ORIGINAL CIVIL WAR FEDERAL CAVALRYMAN’S SHELL JACKET IN GOOD USED CONDITION

$2,200.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 862-06

Here is an original Union cavalry uniform jacket, also referred to as a shell jacket, in used condition. This type of jacket was worn by countless Federal horse soldiers during the Civil War.

Garment is constructed of fine wool material dyed a deep indigo blue with the blue color still strong. Cloth body exhibits virtually no visible moth nips or holes so common in these wool garments. Jacket features a standup collar with a black japanned hook and eye stitched in. Approximately 2.50” tall with 3/8” wide, cavalry-yellow piping or lacing decorating the edges, collar is adorned with two, cuff size, eagle ‘shield’ brass buttons set back on each side. Both buttons are offset by additional short strips of yellow braid. Collar braid is bright, tight, and free of any seam separations at the center outside or inside seam as normally seen. Jacket front reflects the common 12-button closure with twelve, original brass eagle ‘shield’ buttons securely sewn to the flap edge. All buttons but two have no marker marks. The button on the left cuff appears to have a “WATERBURY” back mark while the fourth button up from the bottom is marked “SCOVILLE.” Buttonholes show light wear. Both sleeve cuffs are non-functional. Cuffs also exhibit the chevron-style, yellow braid. Cavalry braiding also runs down the opposite (button hole) flap, circles around the entire bottom edge of the jacket and rises to each shoulder from the two belt-rest pads sewn on the jacket backside. Both lower side seams show evidence of an attempt at tailoring. The lower portion of these seams has the material doubled over on itself and crudely sewn down making the jacket fit a smaller body. Just when this alteration was done is not certain but it looks to be old.

Interior body of this uniform jacket is poor condition and shows signs of much use. There is no lining in the center of the back while both sides and chest have brown cotton lining. Sleeves are lined with green and red plaid. The armpit and shoulder areas of the liner are faded, have numerous stress separations, some patched areas and dark sweat stains. Left breast has a deep “homemade” pocket. The sleeve lining is good at top while one cuff area has worked loose and needs resewn. There are no visible markings in the upper sleeves.

The shell jacket proved to be a tough, light and very serviceable garment worn by Union cavalry troopers and mounted artillerymen during the war. Less expensive than the frock coats, these jackets were prescribed for issue to all mounted men in the Federal army.

Cavalry jackets are becoming difficult to find and this specimen surely saw use. It would make a wonderful addition to any Civil War cavalry display.  [ad]

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