Very Rare Zouave Sergeant's Jacket of Famed 146th New York. This absolutely stunning and extremely scarce jacket was worn by an unidentified non-commissioned officer of Garrard's Tigers, one of New York's most celebrated fighting regiments. The typical short, collarless jacket is constructed from the same sky-blue kersey as other Federal issue garments and is trimmed completely around by thin yellow cording and ½" yellow worsted tape. The same tape makes a chevron on each cuff and on each chest panel are matching tombo of 5/8" tape. Perhaps the most striking part of this colorful garment are the original sergeant's chevrons of ½" yellow worsted tape sewn to a dark blue background which are affixed to each sleeve just above the elbow. The double vented back is spanned by four short lengths of yellow cording and each of the functional cuffs is closed by three small general service buttons (one missing). For closure, a simple hook and eye are set into the opening of the collar. The interior is lined with a colorful red/ green/ orange plaid lining typical of uniforms made at Philadelphia's Schuylkill Arsenal. Each sleeve is lined in a coarse, heavy cotton. In one is stamped "2/SA" denoting the size and arsenal. The other sleeve bears the inspector's stamp "14." The coat shows honest period use but is in exceptionally fine condition, with almost no fading or soiling and only the most minor moth nips and one or two negligible holes.
Formed in 1862 under command of Col. Kenner Garrard, the 146th New York Volunteers did not begin service as a "zouave" unit. But, after it was decided to create a Zouave Brigade in the Army of the Potomac, Garrard's men received new uniforms of this striking pattern in June 1863 and wore them into the battle of Gettysburg as part of the Fifth Corps, fighting heroically at Little Round Top. They continued to wear them through the remainder of their service. The 146th was the only unit in Federal service to receive zouave uniforms made from the light blue kersey and not the darker blue uniform cloth, making this jacket even more distinctive. None finer.