MINTY CIVIL WAR HEAVY ARTILLERY SERGEANT’S COAT BY BOYLAN

$7,950.00 ON HOLD

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 2021-937

This is a beautiful, near mint example of the U.S. regulation enlisted man’s frock coat for heavy (or “foot”) artillery, nicely marked in the upper right sleeve, “1/ J.B. Boylan, Newark, N.J. / Contract Nov. 3d. 1864.” Boylan had been in business as a clothier since the 1840s and had numerous contracts with the government for sack coats, marine corps uniforms, veteran reserve corps jackets, zouave uniforms, cavalry jackets, etc. This is an excellent example of his work from his November 1864 contract for 25,000 artillery uniform coats.

The coat is fully regulation: nine-button front, two-button cuffs, and two buttons on the rear waist. The collar and functional cuffs are piped in red, the branch of service color for artillery, with the frock coat signifying heavy artillery versus the mounted service jackets for light artillery. The body is dark blue wool, lined in the chest and sides, with white sleeve linings and polished cotton lining in the tails, which include two pockets in addition to one in the left breast. The skirts are full length and unhemmed, as is correct. The buttons are the correct general service eagle buttons. The hook and eye are in place at the collar bottom.

The condition is outstanding. We see no mothing to the exterior. The interior shows some pulling to the lining where it meets the collar. At the wear’s left shoulder this has made a small opening on the lining at the collar seam. On the right there is some minor shredding of the lining as it pulled down from the collar seam. This exposes some underlying buckram, but could be stabilized and is pretty minor compared to the general state of the coat and the lining. There is just a minor pull along the seam of the right sleeve lining and body lining.

In addition to the Boylan contract markings in the upper right sleeve, the upper left sleeve bears a single line of lettering that we cannot make out, but seems to be stenciled and has a single dot. This could be an owner’s name, but may well be another, faded, Boylan marking using a dot instead of Roman numeral for the size, which in not uncommon in Civil War enlisted uniforms. We also note a single ink stroke in the upper right sleeve, perhaps placed there as a reminder of the size for when the Boylan maker stamp with the contract date was to be applied.

The coat mounts a pair of original Civil War regulation artillery sergeant chevrons of red worsted wool on a background patch trimmed to the edges of the stripes. The background is slightly darker than the coat, but that is fairly common on all NCO uniforms from the use of different dye lots. The attaching thread shows these were added to the coat for display by a collector. They could be removed, but look great.

The heavy artillery regiments usually drilled as infantry as well as artillery and played a key role in Grant’s 1864 Overland Campaign, where they not only worked on siege works at Petersburg and manned mortar batteries, but were involved in some of the heaviest infantry combat and suffered some of the heaviest casualties of the war. This is a wonderful example of their uniform, visually appealing, and made by a well-known contractor. It would make a great addition to a uniform collection.  [sr] [ph:m]

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