This is a fine example of an original Civil War, U.S. Issue, light artillery shell jacket. All elements of this jacket, including the stand-up collar, tape piping on the front, cuffs, base of the jacket, from shoulder to waist in the rear and on the bolsters, are in superior condition. The interior lining is the heavy, cotton, dark brown near burlap weave; it is in excellent condition. The coat exhibits both hand sewing and treadle machine chain stitching. The color of the red, artillery piping remains vivid, as does the color of the dark, blue wool body of the coat. Most of these red-trimmed shell jackets were issued to enlisted soldiers in the light artillery; interestingly, recent research, extant images and actual identified examples of these shell jackets indicate that some were issued to United States Colored Heavy Artillery units, as well. This jacket, a product of the St. Louis Depot, retains its full, cotton / muslin sleeve linings, with the inspector and size markings (stamped “2”). Artillery mounted services jackets, at a cost of $135,485.88, were manufactured at the St. Louis Depot during the last fiscal year of the War (July 1, 1864-June 30, 1865). The inspector stamp on the inside of the garment is marked "GOV'T MANUFACTURE/JNO. SKERRITT, INSP'R/ST. LOUIS MO." The Inspector stamp is 3/4" high by 2" wide. John Skerritt worked in St. Louis at the Fourth Street Hall (also known as Hall #4) from January 8, 1863 into June 1865 The garment is marked with a size stamp "2" in black ink; this is most likely the size the garment was cut to. Although marked size 2, few of the sizes of the garment match those called for by the Federal Quartermaster Regulations. This artillery shell jacket is a superior example of an issued, Civil War, enlisted man’s uniform and will be an excellent addition to any Civil War uniform or general relic collection.
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