Lewis Armistead's Uniform

klongstreet

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No, he was interred in it, he died on July 5, from infection and his body was recovered by his cousin, Christopher Hughes Armistead, to be interred in the family vault in Baltimore, St. Paul’s Cemetery.
I don't seem to visit on the days St Paul's Cemetery is open.

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major bill

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So I am to assume he had his coat put on him after he died? I would think think that his coat would have been removed at the hospital.
 

Package4

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So I am to assume he had his coat put on him after he died? I would think think that his coat would have been removed at the hospital.
Since he was expected to recover from his wounds his uniform would have remained with him. There was a very good chance he was in his undergarments when he passed and his effects would have been given to his cousin. The custom then as it is now, is to bury one fully dressed, so it may be assumed that his body was washed and dressed before a quick internment, in Baltimore.
 

FPT

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Thank you all for your responses. Now let me rephrase my question. Did anyone in their memoirs/diaries, etc. ever describe how Armistead was dressed on July 3 (or at any other time previously)?

The reason for my asking these questions is because of my hobby/passion for painting Civil War miniatures and making dioramas (followed closely by golf).

Regards.

FPT
 

Package4

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Thank you all for your responses. Now let me rephrase my question. Did anyone in their memoirs/diaries, etc. ever describe how Armistead was dressed on July 3 (or at any other time previously)?

The reason for my asking these questions is because of my hobby/passion for painting Civil War miniatures and making dioramas (followed closely by golf).

Regards.

FPT
A little acknowledged fact, many officers on both sides procured a field coat, which was less cumbersome than a frock. These coats were either a sack coat or shell jacket appearance, they were not as romantic and colorful. Case in point, Grant accepted Lee’s surrender in his field coat.

Most depictions, do have Armistead in a frock, so there must be a basis for that in various recollections.
 

Package4

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Since he was expected to recover from his wounds his uniform would have remained with him. There was a very good chance he was in his undergarments when he passed and his effects would have been given to his cousin. The custom then as it is now, is to bury one fully dressed, so it may be assumed that his body was washed and dressed before a quick internment, in Baltimore.
Looking through the Bachelder Papers, it appears as if Armistead was embalmed and interred at the 11th Corps hospital, was disinterred 4 weeks later and taken to Baltimore by his cousin. Since Armistead was a Mason, there was a better than even chance he was granted the honors that went with not only a general officer, but a Mason.
 

James N.

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A little acknowledged fact, many officers on both sides procured a field coat, which was less cumbersome than a frock. These coats were either a sack coat or shell jacket appearance, they were not as romantic and colorful. Case in point, Grant accepted Lee’s surrender in his field coat.

Most depictions, do have Armistead in a frock, so there must be a basis for that in various recollections.
Another noted fatality of the war was Patrick Cleburne who was reputedly also wearing a new officer's sack coat instead of a frock when he was killed leading the charge at Franklin, a much-moth-eaten example of which is displayed in the Virginia Civil War (formerly Confederate) Museum now relocated to Appomattox. He was likely buried in the sack coat - this frock turned up much later when items were being donated to the UDC for the museum.

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FPT

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Another noted fatality of the war was Patrick Cleburne who was reputedly also wearing a new officer's sack coat instead of a frock when he was killed leading the charge at Franklin, a much-moth-eaten example of which is displayed in the Virginia Civil War (formerly Confederate) Museum now relocated to Appomattox. He was likely buried in the sack coat - this frock turned up much later when items were being donated to the UDC for the museum.

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Thanks for the info. Now the follow up: would you have a photo of a general's sack coat so that I can see a clear difference. The Time/Life book, The Confederacy, has a photo of Buckner's "pleated fatigue jacket" (Page 91) it is a different style.
 

Package4

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As you can see by this cover picture, Captain Cuthbert Slocomb, of the Washington Artillery had various uniforms, but the one that has the most wear and repaired bullet holes is his sack coat in the middle. Slocomb was wounded twice in service and the coat evidences repaired bullet holes and associated blood. I strongly encourage those interested in relic hunting and general uniform information to consider a subscription to this fine magazine.
 

James N.

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Thanks for the info. Now the follow up: would you have a photo of a general's sack coat so that I can see a clear difference. The Time/Life book, The Confederacy, has a photo of Buckner's "pleated fatigue jacket" (Page 91) it is a different style.
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Offhand, the above photo showing Tennessee cavalry Col. Tom Scott is the only full-length example I seem to have a copy of.

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Unless they're full-length it's difficult to be certain, but it's likely that both Harry Heth and A. P. Hill are wearing them in their familiar photos. The hallmarks of an officer's sack include: finer material than enlisted examples; a roomier, more comfortable cut than frocks; roll-over collars with relatively wide lapels; frequently, outside slash pockets like Hill's; and most importantly, are usually single-breasted instead of the double-breasted officers' style that was regulation for frocks.

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Flash Titan

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General Armistead was maybe the most endearing character in the Gettysburg film. His enormous empathy for his West Point friend, General Hancock, went beyond touching. He was the prime example of a person possessing a heart so blessed that at a time when he knew death was inevitably near, not concerned with his demise but instead saddened of hearing that the friend/enemy he truly loved may be suffering the same fate. A more golden example of a courageous and empathetic death there cannot be. Dying, yet, his great courage beamed the enormous quality of what a good and righteous man was he. His death depicted one of the great sorrows of the Civil War that made enemies of people whom you cared for so dearly.
 
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Friction Primer

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General Armistead was maybe the most endearing character in the Gettysburg film. His enormous empathy for his West Point friend, General Hancock, went beyond touching. He was the prime example of a person possessing a heart so blessed that at a time when he knew death was inevitably near, not concerned with his demise but instead saddened of hearing that the friend/enemy he truly loved may be suffering the same fate. A more golden example of a courageous and empathetic death there cannot be. Dying, yet, his great courage beamed the enormous quality of what a good and righteous man was he. His death depicted one of the great sorrows of the Civil War that made enemies of people whom you cared for so dearly.
Is there any truth to the story that just prior to the War, Armistead made an oath to Hancock (in front of others) to the effect that if he (Armistead) ever lifted his hand against Hancock in battle "may the Lord strike me dead" ?
 

James N.

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Thank you all for your responses. Now let me rephrase my question. Did anyone in their memoirs/diaries, etc. ever describe how Armistead was dressed on July 3 (or at any other time previously)?

The reason for my asking these questions is because of my hobby/passion for painting Civil War miniatures and making dioramas (followed closely by golf).

Regards.

FPT
One supporting bit of evidence to indicate Armistead *might* have been wearing a frock coat - and a nice one at that - is that supposedly Federals at the Angle thought and reported they had captured Longstreet! I believe that story even appeared in at least one of the newspapers of the day. Also remember that in the official Confederate uniform regulations - unlike the Federal regulations - there is NO difference between the uniforms worn by all general officers regardless of exact rank.
 
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Did the uniform worn by Lewis Armistead at Gettysburg survive the Civil War? If so are there photos of it or a physical description of it including the color of the coat and pants?

Thanks in advance for your assistance.

FPT
On my 1st trip to G'burg, I took the bus tour. The day I was to leave I decided to get up early and take it again at 8 i the AM. The bus had me and a newly wed couple and the guide. We got the $1.98 tour not the $.50. Toward the end we got off on Cemetary Hill. While listening to the guide I kept looking to the side at a plot of land about 5' by 10'. It had stakes at the corners holding up what looked like police crime scene tape. INside the dirt was absolutely bare, all around it the grass was lush and green.

He paused and I asked him what it was. He looked at me and in a real corn pone Southern accent asked me. "Son you *** me that and call yo'self a sonof tha Sowth. Thast is the hiwatah mawk of tha Sowth. Dat is tha place whear Genn'l Armistead fell motally wounded. I said what are you talking about. He said that that was the spot where Armistead was killed at the head of his troops. No other Southern troops penetrated any further. I said so.........??
He grinned and said that every year Southern visitors would pluck up blades of grass as souvenirs. Every so often they would have to fence off the area and replant the grass.
 
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No, he was interred in it, he died on July 5, from infection and his body was recovered by his cousin, Christopher Hughes Armistead, to be interred in the family vault in Baltimore, St. Paul’s Cemetery.
I find General Lewis Armistead to have been a very lonely person, and he knew instinctively that this would be his last battle.
 

James N.

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