INDIAN WAR 8TH INFANTRY OFFICER’S COAT AND TROUSERS IDENTIFIED TO CIVIL WAR VETERAN

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Item Code: 1025-02

This is an Indian War-era (1870s) officer’s dress uniform identified to lieutenant Frank Adams of the 8th U.S. Infantry. Here are his dress frock coat and trousers. Identified by pen-and-ink inscription inside the collar as well as a paper tag pinned to the breast of the coat.

Adams was 21 years old when he enlisted in the 15th Pennsylvania Cavalry on August 11, 1862 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mustered in at Carlisle and later transferred to Company M. He served with the unit in Virginia and in Tennessee. The regiment took part in the Murfreesboro Campaign. On July 7, 1863 he was discharged from the 15th Pennsylvania to accept a commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 2nd New Jersey Cavalry. He served through the end of the war, and into his regiment's post-war occupation duty in the South. He was commissioned as Captain of Company I, but was never mustered into that rank, as he was honorably mustered out on November 1, 1865.  Early the next year he enlisted in the Regular Army, and was commissioned on February 23, 1866 as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 15th United States Regular Infantry. Transferred to 33rd United States Regular Infantry on September 21, 1866, he served here until May 1869, being promoted to 1st Lieutenant on January 17, 1867.  He became regimental Adjutant on August 24, 1868. On May 3, 1869 he was transferred to the 8th United States Regular Infantry, where he would serve until his death on July 28, 1880. He is buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia.

The coat is that of field grade infantry officer and is made of dark blue broadcloth. The condition of the exterior is excellent. Moth damage is limited to one or two small tracks. The exterior seams remain strong and tight. There are two ornate shoulder boards mounted on the coat. These have blue fields with ¼” gold cord woven over the top and around the edge. A bullion-thread “8” and lieutenant bars are on the “pillow” and a bright eagle “I” button secures each to the coat.

There are two parallel rows of seven buttons down the front. All remain tightly sewn in place. All are bright infantry “I” buttons and have “D. EVANS & CO. ATTLEBORO MASS” back marks.  There are three buttons on each functional cuff; also “I” buttons. Two more “I” buttons are each sewn in place atop a 4” high double-stripe of embroidered ribbon. These are found on the cuff just in front of the other three cuff buttons.  Four large infantry “I” buttons also remain in place amid the pleats on the tails.

The interior of the coat is also in excellent condition. The polished cotton lining is present and complete in the chest, back and skirts. Chest area has ribbed quilting with a horizontal left breast pocket. Pocket lining is good. Sleeves are lined with a striped white polished cotton. There are no tail pockets in the coat. The inside of the collar is lined with black velvet. There is a 3 ½” “coat hook” in the collar with “F T Adams” written on the underside.

The trousers are excellent and retain a beautiful blue color. I find only a single pencil-point sized moth hole near the knee and a small hole and track along the side stripe near the bottom of the leg. There is a 1 ½” wide black stripe running down the outside of each leg. Pants have back and front-side pockets as well as smaller watch/key pockets. All suspender buttons are present around the waist. A beautiful pair of trousers!

An attractive 1870s officer’s dress frock and trousers with great identification.  [jet]

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