IDENTIFIED GREATCOAT, CARTRIDGE BOX, BELT, AND LETTER GROUP

$4,950.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 389-03

This group consists of a Federal enlisted greatcoat with cape, a pattern 1864 cartridge box, a waist belt with US buckle, 29 letters from the soldier to his family, and several miscellaneous small items. The young man was a member of the 115th Indiana Infantry but this group was acquired in South Jersey.

George Washington Langworthy was born in Indiana in approx 1845. He enlisted as a private at the age of 18 on July 20, 1863 at Worthington, IN for a period of 6 months, mustering in to Co. A, 115th Indiana on 7/28/63. Listed as detailed in QM Department starting 8/1/63. The October 1863 company muster roll lists him as “detailed as Ward Master”; another document lists him as detailed as “Regtl Hospl. Warden”. Musered out on 2/25/64 at Indianapolis. George married Estelle Winkle in May 1880; at some point thereafter the couple moved to California, from where George filed for an Invalid Pension on 7/12/1892. George died in Chicago on 3/11/1896; a clipping from the Indianapolis News newspaper dated 3/14/86 indicates that “George W. Langworthy….who went to California five years ago, hopeful of benefiting his health, started home last week, but died on reaching Chicago. His remains were interred here yesterday afternoon. He was prominent in social, church and business circles”.  He is indeed listed in the Cook County, IL Deaths Index. He was a 50 year old merchant at the time of his death and is buried in Worthington Cemetery. Estelle filed for a Widow’s pension on 4/15/1896 from Indiana.

There are 29 letters from George Washington Langworthy to his family. The first is dated August 5, 1863 and the last dated February 19, 1864. This young man had very good hand writing and the letters are quite readable. His letters relate that he was pulled from the ranks and worked as a clerk for the colonel of his regiment and for the quarter master, possibly because he was literate and had such good hand writing. Eventually he became a hospital warden. The letters often discuss the long marches, lack of rations, and camp life around Cumberland Gap.

The cartridge box is the pattern 1864 box with a clearly embossed “US” in an oval on the front of the outer flap. On the lower, left corner of the front flap is also clearly stamped an oval sub-inspector’s stamp, “L.H. NORFOLK / U.S. / ORD. DEPT / SUB INSPECTOR”.  The closing latch-tab is complete and unbroken and is sewn and riveted to the back side of the front flap. There is no inner flap and the side “ears” are both sewn directly to the large outer flap. The inner implement pouch is complete and its flap is stamped “H. W. OLIVER / PITTSBURGH, PA”. The box retains the brass finial and two small roller buckles on the bottom, two belt loops and two should strap loops on the back, and one of its tins remains inside. Condition is very good. Leather is supple with only very minor scrapes and rubs. All stitching is tight and complete. Inside the tin are several small items; a few pencils, several unknown pieces, and a watch key on a lanyard (he mentions winding the surgeon’s clock).

The cartridge box is on a bridle leather waist belt.  The front of the belt features ornate tooling and may have been made from an officer’s belt. An oval US belt plate with arrow hooks is mounted on the belt and there is evidence from where a brass “keeper” was once mounted on the opposite end. The belt is in similar nice condition.

The greatcoat (soldier’s overcoat) is complete albeit extensively covered by moth damage. Full length blue coat with cape. The coat retains four of its five eagle buttons (the top button is missing). The cape still has four of its six cuff-sized eagle buttons (the top and bottom buttons are missing). Stand-up collar, finished button holes, tan blanket wool body lining, cotton sleeve lining (right sleeve features an oval inspector’s stamp), and waist adjuster belt (with eagle button) in back. There are a few contemporary and modern sewing repairs on inside seams but the majority of the stitching is complete and strong. This is an attractive coat even if covered with mothing. Many of the holes are small individual moth holes, but scattered larger holes are found around the coat.

A nice group from a young Civil War soldier.

Accompanied by military records and a brief amount of internet research material.   [jet/ld]

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