Artillery Captain's Frock Coat

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Description and Photograph

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     The stunning frock coat shown here was worn by Captain Hugh Richardson Garden.  The details of Captain Gardenís service follow, but the short version is that Captain Garden has a War record from the first battle to the last battle that is second to none in the Confederacy. Including:

Blackburnís Ford VA (18 July 1861)                                                                   1st Bull Run VA (21 July 1861)                                                       Rappahannock Station VA (23 AUG 1862)
2nd Bull Run VA (28 - 30 AUG 1862)
South Mountain VA (14 SEP 1862)
Sharpsburg VA (17 SEP 1862)
Fredericksburg VA (13 DEC 1862)
Gettysburg PA (1-3 JUL 1863)
Bristoe Campaign (9 - 22 OCT 1863)
Mine Run Campaign VA (NOV - DEC 1863)
The Wilderness VA (5 - 6 MAY 1864)
Spotsylvania Court House VA (8 - 21 MAY 1864)
North Anna VA (23 - 26 MAY 1864)
Cold Harbor VA (1 - 3 JUN 1864)
Petersburg Siege VA (JUN 1864 - APR 1865)
Appomattox Court House VA (9 APR 1865)                                                     

     His record is rife with acclaim for bravery, fortitude and good judgment.  His deeds of valor are mentioned in the Confederate official records.

     Hugh Richardson Garden was born on July 9, 1840 in Sumter, South Carolina.  In 1860 he graduated from the South Carolina College in Columbia, South Carolina.  South Carolina College was founded in 1801 and it became one of the most influential colleges in the South before 1861.  It offered a traditional classical curriculum.  It quickly earned a reputation as the training ground for South Carolina's antebellum elite.  The class of 1860 reads like a whoís who of South Carolina military officers.  Barnwell, McQueen, Haskell, Anderson, Dubose, Dupont, Garden, Hill, Wardlaw, Gadsden, Minninger, Richardson, Stuart, Witherspoon, McCreary, Gregg, Gerrard, Keitt and a host of others.      

     Garden attended the South Carolina secession convention and took great interest in South Carolinaís military affairs.  Though he was a member of South Carolinaís aristocracy, Garden enlisted as a simple private in the Sumter Guard under Captain Richardson on April 9, 1861.  The company was mustered into service as company D, 2nd South Carolina Infantry under illustrious Colonel Joseph Brevard Kershaw.  Garden was recognized as a leader from the very beginning.  Only ten days after his enlistment, the entire regiment elected him as color bearer.  Shortly thereafter the regiment was transported to the northern Virginia seat of War.

     While serving under General Bonham, on July 17, the South Carolinians where attacked at Fairfax and fell back to Bull Run.  They fought at Blackburnís Ford on July 18th and they played a significant part in the great battle on the 21st of July 1861.  The 2nd South Carolina was in the charge at Henry House Hill and the famous charge of Rickettís Battery.  Through it all, Sergeant Garden bore the colors at the head of the regiment.

     Garden continued to carry the colors through the fall and winter of 1861.  The regiment was reorganized in February of 1862 at which time Sergeant Garden reenlisted as a private.  Then he obtained a twenty-one day furlough and traveled to Richmond, Virginia where he received authorization from the War Department to raise a battery of South Carolina artillery at his own expense.  In 1862, 22 year old Hugh Garden stood 5í 11Ē.  He had black eyes and black hair.

     Returning to South Carolina he proceeded to make contracts for cannon, carriages, harness, and all the implements necessary to a battery.  He had six guns cast at Columbia, SC; unfortunately, all six burst at trial due to the inferior metal used in their casting.  He then began to collect church bells and any and everything made of brass that could be found in the Columbia area.  He had six brass twelve pounders cast from the material he had gathered.  These guns suited the purpose well.  He also raised a company of 150 men, who promptly elected him Captain. His battery was known officially as the ďPalmetto Light ArtilleryĒ, but was usually referred to as ďGardens Battery.Ē  Gardenís now fully equipped and staffed battery began the trek to Virginia on April 27, 1862.  Gardenís Battery was attached to Hamptonís Legion, but Hampton was shortly transferred to cavalry command and Gardenís Battery served in General John Hoodís artillery battalion, under Major B.W. Frobel.  Confederate Military History states that Gardenís Battery fought in the Seven Days battles around Richmond and then moved to Manassas.  Gardenís Battery played a prominent role in the battle of Second Manassas.  Major Frobelís official report of the action follows:

CAMP NEAR FREDERICK, MD.,
September 9, 1862.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of the participation of the batteries under my command in the battles of Friday and Saturday, August 29 and 30:

     At 11 a.m. on Friday I was ordered by General Hood to proceed to the right of the turnpike road and report to General Stuart.  This I did with Captain Bachman's battery, Reilly being already in position on the left, and Garden having no long-range pieces.  General Stuart had selected a position near the Orange and Alexandria Railroad; the battery was brought up and immediately opened with marked effect on a column of the enemy moving to the right, which at once changed direction, moving rapidly to the left.  Fifteen rounds were fired, when, the distance being greatly increased, I ordered Captain Bachman to cease firing.  At 1 p.m. Captain Reilly was ordered to the left of the turnpike and to take position with other batteries on a hill commanding the hills near Groveton House, where the enemy had several batteries strongly posted.  Immediately afterward I proceeded with Captain Bachman's battery to the same position, Captain Garden's being considered of too short range to be effective there.  The position assigned us was on the extreme left, both batteries passing through a heavy fire in reaching it.  After being hotly engaged for two hours and a half and firing about 100 rounds the enemy ceased firing and withdrew his guns.  We were then ordered to return to the road for the purpose of replenishing our ammunition.

     At 3 p.m. on Saturday I was ordered by General Longstreet to proceed down the turnpike with the batteries and take position on the left of the road, opening fire on the enemy's batteries posted in an orchard near Dogan's House.  Immediately after I was ordered to change position to the right of the road and advance, which was done, Captain Reilly taking position on the hill in front of Groveton House, engaging the batteries immediately in front under a terrific fire, while Bachman's battery advanced still farther, passing through the woods to the right and assisted by the howitzer section of Reilly's battery, under command of Lieutenant Myers, opened on the flank.  In changing position Captain Bachman had one of his rifle guns disabled. Both batteries were handled with great skill and effect, and the fire of the enemy soon silenced. It being near dark and the ammunition exhausted, Reilly and Bachman were ordered to withdraw.

     In the mean time I was ordered by General Longstreet to advance Captain Garden's battery in the field on the left of the road.  This was done, and a flanking fire opened on the batteries near Dogan's House.  We were soon, however, ordered to cease, as Colonel Law's brigade was advancing in the opposite direction on the same point, the Federals at the same time manifesting great energy in the rapidity of their movement down the turnpike and Sudley Ford roads. Captain Garden, with two other batteries, continued to pursue until the Sudley [Ford] road was reached, when, not being able to distinguish friend from foe in the darkness, the battery was finally withdrawn.

     Of the conduct of officers and men in both engagements I cannot speak in terms too high. Captains Bachman and Garden handled their batteries with great skill, while Reilly sustained his old and well cemented reputation.  Lieutenant [R.] Siegling, a gallant young officer attached to Bachman's battery, fell seriously (supposed to be mortally) wounded at his guns, setting an example of cool bravery not often equaled.

Enclosed you will find a list of the killed and wounded.

I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant.

 B. W. FROBEL,

 Major and Chief of Artillery, Commanding.                                                   

     Gardenís Battery saw limited action at South Mountain on September 14, but on September 17, 1862 the Battery was in the thick of the fight at Sharpsburg.  In the early afternoon, Gardenís Battery is posted on the extreme right at Burnsideís Bridge.  Here they played a conspicuous part in keeping the Yankees at bay for five hours which gave A.P. Hillís division time to arrive on the field.  Gardenís Battery was in the hottest of the fight as demonstrated by his losses.  The battery lost nine horses killed outright and five more wounded.  His battery also suffered twelve casualties and had two of his guns disabled, yet he remained calm at his post until out of ammunition and brought his guns off safely.  Major Frobelís after action report follows:

O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XIX/1 [S# 27]

OCTOBER 1, 1862.

Capt. W.H. SELLERS,
Assistant Adjutant-General.

  CAPTAIN: In compliance with orders to report the participation of the batteries under my command in the recent engagements before Sharps-burg, I would respectfully submit the following:
     After bringing up the rear on the march from Boonsborough, Captains Reilly's and Bachman's batteries were placed in position by Colonel Walton, about noon on Monday, September 15, on a hill to the right of the turnpike road and a short distance in front of Antietam, Garden's battery being held in reserve, in case the enemy should attempt an advance by a bridge over the Antietam, still farther to the right.  We held these positions on Monday night.  On Tuesday a fierce cannonade was kept up between our batteries and those of the enemy, in which Captain Reilly was ordered by Colonel Walton to participate until his rifle ammunition was exhausted, but without any perceptible result. Bachman's battery was at the same time exposed to a heavy fire, but had orders not to reply.  Tuesday night we occupied the same positions.
     On Wednesday morning the battle was again renewed.  Captain Reilly was sent to the rear to replenish, if possible, his exhausted ammunition.  At 8 a.m. Captain Bachman, with a section of Napoleon guns, was ordered to proceed to the extreme left of our line and report to General Longstreet.  Shortly after, he was placed in position in a corn-field and opened on the enemy, distance 150 yards.  The position was exposed to the fire of the enemy's sharpshooters, who occupied a wood not more than 50 yards off.  In a few minutes the section lost 3 men wounded (2 mortally) and 6 horses killed.  Finding that to continue longer would involve the loss of his guns, Captain Bachman withdrew to a hill near by, and reported the section disabled, on account of the loss of men and horses. I ordered him to retire for the purpose of repairing damages.  In the mean time his rifle section was hotly engaged near the turnpike.  This section was in charge of Sergeant Schlemmermeyer, who fought his guns most gallantly and remained in position until all his ammunition was expended.
     At 2 p.m. I received orders from Major-General Jones to prepare to hold the road leading from the bridge over the Antietam on our extreme right.  A few minutes after, the enemy was reported advancing, the infantry near the bridge at the same time giving way.  I immediately placed Garden's battery in position on the left of the road.  The enemy had crossed the bridge and were advancing rapidly, under cover of a furious fire from all their batteries concentrated upon us, when Garden opened a most destructive fire upon them, and, assisted by a rifle section under Captain Squires, soon drove them back.  Fearing they might yet turn us by passing still farther to the right, I directed Captain Garden to look well to the road and woods in front of him, while I proceeded to the right in search of General Jones. On arriving at the top of the hill on the right of the road, the enemy was seen advancing in strong force in that direction.  By permission of General Jones, I placed Captain Brown's Battery in position at this point.  The enemy were distant about 400 yards when he opened a hot and well-directed fire upon them, breaking their ranks and driving them back to the cover of a hill from which they had just advanced.  At this time, large bodies of the enemy (infantry and artillery) were moving on the opposite side of the river.  When near the bridge they halted some ten or fifteen minutes.  I immediately sent to Captain Reilly to come up, as the guns then in position were all short range and could not reach them or the bridge.  Being without ammunition, only his howitzer section was available.  I at once placed it in position.  The enemy had, in the mean time, advanced some eight or ten guns across the river and placed them in front of us.  Under fire of these, assisted by all their long-range batteries on the opposite bank, their line advanced.  Their sharpshooters, at the same time, opened a hot fire on us from a corn-field on our right, a stone fence in front, and a wood and orchard near by.  Our batteries immediately replied, and continued their fire until the line was broken and the enemy recoiled.  At this time they were distant less than 100 yards.  Our ammunition was exhausted. One of Captain Garden's guns was dismounted, the carriage being entirely destroyed; another, rendered utterly useless by the bursting of a shell, while from one of Captain Reilly's pieces all the horses had been killed.  But three guns remained fit for service, and they were without ammunition. Having run the pieces to the rear by hand and secured our disabled guns (the enemy all the time advancing and firing upon us), I ordered the batteries to retire.  In passing to the turnpike, Lieutenant Ramsay, in command of the rifle section of Captain Reilly's battery, came up to our support.  At that time the enemy occupied the position we had just left and were advancing in line.  I ordered Lieutenant Ramsay to take position in the field to the right of the road and open, which he did, soon breaking their line and throwing them in great confusion.  At this time General A.P. Hill came up, and, charging, drove them from the field.
     I regret to report that First Lieutenant [S. M.] Pringle, of Garden's battery, after fighting his guns most gallantly, fell, late in the day, mortally wounded, and has since died.
     I cannot too highly applaud the conduct of both officers and men.  Captains Bachman and Reilly fought their batteries with their usual determination and devotion to the cause.  Captain Garden, Lieutenants [James] Simons, jr., Myers, Ramsay, and Sergeant Schlemmermeyer deserve particular notice for their gallant Conduct during the battle, and also Assistant Surgeon Buist, for his attention to the sick.  Actg. Adjt. W.L. Scott rendered me great assistance, and is entitled to my warmest thanks. Enclosed you will find a list of the killed and wounded.

I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
B. W. FROBEL,
Major and Chief of Artillery, Commanding.

     After the Sharpsburg fight Gardenís Battery was rewarded with six 12 pound Napoleons captured in the fight.  The battery was held in reserve at the battle of Fredericksburg, fought the following December.  The battery served in the Suffolk, Virginia campaign before being transferred to General Pickettís Division under Major James Dearing in mid April, 1863.  In May, the battery returned to the Army of Northern Virginia in time to march with the Army into Pennsylvania.  The end of June found Captain Gardner marching from Chambersburg, enroute to Gettysburg.  Garden arrived on the Confederate right on July 2nd and fought and shelled the Yankee position above Devilís Den from 3:45 until dark in support of General Hoodís advance and capture of Devilís Den.

     On that fateful July 3rd, 1863 Gardenís Battery was put in support of Pickettís Charge.  One of Gardenís guns and four guns from the Washington Artillery were the only guns to move forward with the infantry assault and at times actually moved ahead of the infantry!  Gardenís 12 pound howitzer was disabled in the attack and Captain Gardner personally led a team to recover the gun.  Seven brave men went forward with their captain to recover the disabled gun: Lt. W. Alexander McQueen (wounded), Sgt. Matthew E. Haynesworth,  Pvt. James Henry Haynesworth,  Cpl. Robert Small (wounded, died July 7th)  Pvt. Charles Haynesworth (wounded),    Pvt. Thomas McIntosh (wounded, died July 4th), Pvt. William Moultrie Reid, Pvt. James Merrick Reid, and "Bill" Grady.                 

     November to December found Gardenís Battery posted along Mine Run.  After a dull winter the battery found itself in action in the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, North Anna and Cold Harbor.  July found the battery fighting at the Crater outside of Petersburg, Virginia.  During this battle the battery was lobbing mortar shells into the pit.

     By October Gardenís Battery posted north of the James River under battalion Major John Haskell, an old classmate from the South Carolina College.  The battalion shared in the repulse of the Yankee troops on the Darbytown and New Market roads.  During the battle of Fort Harrison the Battalion performed with their accustomed energy and success.  On this occasion Major Haskell, received a grazing wound on the head from a minie-ball, and Lieutenant McQueen, of Gardenís Battery was severely wounded during the first days battle.  The battery was slightly engaged again the following day.  The battalion spent the winter months in the Petersburg trenches, holding the line at Drewryís Bluff.

     Once forced out of the Petersburg lines the Battery moved with the Army to Farmville where they once again went into action on April 7, 1865.  On the following day Captain Gardner was directed to abandon his guns, but to keep his horses in case the situation improved.  On April 9, General Lee is forced to surrender at Appomattox Court House and Captain Garden makes a parole list of his remaining men: 14 officers, 25 men and 8 horses.    

     Captain Garden lived a charmed life.  He enlisted April 9, 1861 and served until April 9, 1865.  In the beginning he bore the 2nd South Carolina regimental battle flag and he served an active battery which fought on many of the hottest fields of the Army of Northern Virginia, yet he passed through all of this unscathed.

     Shortly after the War, Captain Garden moved to Warrenton, Virginia in Fauquier County, where he practiced law for the next 15 years, and then later to New York City where he founded the New York chapter of the Confederate Veterans organization.  He also became a doctor and botanist in later years and was the creator of his namesake the Gardenia.  When he retired he moved back to Sumter, South Carolina, where he is buried.

     This coat was offered for sale earlier at $65,000.00, but because there is a debate within the collecting community as to whether or not the Horstmann Bros & Allien/NY marked South Carolina buttons are circa 1861-1865 or post-war, I pulled it from the market to allow time to do extensive chemical analysis.  After sampling and testing every different dye and fiber used in the coatís manufacturer and examination by Fonda Thomsen of Textile Preservation Association, it can be stated with total certainty that the coat is Captain Gardenís war time frock coat.  After the War all military buttons had to be covered or removed from Confederate uniforms and it is possible that the buttons were put on after the War because the Captainís had been confiscated, or perhaps because it had been adorned with Federal buttons and he wished to replace them with South Carolina buttons to use the coat for social or political occasions, or they may be war era, the jury is still out.  Because of this, the value of the buttons has been totally discounted and the price has been lowered by $15,500.00. 

     The double breasted officerís frock coat is adorned with seventeen South Carolina buttons with Horstmann Bros & Allien/NY and six eagle staff officer buttons all of which have Scoville backmarks.  The coat has scattered moth damage to the exterior but no restoration has been done inside or out.  ďH.R. Garden P.L. Art.Ē  (Palmetto Light Artillery) is written in ink on the inside of the right tail pocket.

     Captain Gardenís frock coat was originally collected by John S. Mosby Camp, Sons of Confederate Veterans member John Buchele, of Alexandria, Virginia.

     The coat is accompanied by a full chemical and textile analysis from Old South Military Antiques LLC, Shannon Pritchard and Textile Preservation Association, Fonda Thomsen.

 

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