Tell me more! Pennsylvania Militia Epaulets

bobinwmass

Corporal
Joined
Jul 14, 2019
Location
Western Massachusetts
My hunch is that these Pennsylvania militia epaulets are post Civil War. They were incorrectly attached to a National Lancers of Boston jacket that I posted about earlier this week, looking for feedback. The Pennsylvania buttons on the epaulets are actually wartime vintage. Tice, in his book "Uniform Buttons of the United States 1776-1865" indicates this type button is the standard Pennsylvania Civil War button, and buttons with this backmark of 2 circles of dots were made be Steele & Johnson from the 1850's to 1861. I know it's quite likely that surplus Civil War buttons could be used on later epaulets. At first I thought someone had used gold spray paint to color the white worsted tassels, but since they move freely, it is more likely they were dipped into some type of gold paint/dye. Anyone know of any examples of this being done during time of use or is it definitely some yahoo messing with them well after the fact? Based upon the colors, any guesses as to what militia group would have used these?

20210506_101331.jpg


20210506_101256.jpg


20210506_101206.jpg


20210506_101139.jpg


20210506_100806.jpg


20210506_101230.jpg
 
Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Location
Spotsylvania Virginia
My hunch is that these Pennsylvania militia epaulets are post Civil War. They were incorrectly attached to a National Lancers of Boston jacket that I posted about earlier this week, looking for feedback. The Pennsylvania buttons on the epaulets are actually wartime vintage. Tice, in his book "Uniform Buttons of the United States 1776-1865" indicates this type button is the standard Pennsylvania Civil War button, and buttons with this backmark of 2 circles of dots were made be Steele & Johnson from the 1850's to 1861. I know it's quite likely that surplus Civil War buttons could be used on later epaulets. At first I thought someone had used gold spray paint to color the white worsted tassels, but since they move freely, it is more likely they were dipped into some type of gold paint/dye. Anyone know of any examples of this being done during time of use or is it definitely some yahoo messing with them well after the fact? Based upon the colors, any guesses as to what militia group would have used these?

View attachment 399986

View attachment 399987

View attachment 399988

View attachment 399989

View attachment 399990

View attachment 399991
I am not 100% sure, but the back is consistent with ones I ve dug in CW camp sites. I would venture to guess they are indeed CW or early post war.
 
Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Location
Spotsylvania Virginia
Interesting. Did the ones you dug have that metal trim on the sides also?
Yes. But now that I ve taken a second look, the part that attaches the epaulet to the shoulder is different. A front and back photo of one I dug is attached.
Let’s ask Richard what he thinks .... paging @ucvrelics

8DF1D540-8121-4678-AA71-F4DB151968E3.jpeg


61F3D9C5-BF1F-45A1-BCAF-3FE9B248EBA2.jpeg
 

bobinwmass

Corporal
Joined
Jul 14, 2019
Location
Western Massachusetts
I ve just now noticed the small end of mine is more rounded where the Pennsylvania ones are square
I believe your dug item is more often referred to as a shoulder scale. Besides being somewhat decorative, they were also supposed to provide some protection from a downward saber strike. They did not have hanging fringe like an epaulet, and did attach with a locking tab as opposed to the long prong the epaulet had. But your shoulder scale is a really nice find!
 

Package4

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
My hunch is that these Pennsylvania militia epaulets are post Civil War. They were incorrectly attached to a National Lancers of Boston jacket that I posted about earlier this week, looking for feedback. The Pennsylvania buttons on the epaulets are actually wartime vintage. Tice, in his book "Uniform Buttons of the United States 1776-1865" indicates this type button is the standard Pennsylvania Civil War button, and buttons with this backmark of 2 circles of dots were made be Steele & Johnson from the 1850's to 1861. I know it's quite likely that surplus Civil War buttons could be used on later epaulets. At first I thought someone had used gold spray paint to color the white worsted tassels, but since they move freely, it is more likely they were dipped into some type of gold paint/dye. Anyone know of any examples of this being done during time of use or is it definitely some yahoo messing with them well after the fact? Based upon the colors, any guesses as to what militia group would have used these?

View attachment 399986

View attachment 399987

View attachment 399988

View attachment 399989

View attachment 399990

View attachment 399991
Bob, your guess is right on the money! These are post war IW epaulets with war date surplus buttons. These were the standard epaulets for virtually every state NG just after the war into the 20th century. Yours most likely date closer to 67-72. Pennsylvania had a huge NG contingent post war.
 

bobinwmass

Corporal
Joined
Jul 14, 2019
Location
Western Massachusetts
Bob, your guess is right on the money! These are post war IW epaulets with war date surplus buttons. These were the standard epaulets for virtually every state NG just after the war into the 20th century. Yours most likely date closer to 67-72. Pennsylvania had a huge NG contingent post war.
Thank you @Package4 . Would you mind giving your opinion on the National Lancers jacket these were found on?
https://civilwartalk.com/threads/opinions-on-a-boston-national-lancers-jacket.184870/
 

Package4

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
Thank you @Package4 . Would you mind giving your opinion on the National Lancers jacket these were found on?
https://civilwartalk.com/threads/opinions-on-a-boston-national-lancers-jacket.184870/
Bob, there is a lot to like about the jacket, without seeing it in person it is really hard to tell. Since you are in MA, I would get in touch with Joel Bohy at Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers. Joel would be able to tell or if not would indicate an individual nearby that could. I am equally divided on the coat. My issue with these are the “improvements” made by previous collectors.

The lining of your coat has me puzzled, it appears like the lining of many post war coatees, but much of the construction screams pre war. Get in touch with Joel, he’s a great guy and probably not terribly busy, though Tim Prince told me that Antiques Roadshow was warming back up.
 

bobinwmass

Corporal
Joined
Jul 14, 2019
Location
Western Massachusetts
Bob, there is a lot to like about the jacket, without seeing it in person it is really hard to tell. Since you are in MA, I would get in touch with Joel Bohy at Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers. Joel would be able to tell or if not would indicate an individual nearby that could. I am equally divided on the coat. My issue with these are the “improvements” made by previous collectors.

The lining of your coat has me puzzled, it appears like the lining of many post war coatees, but much of the construction screams pre war. Get in touch with Joel, he’s a great guy and probably not terribly busy, though Tim Prince told me that Antiques Roadshow was warming back up.
Thanks again.
 
Top