Mid-19th Century American Militia Coatee


Mid-19th Century American Militia Coatee – We can date this fine and colorful coatee as originating between 1855 and 1875. The coatee is constructed of a fine, broadcloth wool, cotton and linen, with vivid colors of red, white and blue. The original, dress epaulettes are still attached to each shoulder. The interior of the coatee is padded and quilted; the interior lining appears to be cotton, dyed to a shade of light brown. The sleeve linings are also of cotton, but white and of a near linen quality. The construction of the coatee was accomplished with a combination of treadle machine and hand sewing. The buttons are a combination of Civil War and 1870s U.S. staff officer’s buttons, both coat and cuff size. The coatee remains in overall excellent condition, with some minor stress pulls, but little to no insect damage. As mentioned, the colors remain vivid, and the bullion decorative cording is in excellent condition. As for specific date of origin, the quilting and buckram reinforcement in the coatee’s collar are indicative of an earlier, as opposed to a later date. Many pre-Civil War state units, both North and South, had militia regiments outfitted with coatees like this example.

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