Federal Regulation Civil War Mounted Enlisted Man’s Overcoat
Federal Regulation Civil War Mounted Enlisted Man’s Overcoat - The Federal regulation overcoat for mounted enlisted men, remains one of the most iconic uniform elements of the Civil War; countless, period images depict soldiers wearing these coats. It has become very difficult to find decent examples of this coat now. This example was manufactured of the standard, Union issue, sky blue kersey wool; unlike the dismounted or infantry overcoat, this style of overcoat was double breasted, buttoning with two parallel sets of five, general service eagle buttons, on the front. (Most mounted overcoats exhibit two rows of six buttons, but several examples are extant with two rows of only five buttons – one example is in the Gettysburg National Park Museum collection). Per regulation, mounted overcoats were double breasted, and originally had a cape extending to each cuff. This example had its cape removed during the period of use, as many soldiers did – many greatly disliked the capes, as evidenced by several period images of soldiers with cape-less overcoats. The original, wool, tightening belt, with its two buttons, remains intact, on the back of the coat. This adjustable belt was made of two strips of wool, about seven inches long, per strip. There are two buttonholes on the left strip with one button on the right strip. The collar for this mounted style of overcoat, also per regulation, was a layover version – the infantry coat had a stand-up type of collar. Inside the collar are five lines of stitching running completely around the collar’s interior. The un-hemmed bottom of the coat has the typically longer split opening, to accommodate a rider in the saddle. This greatcoat is in excellent condition, with great color. There are no areas of insect damage, with the exception of one or two holes in the interior lining. This interior lining is in excellent condition and was constructed of a dark blue, coarse, kersey wool. Both sleeves are lined with the original, white cotton or linen lining. Both high folded cuffs are present, per regulation. The U.S. inspector’s stamp is clearly visible in the right side body of the interior lining; the stamping was done in a white paint-like substance. This coat is an actually issued and worn in the field example, evidenced by some minor wear and sweat staining in the neck area. The mounted overcoat is an essential aspect of any Civil War uniform collection.