Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Officer's Great Coats

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Officer's Great Coats

    I was looking for some help researching different types of options officers had for great coats. Besides the fancy coats with the frog closers that are commonly seen in photos, were they allowed to wear enlisted coats. I'm a new officer in a Union infantry company and want to wear the proper coat. Is there a place to find this information? I was "told" they could wear a mounted coat with a dark blue color but don't want to go by what someone "thinks". Thanks.
    Rick DePamphilis
    Captain
    7th New Jersey
    Co D
    Rick DePamphilis

  • #2
    Re: Officer's great coats

    I found this image here. So there is evidence of an infantry officer wearing an enlisted man's foot pattern greatcoat in at least one instance. The linked website cites General Orders No. 102 (November 25, 1861) as permitting officers to wear the mounted pattern enlisted man's greatcoat. Apparently General Orders No. 286 (November, 22 1864) directed officers to wear the same pattern greatcoat as the men under their command, without rank insignia.

    Last edited by LeftCoastYank; 02-22-2016, 09:47 PM. Reason: grammar
    Dave Schwartz,
    Company B, 79th NY Vols.
    (New York Highland Guard)

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Officer's great coats

      Joshua Chamberlain himself wore an enlisted great coat (mounted version) during the winter of 62-63, according his own words, in research by Don Troiani. His painting of Chamberlain is here: https://www.google.com/search?q=cham...FPBnK5huhDM%3A
      Soli Deo Gloria
      Doug Cooper

      "The past is never dead. It's not even past." William Faulkner

      Please support the CWT at www.civilwar.org

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Officer's great coats

        Nutshell:
        Officers had to purchase their equipment and uniforms. So, as an officer, one would have had
        1) freedom to purchase a taylored garment that could be a "more or less" militarized version of a civilian coat. Or...
        2) he could purchase an issue garment from the quartermaster.
        ...or anywhere in between.

        I think "plain everyday common" would lead me to some sort of private purchase item. Whether it is "plain" or "elegant" depends on your pocketbook, much like it did for the officer of the period.

        If funds are tight, you could always purchase a cape (e.g. you are carrying the cape from your overcoat only), rather than the whole overcoat. Many overcoats featured detachable capes. The cape on its own can fit nicely in a knapsack, whereas the whole coat is pretty bulky.

        And, from experience, the cape on its own can keep you pretty warm.

        Just a thought...
        John Wickett
        Former Carpetbagger
        Administrator (We got rules here! Be Nice - Sign Your Name - No Farbisms)

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Officer's great coats

          As Mr. Schwartz has posted, the difference in regulations can be traced to officers being targeted by marksmen due to their ostentatious dress. This manner of dress became increasingly indistinguishable as the war progressed (per the later regulation cited), and included subdued rank insignia and less conspicuous jackets and commercial sack coats.

          So, to your query, it really depends on the coat you want to have and wear. Messer's Cooper and Wickett bring up great points and you could even get away with a Talma (a sort of hooded cape) if you wanted, as period photos support. Coats like that worn by Col. Ezra Carmen in the French style are certianly flashy, but also likely contributed to high casualty rates sustained by officers.

          My recommendation is that you look at the kind of coat you want to wear based upon researching what officers in the 7th NJ wore, if available. Barring finding that information, you will be well-suited with an enlisted coat (which you can also wear at events for which you do not portray an officer), or get one made from dark blue material. That will suit an officer's needs and not be as readily identifiable, if that is your intent.

          Lots of options out there, as has been stated, and an officer's great coat is not an insubstantial investment, so research is key to get the one that suits you.
          Ivan Ingraham
          AC Moderator

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Officer's great coats

            John and Ivan bring up a great point on the capes and Talma's. Capes are great - they were common and completely useful - warm at night and on cold days, don't restrict your movement and then can be folded into the knapsack on warmer days.
            Soli Deo Gloria
            Doug Cooper

            "The past is never dead. It's not even past." William Faulkner

            Please support the CWT at www.civilwar.org

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Officer's great coats

              There is a good example of a woolen talma (hooded cape) from the John Henry Kurtz auction, probably viewable at www.ha.com.
              John Wickett
              Former Carpetbagger
              Administrator (We got rules here! Be Nice - Sign Your Name - No Farbisms)

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Officer's great coats

                Yes there is: http://historical.ha.com/itm/militar...ription-071515

                I seem to remember an old post in this forum with a photograph of a Fed. Lieutenant wearing a knapsack with a greatcoat/overcoat rolled ontop (I'm searching for it). You won't be able to tell what color/type of overcoat it is, but its there. You may find reference in period writings of soldiers and officers choosing to forgo the cape/greatcoat/overcoat and wear their blanket instead when it gets cold.
                Mike Barnes

                Blanket Collector (Hoarder)
                44th VA / 25th OH

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Officer's great coats

                  There is also a staged photograph of zouaves being loaded onto an ambulance under the supervision of an officer. The officer is wearing a hooded cape like this.

                  Edit: Found the photo!!

                  http://www.authentic-campaigner.com/...nce-Photograph
                  Last edited by LibertyHallVols; 02-24-2016, 06:01 PM.
                  John Wickett
                  Former Carpetbagger
                  Administrator (We got rules here! Be Nice - Sign Your Name - No Farbisms)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Officer's great coats

                    There is also a staged photograph of zouaves being loaded onto an ambulance under the supervision of an officer. The officer is wearing a hooded cape like this.
                    Yep, doing what officers do best pointing out the obvious while the enlisted men do the real work.

                    "He goes in there."

                    "Really, sir? Gosh, thanks!"

                    Click image for larger version

Name:	Civil War Zouave ambulance(1).jpg
Views:	2
Size:	422.5 KB
ID:	225016 Click image for larger version

Name:	Civil War Zouave ambulance(2).jpg
Views:	1
Size:	75.0 KB
ID:	225017 Click image for larger version

Name:	Civil War Zouave ambulance(3).jpg
Views:	1
Size:	17.2 KB
ID:	225018
                    Eric Paape
                    Because the world needs
                    one more aging reenactor

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Officer's great coats

                      Thank you John! This was driving me crazy. I have been looking for a good image of an officer in some kind of an overcoat on the LOC for the last two days. Here is another close-up version to going with my fellow Eric's post:

                      Click image for larger version

Name:	Ambulance-OfficerOvercoat.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	259.1 KB
ID:	225019
                      Last edited by Eric Tipton; 02-24-2016, 08:11 PM.
                      Eric Tipton
                      AC Owner
                      Founding Member, Mess No. 1
                      Cincinnati, Ohio

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Officer's great coats

                        And an even closer angle:

                        Click image for larger version

Name:	Ambulance-OfficerOvercoat-Cropped.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	712.1 KB
ID:	225020
                        Eric Tipton
                        AC Owner
                        Founding Member, Mess No. 1
                        Cincinnati, Ohio

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Officer's great coats

                          Wow, that officer has it all going on - serious boots, sash, nice officer's sack, hooded cape, cool gloves and a rain cover on his kepi.
                          Soli Deo Gloria
                          Doug Cooper

                          "The past is never dead. It's not even past." William Faulkner

                          Please support the CWT at www.civilwar.org

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Officer's great coats

                            He obviously bought up sutler's row.
                            Marcelo Pontin

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Officer's great coats

                              Here is General Charles P. Stone wearing his regulation officer's greatcoat as a cloak, which is pretty slick if you ask me!



                              And here is Meredith Howland, an officer of the 7th New York State Militia. He is wearing what looks like a mounted pattern greatcoat. However, I suspect it's actually an overcoat unique the the 7th's gray and black, pre-war uniform.

                              Dave Schwartz,
                              Company B, 79th NY Vols.
                              (New York Highland Guard)

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X