Frock Coat of Col. James George 2nd Minnesota Infantry



                                                    Col. James George, 2nd Minn. Infantry


                                   The Second Minnesota at Missionary Ridge


Frock Coat of Col. James George 2nd Minnesota Infantry – This fine Federal regulation officer’s, double-breasted frock coat was worn, during the Civil War, by Col. James George of the 2nd Minnesota Infantry.  The Second Minnesota Infantry served in the Army of the Ohio and Army of the Cumberland and participated in battles throughout the South including Mill Springs (January 1862), Corinth (October 1862), and Missionary Ridge (November 1863).  The regiment also served in Gen. William T. Sherman’s campaigns in Atlanta (May – September 1864) and the Carolinas (January – March 1865).

This frock coat is a superior example of a fine, period coat, displaying all of the inherent characteristics that typify a Civil War period, Union officer’s frock coat: un-hemmed coat skirts; tail pockets, lined with brown, polished cotton; wide, ballooned elbows; hand-whipped button holes; padded and quilted interior chest area lining; fine quality, Eagle I buttons; dark green, polished cotton or satinette skirt lining; skirt and body lengths approximately the same; combination of very fine, hand-stitching and treadle machine, chain stitching; white linen sleeve linings. In addition, Col. George’s name is very clearly inked in the middle of the interior back of the chest section of the coat. This coat was discovered, a number of years ago, in a Minneapolis costume company, affirmed by the company stamping on the inside of one of the upper sleeve areas. Although the coat is in overall wonderful condition, with great color and little fading, there are some slight areas of moth tracking. The costume company apparently removed the rank straps, although one can readily see where they were once affixed. The interior lining is somewhat unique, as it is a high quality, white linen, heavily quilted. This coat is a great coat; Id’d double-breasted officer frock coats are becoming most difficult to obtain; this coat was worn by a gallant officer, who was a commander in a veteran unit, that saw much action throughout the war. We also have two, period, military documents, signed by Col. George, that will accompany this coat. The new owner of the coat will be provided a notebook containing the results of our in depth research about Col. George. The extant image of James George, shown here on our site, may show the Colonel wearing this very frock coat.

Col. George enlisted in 1861 and was discharged in 1864. His record is as follows:

James George

Residence Wabashaw County MN; 42 years old.  Enlisted on 7/23/1861 at Wabasha County, MN as a Lieut Colonel.  On 7/23/1861 he was commissioned into Field & Staff MN 2nd Infantry  He Resigned & Disch disability on 6/29/1864  (Resigned owing to sickness)  Promotions: * Colonel 5/15/1862

 2nd MN Infantry
( 3-years )

Organized: Fort Snelling, MN on 6/1/61
Mustered Out: 7/11/65 at Louisville, KYOfficers Killed or Mortally Wounded: 2
Officers Died of Disease, Accidents, etc.: 2
Enlisted Men Killed or Mortally Wounded: 91
Enlisted Men Died of Disease, Accidents, etc.: 186
(Source: Fox, Regimental Losses)



Three Years

     Second Infantry.-Cols., H. P. VanCleve, James George,  Judson W. Bishop; Lieut.-Cols., Alexander Wilkin, Calvin S.  Uline; Majs., Simeon Smith, John B. Davis, John Moulton.  This  regiment was organized at Fort Snelling in June, July and  Aug., 1861, and was mustered in by companies as organized.   Co. A was ordered to Fort Ripley for garrison duty July 3, and  was followed by Co. F, a few days later.  B and C were ordered  to Fort Abercrombie and D and E to Fort Ridgely.  Maj. Smith  having been appointed paymaster in the regular army, Capt.  Alexander Wilkin, of the 1st Minn. Infantry, was appointed to  succeed him in the regiment.  The companies were recalled from  the garrisons in September and left the state Oct. 14, under  orders to report at Washington, but on reaching Pittsburg the  regiment was directed to go to Louisville.  From there it was  sent to Lebanon Junction for guard and picket duty and in  December, was assigned to the 3rd brigade, 1st division, Army  of the Ohio, Gen. George H. Thomas commanding.  On Jan. 1,  1862, it moved to Lebanon, where it joined the Mill Springs  campaign and was engaged in an almost hand-to-hand fight with  a regiment of the enemy at that battle, driving it back in  confusion and later taking possession of its tents and camp  equipage, of which the 2nd stood in need.  Returning to  Louisville, it moved towards Shiloh and reached there April 9,  too late to participate in the battle.  It pursued the  retreating Confederates and was in camp at Corinth until June  22.  Thence it went to Iuka Springs and Tuscumbia, encamped  for a month, then proceeded to Winchester, Pelham gap,  Murfreesboro and Nashville.  On Sept. 14, it started for  Louisville, which place was reached on the 26th, and in  October, it was at the head of the column in pursuit of the  retiring enemy, in a constant skirmish with the latter’s rear- guard.  It was in reserve at the battle of Perryville; was  then on short expeditions and guard duty at various points  until Nov. 25; then in camp near Gallatin, Tenn., until Jan.  29, 1863, and at Battle’s farm until March 2.  It participated  in brushes with the enemy near Triune, and in June, four  companies were engaged in keeping a body of the enemy’s  cavalry from cutting up the rear of the column.  It assisted  in driving the enemy out of Hoover’s gap and on July 1, drove  his picket line through Tullahoma.  It occupied Winchester  from July 18 to Aug. 16, was under fire at Chickamauga,  assisted in the repulse of Breckenridge’s division and stood  with Thomas in the heroic defense of Horseshoe ridge.  Its  loss in this engagement was 162 in killed and wounded.  It was  in the trenches about Chattanooga for two months, captured the  first breastworks at Missionary ridge, and was in the assault  which carried the crest.  In the battle the 2nd lost over 21  per cent, while that of the other regiments in the brigade was  8 per cent.  The regiment was specially mentioned in the  official report for the “gallant manner in which it carried  the rifle-pits at the foot of the ridge.”  On Dec. 25, about  four-fifths of the regiment reenlisted, being among the first  in the Army of the Cumberland to do so, and on Jan. 8, 1864,  the reenlisted men were furloughed home.  They returned in  March, joined the brigade at Ringgold, Ga., and the regiment  took part in the Atlanta campaign.  It was engaged in guard,  garrison and picket duty, light skirmishing, maneuvering and  intrenching at various points, until the battle of Jonesboro.  It moved from Atlanta in November, marched to Savannah, thence  north through the Carolinas, skirmishing as it went,  articipated in grand review at Washington, and was mustered  out at Louisville, July 10, 1865.






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