Confederate Civil War Shell Jacket
Impeccably Provenanced and Authenticated Confederate Civil War Enlisted Man's Jacket. Accompanied by a Period Ink Tag which is Inscribed. "Rebel Coat Captured by the Union Soldiers at Cumberland Gap". The rarity and importance of this coat cannot be overstated, and it is, without question, one of the most thoroughly documented and authenticated Confederate enlisted uniform coats to have surfaced in the last ten years. The coat is accompanied by a complete "Analysis Report" from noted conservator Fonda Thompson which, along with a highly detailed declension of fabric, thread and method of construction states that "The materials in and construction of this Confederate jacket are consistent with Civil War era uniforms... The Confederate jacket is intact, as originally constructed with no major alterations or repairs." She further states that the jacket "had a period of use but exhibits very little deterioration or damage." The five page report is accompanied by five pages of detailed drawings of the coat.
Also included is a detailed letter of authentication from noted Confederate uniform authority Les Jensen. Mr. Jensen identifies five other known jackets which have strong similarities to this coat, generally accepted to be regular issue Confederate "depot" coats, but as yet unidentified as to their specific point of origin. The jacket is made of a light brown cotton with a six piece body, including two front panels, two side back panels and two back panels with a center seam. There were six buttons on the front, 5/8" of two piece iron construction with iron shanks, overpainted in yellow ochre. Three of the original buttons remains, one of which is detached. The standup collar is1 3/8" high at the front and 1½" at the rear, the jacket being lined with unbleached cotton. The jacket shows notable wear at the edges of the cuffs, with one small area of loss just above the right cuff, also a number of scattered small holes, minor. Overall really wonderful untouched condition and very sound. There is an outside pocket, set at an angle, low on the left breast, the pocket bag being made of the same material that lines the jacket.
The accompanying tag is 2 1/16" x 4 3/8", on light card board stock, and was obviously pinned to the coat at some point. There is some indication the coat might have been captured by members of either the 16th or 44th Ohio, in the actions leading up to the Battle of Ft. Donelson. Obviously, both the Thompson and Jensen letters accompany the coat, along with all other materials related to the coat's provenance. A truly rare opportunity for the Confederate, or advanced Civil War, collector.