Confederate privates, Double breasted Frock coat

Klaudly

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I collected several photographs of Confederate soldiers with double-breasted frock coat. Excluding very rare cases, most of them are of 1861. Knowing that the government never produced the regulation frock coat, which was the origin of these coats? Perhaps local efforts, or some tailor who sewed the regulation frock coat, or personal initiative of some citizen at their own expense dressed some company, or even homespun coats?

Georgia coy B 46° Georgia Infantry.jpg fante.jpg artigliiere.jpg frock coat double breasted2.jpg
Georgia coy H 46° Georgia Infantry.jpg
 

major bill

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That would be an interesting subject to study. My first guess without any research would be that some pre-war militia companies favored double-breasted frock coats. So when companies formed in that area double-breasted frock coats were the standard of military elegance and the town wanted to send off well dress soldiers. I would also want to study the connection between the Army's use of double-breasted coatees (tail coats) in the 1830-1850s to see if the concept that well dressed soldiers had two rows of buttons was some how carried over to two rows of buttons on frock coats. A third area of thought is that officers wore two rows of buttons and that elegant dressed enlisted men should too. Do you have any clues as to why these particular companies went with double-breasted frock coats?
 

James N.

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I collected several photographs of Confederate soldiers with double-breasted frock coat. Excluding very rare cases, most of them are of 1861. Knowing that the government never produced the regulation frock coat, which was the origin of these coats? Perhaps local efforts, or some tailor who sewed the regulation frock coat, or personal initiative of some citizen at their own expense dressed some company, or even homespun coats?

Remember that except for the tiny "Regular" Confederate army all the component regiments were provided by the various states which theoretically were supposed to provide them fully armed and equipped. (The key word here is theoretically.) The uniform regulations were promulgated and published in 1861, so an attempt was likely made by at least some states or communities to follow them, at least early on; that probably accounts for some of the uniforms pictured here.
 

CSA Today

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1st Sergeant Allen Whitfield Wooten, Coy E, 61st North Carolina
View attachment 129776
Allen Whitfield Wooten was promoted to 1st Sgt, December 31, 1863, so this is a double-breasted frock coat used in 1864.

Wooten, Allen Whitfield, 1st. Segeant, Co. F. 61st Regiment, N.C. Troops.

Previously served as Corporal in Captain Croom's Local Defense Company. Enlisted in this company in Lenoir County on December 19, 1863 for the war. Mustered in with an unspecified rank. Promoted to 1st. Sergeant on December 31, 1863. Reported present in March-April, 1864. Wounded “very slightly” in the knee at Cold Harbor, Virginia, May 31-June 3, 1864. Killed at the Crater near Petersburg, Virginia, July 30, 1864.

North Carolina Troops, 18611865, A Roster, Page. 704, Vol., XIV Infantry, 57th-58th, 60th-61st Regiments.
 

WJC

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Our idea of "uniform" doesn't seem to apply to the Civil War. Militia units had their own uniforms, which might- or might not- be consistent with the 'national' standard.
But that is part of what makes the civil war interesting.
However, one of my complaints about Civil War films is the sameness of the uniforms: everyone seems to have used the same tailor. I am reminded of those costumers that used to help communities- regardless of the region- celebrate centennials by providing rental Confederate or Union uniforms for the men and fancy dresses for the ladies.
 
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WJC

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I wonder if some of these might have been civilian attire, with changed buttons and added insignia?
Edward Porter Alexander describes his trip to Washington after Appomattox, wearing "a U. S. Army private's overcoat, only dyed black instead of its original blue." < Gary W. Gallagher, Editor, Fighting for the Confederacy: The Personal Recollections of General Edward Porter Alexander. (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1989), p. 547.>
If a young family member was going off to war, might a family modify some existing clothes into a uniform?
 

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Carrell, Rawley B., Private, Company E., 45th N.C Troops.

Born in Rockingham County where he resided as a. [hireling] prior to enlisting in Rockingham County at age 22, February 22, 1862. Present or accounted for until killed at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, July 3, 1863.

North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865, A Roster, Vol. XI, Infantry, 45th-48th Regiments. P. 59.
 
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