General Sherman's Frock Coat
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This dark blue, double-breasted frock coat was worn by an U. S. Army Officer above the rank of lieutenant. According to G.A.R. records, this coat was worn by General William T. Sherman (1820-1891). The Coat has a mandarin-style upright collar and a form fitting torso section and a flared skirt with tails. The collar and cuffs are made of dark brown velvet. On the front are two rows of gold-colored, dome-shaped metal buttons with the U.S. National Eagle symbol. Each row has three sets of four buttons each. Back marks are difficult to read on some buttons, but those that are visible are stamped "D Evans one button is missing. Smaller versions of the same buttons are sewn on the cuffs, three per cuff. A small pocket is at the waist on the wearer's right. One fabric and one metal loop are on each shoulder. A metal hook-and-eye is sewn on the collar. The coat is lined with black quilted fabric in the torso area and plain black fabric at the skirt. The sleeves are lined with tan cotton cloth. Two pockets are inside the tails section. A cloth loop, white on one side and gold on the reverse with zigzag edges, is sewn just below the collar for hanging the coat on a hook. Sewn below loop is a rectangular cloth maker's label, which reads 'Brooks Brothers/Union Square/New York.' The dimensions of the frock coat are: chest 91 cm circumference, center back 92.5 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. For an online biography of General Sherman and an archival finding guide to his papers, see http://cawley.archives.nd.edu/MSHR.html Antebellum Society and the Civil War 16 History
|Brooks Brothers (Firm), New York|
|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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