MILITIA TAIL COAT FROM UTICA CITIZENS CORPS

$325.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 14-1848

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Original 1870s-1880s Utica Citizens Corps uniform jacket. This is a blue double-breasted tail coat featuring two rows of nine “UCC” buttons on the front. The 1 ¼” high collar bears attractive bullion “olive branch” embroidery. Shoulders have remnants of metal tabs for shoulder boards that were added much later. Each cuff has four “UCC” cuff buttons seated within raised gold bullion “ribbons” which in turn are sewn upon a buff colored scalloped base. The back splits into two narrow tails. Two large “UCC” buttons are positioned at the waist above the split. A four-cuff-button ornament similar to that on the sleeves is found on each tail. The tails themselves are decorated to appear as older-style “gathered” tails. Here that appearance is achieved by buff-colored cloth piped in red that is sewn on the tails in such a way and ornamented with a bullion “star”. Sleeves are lined in white cotton, the interior body is lined in a green material that is quilted at the chest. Both sleeves are stamped “Dr. James G. Hunt / No. 4 Lansing St. Utica, N.Y.”  “Dr. Hunt” also appears in red ink.  The coat shows heavy wear. There are splits and tears to the lining on the interior. The outside remains very attractive (especially with all the brass buttons and bullion). The collar has a split seam at the top of the neck, the shoulders have tabs that were applied sloppily and should be removed, and there are small nips and several repairs overall. There are a few “chews” on the front buff-colored edge of one tail.

James Gillespie Hunt (1845-1914) lived in Utica his whole life. He apparently he did not serve in the military during the Civil War. The construction of this coat, as well as his name stamped with “Dr.” date this to post-Civil War manufacture, probably 1870s or 1880s.

The UCC was a militia company from Utica New York that served in many wars from the War of 1812 through WW2.  It was one of the first groups to volunteer when Lincoln called for recruits at the beginning of the Civil War. In 1808, a group of Utica citizens formed the Utica Independent Infantry Company and volunteered to serve as a separate company of the 134th Infantry New York State Militia during the War of 1812 where it was stationed at Sackett’s Harbor during the harsh winter of 1813-1814.  After the war, the Utica Independent Infantry Company reverted to private status and became a regular feature in local ceremonies and parades. Membership and interest for the Independent Infantry Company declined throughout the 1830s and on December 20, 1837, Captain E.K. Barnum, a regular Army officer, founded the Utica Citizens Corps with renewed enthusiasm.  For more than two decades, the UCC enjoyed great popularity as an independent military unit, functioning as a respected social club and providing an important military spirit for community events and celebrations. With the outbreak of the Civil War, the UCC immediately volunteered and was accepted as Company A of the 14th New York Volunteer Infantry to serve for two years (not to be confused with the 14th Brooklyn).  The 14th NY served in Virginia and participated in many skirmishes and battles including the Seven Days’ Battle, Antietam, and Fredericksburg. The unit was mustered out in May of 1863.  [jet]

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