View Full Version : Federal enlistedman's artillery jacket
07-24-2009, 07:49 AM
I was browsing http://www.civilwarshop.com/ and found this jacket for sale. There are some nice pictures of it that I have posted here with the description (instead of linking to it, as that will die eventually) Enjoy.
"Near pristine Civil War enlistedman's artillery jacket (called a shell jacket by many), excellent condition overall with a couple of replaced eagle buttons, otherwise near mint. Bright scarlet worsted wool piping with crisp Cincinnati Depot markings in the sleeve--size 2. Few any better available. $2,750.00"
07-24-2009, 07:59 AM
From the same site, a mounted overcoat. I realize these are probably post war garments but they are interesting none the less.
"EXCELLENT and very scarce Civil War mounted pattern greatcoat of the type issued to both cavalry and artillery units during the era. Double breasted with eagle buttons on the front, the cape and the rear adjusting strap. Minor scattered very light insect damage and some picks but basically as good as they come and with a crisp sky blue color. This coat has a New Jersey (N.J) stencil beneath the upper cape and COULD possibly be identified--there is a stencil in the shoulders that reads "Chrisdie" which is either an aftermarket vendor or the stencil of Henry Chrisie who enlisted in 1863 in Battery B of the 1st New Jersey Light Artillery or one of the host of "Christie" guys who served from that state--name spellings are often altered in record transcriptions. Either way, a relatively difficult to find Cavalry or Artillery pattern Civil War coat in very nice condition! Bear in mind that just because this is a mounted pattern, that does NOT mean an infantryman or officer could not wear it! $7,250.00"
07-24-2009, 11:23 AM
I ...found this jacket for sale. There are some nice pictures of it that I have posted here..."Near pristine Civil War enlistedman's artillery jacket (called a shell jacket by many)..."
Thanks Mark, reassuring to see the detail and relative color hue and intensity on this jacket. Good reference on the collar hook too.
Have been bothered slightly about the variations of collar heights and arrangements of piping on collars-- have suspected that the more comfortable lower collars I've seen are a Sutler's concession to make the jackets more comfortable and saleable. Have also seen both enclosed (stuffed) or rolled waist pillows of variable placement and sizes, some mere flaps. So it's good to see at least one identifiable authentic pattern.
I suppose any of these elements could have been altered upon or after issue, if a soldier had the skill or means and desire to do it, and that could account for some variation within a unit. After a year or more from initial muster-in, some fellows, either veterans with replacement jackets or new recruits with separate issue, might have had that variablility in uniform? Don't know what to think, beyond the few period unit photos or supply records available...
Perhaps more common was use of a sack coat (blouse) on the field, at least in Western Theater, anyway, making the point moot.
07-24-2009, 12:48 PM
I'm interested in the observation that these illustrated items are probably post war garments. I'm respectfully from Missouri on that. In 1865 Federal and State warehouses bulged with tons of unissued regulation garments. I cannot imagine that anyone would order new Federal artillery jackets manufactured when there were thousands upon thousands slumbering in reserve and they remained regulation for so short a time thereafter. I know short mounted jackets, cavalry and artillery, were given or sold at a pittance to regulars years after the war for stripping of coloured tape and customization into campaign and fatigue dress to eke-out their issue. The post war Army went through more than one change of clothing regulation which tended only to see the light of day on officers backs or among EMs detailed for recruiting duty. The rest of the doughboys were burdened with often shoddy or ill-fitting Civil War garments "until supplies exhausted". The post war Army was intensely strapped for funds for many years after the war, partly due to Reconstruction politics. For one year or so it went unpaid.
07-24-2009, 12:52 PM
I think you're right about the high collars. I'll quote (if I may?) from Don Troiani's Regiments & Uniforms of the Civil War concerning in particular an enlisted artillerman's jacket:
"Uniform jacket of a New York artillery corporal. With a practical eye toward their own comfort, soldiers often modified regulation garments by lowering the collars and making other changes...Documents show instances where tailors were hired to customize jackets for entire units."
07-24-2009, 09:24 PM
What a find. I have one also made in Cinncinnati in 1863 that is NOS and a size 3. You are welcome to motor up one mile into Harris County to see it and an ID'd CS blanket that may have been made "in town" that I got from the Soldier's grandson.
07-25-2009, 11:21 AM
As a footnote, the good people in St. Louis also produced a shell jacket that was a variant of the one shown in the beginning of this thread. The St. Louis jacket had but eleven buttons instead of thirteen, and a single row of tape at the collar instead of a double strip. I attach photos of two I own, one has a jean lining and one a cotton/muslin lining. Both are size three, both are marked with the same stamp of an inspector, and both have similar size 40 stencils that may be from a costume shop. I obtained one in New England and one in Tennessee, which could just be the end of a post-war surplus journey that started out in a surplus wearhouse and ended on stage doing Gilbert and Sullivan.
01-14-2010, 05:37 PM
What did Joan Crawford say in the movie?No...wire...hangers...EVER!!!.
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