Original U.S. Spanish American War Model 1902 US Army Uniform Coat and Trousers - Minnesota Unit Marked
Original Items: Only One Set Available. The first decade of the 20th century was a period of great change for the Army.
During this period the office of the Chief of Staff was created, the militia act was
modified leading to the creation of the National Guard, and a number of branches
and departments were created or reorganized, including the Army Nurse Corps, and
the reorganization of the Artillery into an Artillery Corps consisting of the Field Artillery and Coast Artillery. At the same time, the vast majority of troops were outside the country on occupation duty or containing the insurgency in the Philippines.
In the period following the Spanish American War the Army again took a hard look at its uniforms, accouterments and weapons. In 1902 a board was assembled in Washington, to review the Army's uniforms, and on July 17, 1902 the results of the board's deliberations were published as General Order No.81. This General Order made significant changes in how the Army looked.
Virtually every item of clothing was examined and most were redesigned. Blue was eliminated as a color for service dress, being replaced by olive drab and khaki. Leather items were changed from black to russet, new insignia was authorized, chevrons became smaller, and even new buttons were introduced in gilt for dress and bronze for the field. By the fall of 1902, the Quartermaster Department at Philadelphia began making the new uniforms, but the changes were not without controversy, extending even to the White House. How could the Army think of issuing new uniforms when there were stocks of the older pattern clothing still available and in serviceable condition? In 1903 a compromise decision was made in which the Artillery and Engineers serving in the United States would continue to receive and wear old pattern clothing until stocks were exhausted. In addition, old pattern trousers and khaki cotton service uniforms would continue to be issued (except those with branch colored facings) to all units.
This we believe would have been an early transitional type of “old stock” items being updated to the new 1902 standards. This M1902 coat is much like the earlier sack coat with the non standing collar. The buttons were all updated to the “new” 1902 standardized set of the 6 gilt brass buttons with the US Coat of arms on them, though unfortunately the top collar button is missing. The coat and trousers are in a lovely moderately worn condition and are without extensive damage. The inside of the coat is marked with:
This unit marking identifies that this uniform belonged to a member of the Minnesota Infantry Guard Unit. We have not been able to find any unit history for a 23rd Minnesota Infantry Regiment, making this a wonderful research opportunity!
The trousers appear to be unmarked and are in lovely condition with only minor separation of the waist lining on the inside. They are a lighter shade of blue than the coat which is normal and features a lovely white stripe down each pant leg.
This is a lovely uniform set that comes ready for research and display!
Collar to shoulder: 10”
Shoulder to sleeve: 22”
Shoulder to shoulder: 18”
Chest width: 17.5”
Waist width: 16”
Hip width: 17”
Front length: 29.5"
Pants Waist: 26"
Pants Inseam: 29"
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