has been divided into three subpages.

Part I - The Basic Pattern
Part II - The Surviving Originals
Part III - Period Photos and Descriptions
Part IV - Conclusions

Updates  --  Since this page was first uploaded, I have received further info which caused me to change my conclusions about red-trimmed jackets; I have also received a very interesting image of a Trans-Mississippi cavalryman apparently wearing a jacket of this type (thanks to Rich Saathoff); I have added more photos of the Oklahoma jacket (thanks to Scott McKay); and I have uploaded a table comparing the various characteristics of the known original jackets.

Update March 1999  --  Added another image of an unidentified soldier wearing a jacket with Louisiana buttons (see also the 6th Louisiana Cavalry image), thanks to Larry Shields.  Added more images showing possible ANV use, also thanks to Larry Shields.  Added a great soldier description of jackets like this, issued in Arkansas in May 1863, thanks to Tom Ezell.  (See Part 3)

Update October 1999  --  Added another period soldier description, possibly showing this type of jacket in use in the Army of Northern Virginia in the summer of 1864 (see Part 3).

Update January 2000  --  Added two more detailed period descriptions, covering issue in the fall of 1862 in Mississippi and soldier appearance during the Atlanta Campaign, thanks to Larry Shields.  Added period images of a Tennessee cavalryman and a South Carolina infantryman (ANV) who may be wearing this type of jacket (see Part 3).

Update March 2002  --  Added transcriptions of the unedited descriptions of uniforms from the letters of Washington Ives, as researched by Lee White (see Part 3).

Update April 2002  --  Added image of George Wilborn of Lumsden's Ala. Btty. to Part 3.

Update June 2002  --  Added a description of uniforms issued at Port Hudson, Louisiana, in November 1862 (see Part 3).

Update February 2004  --  Added a note about the Oklahoma jacket (below).

Update January 2005  --  Added further information to the Jenkins jacket (below), and two soldier images (Sims and Holding) to Part 3.

Update March 2005  --  Added further information and photos of the Jenkins jacket (below).

Update February 2007  --  Added images to Part 3 - Humes (6th Ky. Inf.), Crosthwait (2nd Ky. Inf.), Huffman (16th Ala. Inf.), Snipes (37th Tenn. Inf.).


PART I - THE BASIC PATTERN

   One of the most popular jackets being worn by hobbyists portraying western Confederate troops today is a reproduction based on an original style possibly produced by the Confederate quartermaster depot in Columbus, Georgia. Judging from the surviving originals and a number of period images that appear to show this style, it must have seen widespread issue during the war.

   Although this type has been discussed in a number of publications recently, it has not been completely described. This article will do that, cataloging the six original jackets that have seen wide publication, plus two others that are relatively unknown, and examining period photos and other information. Hopefully, this level of detail will be useful to units and individuals in choosing reproductions of this style, and in dispelling some of the myths, rumors, and misinformation concerning these jackets that are cropping up in the hobby (particularly in reproductions).

   The "Columbus Depot" jacket was first identified in published work by Les Jensen, former curator of collections at the Museum of the Confederacy, and currently a historian at the U.S. Army Center for Military History (Leslie D. Jensen, "A Survey of Confederate Central Government Quartermaster Issue Jackets, Part I [actually Part II], Military Collector and Historian, Vol. XLI, No. 4 (Winter 1989), pp. 162-171; click here for an online version of this article; here for the previous article (Richmond Depot).  I wish to emphasize right at the beginning that there is no period evidence (at least it hasn't been found or published yet) that definitely ties this style of jacket to the Columbus Depot, and Jensen himself didn't say there was. Jensen felt this style may have been produced at that facility, based on the apparent widespread issue of this style, and that depot's apparent ability to support such an issue. In fact, this jacket may have actually been produced at more than one facility, not necessarily in Georgia (see final discussion and notes). However, the name "Columbus Depot" has stuck. In fact, no other name tried since ("Army of Tennessee jacket," "Georgia jacket," "Western jacket," &c.) seems any more appropriate to this jacket.

   The basic styling of this jacket is well known. The surviving originals were all made on a pattern of 6-piece bodies, with 1-piece rather full sleeves tapering to the cuffs. The body pieces curve into a short rounded "tail" in the center of the back on most of the jackets. All are made of a wool-cotton jean cloth (a woolen weft on a cotton warp, apparently unbleached or brown in some of the jackets), woven to a 1/2 twill. (In other words, the loom was filled with a foundation (warp) of the cotton threads, then the wool threads were woven into these, passing over two and under one of the cotton threads; the jean twill effect comes from alternating the cotton warp thread that shows through on the finished side.)  Note - The Jenkins Jacket (below) appears to be made of a worsted material, not jean.

   The jackets have collars and straight cuff trim about 2-1/2 inches wide of a medium or indigo blue kersey weave wool (not jean). The linings were made from a white or unbleached cotton tabby weave osnaburg. (A tabby weave is a simple "square" pattern of one thread under, one over, as opposed to the twill pattern of jean or kersey.) Stitching was done by hand, including buttonholes and top-stitching (except in the two examples noted), and the jacket bodies have a line of top-stitching running around all outside edges, about 1/4-inch from the edge. Top-stitching on the collars and cuff trim varies.

   Jensen identified two distinct styles of the basic pattern: a "Type I," with interior pockets in the lining, and a "Type II," with one external pocket, set into the body of the jacket, with a jean facing piece along the opening. Jensen felt that the "Type II" may have been produced later than the "Type I." There are other differences that seem to fall in with this typology, but in fact, these may not indicate relative dating at all, but may instead support a theory that these jackets were produced by more than one facility. In addition, there are two original jackets that have both external and interior pockets, making this typology possibly an unnecessary modern imposition onto the historical record.

   There has been considerable controversy over the original color of these jackets. Jensen referred to them as "butternut" (an unfortunate word choice; he also said they were probably originally gray), and a number of other writers have taken this as fact, supported by the jackets' appearance today. However, a close examination of the originals indicates that at least five of the eight were originally gray. To be sure, the color was a light gray of a "warm" hue (as opposed to "cool" gray hues such as "cadet gray"), and accumulated dust and dirt (not to mention their age) have combined to give most of the jackets a tannish cast today. But a grayish hue can often still be seen through moth holes in the trim and in seams.

   The answer to this debate may depend on personal definitions of "butternut." If one uses this term to describe any uniform color that is dusty brown or tan, even if this hue comes from dust and dirt, then these jackets could be called "butternut" (apparently, this would fit the most common use of the term among the Federals).  However, if by "butternut" one means the traditional Confederate color that was purposely brown, these jackets do not fit into this category, as they were normally produced from wool that was purposely dyed gray. For what it's worth, the troops of the Kentucky "Orphan" Brigade, who wore three of the original jackets described in this article, held the term "butternut" in contempt, and even looked down on troops from other states who wore brown clothing. They, apparently, would not have described these jackets as "butternut" (Ed Porter Thompson, History of the First Kentucky Brigade (Cincinnati: Caxton Publishing House, 1868), p. 491, and History of the Orphan Brigade (Louisville: L.N. Thompson, 1898), p. 203; William C. Davis, ed., Diary of a Confederate Soldier [John Jackman, 9th Ky. Inf.] (Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1990), p. 31; Albert D. Kirwan, ed., Johnny Green of the Orphan Brigade (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1956), pp. 106-107).

   The jean material in the originals varies considerably in hue and texture, and it is difficult to say how much this may be due to age. Most of the jackets have woolen threads that are thicker and more regularly spun, and without the brown or black inclusions, than in reproductions seen today. The hue varies from a very light, clear gray to a medium brownish-gray. Two of the originals appear to have been woven on an unbleached or light brown warp, giving the brownish cast seen today. One example is made of a very light color, regular weave jean, much like the County Cloth "oatmeal" #3 jean of about 1992. This jacket may have been made from "drab" (undyed) wool fibers (Fred Adolphus, "Drab: The Forgotten Confederate Color," Confederate Veteran, September-October 1992, pp. 36-41).

   The original jackets differ in various characteristics such as body length and cut, collar shape, number and type of buttons, pockets, and stitching details. These will be covered in the description of each surviving jacket below. These differences serve as a very good illustration of the common manufacturing method known as "piecing out." In this method, used by large volume clothing makers both North and South, the basic garment was cut out to a specific pattern, then these pieces were put together into "kits" also containing trim pieces and buttons, and perhaps even thread. These "kits" were then handed out to local seamstresses who had been hired to do the assembly work in their homes. This method resulted in jackets of the same basic style, but with various small differences in stitching, buttons, pockets, etc. These differences also likely support the theory that these jackets were made by more than one facility.

 


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PART II - THE SURVIVING ORIGINALS

   The best known originals are those identified to the Kentucky "Orphan" Brigade of infantry, associated for much of its career with the Army of Tennessee. In fact, before the "Columbus Depot" name came along, this type was usually called the "Orphan Brigade" jacket. Three of the originals are identified to Orphan Brigade soldiers.

   The earliest of these was a five-button jacket worn by Pvt. Elijah Crow Woodward of Co. C, 9th Kentucky Infantry. Woodward enlisted in September 1861 and was reported as a deserter on November 14, 1862. He is assumed to have worn this jacket home when he deserted. If this assumption is valid, this is the earliest concrete evidence we have for issue of this type of jacket. The earliest mention of "jacket" issues (as opposed to "coats") in the Kentucky Brigade quartermaster records is in September 1862; since the Kentuckians were dependent on central government issue clothing, this jacket may have been issued then (Quartermaster Records, First Kentucky Brigade, Chapter VIII, Vols. 67-72, Record Group 109, National Archives).  Collection records state this jacket was worn at Shiloh, but since this identification came from Woodward's sister when she donated the jacket in 1944, it may be discounted (Compiled Service Records (CSR), 9th Ky. Mtd. Inf., RG 109, National Archives; collection records, Kentucky Military History Museum, P.O. Box H, Frankfort, KY 40602-2108; but see also the discussion on dating under the period image of James Nelson, below).

                      
Woodward Jacket  --  notice the seams and the lack of the "tail" in the back
(left photo - Geoff Walden, right photo - Ken Suminski; courtesy Kentucky Military History Museum)

   Woodward's jacket follows the basic pattern, with two pockets in the lining, rather square-cut collar, and rounded front jacket body (at the bottom), about 22 inches from collar to bottom. The body is cut straight across in the back, lacking the "tail." The buttons are Kentucky state seal buttons, fastened by passing the shanks through holes in the jacket and attached to metal rings on the interior, but these are believed to be later replacements. This jacket once had a series of five small Kentucky buttons sewn onto each cuff, but these are also thought to have been later additions. This jacket shows very definite gray color of the jean visible through moth holes in the cuff trim.

       
Details of the Woodward Jacket  --  the grayer shade of the jean material seen through holes in the cuff trim is clearly visible (photos by Ken Suminski; courtesy Kentucky Historical Society / Military History Museum)

   Incidentally, the photo of this jacket in the Confederate volume of Echoes of Glory (Alexandria, VA: Time-Life Books, 1991, page 143) shows extremely poor color reproduction, making this jacket appear far darker than the original actually is, and with a greenish tinge the original lacks.  (It must be noted, of course, that the colors of these jackets can appear significantly different, depending on the lighting conditions, as can be seen in the photos here.)


(photo by Geoff Walden; courtesy Kentucky Historical Society / Military History Museum)


   Another Orphan Brigade jacket belonged to Pvt. David Fenimore Cooper Weller of Co. C, 2nd Kentucky Infantry. This jacket corresponds in all respects to the basic pattern of those with interior pockets (this jacket may be referred to as the modern reproduction "type" jacket, since it is the one first reproduced by Charles Childs, and copied by most other makers). It was made out of jean with a light gray woolen weft on a brown cotton warp; the color of this warp, combined with aging of the wool fibers, has produced this jacket's present tan color. The jacket originally had six buttons, only two of which now remain: a three-piece stamped brass script "I" button with Isaac & Campbell (English) markings, and a Kentucky state seal button (perhaps a later replacement).

                     
Weller Jacket (photos by Geoff Walden; courtesy Kentucky Military History Museum)

   Weller served throughout the war, spending quite a bit of time in hospitals. Clothing receipts show he was issued clothing on September 30, 1863, and April 20, 1864. This jacket may have been issued on one of those dates, or it may have been a later issue that he wore home at the end of the war. Again, collection records state this to be an early-war jacket, worn at Fort Donelson. But since it shows no evidence of the massive wounds suffered by Weller in that battle, one a shoulder wound so disabling as to make Weller really unfit for further duty, this dating can also be discounted (collection records, Kentucky Military History Museum; CSR, 2nd Ky. Mtd. Inf., RG 109, National Archives).


Weller Jacket  --  notice the English 3-piece brass Script-I button,
top-stitching details, and the brown warp threads seen in the frayed areas
(Notice also the regular, clear weave of this original jean, with no off-color inclusions)
(photo by Geoff Walden; courtesy Kentucky Historical Society / Military History Museum)


   The third Orphan Brigade jacket belonged to Pvt. Andrew W. Randolph of Co. B, 6th Kentucky Infantry. It has an exterior pocket on the left front of the jacket. This pocket has a rather large facing piece, and slants down toward the buttons. In common with the Oklahoma jacket (described below), the body of Randolph's jacket was cut very short (about 17 inches), and the top and bottom edges are square-cut where they meet in the front. The seven buttons are later replacements. The collar body and trim are one-piece, with no seams in the center at back.

                    
    
Randolph Jacket  --  notice the short body, cut square at top and bottom, the lack of top-stitching on the trim, and the slanting exterior left breast pocket with large facing piece. Note also how the colors of these jackets can look markedly different under different light sources.
(photos by Geoff Walden; courtesy The Kentucky Museum, Western Kentucky University)

   In contrast to most of the other jackets of this style, there is no top-stitching on the collar or cuff trim. There is a horizontal seam on the right front of the body, where the jean material was pieced, probably before cutting. An unusual feature not previously described, but seen on some other jackets, is a double row of top-stitching around the body edges. One row appears in the normal area (right beside the buttonholes), with a second row quite close to the edge (collection records, Item #584, The Kentucky Museum, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY 42101). Randolph also served throughout the war. Clothing receipts show he was issued clothing on December 26, 1864. This jacket may date from this period, or it may have been a later issue that he wore home (CSR, 6th Ky. Mtd. Inf., RG 109, National Archives).


   Another jacket identified by Jensen to Kentucky troops, but with a very questionable history, resides in the Oklahoma Historical Society collections. This jacket is similar in cut to Randolph's jacket, with an exterior pocket. The material is the very light color jean, which may originally have been "drab." The body is short and cut square in front, with a double line of top-stitching on all edges; the body is cut straight across the back, with no "tail." The exterior left breast pocket facing is much smaller than that on Randolph's jacket, and the pocket goes straight across the body (collection records, Item #581, Oklahoma Historical Society State Museum, 2100 N. Lincoln Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73105).

                
Oklahoma Jacket  --  notice the very light shade of the jean, the short square-cut body, the straight left
breast pocket with narrow facing piece, the curve of the collar in the front, and the double line of top-stitching
(photos by Geoff Walden; courtesy Oklahoma Historical Society State Museum)

   In contrast to all the other jackets of this type, the collar is cut to curve or slope down at the front, as often seen on Richmond Depot jackets. Of the six original buttons, only one remains: a cast brass "I" button. The collar and cuff trim have a single line of top-stitching (on the bottom only of the cuffs). In contrast to the jackets described above, the cuff trim does not cover the jean of the sleeve, but rather, is butted up against it, without top-stitching at that seam (see also the Atkins and Jenkins jackets, below).  A very unusual feature, not previously described, is a line of top-stitching running down the right front of the body, to the outside of the line of buttons. This stitching is similar to that found on the jackets produced in Ireland by Peter Tait & Co. (see Jensen, "Survey," page 162; see also the Atkins jacket, below, and the Rich image).

       
Oklahoma Jacket details  --  notice the double line of top-stitching, the extra line of top-stitching running down the right front, just outside the line of buttons (starting at the collar edge), the well-sewn button holes in light thread, the details of the jean weave, the cuff trim butted up against the sleeve material, and the pocket stitching.
(photos thanks to Scott McKay; courtesy Oklahoma Historical Society State Museum)
    

For further detailed photos of this jacket, see the Galla Rock Shirt & Pattern Co. page,
http://www.gallarock.com/okmysteryjacket.html

   Collection records are unclear as to the identity of this jacket's owner. Jensen tentatively identified it to Lt. William S. Phillips of the 4th Kentucky Infantry, but the collection records do not support this. The records list this item as a "Confederate Coat" worn by Robert Reece of Forrest's Cavalry; however, another listed item (without catalog number) may actually be this jacket: a "Confederate Jacket" worn by James Dunn of Co. D, 2nd Missouri Infantry. There is no museum catalog reference to William Phillips or the 4th Kentucky, and museum personnel cannot say which of the other two listed items is actually this jacket (personal conversation with Andy Maglievaz, Oklahoma Historical Society, 15 November 1991). The exact provenance of this jacket must remain in doubt. (Note - recent research by Sheri McCullah indicates this jacket may actually have been worn by an Arkansas soldier named David Smith.)


   The Mississippi State Museum in Jackson holds a jacket identified to John McDonnell of Cowan's Battery G, 1st Mississippi Artillery. However, research by J.M. Ulmer shows the soldier in the 1st Miss. Arty. was John McDonnelly, and this jacket may actually have been worn by Pvt. John McDonnell, Co. K, 1st (Patton's) Mississippi Infantry (a 60-day unit, formerly the 5th Mississippi Volunteers). This jacket is a style with interior pockets, but these are patch pockets, not set into the lining. Of the six original buttons, two remain; both are Mississippi "I" buttons made by Hyde & Goodrich of New Orleans. The body is the normal length, as is the cuff trim, about 2-1/2 inches (little of the trim remains). McDonnell surrendered at Vicksburg in July 1863, and did not return to the army following his parole. This jacket would therefore appear to date no later than mid-1863 (collection records, Item #60.16.3, Mississippi State Historical Museum, P.O. Box 571, Jackson, MS 39205-0571).


McDonnell Jacket  --  notice right interior patch pocket
(photos by Geoff Walden; courtesy Mississippi State Museum)

  


(courtesy Mississippi State Museum)
   The most unusual feature of this jacket is the top-stitching, which was done by machine. This top-stitching is a single line, set well back from the edge (as normal). The outer thread is dark blue, with a brown bobbin thread. I wish to emphasize that this original machine top-stitching does not at all resemble modern machine top-stitching on reproductions; in fact, at first glance, it looks like normal hand back-stitching. However, there can be no doubt this particular stitching was done on a machine.

   The top-stitching is also found on the collar and cuffs. The osnaburg lining was also set into the body by machine (but the sleeves were set by hand), and the patch pockets were machine sewn onto the lining (before it was set). The button holes are, naturally, hand-sewn.

Notice the blue thread of the machine-sewn top-stitching (photo by Geoff Walden)   


     One jacket of this style that has not seen widespread publication is in the collections of the Vicksburg National Military Park. It belonged to Pvt. Michael Jackson Jones of Co. H, 1st Missouri Infantry. Jones received a disabling wound at Champion Hill in May 1863, and when his daughter donated the jacket in 1956, she stated that he was wearing it at that battle (collection records, Item #572, Vicksburg National Military Park, 3201 Clay St., Vicksburg, MS 39180; CSR, 1st and 4th (Consolidated) MO Inf., RG 109, National Archives). This jacket has both an exterior and interior pocket (one of each). The exterior pocket has a 1-inch facing piece, and slants down slightly toward the front jacket seam, about the level of the fourth buttonhole. The interior pocket is sewn into the lining on the right side. The jean material was woven from very regular and notably thick woolen threads, some of which still show their original light gray color, and the collar and cuff trim is the standard indigo blue kersey weave wool.


Jones Jacket (photos by Geoff Walden;
courtesy Vicksburg National Military Park)

   The collar is the usual 2-piece variety of the normal shape, but the inner collar material is a kersey woven wool-cotton mix, not the 2/1 twill jean of the jacket body. The cuff trim is very short, just under two inches wide. The body of the jacket measures 20 inches in front, with curved bottom edges. The back has a very slight point in the center, but not the normal curved "tail."

   In common with the other example worn in the Vicksburg theatre, the top-stitching on this jacket was done by machine. This top-stitching appears as a single line around the body edges and collar, of heavy dark brown thread on both sides. There is no top-stitching on the cuff trim.

   The jacket originally had six buttons, and the buttonholes are corded and very well sewn (by hand). The three buttons now on the jacket are cast brass "CSA" buttons, but these are believed to be later replacements, since the thread holding them to the jacket is different from the thread remains for the missing buttons.

           
Close-ups of the Jones jacket  --  notice the different weave of the material in the collar facing piece, the well
sewn corded button holes, and the stitching details of the external pocket facing piece.
(photos by Geoff Walden; courtesy Vicksburg National Military Park)


   Another relatively unknown example is the single jacket of this style attributed to an officer. Identified to Lt. Col. Thomas Morris Atkins of the 49th Tennessee Infantry, this jacket is now in the collections of the Jefferson Davis Memorial Park in Irwinville, Georgia. Atkins was wounded and captured at Franklin, Tennessee, while in command of his regiment, and the collection records state that holes and stains at the back of the collar are the results of this wound (collection records, Jefferson Davis Memorial Park, P.O. Box 422, Irwinville, GA 31760; O.R. Ser. 1, Vol. 45, Part 1, p. 685).

   
Atkins jacket  --  notice the hard rubber buttons and the damage to the collar area, thought to be
caused by Lt.Col. Atkins' Franklin wound
(photos by Geoff Walden; courtesy Jefferson Davis Memorial Park)

   This jacket has a single left breast exterior pocket and a short body (about 18 inches in front), with pronounced curves at the bottom of the front pieces. The collar and cuff trim is the usual indigo blue kersey wool, with a 2-piece collar of the normal shape. The cuff trim is shorter than normal, about 2-1/4 inches. In contrast to most other jackets, this trim does not cover the jean of the sleeve; rather, the bottom of the jean is butted against the top of the trim (as on the Oklahoma jacket). The lining is a light tabby weave cotton, with a heavier tabby weave interlining in the front, shoulders, and collar.

This photo shows a comparison of the original jean and cuff trim to a 1991 reproduction by County Cloth (#3 "oatmeal" jean)     (photo by Geoff Walden)

 

   The top-stitching is all single line, with no top-stitching on the upper edge of the cuff trim. There is a line of stitching running down the right front of the jacket, as on the Oklahoma example. The external pocket goes straight across the body, set at about the fourth button hole. The pocket facing piece is about one inch wide. 

   This jacket originally had six buttons, five of which remain. These are 7/8-inch buttons of dark brown or black hard rubber, attached by four eyeholes in the center of each button.

 


    The final jacket to be described is in a private collection in Texas. It is another of the style with both exterior and interior pockets. The exterior pocket is the normal left breast pocket, straight across the body (as on the Oklahoma jacket). The interior pocket is sewn into the lining (and partially into the facing) on the right side. The jacket has six Federal general service "eagle" buttons (unmarked backs), with two small civilian "flower" buttons on each cuff.

   The body is the normal length and is rounded in front, with the "tail" in the back. The collar shape is the normal style. The cuff trim is butted up against the jean of the sleeves, which does not extend beneath the trim. The jacket body appears to be made of cassimere on a medium brown warp, not jean, and the lining is cotton sheeting (perhaps the body material is like the "worsted cross between casimere and jeans" described by Sgt. Ives of the 4th Florida Infantry). The hand top-stitching is a single line around the body, collar, and cuff trim (collection records, Kentucky Military History Museum; conversation with jacket owner, 14 August 1994; correspondence with current jacket owner, April 2004, March 2005, and December 2005).

    
Jenkins Jacket (photos courtesy Kentucky Military History Museum)

           
Jenkins Jacket - noted the worsted weave in the close-up view (photos courtesy owner)

   This jacket is identified as having been worn at Chickamauga by Pvt. John F. Jenkins of the "Breckinridge Guards." This was an independent company of Mississippi cavalry, recruited in Natchez by Kentuckian Luke Blackburn, and commanded by Lt. Henry Foules and later by Capt. James Buck. They served as headquarters guards, escorts, and couriers for Gen. John C. Breckinridge, and later for Gen. William Bate. Although this jacket has previously been associated with the Orphan Brigade, the "Breckinridge Guards" had no formal ties to that unit. Even though Jenkins' application for a Mississippi pension shows that he was discharged in the summer of 1863 for being underage, and Jenkins stated in his memoirs that he only fought in two battles, around Murfreesboro in late 1862, the jacket was, apparently, indeed worn at Chickamauga (although maybe not actually in battle). Jenkins left the army to go to Washington College in 1864, and he reportedly wore this jacket home at the end of the war. (John Seaman, "Never Fired a Gun," Confederate Veteran, Vol. 30, No. 12 (December 1922), p. 458; "Joseph N. Carpenter," Confederate Veteran, Vol. 33, No. 5 (May 1925), p. 185; communications with jacket owner, 2005).

 

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A previous version of this article was published in the Camp Chase Gazette, Vol. 22, No. 8 (July 1995), pp. 34-38, and Vol. 22, No. 9 (August 1995), pp. 34-38.

This webpage hosted by The Authentic Campaigner.

Copyright 1995, 1998-2007, Geoffrey R. Walden; all rights reserved, including the right of reproduction of photos identified as the author's. I gratefully acknowledge the permission of others to reproduce photographs from their collections here. Thanks to The Authentic Campaigner for hosting this page.
URL:  http://www.authentic-campaigner.com/articles/walden/cdjacket.htm

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This page initially uploaded on:  27 September 1998
This page last updated on:  06 May 2007

 

Online versions of Les Jensen's Confederate uniform articles in MC&H
http://company.military-historians.org/journal/confederate/confederate-1.htm
http://company.military-historians.org/journal/confederate/confederate-3.htm

The Enfield in the Civil War
http://www.authentic-campaigner.com/articles/walden/enfauth.htm

First Kentucky "Orphan" Brigade Homepage
http://www.rootsweb.com/~orphanhm/index.html

Battle of Mill Springs / Fishing Creek Homepage
http://www.Geocities.com/Pentagon/Quarters/1864/Default.htm