|Description and Photograph||
In June of 1861, when the CS Inspector Generalís office issued orders to cloth the 6000 men of the Confederate Regular Army in double breasted, skirted tunics, no one could fathom that four years of war lay ahead or, that it would cost hundreds of thousands of lives and consume millions of uniforms.
As men flocked to the Southís standard, it quickly became apparent that there would be no extra cloth for skirts, nor buttons to spare for mere ornamentation. Consequently, Confederate quartermasters established clothing depots to manufacture and issue a much more practical single breasted jacket. Hundreds of thousands of these jackets were manufactured and issued during the War. Because a poor private who managed to survive the War still had to survive the peace, the average private could ill afford to lay such a practical jacket aside; more often he went back to farming in it and in a short while used it up. These enlisted menís jackets are extremely rare, much more so than the oft seen officerís frock coat because the returning Confederate officer was typically more affluent than the private and thus more likely to preserve his Confederate uniform coat.
Of the few variegated Confederate jackets that do survive, still fewer can be positively linked to a specific depot. However, thanks to Les Jensonís extensive research, the different patterns made at the Richmond Depot can be identified by their cut and the materials used in their construction. This is the only known Regulation Third Depot with contemporaneous regulation blue infantry piping on the sleeves.
The Richmond Depot Third Pattern is the standard single breasted nine button jacket made of cadet gray wool kersey. The jacket is fastened with eight, remaining Federal infantry cuff buttons that have Fine Gold Plate back marks and are original to the jacket. The four ornamental cuff buttons on the sleeves are also original and have blank back marks. The sleeves are lined with a cotton osnaburg.
The body of the jacket has an incredibly attractive striped, coarse homespun inner liner with two breast pockets lined with osnaberg. The extensive bleeding of the lining dye was caused by the wearerís heavy perspiration which only embellishes the jacketís historical perspective and brings it to life.
Though the exceptionally good condition of this jacket sets it apart from its erstwhile peers, the regulation infantry blue piping that outlines the cuff promote it to the realm of peerless.
The coat will be accompanied by a full report from Americaís fore-most authority on original Confederate uniforms.