Nine Button Federal Issue M1858 Infantry Enlisted Man’s Frock Coat

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Nine Button Federal Issue M1858 Infantry Enlisted Man’s Frock Coat – Prior to the Civil War, in accordance with U.S. Army regulation, all infantry troops were to be issued a frock coat for normal service wear.  Many photographs taken during the course of the war serve evidence to the fact that enlisted men wore nine button frock coats throughout the war.  A well -known Alexander Gardner image of the dead of the Iron Brigade at Gettysburg is indicative of the fact that these infantrymen wore issue frock coats into battle, as late as July of 1863.  Other photos show enlisted men wearing frock coats up to the end of hostilities.  This example of the M1858, nine button, infantry enlisted man’s frock coat conforms to the Revised U.S. Army Regulations of 1861 Section 1482. It is constructed of a deep blue, indigo dyed, twill weave wool with narrow infantry, service branch, blue piping on the cuffs and collar. The interior of the coat exhibits a quilted breast lining of cotton and sleeve linings of cotton muslin; the sleeve cuffs are functional with a two-button closure and the edge of the split is piped; per regulation, there are two tail pockets.  The skirts of these coats were made long and issued unhemmed, as exhibited by this coat. Each soldier could hem his coat to conform to regulation – mid way between the top of the hip and the bend of the knee.  The skirt, also according to regulation, is not lined.  The frock coat has a nine ¾” button front with two 5/8” buttons on each cuff and two 3/4” buttons at the waist on the back, at the top of the pleats. All buttons are general service Eagle buttons.

We have had only one other example of the M1858, nine-button, enlisted man’s, frock coat, as they are relatively rare. This example is in superior condition, with only the most minor of insect induced holes; all of the various linings are completely intact and in fine condition, as is all of the piping. Overall, this is one of the best examples of this rare, issue coat we have encountered.