Original U.S. Civil War Union Army Federal Cavalry Enlisted Shell Jacket
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a wonderful Union cavalry uniform jacket, also referred to as a shell jacket, in excellent condition. This type of jacket was worn by countless Federal horse soldiers during the Civil War.
Garment is constructed of fine wool material dyed a deep indigo blue with the blue color still strong. Cloth body exhibits virtually no visible moth nips or holes so common in these wool garments. Jacket features a standup collar. Approximately 2.50” tall with 3/8” wide, cavalry-yellow piping or lacing decorating the edges, collar is adorned with two, cuff size, eagle ‘shield’ brass buttons set back on each side. Both buttons are offset by additional short strips of yellow braid. Collar braid is bright, tight, and free of any seam separations at the center outside or inside seam as normally seen.
Jacket front reflects 11-button closure with eleven, original brass eagle ‘shield’ buttons securely sewn to the flap edge. Some buttons have marker marks. buttonholes show light wear. Both sleeve cuffs are functional right sleeve is missing a button. Cuffs also exhibit the chevron-style, yellow braid. Cavalry braiding also runs down the opposite (button hole) flap, circles around the entire bottom edge of the jacket and rises to each shoulder from where the two belt-rest pads had been sewn on the jacket backside. These pads have been replaced with different yellow braid, we do not know when this was done.
Interior grey wool body of this uniform jacket is in excellent condition. The inner sleeve lining is white cotton and the right interior shoulder is size stamped 2 and also an ink stamp it is hard to read but has a clear U.S. in the center.
Collar to shoulder: 10"
Shoulder to sleeve: 24.5"
Shoulder to shoulder: 16"
Chest width: 16"
Waist width: 16"
Hip width: 16"
Front length: 24.5"
The shell jacket proved to be a tough, light and very serviceable garment worn by Union cavalry troopers and mounted artillerymen during the war. Less expensive than the frock coats, these jackets were prescribed for issue to all mounted men in the Federal army.
Cavalry jackets are becoming difficult to find. It would make a wonderful addition to any Civil War cavalry display.
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