Union Artillery Private Shell Jacket..is It the Real Deal?

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Sultana65

Private
Joined
Jul 19, 2018
Location
Michigan
Maybe it isn't possible to tell by seeing pictures posted here if a uniform jacket is real or a clever fake, but I know absolutely nothing about Civil War uniforms so I thought it wouldn't hurt to ask. My husband bought this several years ago from an online dealer in antique guns and other military items. It was labeled Civil War Union Artillery Private's Shell Jacket. Any idea, based on these photos? It is actually the dark navy color, the pictures where it looks steel blue were taken in direct sunlight. It's also pretty wrinkled but I'm not about to touch it with an iron and ruin it somehow.
 

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ucvrelics

Major
Forum Host
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May 7, 2016
Location
Alabama
Photos of the inside lining to include the inner sleeve lining. Also, a shot of the button back and the thread that attaches them would be very helpful in determining its age as these were used and made post war as well.
 

Sultana65

Private
Joined
Jul 19, 2018
Location
Michigan
Thanks, I have attached photos of those items as best I could get them. The buttons appear to say Waterbury Conn. on the back. The sleeves are lined with what appears to be once white cotton fabric and the rest of the lining was either removed or was never there in the first place.
 

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ucvrelics

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Location
Alabama
With the lining removed which is a very important part as thats where the inspectors marking were and the linner type is a tell tell on these. From the sleeve liner and the buttons I'm going post war manufacture.
 
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WJC

Major General
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Aug 16, 2015
Nice looking jacket in great condition.
If you are concerned about whether it is a modern reproduction, look at it under ultraviolet (UV) light. If it glows, that can be an indication of man-made fiber in the thread or material. Unfortunately, it won't tell whether it is, say Civil War issue versus Indian Wars issue. And, unfortunately, if it's been washed using modern detergents it may glow as well.
The good news, of course, is that if it doesn't glow....
 

Billw12280

Sergeant
Joined
Mar 4, 2017
Welcome to the forum! I believe you have an authentic 1855 pattern Artillery shell jacket. The only thing that gives pause is a couple of the buttons have what appears to be applied patina? With that being said, the stitching looks correct and the wool material and red piping around the jacket appear to have the correct weave pattern for the period. Usually there were inspector stamps inside the sleeves, if the sleeve lining is original you may find something there. Take a close look for any faded ink stamps or anything written, sometimes the soldier would write his name inside the sleeve.
 
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Billw12280

Sergeant
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Mar 4, 2017
The fact that the lining is missing is not a total loss on this coat. Soldiers often removed the lining to make the coat cooler or less stiff. I have a Cavalry shell jacket that is missing the lining but it is still a very displayable piece. I believe these coats were in use until the new uniform regulations in 1872. So even if this is post war it would be just slightly after.
 

FrankN

Private
Joined
Jul 7, 2013
Location
Near Philadelphia
Hello, I think it has a good chance. I own one but I haven’t handled anywhere near enough of them to say for sure. You will receive more knowledgeable opinions from other members. I agree with Billw12280 on his comments. Some other thoughts - The sleeves would have a puffy balloon shape to them. I can’t tell from these photos if this one does. Does the collar have a black-japanned single hook and loop? Maybe better closeups if possible? I’m not sure about the stitching on the inside of the collar? There were a few makers with different methods that others may know more about. I’m including the link to one I posted awhile back. There is some good info available online with photos and descriptions of jackets that are for sale or already sold from reputable dealers such as The Horse Soldier, Shiloh Civil War Relics, Midwest Civil War Relics and others that may be helpful.
https://civilwartalk.com/threads/enlisted-man-artillery-jacket.126547/

Regards,
Frank
 

BTWhite61

Private
Joined
Aug 6, 2014
Location
Charlotte, Mich.
It looks like an older reproduction and the cloth reminds me a lot of what C & D Jarnagin Co. uses/used for uniforms over the last 20 years. The body seam allowances look too big to be typical mid-19th C. and the buttons are older modern reproductions made by Waterbury.
 
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1867crete

Corporal
Joined
Feb 25, 2017
Hum well just to throw my two cents in.. the button back pictured is post war. The design and construction I have NO idea! And the button pictured could be a replacement, but I’m gonna go with @ucvrelics.com post war jacket.
 

Sultana65

Private
Joined
Jul 19, 2018
Location
Michigan
Thanks to everyone for taking the time to reply, I have learned so much just from reading your comments and I really appreciate it. We do have a gentlemen in our area who has owned a Civil War relics business for many years and is featured in publications such as Civil War News so it may be worth a short trip to his place to see what he thinks as well. It has been in our closet for years, I don't really have a place to display it.
 

Sultana65

Private
Joined
Jul 19, 2018
Location
Michigan
Hello, I think it has a good chance. I own one but I haven’t handled anywhere near enough of them to say for sure. You will receive more knowledgeable opinions from other members. I agree with Billw12280 on his comments. Some other thoughts - The sleeves would have a puffy balloon shape to them. I can’t tell from these photos if this one does. Does the collar have a black-japanned single hook and loop? Maybe better closeups if possible? I’m not sure about the stitching on the inside of the collar? There were a few makers with different methods that others may know more about. I’m including the link to one I posted awhile back. There is some good info available online with photos and descriptions of jackets that are for sale or already sold from reputable dealers such as The Horse Soldier, Shiloh Civil War Relics, Midwest Civil War Relics and others that may be helpful.
https://civilwartalk.com/threads/enlisted-man-artillery-jacket.126547/

Regards,
Frank
The sleeves are somewhat puffy, I don't know if you could call them balloon shape, though. There is one hook and loop at the collar but it is dark gray rather than black.
 
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1867crete

Corporal
Joined
Feb 25, 2017
I do think it’s a real not a re-enactment piece great shape and looks great! We have some uniform experts that have not chimed in yet.... but keep us updated to any new information you learn on the coat! Thanks for sharing!!
 

mofederal

Captain
Joined
Jun 27, 2017
Location
Southeast Missouri
The lining missing seems to be a big red flag. It could be post war, but it is a better dye than Jarnagin used to use where everything faded to a purplish looking shade. So it is a better cloth than they used to use.
 

Billw12280

Sergeant
Joined
Mar 4, 2017
Hum well just to throw my two cents in.. the button back pictured is post war. The design and construction I have NO idea! And the button pictured could be a replacement, but I’m gonna go with @ucvrelics.com post war jacket.
Good point @1867crete. Although the pictures of the button obverse and reverse differ slightly from those on the coat, the backmarks are definitely post war. If I'm not mistaken the company did not add "Cos" to their buttons until the 1940s when they became the Waterbury Button Companies. If that is the case and the buttons are original to the coat, I would alter my original assessment to be a centennial reenactors coat as @BTWhite61 stated.
@Sultana65 please do have somebody look at it in person and update us.
 
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