Civil War Frock Coat
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This navy blue frock coat is part of the uniform that belonged to Captain Benson Wood, 34th Illinois Infantry. Accompanying the coat are Captain Wood's blue wool pants. The captain's shoulder straps are sewn at the shoulders. Nine gold colored metal buttons are stamped with eagle and the letter 'I', indicating Infantry unit. A hook-and-eye is sewn on the stand-up collar. The torso is lined with olive-green, quilted polished cotton. The skirt is lined in olive-green polished cotton. The sleeves are lined with tan cotton. There are three small buttons at each cuff. The buttons are miniatures of the buttons on chest. There is an inside pocket on the wearer's left side. The lower back of the coat has two pleats, four U. S. Army Infantry buttons and a slit (46.5 cm long) in the center and two slits, one on each side of the center slit, each 22.5 cm long. One deep pocket is in each skirt. A cloth loop is sewn below the collar. All chest and skirt buttons, except one, are stamped on back "Extra/ Quality", the remaining button is stamped "Waterbury Button Co./Waterbury CONN." Two cuff buttons have no back marks and three are marked "SCOVILLS/EXTRA". The dimensions of this single-breasted frock coat are: chest 74 cm circumference, center back 96.5 cm long. The frock coat was the characteristic formal garment of the period under consideration (1851-1872). It was the everyday coat of the civilian of even moderate means and the standard uniform coat of the military. . . .The military frock coat was what the French called a tunique, a fitted garment with body and skirts cut separately except for the center of the back. The skirts could be as wide or long and the waist as narrow as desired. The coat was double breasted for field and general officers, with the two rows of buttons arranged in patterns to indicate the rank of the wearer, and single breasted for all others." Todd, Frederick P. American Military Equipage: 1851-1872. (Providence, R. I.: The Company of Military Historians, 1974), p. 55. Antebellum Society and the Civil War 16 History
|University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign|
|University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University Library|
|United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865|
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