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 Early Civil War Rifleman’s Jacket:

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Nombre de messages : 3913
Age : 59
Localisation : LYON
Points : 3110
Date d'inscription : 29/06/2006

MessageSujet: Early Civil War Rifleman’s Jacket:    Dim 10 Juil - 6:32

A most intriguing piece of uniform cloth. Originally surfacing from an ancient Kentucky collection and sold by the collector’s widow two decades ago …this jacket is as fresh an item as I have seen lately. It was sent to me by the man who bought it from the widow way back then. First of all it is a pattern of jacket I have never previously encountered. Note the rifleman’s green cord piping around the edges and on the cuffs, and the matching Eagle “R” rifleman’s buttons on the front and cuffs. I have never seen another jacket with such piping and buttons on grey wool. The grey wool initially makes one think the jacket may be Confederate… and there is a good chance it was worn by a southerner. But examining the coat closely we see evidence of it being better quality than most rebel jackets and the presence of matching US regulation rifleman’s buttons would tend to indicate the coat was made for a militia unit as opposed to a Confederate contract. In my opinion this is likely the coat of an 1860 to 1861 Kentucky rifle regiment (or company)… but there is no way to know for certain. The size is small --- conforming to a size 2 army coat. The body is a tannish grey wool --- very soft and showing some pilling of the nap. The soft texture of the wool indicates that the jacket was likely laundered during the mid 20th century. The coat is entirely hand sewn. The lining is a fine tan cotton, filled with an oakum or batting fiber filler and hand quilted. The sleeves are lined in the same tan cotton. The green piping is a woven cord and the buttons are pre war US Rifleman’s examples. The two interior pocket linings are brown polished cotton. The button holes are top quality hand stitched examples. The sleeves have a marvelously wide balloon at the elbow and an equally fabulous narrow cuff --- looking much like the jacket John Mosby wore while posing with his rangers. The jacket has 9 large eagle “R” buttons up the front and three smaller ones on each cuff. There are some some minor areas of discoloration on the sleeves and on the inside lining, but nothing serious. It is 100% free of any repairs or moth damage. This looks for all the world like a Johnny Reb coat and there is a very good chance it was indeed worn by a southern soldier. But my experience tells me that it is a militia Rifleman’s jacket that was made circa 1860.

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