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DaveGink
09-20-2006, 08:37 PM
Hi All,
I purchased a cheap, used, "sutlers row quality" CSA sack coat (medium gray wool with 7 brass CSA buttons, no branch of serice trim, stand up collar, inside left pocket) for an event I will be galvanizing at this weekend. It was sort of an emergency buy, very inexpensive, and may be the only time I use it. My unit will be portraying confederate Cavalry assigned to protect artillery. The organizers have provided no guidelines or year for this event, but only vaguely state that this is a battle "somewhere in the fields of Virginia".

That said, I understand that Confederate sacks were not all that common, especially compared to shell jackets (or were they used more than I may think?).

Were those that were worn issued by the CSA or State Governments, or were they home-made, or private purchased items only? Were they an individual choice of coat, or worn by entire units?

Also, are the brass CSA buttons completely wrong? Would replacing the buttons with wood help add at least a little authenticity to this coat? Maybe turning it into a "sent from home" coat?

I've never really focused too much on the uniforms of the Confederate States, So I'd like to learn a little general information here about CSA Sacks and jackets if possible.

Thanks in advance!!
Dave

John1862
09-20-2006, 08:48 PM
Also, are the brass CSA buttons completely wrong?


Hi Dave, those famed "CSA" buttons are not completely wrong. As I remember they were mfg'd in England by Superior Quality for the most part, and during the end of the war SOME, but very very few were recieved by the Confederacy in time for them to be issued. Most ended up being captured by the blockade and re-routed to the Bahamas, where a large stock was (recently?) found.

reb64
09-20-2006, 09:50 PM
Welll if your portrying guerillas/rangers/ dismounted cav perhaps sacks or civilian sacks would be worn. But I would venture to say the highest % of virginia cav would be of the shell type from the photos Ive seen. regular wool would be okay for early war, but less of it as the war dragged on. def change the buttons, I or captured eagles or Va buttons.

ewtaylor
09-20-2006, 10:09 PM
Dave,
I wouldnt worry to much on the buttons since the coat you have is just a "cheap buy". Wear it like it is and then sell it on Ebay this winter and try to buy some quality gear.
Sack coats were sent from home and issued by the Depots (mainly NC).
CSA buttons were mainly made in England and sent to the Southern ports. They had different backmarks (Superior Quality was not a company). They were also made here but of poorer quality.
ew taylor

DaveGink
09-21-2006, 02:24 PM
Thanks all!!

And yeah ew, I'll probably take your advise and just not worry about the buttons for this event. It was just to get through this weekend anyway.

Cheers,
Dave

cjdaley
09-22-2006, 06:18 AM
If anyone is interested, please check out this short uniform study on an original sack coat found on the fields of Gettysburg after the battle.

http://www.cjdaley.com/confederatesack.htm

TimKindred
09-22-2006, 07:06 AM
Comrades,

It's a nifty coat, and because it is just what I was looking for, and he is an approved vendor on the A/C forum, known for his exceptional quality and great customer service, I took the liberty of ordering one from Mr Daley.

I am anxiously awaiting it's arrival.

Respects,

DaveGink
09-22-2006, 02:01 PM
If anyone is interested, please check out this short uniform study on an original sack coat found on the fields of Gettysburg after the battle.

http://www.cjdaley.com/confederatesack.htm

Thanks Chris! Very interesting.

By the way, I love the Pennsy sack. I can't wait to wear it at the event this weekend. (and thanks for making sure I got it in time!).

Cheers,
Dave

NJ Sekela
09-23-2006, 06:21 AM
I had sent a private message to Mr. Daley, voicing my concerns over this coat. I noted that the basic shape and construction of this coat appears to be similiar to post war techniques.

The early "Electric Map" and Rosensteel collection had considerable Spanish American War and Indian war items mixed in, and one has to be careful, and approach some of the early collections with a critical eye.

That garment needs to be tied into something else in the period to make a stronger argument for its use.

I am, &c,

NJ Sekela,
Manf'r.
N.Jers'y.

http://www.njsekela.com
http://www.ejtsutler.com
http://www.carterandjasper.com

Army30th
09-23-2006, 06:35 AM
Upon seeing this coat, it looks like this type of coat was used to base the costumes for the mini-series "The Blue and The Gray" from. If you go back and watch that series, all Federal Infantry (common soldier) are wearing 5 - button sacks with falldown collars.

Doug Cooper
09-23-2006, 06:44 AM
Two more good examples of surviving CS sack coats are found in Echoes of Glory pg 146, Pvt Burton Marchbanks, 30th Texas Cavalry - in the Layland Museum in Cleburne Texas. It is made of jean. The other is on pg 225 of Don Troiani's Regiments and Uniforms of the Civil War, artillery officer's sack coat in Confederate Memorial Hall in New Orleans. It appears to be made of jean or satinette.

I own a copy of the Gettysburg sack coat and really like how Chris duplicated the stitching under the collar, the jean lining and some other details. I chose Child's #12 gray jean fabric instead of the original's gray broadcloth as I had some extra fabric laying around. It is a very comfortable coat to be sure - would have been a relief to have worn something like that at Gettysburg vs a frock.

NJ Sekela
09-23-2006, 07:30 AM
Mr. Cooper:

I am well aware that sack coats were worn during the period, and noting them does not link them to other coats, any more than picking people out of a crowd links them. You would have to link proptions of the body, like elbow width to cuff width and armhole drop.

A friend of mine who is a concert violinist, explained that the when you remove harmony and melody and pitch, you are left with the basic element of divisions of time. The base of ALL science and art is measurements. One can MATHEMATICALLY connect or disprove that garment to others.

One of the big red flags IS the collar stitching you mention. To this day, it is considered better to do the collar pad stitching by hand. Basically, you shape the collar and the machine stitching holds it in place. The benefit of working it by hand is that you can continue to shape it while you work. The goal is that the collar will hug the neck. That particular treatment is a mass-produced interpretation of a hand finished technique.

At a time when the Confederacy was strapped for sewing machines, this coat is presented as using the post-war "section" work style of manufacture. Confederate officer's, or Federal Officer's uniforms were not to my knowledge, produced on an assembly line. Of the original pieces I have seen, they tend to be exquistely finished.

I am sure that Mr. Daley was faithful to the coat he examined, but the style of construction to me looks like post-war band uniforms.

I will post pictures of some of the construction techniques I am referring to.

I am, &c,

NJ Sekela,
Manf'r.
N.Jers'y.

http://www.njsekela.com
http://www.ejtsutler.com
http://www.carterandjasper.com

TimKindred
09-23-2006, 08:06 AM
Mr. Sekela,

The question then becomes, "When did these techniques first appear?" I am by know means as weel-versed upon the subject as you or Mr. Daley. However, I do know from working with dating techniques that it is in many cases difficult to place significant changes and developments in to a single year. Many times, we must needs place it into a range of years, or within a period.

For example, most armour, as in suits of armour, can only be dated to a general period. many armourers concede that ceertain styles and construction techniques can only be dated to a time +or- 50 years. The sallet helmet, again, can first be seen in cetain designs associated with Roman Gladiators. It appears in various developments up through the 1st World War. Same with the "kettle" helmet, which appears in the Thracian armies, then disappears, only to resurrect in the Hundred Year's War, and finally seen as the "Tommy" or "Doughboy" helmet used through WWII.

I'm not challenging, per se, your consideration of the post-war as the proper period of this coat. I do, however, have to consider the provenance of the coat, as well as the collection, and question whether the techniques you present could not have been present during an earlier period, and brought into full development afterwards, as a result of manufacturing lessons learned coupled with a greater availability of technology post-war.

I've seen illustrated examples of what I believe to be this same style of coat from the period. I'll attempt to locate them and post here.

Well, that's enough of a ramble for the present time, Thanks again for an informative post, and I remain,

Respectfully,

HighPrvt
09-23-2006, 01:55 PM
Why is Nick Sekela allowed to do this on this forum?
He has no proof to his claim, and could very well have hurt Mr. Daley's buisness.
This isn't the first time he's put down other vendors work.
Why is this allowed.
Mr. Sekela, arn't you banned from the AC for such dubious practices?

TimKindred
09-23-2006, 02:52 PM
Comrade highprivate,

Excuse me here, but just WHAT has Mr. Sekela gone and done that's out of line, or unfair or anything else for that matter?

Mr. Sekela is simply expressing his opinion about AN ORIGINAL GARMENT that is currently documented on Mr. Daley's site. Mr. Sekela makes no disparaging remarks about Mr. Daley, or anyone else for that matter. In fact, he states bluntly that he has no doubt Mr. Daley makes an accurate reproduction of the garment in question. Mr Sekela simply states his concerns about the provenance of the jacket, that it MAY be from a post-war period because of certain construction techniques, a topic with which he is well acquanted.

Finding out that something thought to be of our period is not should be celebrated for it's revelation, it's correction of the historical record. Mr. Sekela does NOT state specifically that thios garment is NOT a period garment, he states only that based upon his own experience and studies, it most likely is from a later period.

All of us make mistakes. Even the great Francis Lord made several faux pas in his benchmark civil war encyclopedia. He mis-identified common butchers tools, for one example, as medical instruments, and that mistake is still being promulgated years later. EOG is also full of mistakes.

I applaud Mr. Sekela's comments and view them NOT as a slight against Mr. Daley, but as an offering for discussion and debate, which is always a healthy thing. The more we learn and research, the more accurate will be our interpretation.

Respects,

NJ Sekela
09-23-2006, 03:20 PM
Tim:

I could not have said it better. I am working on a reply with photographs.

My comments are not in any way directed at Daley. They are directed at the garment. That coat is more red flags than anything else. There are no buttons, no solid provenance other than a verbal history. Again, the proportions and finishing of this garment look to be postwar. It is one red flag after another. I have seen the same construction on railroad uniforms from the 1880's, such as the double needle topstitching on the cuff.

In fact, I sent both Mr. Daley and Mr. Kindred a private message regarding this garment. Mr. Kindred responded, but I have yet to hear back from Mr. Daley.

In reply to your AC forum remarks they are completely irrelevant to this discussion,and I will not elaborate further. I would be more than happy to discuss it privately with you however.

I am,

NJ Sekela,
Manf'r.
N.Jers'y.

http://www.njsekela.com
http://www.ejtsutler.com
http://www.carterandjasper.com

HighPrvt
09-23-2006, 04:24 PM
Sorry,
I completely disagree with you. He has no proof to his accusation that the coat isn't "period". Without proof his concern should have remained private.
You really don't think this accusation couldn't possibly hurt the sale of this garment?
Really??
If he had definate proof, that would be something completely different, but he has no definative proof that the construction technique isn't period. So in my opinion this shouldn't have been brought to a public forum without 100% proof. Opinions are fine until it enters the buisness realm, then it becomes a bit more than just a friendly discussion.

Just my $0.02, if you disagree, oh well.








Comrade highprivate,

Excuse me here, but just WHAT has Mr. Sekela gone and done that's out of line, or unfair or anything else for that matter?

Mr. Sekela is simply expressing his opinion about AN ORIGINAL GARMENT that is currently documented on Mr. Daley's site. Mr. Sekela makes no disparaging remarks about Mr. Daley, or anyone else for that matter. In fact, he states bluntly that he has no doubt Mr. Daley makes an accurate reproduction of the garment in question. Mr Sekela simply states his concerns about the provenance of the jacket, that it MAY be from a post-war period because of certain construction techniques, a topic with which he is well acquanted.

Finding out that something thought to be of our period is not should be celebrated for it's revelation, it's correction of the historical record. Mr. Sekela does NOT state specifically that thios garment is NOT a period garment, he states only that based upon his own experience and studies, it most likely is from a later period.

All of us make mistakes. Even the great Francis Lord made several faux pas in his benchmark civil war encyclopedia. He mis-identified common butchers tools, for one example, as medical instruments, and that mistake is still being promulgated years later. EOG is also full of mistakes.

I applaud Mr. Sekela's comments and view them NOT as a slight against Mr. Daley, but as an offering for discussion and debate, which is always a healthy thing. The more we learn and research, the more accurate will be our interpretation.

Respects,

NJ Sekela
09-23-2006, 04:56 PM
Sir:

Things that jump out at me are:

1). Jean cloth or LACK of any other wartime textiles-West Point uniforms to this day are STILL made with Cadet Grey broadcloth. Cadet Grey broadcloth was a very common uniform fabric after the war.
2). Double Needle topstitching (DNTS)-I own a gentleman's top coat from the period with DNTS, but the finishing is more consistent with the early construction of leaving raw edges along the garment. This coat displays a a much later technique. I have seen EXACTLY that style of DNTS along the cuff of Railroad Pullman coats from the 1880's.
3). The workmanship for this "officer's coat" is extremely poor. Look at the inside pocket treatment, and how uneven the stitching is. The pocket setting, for that matter is inconsistent with period style of pocket setting for custom or even ready-made clothing.

What WOULD have helped explain the provenance:
1). Jean cloth or wartime textiles.
2). A stronger connection to something contemporaneous; it could be measurements, photographs, or even a tailoring manual.
3). Much more hand finishing techniques on the garment. At this time, hand finishing was a much a high art as anything else.
4). The presence of red wool interfacing in the collar. This is a period interfacing that is still used in custom tailor shops in England. You will find it in garments from 1830 to about 1870 or so, until the buckram tend to appear.

Again, I will post pictures of what I am describing. I am hoping that Mr. Daley will be able to offer more supporting documentation, because I would like to satisfy my own intellectual curiousity.

Although I am indeed in the process of posting the documentation for what I am saying, I am surprised to hear that you feel that the person who offers the garment bears no burden of proof. It should only be by people who notice such things and should be done privately. In other words, they should be able to make whatever they want.

If that is indeed the new "rules" then this hobby owes the Jarnagin family the humblest of apologies.

I am, &c,

NJ Sekela,
Manf'r.
N. Jers'y.

http://www.njsekela.com
http://www.ejtsutler.com
http://www.carterandjasper.com

MStuart
09-23-2006, 05:06 PM
Am I missing something here, or shouldn't we be questioning the Rosensteel family? If, as they claim, the jacket in question is a Gettysburg battlefield pick-up, then this whole "arguement" is for naught.

Maybe I'm thinking too much here

Mark

HighPrvt
09-23-2006, 05:46 PM
Your putting words in my mouth, I never said that he shouldn't offer documentation. What I said was that you should have kept this private, until you had definate proof.

If you could prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that this item isn't period, and Mr. Daley refused to do anything about it, then by all means bring it to lite. You were premature. Fact is you have a history of knocking vendors/items on the web, now don't you?


You've thrown out the accusation, the burden of proof is in your court.













Sir:

Things that jump out at me are:

1). Jean cloth or LACK of any other wartime textiles-West Point uniforms to this day are STILL made with Cadet Grey broadcloth. Cadet Grey broadcloth was a very common uniform fabric after the war.
2). Double Needle topstitching (DNTS)-I own a gentleman's top coat from the period with DNTS, but the finishing is more consistent with the early construction of leaving raw edges along the garment. This coat displays a a much later technique. I have seen EXACTLY that style of DNTS along the cuff of Railroad Pullman coats from the 1880's.
3). The workmanship for this "officer's coat" is extremely poor. Look at the inside pocket treatment, and how uneven the stitching is. The pocket setting, for that matter is inconsistent with period style of pocket setting for custom or even ready-made clothing.

What WOULD have helped explain the provenance:
1). Jean cloth or wartime textiles.
2). A stronger connection to something contemporaneous; it could be measurements, photographs, or even a tailoring manual.
3). Much more hand finishing techniques on the garment. At this time, hand finishing was a much a high art as anything else.
4). The presence of red wool interfacing in the collar. This is a period interfacing that is still used in custom tailor shops in England. You will find it in garments from 1830 to about 1870 or so, until the buckram tend to appear.

Again, I will post pictures of what I am describing. I am hoping that Mr. Daley will be able to offer more supporting documentation, because I would like to satisfy my own intellectual curiousity.

Although I am indeed in the process of posting the documentation for what I am saying, I am surprised to hear that you feel that the person who offers the garment bears no burden of proof. It should only be by people who notice such things and should be done privately. In other words, they should be able to make whatever they want.

If that is indeed the new "rules" then this hobby owes the Jarnagin family the humblest of apologies.

I am, &c,

NJ Sekela,
Manf'r.
N. Jers'y.

http://www.njsekela.com
http://www.ejtsutler.com
http://www.carterandjasper.com

HighPrvt
09-23-2006, 05:47 PM
Mark, darn good point.







Am I missing something here, or shouldn't we be questioning the Rosensteel family? If, as they claim, the jacket in question is a Gettysburg battlefield pick-up, then this whole "arguement" is for naught.

Maybe I'm thinking too much here

Mark

NJ Sekela
09-23-2006, 06:07 PM
Sir:

Mr. Daley has still not responded, but at this point it is irrelevant. What is odd is that you keep insisting that I am attacking Daley personally, and you underscore your points with personal attacks against me.

Unlike what you are doing to me here, I am not posting anything personal about Christopher Daley. Those things are irrelevant to the facts. The coat is either from 1880 or 1863, and the fact that Mr. Daley chose to reproduce it DOES NOT strengthen the arguement for its Civil War use.

Mark's point is NOT a good point. As stated, the Rosensteel collection also contained Spanish American War canteens which were listed as Federal Issue. If you were to ask them if they were historically accurate, the family oral history would have said it was.

Mr. Davis, exactly what about this coat tells you that it is correct?

I am, &c,

NJ Sekela,
Manf'r.
N.Jers'y.

http://www.njsekela.com
http://www.ejtsutler.com
http://www.carterandjasper.com

MStuart
09-23-2006, 06:34 PM
Sir:Mark's point is NOT a good point. As stated, the Rosensteel collection also contained Spanish American War canteens which were listed as Federal Issue. If you were to ask them if they were historically accurate, the family oral history would have said it was.

I guess my dog just entered the hunt (in a way, at least). Let's cut to the chase...Are you saying that this sack coat in the Rosensteel collection is not a civil war sack coat? I believe that's the $64,000 question.

Mark

TimKindred
09-23-2006, 06:46 PM
Sorry,
I completely disagree with you. He has no proof to his accusation that the coat isn't "period". Without proof his concern should have remained private.
You really don't think this accusation couldn't possibly hurt the sale of this garment?
Really??
If he had definate proof, that would be something completely different, but he has no definative proof that the construction technique isn't period. So in my opinion this shouldn't have been brought to a public forum without 100% proof. Opinions are fine until it enters the buisness realm, then it becomes a bit more than just a friendly discussion.

Just my $0.02, if you disagree, oh well.

Sir,

You may disagree with me all you like, and even toss ouit your flippant little addendum, but it does not change the argument one whit.

What in tarnation does the gain or loss of a sale have to do with anything? Are you a stock-holder in Mr. Daley's business? I happen to admire Chris and his work, and also Nick's work. Both offer items above and beyond the accuracy and consistancy of many others, and I am well satisfied with items I have purchased from both.

Having said all of that, you seem to be arguing from emotion and not relevance. Mr. Sekela most assuredly supported his suppositions regarding the grament in question. he has not said that it is definately of one period or the other, although he certainly has concerns regarding the construction techniques employed. he has stated that these are commonly found on much later garments than our period, and knowing of the education and training that Mr. Sekela posseses, I am inclined to give more weight to his suppositions than to yours.

The point of all of this enquiry should be the determination of the period during which the garment in question was produced. There are many factors at work here, and although I value Mr. Daley as an acquaintance and someone I have purchased from in the past, that has no bearing, nor should it upon the question at hand.

Where should such questions be asked, if not in this forum? Why not play out all of the pros and cons upon a public stage, where all can listen and contribute what they can? If the coat is definately period, then all is well and good, and we have established the factual basis for reproducing it, and another option is added to the stable of available clothing. If it is not of the period, then it's better now to know that than to wait until later when many may have purchased the item and be stuck with something they cannot in good concience use.

Certainly the provenance of the coat needs to be examined. So does, as Mr. Sekela has pointed out, the construction techniques used. The type of cloth used is of no value, since similar material has been used from before the war up to the present day. Abimilech Hainsworth, of England, who produced such cloth during our period and whose same cloth was imported and used here during the war, still produces this cloth today. It is still in use for Guard's regiment overcoats. Thus, the cloth itself cannot be used for dating techniques. Neither can the buttons, since they are absent.

Buttons, again, are a slippery sort of devil for dating a garment. At the end of the war, Federal law required that all CS identified buttons be covered or removed, and that regulation was viciously enforced. I can cite sources if you like. Later, amny garments from whose front the buttons had been removed had new buttons put on for reunions and displays. these might have well been wartime manufacture, but many were of later production, and regardless, they were not original to the garment. Thus, dating a garment by it's buttons is tenuous at best. Therefore, we are elft with: Provenance, and construction.

The provenance of the collection has been called into question on many an item prior to this one. What is left is the construction techniques employed to produce this garment. It's all we have.

Mr. Sekela has simply asked a question. It is a fair and honest question, and to subscribe other motive to it seems to me to be more a reflection of the accuser's bias than of the questioner.

Let's bring all the facts out into the public domain and see how it plays out. I have already spent money for one of these coats, as has Mr. Cooper, and I believe, others. So be it. Stuff happens.

Lots of folks bought shelter halfs with brass gromets before we discovered they should have been sewn. Lots of folks are carrying around Enfield rifles made by Armisport or Euroarms, even though that same model reproduced never set foot in the country during the war.

I again ask that we let the light of research and scientific enquiry solve the matter as best as possible, and then go from there. It's the least we owe to the history that all of us pay at least lip-service to.

Respects,

NJ Sekela
09-23-2006, 06:48 PM
Sir:

What I am saying is that from the images submitted by Mr. Daley, the features of the coat indicate that it is of post-war manufacture.

Again, I will post images of features of period coats.

I am, &c,

NJ Sekela,
Manf'r.
N. Jers'y.

http://www.njsekela.com
http://www.ejtsutler.com
http://www.carterandjasper.com

MStuart
09-23-2006, 07:06 PM
<While we will never know who wore this coat, there is firm documentation thanks to the Rosensteel Family that the coat was a battlefield pick up shortly after the Confederates retired from the field in July 1863. >

Since now my curiosity is piqued, the above was posted on the CJ Daley web-site regarding the coat. I think the "firm documentation" is the key to this whole discussion. But, then again, I can foresee all kinds of challenges to just what "firm documentation" is.

If we can stay on course, this can be a great thread.

Mark

HighPrvt
09-23-2006, 07:39 PM
Personal attack on Chris, nope never said that. However one could sumise that you are attacking his credibillity, at least as far a research goes.
You do have a track record of attacking other vendors items/skills though.

Actually the coat itself is irrelivant. it's your lack of tact that I'm pointing out here.

I've made my point, so have a nice discussion..........

But I will appreciate it if you quit putting words in my mouth ;)




Mr. Kindred
I don't disagree with you, I merely stated that he should have spoken with Chris, and/or offered proof that the jacket is not period. Before bringing it to a public forum.

NJ Sekela
09-23-2006, 08:23 PM
Sir:

You took yet another shot at me, and did not answer my question.

What about the coat makes it period correct for you?

I am, &c,

NJ Sekela,
Manf'r.
N. Jers'y.

http://www.njsekela.com
http://www.ejtsutler.com
http://www.carterandjasper.com

FranklinGuardsNYSM
09-23-2006, 09:33 PM
Anyway, back to the garment...

I looked at this coat in December, and wasn't sure what to make of it. While, to me, it appears to be of cadet gray wool which has worn down a bit, the curatorial notes say it is a wool-cotton jeancloth, though the Object Condition Report from 2002 states it is "blue gray wool." Part of the 2003-2004 conservation work included fiber analysis, but I don't have the results from that.

The garment was originally part of the Rosensteel collection, and as per the object report, it was "found on the Gettysburg Battlefield after the battle." Not all of the items in the Rosensteel collection are alleged battlefield pick-ups, nor do they pretend to be. In addition, their cataloging system was non-existent, and the NPS had to start from scratch when they took over the collection. However, items that were picked up by the young Rosensteel in the days after the battle were identified as such, including this coat, the Richmond Depot jacket, and the M1855 Springfield from a dead Confederate on Culp's Hill.

Sadly, it is in very poor condition, and the recent conservation work has caused many of the coat's original internal features to be replaced. However, as far as the Park is concerned, it is a battlefield pick-up.

NJ Sekela
09-24-2006, 07:20 AM
Marc:

Thank you very much for the perspective. If I am reading this correctly, then a substantial part of the garment is replaced.

I am simply curious why Mr. Daley chose to reproduce that particular garment. I have assembled pictures of period garments but I would prefer to hear Mr. Daley's reply before posting them.

And, still no reply from Mr. Davis.

I am, &c,

NJ Sekela,
Manf'r.
N. Jers'y.

http://www.njsekela.com
http://www.ejtsutler.com
http://www.carterandjasper.com

Tarky
09-24-2006, 08:39 AM
Hi All,
I purchased a cheap, used, "sutlers row quality" CSA sack coat (medium gray wool with 7 brass CSA buttons, no branch of serice trim, stand up collar, inside left pocket) for an event I will be galvanizing at this weekend. It was sort of an emergency buy, very inexpensive, and may be the only time I use it. My unit will be portraying confederate Cavalry assigned to protect artillery. The organizers have provided no guidelines or year for this event, but only vaguely state that this is a battle "somewhere in the fields of Virginia".

That said, I understand that Confederate sacks were not all that common, especially compared to shell jackets (or were they used more than I may think?).

Were those that were worn issued by the CSA or State Governments, or were they home-made, or private purchased items only? Were they an individual choice of coat, or worn by entire units?

Also, are the brass CSA buttons completely wrong? Would replacing the buttons with wood help add at least a little authenticity to this coat? Maybe turning it into a "sent from home" coat?

I've never really focused too much on the uniforms of the Confederate States, So I'd like to learn a little general information here about CSA Sacks and jackets if possible.

Thanks in advance!!
Dave

The sack coat was an article of clothing commonly used in the early years of the Civil War, 1861-1862. There are a lot of descriptions of Confederates wearing sack coats, at the Battles of Fort Donelson, and in the East, Jackson's Valley campaign, and at Antietam, the culmination of that summers campaign. The use of civilian clothing by Confederate soldiers is found in many contemporary descriptions. Read my book CADET GRAY & BUTTERNUT BROWN.Tom Arliskas

3rd Alabama
09-24-2006, 08:52 AM
Sir:

What I am saying is that from the images submitted by Mr. Daley, the features of the coat indicate that it is of post-war manufacture.

Again, I will post images of features of period coats.

I am, &c,

NJ Sekela,
Manf'r.
N. Jers'y.

http://www.njsekela.com
http://www.ejtsutler.com
http://www.carterandjasper.com

So you have never viewed the coat in question? Maybe you should before you comment on it. I also can't figure out why you always have soemthing to say about Mr. Daley and what he makes. Why can't we all get along!

NJ Sekela
09-24-2006, 09:38 AM
Mr. Greenfield:

I am glad that you brought this point up, as it brings out one of the traditional misconceptions in this hobby. You do not need to VISIT a garment to accurately make a reproduction. The ONLY benefit would be to obtain the smallest of finishing details, but the proportions would be the same. I am stating that Mr. Daley should be able to correlate those proportions to other garments to substantiate the otherwise weak documentation for this garment.

You are, perhaps a better respondent than the others, since you attended Mr. Daley's frock coat seminar several years ago. Your personal relationship with him and his training has made you more versed in his approach than others, and can better illuminate how he has arrived at the conclusion that this is indeed a Civil War period garment.

Presumably Mr. Daley's approach is quite different, but speaking as a commercial patternmaker, the starting point is measurements. It would be like a construction company not being able to build a house until they found one to copy.

I am, &c,

NJ Sekela,
Manf'r.
N. Jers'y.

http://www.njsekela.com
http://www.ejtsutler.com
http://www.carterandjasper.com

Doug Cooper
09-24-2006, 09:55 AM
Tried to load this in but it may be too small to see much. In further support of Marc Herman's post, this is a drawing done of CS prisoners post Rich Mountain in Grafton VA. The fellow on the left and one sitting down appear to be wearing sack coats based on the pattern and especially the fit and the length. They may be civilian garments adapted to military use or may have been constructed for military use - no way to tell.

There is an outstanding illustration of the CS officer sack coat on page 127 of Echoes of Glory belonging to Capt Charles Dimmock, Engineer.

NJ Sekela
09-24-2006, 11:05 AM
Mr. Cooper:

It is a well known fact that sack coats existed not only in the Southern Army, but also in the Northern army and among the civilian population as well. The photograph that you mention, perfectly illustrates the point that I am trying to make in that the sleeve has the classic wide elbow of the 1860's, which is found on both Southern enlisted and officer's clothing, as well as Northern officer's clothing. It is a classic style of the period.

The coat in Mr. Daley's study more closely appears to have the proportions of the post Franco-Prussian war period, which had the heavy German influence. The sleeve has a elbow and cuff very close in dimension and proportion. THAT BEING the case, it would be incumbant upon Mr. Daley to strongly bolster the weak provenance with supporting documentation showing that it is indeed from the period.

I have been in contact with Stephen Sylvia and Michael J. O'Donnel for permission to cite the entire section in their book The Illustrated History of American Civil War Relics. They have one section that deals with the Rosensteel collection. The following passage is a glimpse into some of the difficulty in relying solely upon the collection. It does, however, appear that the family were avid collectors after the war as well.

"Occassionally, a relic could not be positively identified, and was mislabeled. Confederate Infantry script "I" buttons, for example, which resemble the letter "F", were labeled "Florida" buttons by Rosensteel. Confederate artillery block "A" buttons were presented as "Alabama" buttons.

That coat does not jump out as an 1860's coat, and despite how much baiting is going on, I don't really care who makes the reproduction.

I am, &c,

NJ Sekela,
Manf'r.
N.Jers'y.

http://www.njsekela.com
http://www.ejtsutler.com
http://www.carterandjasper.com

3rd Alabama
09-24-2006, 11:07 AM
Mr. Greenfield:

I am glad that you brought this point up, as it brings out one of the traditional misconceptions in this hobby. You do not need to VISIT a garment to accurately make a reproduction. The ONLY benefit would be to obtain the smallest of finishing details, but the proportions would be the same. I am stating that Mr. Daley should be able to correlate those proportions to other garments to substantiate the otherwise weak documentation for this garment.

You are, perhaps a better respondent than the others, since you attended Mr. Daley's frock coat seminar several years ago. Your personal relationship with him and his training has made you more versed in his approach than others, and can better illuminate how he has arrived at the conclusion that this is indeed a Civil War period garment.

Presumably Mr. Daley's approach is quite different, but speaking as a commercial patternmaker, the starting point is measurements. It would be like a construction company not being able to build a house until they found one to copy.

I am, &c,

NJ Sekela,
Manf'r.
N. Jers'y.

http://www.njsekela.com
http://www.ejtsutler.com
http://www.carterandjasper.com

I don't believe you can make an accurate reproduction from just pictures. There is a lot that can be missed by looking at photos, there is a lot that can be missed when the real thing is right in front of you as well. If you make a garment, belt, knapsack or what ever just from photo's you are relying on who ever took the photo's to show you what you need to see. That may not always show you what you need to see. Same way I don't understand how a garment can be made from a description(when none survive) than actually viewing the said piece. This then becomes personal interpretation on construction techniques and is not faithful to the original item.

NJ Sekela
09-24-2006, 11:20 AM
John:

Okay, I'll bite. What is unseen in this garment that hits the ball out of the park?

I am assuming that there is further thought behind offering this item, other than it was part of the Rosensteel collection. At this point, perhaps you can, but ONLY Chris Daley can explain his support for this garment.

For what it is worth, I am NOT saying just photographs. In point of fact, I am stressing dimensions. Whether you are building a house, a saddle, a cartridge box or a Confederate Sack coat, you start with dimensions. If you are interested, the Army drafted a schedule of measurements in their unpublished Quartermaster Manual, and published the inside dimensions of cartridge boxes in the Ordinance Manuals. Those dimensions, by the way, are listed on Chris Daley's site, and I am sure that he can forward them to you if you like. That is the same process that is used in the apparel industry to this day, so I firmly believe that I am on the right track.

Your experience as an automobile mechanic is relevant in that there is reference material for dimesions, tolerances and specifications. You don't have to go find another similiar car in order to learn how to make another one work.

To sidestep supporting documentation and go directly to copying from an original piece of clothing is an amateurish approach. This is a perfect example of the flaw of that system, in that it is not related to anything.

I am, &c,

NJ Sekela,
Manf'r.
N.Jers'y.

http://www.njsekela.com
http://www.ejtsutler.com
http://www.carterandjasper.com

GreencoatCross
09-24-2006, 04:13 PM
All;

Here...a photograph of an original CS issue sack coat attributed to a Tennessee soldier who fought at Perryville, KY in late 1862. This garment is currently housed in a Memphis collection.

The garment is reportedly fully lined with osnaburg and as you can see, the jeancloth exhibits many weaving imperfections and slub yarns. The buttons are locally produced stamped brass general service eagles.

I would like to see some discussion on this garment, especially from anyone who has actually been able to examine it in person. Also, details in this garment's construction point to something other than another example of a "four-button jacket."

http://thumb17.webshots.net/t/59/459/8/46/54/2611846540077931417MQKtKs_th.jpg (http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2611846540077931417MQKtKs)

NJ Sekela
09-24-2006, 06:58 PM
Brian:

The front appears to be cut slightly off grain, or they aligned the grain to the bottom edge of the garment. The pattern is very clean, and the sleeves are well set. It is a well made coat.

Are the Center front edges of the collar different heights?

I am, &c,

NJ Sekela,
Manf'r.
N.Jers'y.

http://www.njsekela.com
http://www.ejtsutler.com
http://www.carterandjasper.com

GreencoatCross
09-24-2006, 07:29 PM
Nick,

I too noticed the off-kilter grain. In fact it was probably the first thing that struck me when I saw the photographs. It does appear that the center front collar edges are two different heights but I think that a little of that has to do with the angle of the photograph and the fact that the top of the garment is not closed with a button.

With some time and luck I will hopefully be able to conduct a full study of this coat.

tompritchett
09-24-2006, 08:01 PM
THAT BEING the case, it would be incumbant upon Mr. Daley to strongly bolster the weak provenance with supporting documentation showing that it is indeed from the period.

While I am no means qualified to enter into a debate on whether or not the featured jacket is of the CW period or is a post-Civil War jacket, I think at this time it is premature to use the term "weak provenance" as we have not seen the documentation that the Rosensteels have that this jacket is period or not - the documentation that Mr. Daley made his claim on. Granted your analysis of the construction details of the jacket suggests that it is most likely of post-war manufacture, but it is inappropriate to claim Mr. Daley's documentation is "weak" without having actually seen that documentation. Hopefully someone who has access to the Rosensteel family can ask to see this documentation and relay it on to us in this thread. Until such time, further speculation on this particular coat will probably serve no further purpose, but posting details pictures of other shell jackets and the resulting critiques of their construction would add to all of our pools of knowledge. Thank you.

ewtaylor
09-24-2006, 08:20 PM
Nick,

With some time and luck I will hopefully be able to conduct a full study of this coat.

Sir,
Those are CS eagle buttons, although I'm sure you knew that. If you get a chance to view the coat would you be so kind as to email me the backmarks of those buttons? My hunch is a blank back, probably depressed channel. but I'd like to know anyway.
When I was putting together all the facts I could find about the War in this part of Kentucky (for a book), I was bombarded by short stories that had been passed down thru the generations. Many of the details in the stories were inaccurate and some I knew to be just plain wrong. So I didnt include them in the book. Many of these people were outright mad because their stories werent included in the final published copy. When I tried to explain the reasons why, some were understanding and some were very angry. My point of the book was to give an accurate historical portrait of the War in this area and to dismiss some of those fables and fairy tales associated with the time period. To some I did a very good job, to others I'm just a jerk.
Mr. Sekela I like it when you question the finished products of others. If I'm going to drop $200+ on a jacket or coat or whatever, then by God I expect it to be historically correct and documented. I'm not trying to put any vendors down, it just seems we are getting into the "good ole boy" system and thats not good.

thanks,
ew "jerk" taylor

Doug Cooper
09-25-2006, 12:29 AM
All;

Here...a photograph of an original CS issue sack coat attributed to a Tennessee soldier who fought at Perryville, KY in late 1862. This garment is currently housed in a Memphis collection.

The garment is reportedly fully lined with osnaburg and as you can see, the jeancloth exhibits many weaving imperfections and slub yarns. The buttons are locally produced stamped brass general service eagles.

I would like to see some discussion on this garment, especially from anyone who has actually been able to examine it in person. Also, details in this garment's construction point to something other than another example of a "four-button jacket."

http://thumb17.webshots.net/t/59/459/8/46/54/2611846540077931417MQKtKs_th.jpg (http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2611846540077931417MQKtKs)

This the McDill jacket (9th Tennessee) in the Mud Island Museum in Memphis. I have the dimensions and another photo of this jacket if anyone is interested.

NJ Sekela
09-25-2006, 01:00 AM
Sir:

I would be extremely interested in seeing more information on this piece. The dimensions that I would like to see are:

SLEEVE:
1). Bicep
2). Elbo
3) Sleeve opening
4). Top Sleeve length from top of shoulder to sleeve opening
5). Under Sleeve length from side seam to sleeve opening.
6). Armhole length

Body:
1). Chest
2). Waist (if any)
3). CB length from neck seam to hem
4). Across shoulder
5). Sweep

Also, clear photographs of the back would be important. The curve of the back seams changed from 1830 to 1870, and it can be helpful in pinpointing the patternmaking system.

Mr. Pritchett: I would endeavour to give Mr. Daley all the benefit of the doubt that can be afforded. I would state however, that the oral history of the coat is of almost no value, as it doesn't pinpoint it to anything other than the Rosensteel family. It needs more supporting documentation.


Thank you very much!

I am, &c,
NJ Sekela,
Manf'r.
N.Jers'y.

http://www.njsekela.com
http://www.ejtsutler.com
http://www.carterandjasper.com

tompritchett
09-25-2006, 07:53 AM
I would state however, that the oral history of the coat is of almost no value, as it doesn't pinpoint it to anything other than the Rosensteel family. It needs more supporting documentation.

At this point in the discussion, we have no clue about the nature or quality of the documentation for this coat by the Rosensteel family so it is again premature to assume that it is all "oral history".

NJ Sekela
09-25-2006, 08:21 AM
Mr. Pritchett:

Can we assume that Mr. Daley has more documentation than the oral history? Can we invite him to please share it?

I am,

NJS

tompritchett
09-25-2006, 01:37 PM
Can we assume that Mr. Daley has more documentation than the oral history? Can we invite him to please share it?

The invitation has already been extended to anyone who has access to the documentation that the Rosensteels have on this jacket.

NJ Sekela
09-26-2006, 04:25 AM
This is truly a shame.

I am, &c,

NJ Sekela,
Manf'r,
N.Jers'y.

http://www.njsekela.com
http://www.ejtsutler.com
http://www.carterandjasper.com

MStuart
09-26-2006, 05:02 AM
This is truly a shame.

I am, &c,

NJ Sekela,
Manf'r,
N.Jers'y.

http://www.njsekela.com
http://www.ejtsutler.com
http://www.carterandjasper.com

Do we know if he's been to an event and hasn't checked his forum messages yet? I don't think that this forum is the first thing he checks in the morning. It's possible he's unaware of the thread here.

Mark

NJ Sekela
09-26-2006, 05:21 AM
Sir:

Not that I really care, but he was actively posting here on Sunday. I also sent him a private message cc'ing Mr. Kindred. I would actually simply like to see what his basis was for the reproduction, simply because it is so unusual.

Nothing more need be said.

I am, &c,

NJ Sekela,
Manf'r,
N.Jers'y.

http://www.njsekela.com
http://www.ejtsutler.com
http://www.carterandjasper.com

tompritchett
09-26-2006, 06:56 AM
This is truly a shame.

Why? As you said earlier, the issue is not how true Mr. Daley is in copying the questioned coat but rather whether the coat is truly of the CW period or instead the post-Civil War period. Thus the meat of the issue is the documentation for the original coat that places it at Gettysburg after the battle. This is documentation that the Rosensteels family maintains. Therefore, I have asked that anyone who can get access to that documentation, please post a summary of it here to resolve this issue. After all, unless there is a hidden agenda here, the documentation is the issue, isn't it?

MStuart
09-26-2006, 08:40 AM
After all, unless there is a hidden agenda here, the documentation is the issue, isn't it?

Tom:

My money says you may have hit the nail on the head.

Mark

NJ Sekela
09-26-2006, 10:20 PM
Mr. Pritchett:

Stylistically, the coat is from the 1880's period. Mr. Daley chose to reproduce that garment, and it is not the Rosensteel family's responsibility to provide documentation for Daley's work. If he were to sell a copy of Evil Kneivel's uniform, the documentation and historical relevence would be the responsiblity of the Knievel family?

One would think that this would have been one of the first steps taken. Apparently you just make the item, then do the research later, or better yet, send the customer off to do their own research on the coat you just sold him.

If you were to drop the name Jarnagin into this, there wouldn't be a single person standing up to their defense.

I am, &c,

NJ Sekela,
Manf'r.
N.Jers'y.

http://www.njsekela.com
http://www.ejtsutler.com
http://www.carterandjasper.com

MStuart
09-26-2006, 10:29 PM
You were going to post pictures of period sack coats so we could see the differences ourselves. Are they available yet?

Mark

NJ Sekela
09-27-2006, 04:40 AM
I would be delighted to do so, AFTER Mr. Daley posts his documentation.

I am, &c,

NJ Sekela,
Manf'r.
N.Jers'y.

tompritchett
09-27-2006, 05:25 AM
Mr. Pritchett:

Stylistically, the coat is from the 1880's period. Mr. Daley chose to reproduce that garment, and it is not the Rosensteel family's responsibility to provide documentation for Daley's work. If he were to sell a copy of Evil Kneivel's uniform, the documentation and historical relevence would be the responsiblity of the Knievel family?

One would think that this would have been one of the first steps taken. Apparently you just make the item, then do the research later, or better yet, send the customer off to do their own research on the coat you just sold him.

If you were to drop the name Jarnagin into this, there wouldn't be a single person standing up to their defense.

I am, &c,

NJ Sekela,
Manf'r.
N.Jers'y.

http://www.njsekela.com
http://www.ejtsutler.com
http://www.carterandjasper.com


First of all, let me rephrase your last question and feed it back to you, would you have even raised the issue of the date of the Rosensteel shell coat, had Jarnagan made a copy of it? Obviously, you have a very real potential conflict of interest in this whole discussion. Your point that the Rosensteel jacket may be post-Civil War based upon the details of its construction is a legitmate question that should be resolved. However, your repeated insistence that the responsiblity for clearing up this issue lies ONLY with Mr. Daley in my eyes, and the eyes of several readers that have either emailed or PM'd me, clearly crosses the conflict of interest line. This situation is analogous to a vendor studying in detail and then copying a pair contained in the Musuem of the Confederacy and then the vendor not trusting the documentation that the museum had that the pants were authentic. The fact that a question has been raised about the time-period of the pants ultimately falls back on the museum to resolve and not solely on the vendor.

Personally, I have no personal preference over you or Mr. Daley as both of you have healthy reputations for quality, authentic work. However, I do have strong feelings about anyone using this forum to personally attack another via conflict or interest postings regardless of how scholarly they are. It is this latter factor and not any personal preferences that has caused me to become involved in this discussion.

NJ Sekela
09-27-2006, 05:58 AM
Tom:

I appreciate your thoughts and knew that it would not eventually come down to a political position, rather than an academic discourse. I have sincere doubts of the objectivity of the "many readers" and the true desire to get down the truth. Did ANY of them send you information supporting the authenticity of the garment? If he or they had the information, it would be there.

In truth it has gone much further than I thought and I appreciate you offering this place to discuss the topics.While I would fully agree with not using the forums for less than hidden agendas, I would state that a potential agenda would be to sell inaccurate items.It obviously won't proceed beyond this point.

I realized going into this that it would be a fine line that I would have to walk, which is why I didn't respond to the baiting. If you would afford me the opportunity to post pictures of gaments from the period, the differences will become clear.

NJS

cblodg
09-27-2006, 07:59 AM
what i'm going to contribute you could fit in a thimbal.

From a person who has very little knowledge on construction of garments, the one that Daley is basing his production on looks completely different from the one we know to be a CSA issue sack. to me the proof is in the collar.

Now i'm not sure how many, if any, CSA officer uniforms were made to have a fold down collar, however we do know that officers rarely (if ever) had a uniform issued to them. They would have been purchased specially for them. Now my experince with Federal officer sacks has still been shown that these were meant to have should boards on them. All of the Confederate officer uniforms that I have seen have stand up collars.

Now that really doesn't mean much when it comes right down to it. But when you examine the collar on the documented (for sake of argument) CSA issue coat, even then the collar appears to be a stand-up collar. This one that Daley has appears to have been constructed as a fall-down collar.

Now that being said, I both admire and respect Mr. Sekela and Mr. Daley, but to an untrained eye, the proof is in the collar for me.

But what do I know :)

YOS;
Chris

hanktrent
09-27-2006, 08:22 AM
First of all, let me rephrase your last question and feed it back to you, would you have even raised the issue of the date of the Rosensteel shell coat, had Jarnagan made a copy of it?

Of course there's an agenda behind all this, but it doesn't change the fact that specific points about real artifacts are being considered. I think that's a good thing. I don't subscribe to the idea that only certain people should be allowed to ask for documentation of claims.

Whether a friend or an enemy questions you, your documentation and your explanation of the logic used to draw conclusions from it should be the same, so who's asking the question doesn't really matter. If the person being questioned offers a rebuttal, then everyone can read both sides, and decide for themselves.

There are some historically puzzling artifacts which may never be figured out, so it's possible there will never be a 100% answer to this one. The sleeve dimensions and the machine work being questioned really were more common post-war, as far as I know. Is anyone disputing that fact? That's what makes the question seem reasonable to me.

The features could have existed during the war, but if the jacket had no war-time provenance connected to it, I don't know that everyone examining it as a stand-alone artifact would assume it was of wartime manufacture.

So then one needs to show the logic used to reconcile the contradictions, if you believe it's wartime. "Yes, it's atypical, but the wartime provenance is iron-clad because...". Or, "the wartime provenance is weak, but those features are also found on this garment which does have strong wartime provenance..." Or whatever.


This situation is analogous to a vendor studying in detail and then copying a pair contained in the Musuem of the Confederacy and then the vendor not trusting the documentation that the museum had that the pants were authentic. The fact that a question has been raised about the time-period of the pants ultimately falls back on the museum to resolve and not solely on the vendor.

Well, that's true, it's not solely on the vendor. But the situation is also analogous to an author writing with footnotes. The footnotes allow readers to follow the information back to the author's source. But if an author makes a claim, it's still his claim, regardless what footnotes he uses to support it.

Personally, I have no preference for Sekela's items or Daley's, and I certainly have no opinions concerning their uniforms. Don't suppose I've bought more than one or two things from either over the years, so I don't really have a dog in this fight on that level.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

NJ Sekela
09-27-2006, 08:32 AM
Hank:

That was my point entirely.

I honestly feel that there was the desire to avoid the question.

If this IS a question about his REPRODUCTION, then I WOULD AGREE that a conflict could be seen. I am spaking of the original artifact.

NJS

tompritchett
09-27-2006, 09:41 AM
Tom:

I appreciate your thoughts and knew that it would not eventually come down to a political position, rather than an academic discourse. I have sincere doubts of the objectivity of the "many readers" and the true desire to get down the truth. Did ANY of them send you information supporting the authenticity of the garment? If he or they had the information, it would be there.

I have been sent contact information for getting additional information on the documentation behind this jacket. I will be following up on it this week and will post my findings. For me, this is not about politics or one vendor over another but only about the time period that this historical artifact was made. I hope to have this issue resolved one way or another soon. Everyones patience will be appreciated. Thanks.

NJ Sekela
09-28-2006, 04:21 AM
Mr. Pritchett:

While I do appreciate your attempts, I doubt that the subtleties of pattern will be brought to light. To date, there isn't anything written, (at least in this arena) that makes the distinctions I am showing. Time will tell. Chances are it will be a curatorial report and not a technical report. This piece requires some true forensic patternmaking, tracing before and after the 1863 provenance.

While I do find the accusation of "conflict of interest" offensive, there is the conflict of interest on the "opposite" side that wants to protect an "image" at all costs. Even if the item is proven wrong, it can't or won't be admitted.

A recent experience was the machine buttonholes, where members of the Southern Guard were approaching and harassing my customers, and telling them that they couldn't participate wearing garments made by me with machine buttonholes. Despite the fact that 5 Federal Issue garments have subsequently been found with machine buttonholes, they will never admit their error.

Chris Daley is a member of the Southern Guard.

It does not surprise me that they are able to mobilize in support. It is a shame that they cannot provide the documentation needed.

I am, &c,

NJ Sekela.

Nighthawk
09-28-2006, 05:43 AM
Let it go for goodness sake! sheeesh!!!

tompritchett
09-28-2006, 08:18 AM
Chances are it will be a curatorial report and not a technical report.

The issue was whether or not the documentation of the Rosensteel jacket can definitely link it to being found after the battle of Gettysburg. That is a curatorial report and that is what I am focussing on. I will also be providing the contact information for the whoever gives me feedback on the documentation so that the discussion can be taken to them as I will not be an intermediary in such a debate. Again patience as I do have two jobs and some other personal business that must taken precedence over resolving this issue.

ScottCross
09-28-2006, 01:04 PM
I've been doing primary research in museums for over 25 years, I have a Masters degree in Museum studies, and have over ten years experience working in the field. You would not believe the number of items in museums and private collections that are supposedly from the Civil War that can't possibly be: Trap-door Sprigfields carried by great-grand pappy; Boy Scout canteens picked up on battlefields; Indian War era fatigue blouses and overcoats; etc., etc,. and etc. Just because a donor says its "Civil War", doesn't make it "Civil War". Provenance, Documentation, & Research have to be used on items that are questionable. Oral tradition is a poor resource, first hand accounts are much more valuable (the veteran actually makes the statement to the museum), but not without error.

I'll give you an example. A British Uniform coat donated to my museum in the 1920s has a catalog card reading, "Coat worn by donor's grandfather during the American Revolution." The pattern of the coat was definately that worn by British troops during the Napoleanic era. I did research and found "Grandpa". He was was born circa 1790 in Worcestor, England. He served in the British Military circa 1815, and immigrated to the US in 1845. He died in 1876. So much for family folklore and old museum records. I could show you dozens of examples of these types of problems (it sure makes my job harder).

I think this is the point of the discussion. If the documentary evidence is sketchy or questionable, if the provenance is weak, you have to do more research based on other factors, such as construction methods and techniques. Just because it is said, doesn't mean that it is true.

hanktrent
09-28-2006, 02:26 PM
You would not believe the number of items in museums and private collections that are supposedly from the Civil War that can't possibly be:
...

I think this is the point of the discussion. If the documentary evidence is sketchy or questionable, if the provenance is weak, you have to do more research based on other factors, such as construction methods and techniques. Just because it is said, doesn't mean that it is true.

Exactly. I figured it was common knowledge among those studying artifacts. It's like judging a legal case; you have to consider all the evidence.

My wife has a pair of shoulder scales, passed down through her family along with the story about them, as told to her mother by her great grandfather. He said that his family, the Vanderslices, brought them from Holland back in the 1700s.

In fact, the ancestor who told the story actually purchased and wore them himself in the late 1800s when he was an officer in the Ohio National Guard.

Apparently, the great grandfather had a weird sense of humor, and told the Holland story as a practical joke. No one knew the truth, until my wife began researching his life, found old photos of him in his ONG uniform, and had the shoulder scales identified to the ONG.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

W PA bumpkin
09-28-2006, 03:44 PM
Exactly. I figured it was common knowledge among those studying artifacts. It's like judging a legal case; you have to consider all the evidence.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

If this is true, then Chris is innocent until proven guilty. Why haven't we seen the photos that Mr. Sekela has offered as proof of construction?

I don't see CJ Daley making and selling garments based on guesswork. If the origins of this coat are in question then either produce your evidence or withdraw the allegation.

ewtaylor
09-28-2006, 04:06 PM
If this is true, then Chris is innocent until proven guilty. Why haven't we seen the photos that Mr. Sekela has offered as proof of construction?

I don't see CJ Daley making and selling garments based on guesswork. If the origins of this coat are in question then either produce your evidence or withdraw the allegation.

If you look on Ebay there are thousands of items labeled "Civil War period". Most of these items are fakes or reproductions sold by con-artists. However there are some items sold with only an "oral history" by unsuspecting sellers. Should these sellers be held accountable or left alone to keep selling things to an unknowledgeable person??
I don't know either Mr. Daley or Mr. Sekela, but have bought items from both in the past and was well pleased.
Mr. Sekela is an expert in the construction of garments and he has brought to light an item which he believes is not of the period. Should we say "oh well" or should we look into it??
If ANY vendors are reproducing and selling things "of the period" shouldnt they be able to back it up with documentation just as a CW relic dealer?
ew taylor

hanktrent
09-28-2006, 04:54 PM
If this is true, then Chris is innocent until proven guilty.

Uh, no. If you want to follow that analogy, the sack coat is on trial, not Chris. If anything, Chris would only be a detective or at most its lawyer.

"Innocent until proven guilty" would be the extreme skeptic's view: every artifact is assumed to be misidentified until the case is proven otherwise. Honestly, that's sometimes not a bad idea, like when shopping for "original" flags and uniforms on eBay. At least a little skepticism is useful also when viewing museum collections. If nothing else, it's a good way to learn more about original garments, since it helps to gain more understanding about why they're different from later things, what's typical of the period, and what's unusual.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

W PA bumpkin
09-28-2006, 05:23 PM
Uh, no. If you want to follow that analogy, the sack coat is on trial, not Chris. If anything, Chris would only be a detective or at most its lawyer.

"Innocent until proven guilty" would be the extreme skeptic's view: every artifact is assumed to be misidentified until the case is proven otherwise.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

Uh, yes, if you care to read between the lines. The sack coat just so happens to be on trial here as there seems to be a doubt on its authenticity. Call a spade a spade: one vendor openly questioning a competitor on provenance, whether family oral history, construction, fabric, cut, weave, style, etc.

As far as being an extreme skeptic, not every artifact is assumed "misidentified" and I'm still waiting for the photos that were promised...

toptimlrd
09-28-2006, 05:33 PM
First of all, I have no dog in this hunt but I hate seeing what this thread is boiling down to. I went back and looked at the post that started this whole thing and pasted it below. What I do not understand is why are we arguing at all. I have had the pleasure of dealing with both Mr. Sekela and Mr. Daley and find both of them to be very reasonable and accomodating gentlemen. Per Mr. Sekela's initial post, there were construction issues he saw with the coat that raised a suspicion about whether or not the coat was period. He did not insinuate that Mr. Daley was in any way trying to misrepresent anything. It seemed like a reasonable question between two people who know about the textiles of this period better than just about anyone. In short the question was that the coat seemed to not fit the typical construction methods of the era so other than oral history, what is the provenance. I do not think Mr Sekela was in any way trying to impune Mr. Daley whatsoever but enough people seemed to jump on Mr. Sekela at first that he did what many of us would have done and defended his statement. I would expect that if the provenance is proven out that Mr. Sekela would acept the provenance and withdraw his concern. I am looking forward to seeing Mr. Daley's provenance also as I too believe it is a unique piece that if it is period will be a nice addition to many impressions and know that Mr. Daley will make a very high quality reproduction. Many top notch people make mistakes and it is obvious one of these two gentlemen have made one, either Mr. Daley has found a garment with construction methods that are ahead of their time according to Mr. Sekela's research or Mr. Daley is looking at a garment which is incorrectly attributed to the battle of Gettysburg and is of later manufacture. Either way, both of these gentlemen will remain highly regarded in my book.

Can we all stop supposing and pointing fingers until we see the evidence. As Mr. Pritchett has stated several times in the thread, we need to have patience. Perhaps the reason Mr. Daley has not posted a response yet is that he is now double checking sources and ensuring he is correct. Mr. Sekela has pointed out what he believes to be the primary issues with the garment so I do not see where it is incumbent for him to show specific photographic proof as I am sure Mr. Daley understands what it is Mr. Sekela is referring to.

The original message follows:

"I had sent a private message to Mr. Daley, voicing my concerns over this coat. I noted that the basic shape and construction of this coat appears to be similiar to post war techniques.

The early "Electric Map" and Rosensteel collection had considerable Spanish American War and Indian war items mixed in, and one has to be careful, and approach some of the early collections with a critical eye.

That garment needs to be tied into something else in the period to make a stronger argument for its use.

I am, &c,

NJ Sekela,
Manf'r.
N.Jers'y."

hanktrent
09-28-2006, 08:33 PM
The sack coat just so happens to be on trial here as there seems to be a doubt on its authenticity.

Then how do we disagree? I too said the sack coat was on trial (the original one in the museum), not Daley.


Call a spade a spade: one vendor openly questioning a competitor on provenance, whether family oral history, construction, fabric, cut, weave, style, etc.

Sure. But as I've said before in this thread, the logical case for an artifact's origin should be the same, regardless of who asks the question, so what does it matter?

If Sekela asks a question and Daley answers, those who are partisan toward Sekela will blindly follow him, those who are partisan toward Daley will blindly follow him, but the rest of us might learn something.

I asked before, and I'm still curious. For those of you who dislike the fact that the question is even being asked: Is it your opinion that straighter sleeves and machine stiffened collars were just as common during the war as after? If so, I can see why you might consider the question impertinent, because it would seem deliberately silly, like asking if coats really had pockets back then or something.

But I'm operating from the belief that the average answer from most reenactors would be that those features were more common post-war, but might have existed as a variation during the war also. Thus the relevence of the question and the chance to learn. Is that not what most reenactors would say?

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

toptimlrd
09-28-2006, 08:59 PM
Then how do we disagree? I too said the sack coat was on trial (the original one in the museum), not Daley.



Sure. But as I've said before in this thread, the logical case for an artifact's origin should be the same, regardless of who asks the question, so what does it matter?

If Sekela asks a question and Daley answers, those who are partisan toward Sekela will blindly follow him, those who are partisan toward Daley will blindly follow him, but the rest of us might learn something.

I asked before, and I'm still curious. For those of you who dislike the fact that the question is even being asked: Is it your opinion that straighter sleeves and machine stiffened collars were just as common during the war as after? If so, I can see why you might consider the question impertinent, because it would seem deliberately silly, like asking if coats really had pockets back then or something.

But I'm operating from the belief that the average answer from most reenactors would be that those features were more common post-war, but might have existed as a variation during the war also. Thus the relevence of the question and the chance to learn. Is that not what most reenactors would say?

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

Careful Hank, you keep making sense like that and some might take you for a heretic. :-D

Anyway, I agree with you. I did not see any attempt from Mr. Sekela to sully Mr Daley, in fact he has always been very complimentary of Mr. Daley's work from what I have seen. Mr. Sekela seems to be the type who wants everyone to be as well educated as possible and when he sees something that JAR (just ain't right), he points it out. He states what he thinks and what he knows and, like us, is always learning I am sure. Now what got me rolling as I've mainly been sitting here as a spectator until now was the ad-hominem attacks on Mr. Sekela .... "Weren't you banned from another forum" "You always attack others" (questions others maybe), etc. Yes or no, none of this is germaine to this discussion.

Now for my $0.02 worth (and trust me that is overpriced), I tend to agree with Mr. Sekela in that most items I have seen in museums (I am in no way an expert, just a spectator in this fight) tend to have what I call the ballooning sleve in that it seems somewhat wide at the elbow and not straight to the cuff. I very possibly can be wrong as I have not seen as many original garments as many here but that is my observation. Now had Mr. Daley informed me this was a Gettysburg pickup, I would have taken that to the bank as I trust him as one of the foremost experts in uniforms but now tha we have someone who is equally well versed disputing it, it raises the question. As to who is correct, the bookies in Vegas would list this as a "pick" as either one may be correct. Let's be honest, both gentlemen have reproducd some very obscure items and this may be one of them that is accurate but not PEC. At this point both men have the benefit of the doubt and I will not think less of whichever one is incorrect.

tompritchett
09-29-2006, 03:21 PM
The verdict is in. Below is a copy of the email that I received from one of the curators in charge of this set of artifacts at the National Museum at Gettysburg.


To: Thomas Pritchett

The CSA sack coat you refer to is the one we designate with the
catalog number GETT 41798. Its documentation for being a battlefield find
consists of a single notation to that effect in the Rosensteel records that
were turned over to the NPS when the collection was purchased in the early
1970s. There is no mention of who found it, where it was found or under
what circumstances. With that said, I too would have to treat this
uniform's documentation as second-rate, at best. Beyond that I am at a loss
to offer any definitive tests that could prove if the coat is or is not a
Civil War relic. It is my most sincere hope that someday technology will
help us to better answer these types of questions - as it will make all
curators' lives that much easier. Thanks for the opportunity to comment on
this issue. Til later - Dean

Dean Knudsen, Curator
Gettysburg National Military Park
97 Taneytown Road
Gettysburg, PA 17325

1-717-337-2111
dean_knudsen@nps.gov


Apparently, there is nothing in the documentation available with the collection that definitely places at the location and time period ascribed to it. If you wish to share your expertise with the National Museum to help them further resolve this issue for their displays, I sure that they would welcome your comments. Thank you for your patience.

MStuart
09-29-2006, 03:39 PM
Now would be a great time to have those pictures so us laymen can see the differences.

Mark

roundshot
09-29-2006, 04:24 PM
I'm not sure I'd say the verdict is in. Rather, the "bloody glove" dosen't seem to fit.

Bob Williams
1st NC Arty

tompritchett
09-29-2006, 05:50 PM
I'm not sure I'd say the verdict is in. Rather, the "bloody glove" dosen't seem to fit.

Pardon me, the issue with this sack coat has always been whether or not there was sufficient documentation to definitely determine that it was constructed and found during the Civil War, given Mr. Sekala's detailed analysis of the details of the jacket. We now have an email from the one of the curators responsible for this artifact that states that the documentation is indeed not that definitive. I think that this more than answers the original question on the documentation as well as it can be addressed. As far as whether the artifact itself is post-war or Civil War, that would be up to the technical experts. However, given Mr. Sekala's analysis and the information posted here to date, it appears that the jacket in question may more likely be of post-war manufacture than Civil War manufacture. I hope that Mr. Sekala will share his expertise with the curators of the museum to resolve the proper labeling of this artifact.

Also I wish to state for the record that I had no interest in how this documentation issue played out and tried to be as impartial as possible in my communications with Mr. Knudson and in my reporting his response. Let's drop the issue of this jacket and move on to examples and discussions of other shell jackets that are known to be of Civil War manufacture. Thank you.

tompritchett
10-01-2006, 08:55 AM
I have also been forwarded an email, which I will include below verbatim, from the other curator, Paul Shevchuk, responsible for the Rosensteel items at the Gettysburg National Museum. While it does not specifically address the documentation issue of this particular sack coat, it does address the overall documentation issues that have been discussed here and the overall issues that have been discussed. The letter in its entirety is as follows:


Dear XXXXXXXXXX:


Thanks for the e-mail. The provenance for many of the Rosensteel objects
are probably based on verbal conversations with the donors of those objects
over the 108 years the family was actively collecting. Those conversations
(at least in part) were transferred into the hand-drawn original labels for
many of the artifacts in the early museum. Some of the labels (many of
which we still preserve) contain rather lengthy and detailed stories about
the circumstance of their usage, how they were found, or their relationship
to Gettysburg. Others just say "Found by Bob Shmoe at Devil's Den in 1927".
Some collections were purchased locally by the Rosensteels over the years
so we know it was found at Gettysburg by a local Gettysburgian. That
information is reflected in our catalog records. Some of our artifacts do
come with written documentation such as letters from the families of the
soldiers who wore, carried or used it. Some have the provenance inscribed
on the object in some fashion such as names, initals, units, or where found
(ie. Little Round Top, Pickett's Charge, etc.).


As for objects found on this battlefield, collectors, re-enactors, and
"uniform makers" need to realize and understand that many or these objects
do not come with any more provenance then "found at Gettysburg". It is
absurd to expect every single object found on any battlefield to have any
sort of written documentation other than who found it, where and when. We
are stuck in this mindset that if an object does not have 500 pages of
written documentation complete with photos, x-rays, DNA sampling etc. that
it is NOT real. In my 28 years with the Park Service, I have never seen a
found artifact with a note attached by the original owner that says "This
is my rifle and I dropped it at Gettysburg while running away from the
Yanks on July 2nd, 1863. Private Ebenezer Farkel, Co. I, 5th Alabama
Flaming Fusseliers" (signed and dated that very day). That just does not
happen. These objects are found days, weeks, months and years after the
event. We know that looting of the dead went on alot during the war.
Letters, photos and other ID's were easily separated from these objects as
people looked for valuables or useful items. Photos and letters are not
very useful when you are looking for food, clothing, shoes, ammunition,
tobacco, money, etc.


Collectors and other Civil War folk have to be open minded when considering
the circumstances in which these things were found. We don't have all the
answers 145 years later and never will. But modern collectors, re-enactors,
and buffs were NOT alive when these collections were being assembled!!!
Sure there are things that we automatically know were not used in the Civil
War because they were not invented at that time. But everything that does
not have a lot of documentation should NOT be discounted as authentic.
Post-Civil War collections were obviously built on the "trust" of the
donor's or seller's information. For many of the early collections as such
Cotton & Hills, Chewning, etc., their documentation was their published
catalog advertising the collections. I am certain that there was no written
documentation to speak of. Most of it came from veterans visiting these
collections in the post war years and remembering something about a canteen
they lost at Vicksburg. This is especially true of the Cotton and Hills
catalog which cites several incidents where visiting veterans (who are
identified) said this was their sword or pistol or whatever. The veteran's
word was taken as "truth" and added into the description of the artifact as
the provenance. So the documentation for the majority of Civil War
artifacts is undoubtably more verbal than written.


As far as the Rosensteel Collection goes, I have been able to discount some
provenance claims of "being at Gettysburg" because the soldier or unit was
not here or the weapon was of a late war model or production. Many others
you cannot prove nor disprove. That is the nature of these early
collections. One thing is for certain, the Rosensteel's made an honest
attempt to properly identify objects in their collection given the
resources available at the time, and tell the stories they received from
donor's or other locals about that object. I honestly do not believe for
one moment that they fabricated stories to get people to come to their
museum and spend money. The Rosensteel Collection has received a bad rap
over the years in the accuracy or provenance department by many collectors
and Civil War buffs. Why I do not know. But one thing I can tell you is
that these people often pass judgement on the collection or objects within
WITHOUT EVER seeing or asking about it. They are quick to discount the
provenance yet they have never come to examine the objects for themselves.
I can tell you that in 17 years of taking care of this collection few
people have made serious efforts to come and research the stuff we have.
You XXXXXXXX, have seen the tip of the iceberg and knows of the treasures that we have. If anyone has a problem with provenance they are uninformed and need to examine the object for themselves before quickly passing judgement. I am tired of people talking about things they know nothing about. Furthermore, not eveyone has seen everything. Our sack coat has only been seen by a handful of people since it was conserved. Just because something is unexpected does not make it suspect. Keep in mind that officer's
clothing was made by individual tailors to the buyer's specifications. Not
every coat would have have been cut, styled or tailored the same way. It
would have reflected the needs of that individual and no other. An officer's sack coat in the Museum of the Confederacy or the Chicago Historical Society may be very different than the one we have. That does not automatically make ours "wrong".


History is an imperfect science. It will always be imperfect because it is
created by the flawed creatures that we are. Some people look for answers
that can never be found. All we can do is look closely at the context in
which these collections were created and have a little faith in what has
been left to us. If the CS officer's sack coat is found to be post war then
so be it. If so then it was left behind (highly unlikely) by a southern
veteran who was wandering the fields one warm summer's day reliving the
glories of the past. IT IS STILL A GETTYSBURG ITEM AND THAT IS ITS
PROVENANCE!!!


Sorry for the diatribe. It is not directed at you but at those who quickly
dismiss what they have never seen


Take care. E-mail me anytime you have a question.

Paul.

Now again I ask, can we move beyond the issue with this particular jacket and refocus the thread onto discussions and displays of other historical sack coats as well as analyses of their construction details.

tompritchett
10-01-2006, 09:15 AM
In point of fact, I feel that you intitally took Mr. Daley's side in this matter, going as far as accusing me of conflict of interest. It should be an eye opener to you that "public outcry" can be manufactured to suit a particular set of needs. In truth there is more concern to protect the "image" of a foremost authority than the work itself. The "image" dissolves immediately when he is questioned, and you are met with all kinds of accusations.


Since you have publically charged me with bias in my role as a moderator, I will respond. I call your attention to my post on 09-25-2006, 01:37 PM in which I stated
The invitation has already been extended to anyone who has access to the documentation that the Rosensteels have on this jacket.. Your immediate reply to that post was
Well
This is truly a shame.. At that point, you were telling me that you were no longer interested in determining the truth of this documentation issue but rather were solely interested in engaging Mr. Daley in an on-line debate on this jacket. With your reply, you set off almost every conflict of interest alarm that I have from spending 9 years in the U.S. EPA where the fear of conflicts of interest were a mania. If I mis-interpreted your reply, I am indeed sorry, but as my focus has always been on addressing as impartially as possible the documentation issues associated with the artifact, an issue that you raised, and then refocussing the thread back onto sack coat construction in general - an issue in which you have considerable expertise and, according to an earlier post, for which you can supply numerous pictures. If you want to discontinue the discussion now because the discussion has shifted away from this particular sack coat, that is your prerogative but be advised such a decision might have implications to non-paritsan readers of this thread.

tompritchett
10-01-2006, 09:19 AM
Final Warning - Either this thread will refocus on discussion of historical sack coats - using pictures and discussions of other existing sack coats with possible analyses of construction details, or it WILL be locked.

13thKyCavCSA
10-02-2006, 03:05 PM
This sack is a Private purchase CS Artillery officers sack. It is unlined and fully machine sewn with the exception of the button holes. The fabric is actually a broadcloth and not a jean or satinette.( it appears to be jean in this photo due to the poor photo quality) This officer was killed in 1862 and three of his uniforms are in existence. Please note the squared off lay down collar.

Now, the comment regarding the machine sewn button holes in an earlier post is intriguing. Five garments ? What type of garments ? Did your garment in question duplicate the original garments with machine sewn buttonholes ? Please share more of this information and documentation with us.

ewtaylor
10-02-2006, 04:16 PM
Sir,
Would you please email me about a photo in circulation. I have been told it is your ancestor, Ben Caudill, but I'm having a hard time believing it. Maybe you have seen it and can confirm the story. It is published in the "Lost Cause" newsletter.
thanks,
ew taylor
rusty94@newwavecomm.net

13thKyCavCSA
10-02-2006, 06:16 PM
Sir,
Would you please email me about a photo in circulation. I have been told it is your ancestor, Ben Caudill, but I'm having a hard time believing it. Maybe you have seen it and can confirm the story. It is published in the "Lost Cause" newsletter.
thanks,
ew taylor
rusty94@newwavecomm.net

Email sent.

NJ Sekela
10-04-2006, 05:54 AM
Sir:

My time is short at present, and cannot go into the detail that I desire, however, I will attempt in shortshrift. While the photograph is interesting, it is hard to get much detail from the image. I am not disputing the provenance of the coat, but I am asking you what about that coat MAKES it Civil War? The square collar to me is not an issue, as it is a design feature of the period and is seen on civilian as well as naval clothing. The construction and measurements are the key.

As for the machine buttonholes, I would refer you to Mr. John Sarver, as he has the most complete information on the garments, which are 5 pair of Federal Issue trousers. ONLY making reproductions of features on one particular garment started out in this hobby as a crutch, and has somehow transformed into a look-down-your-nose at others standard. Owing to the scarcity of surviving artifacts, unless you have complete uniform sets to base it on, an approach like that becomes this big jigsaw puzzle with most of the pieces missing. To my knowledge, scholars use DOCUMENTATION as well as artifacts. There are over a hundred patternmaking manuals from the period that show styles of garments that you never see at events, Raglan sleeves, for example. Original items should be the fine detail back up information, not the complete basis. Oddly enough, there are those in this hobby who act like THAT is the rule, and on the other hand walk around repeating asinine 21st century terms like "mystery jacket".

Mr. Pritchett, I don't see why discussing this jacket with Mr. Daley can be viewed as wrong, as long as it is kept on track.

I am, &c,

NJ Sekela,
Manf'r.
N.Jers'y.

http://www.njsekela.com
http://www.ejtsutler.com
http://www.carterandjasper.com

tompritchett
10-04-2006, 08:22 AM
Mr. Pritchett, I don't see why discussing this jacket with Mr. Daley can be viewed as wrong, as long as it is kept on track.


If Mr. Daley wishes to engage in an online dialog with you regarding any piece of historical clothing that is his prerogative. If he chooses not to engage you in a conversation that is also his prerogative. As a moderator, I have to respect both choices.

DanSwitzer
10-05-2006, 04:47 PM
I've finally had the chance to read through this whole thread ...whew!!...and I for one am interested in seeing somebody describe ... and preferably show some pictures for us non-garment industry trained guys ... what exactly it is that makes a good Confederate sack coat and what is wrong and why in each case with some references or sources.

Just sayin'.

Big Dan

Lwhite64
10-05-2006, 05:12 PM
Ben,
Can you tell me if there is an ID to that coat, also where is it located? In the pic there is a hat, is it gray? Hope all is well.

Lee

roundshot
10-05-2006, 06:01 PM
There was an article with excellent photos in the September/October 1992 issue of North/South Trader about this coat and four others acquired by collector Don Polifka. They are all attributed to a Capt. Maynard from Louisiana who served in the CS artillery. If so, he was one well dressed homeboy. In addition to the sack, there are two double breasted frocks, a black militia style shell jacket with chicken guts braid on the sleeves, and a 7 button blue-gray red piped shell. Also, a black military slouch and a red artillery kepi with captain's gold braid. There is no poitive ID as yet as to who Captain Maynard is, but they are some dandy coats,

Bob Williams
1st NC Arty

13thKyCavCSA
10-06-2006, 06:52 AM
The coat pictured is in the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond. It is not the Maynard coat. I was in last year having driven up from Williamsburg to apply for an Internship there. Probably end up Interning there or at Colonial Williamsburg.

I also found a copy of the NS trader referred to above which had the Maynard Uniforms. The Maynard coat has red piping and is made fom jean cloth.

6 days and counting for departure.

GreencoatCross
10-08-2006, 05:42 PM
I had a chance to talk to some of the guys who know the owner of the 5 pairs of Fed. trousers that feature machine-sewn buttonholes, as well as an acquaintance from Cincinnati who reproduces them.

I believe the contractor was Anspauch & Staunton (sp) out of Philadelphia. The trousers in question were all produced in either late 1864 or sometime in 1865 (cannot recall). I had a look at the reproductions as made by Joe Hill and they're some funky looking pants; no separate waistband, buttons on the inside of the waistband, 3/4 length linen leg lining, darts at the hips, and the pockets were set at angles into the front and reminded me a little of vest or slash pockets. Just weird pants.

The individuals who have viewed these original trousers did say that they were entirely machine-sewn, including all linings and buttonholes.

But does the use of a machine-sewn buttonhole in just one single known variety of period garment justify the use of the same in a large variety of reproduction garments?

NJ Sekela
10-08-2006, 06:24 PM
Sir:

Interesting question you post.

I would have to further ask how many hooded overcoats are in existence?

The construction you describe is typical civilian and even confederate, so aside from the welted pockets, nothing really stands out. I have never approached Civil War items expecting them to be the same.

I am, &c,

NJ Sekela,
Manf'r.
N.Jers'y.

http://www.njsekela.com
http://www.ejtsutler.com
http://www.carterandjasper.com

13thKyCavCSA
10-08-2006, 07:38 PM
Sir:

Interesting question you post.

I would have to further ask how many hooded overcoats are in existence?

I am, &c,

NJ Sekela,
Manf'r.
N.Jers'y.

http://www.njsekela.com
http://www.ejtsutler.com
http://www.carterandjasper.com

Ok, I'll bite. What does the hooded over coat have to do with this thread ?

NJ Sekela
10-08-2006, 07:51 PM
This is in answer to Mr. White's rhetorical question.

"But does the use of a machine-sewn buttonhole in just one single known variety of period garment justify the use of the same in a large variety of reproduction garments?".

What does machine buttonholes have to do with this thread? It should be moved to another thread.

NJS

W PA bumpkin
10-08-2006, 07:55 PM
Ok, I'll bite. What does the hooded over coat have to do with this thread ?

Once again, another shot at Chris Daley. It has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the thread other than question the provenance of Chris's reproduction garments and his reputation.

( BTW, I happen to own a "Weller" hooded overcoat.)

The moderators need to lock this one down as previously threatened.

Respectfully,

NJ Sekela
10-08-2006, 07:59 PM
Sir:

Hooded overcoats are RARER than machine buttonholes on trousers. There are five known pair of issue trousers with machne buttonholes and only ONE known ID'd overcoat. The same goes for the Steubenville Sack coat.

One is questioned, the other isn't.

It is NOT a Chris Daley issue, but a reenactment perception issue. Perhaps machine buttonholes need time to be accepted, but I don't want to see it stopped by a rule that is not consistently applied.

NJS

W PA bumpkin
10-08-2006, 08:09 PM
Sir:

Then you are wearing a coat that is RARER than machine buttonholes on trousers.

NJS

Cool! Then that means my impression will be really unique.

Thanks for the insightful information, especially when you mentioned how you "never approached Civil War items expecting them to be the same."

Regards,

MStuart
10-08-2006, 08:11 PM
Getting back on track (somewhat, I think), are the pictures of sack coats mentioned earlier going to be available any time soon?

Mark

NJ Sekela
10-08-2006, 08:15 PM
Sir:

It is NOT unique to you. In fact that this the whole point.

My question is, how can a hooded overcoat be "cool" when only one exists , and on the other hand five known issue pair of trousers exist and it is questioned.

I guess "cool" is the operative word.

Don't close this thread before I can post a picture that comes to mind. If nothing else, split this thread into a machine buttonhole one if you can.

NJS

John1862
10-08-2006, 08:19 PM
It is NOT a Chris Daley issue, but a reenactment perception issue.

Gents, lets stop bashing Mr. Sekela. This goes for almost anything in the real world, people sometimes just dont question things, be it government, education, foreign policy, or authentic reproductions. Sure, I can say I have reproduced an item "100% correct" to the original, but do I need to prove it to get you to buy, or will you just take my word on it? Might want to take this into consideration when making your next purchase.

NJ Sekela
10-08-2006, 08:32 PM
Sir:

Don't worry too much on my account. [deletion - THP] Their minds are completely made up. Ya gotta love the kangaroo court of authenticity on machine buttonholes. One is still guilty after being proven innocent.

As for the Confederate sack coat, I would clearly state that I am absolutely not of the school of thought that there are "rules" for confederate sack coats. I have always been a proponent that ALL the uniforms of the period evolved and reflected from the contemporaneous apparrel industry. I was intending to draw the parallels to civilian clothing of the period, not establish a set of rules for Confederate Sack coats.

I think that peoples' minds are made up, and if it is something that they don't want to hear, they come up with tangential justifications. Ironcially, it is the mirror image of the "career farb" in the hobby. The low end DOESN'T WANT to improve, and the other end thinks that they have "arrived" and don't need to improve.

Mr. White,

Is this the style of pocketing in question?

http://www.njsekela.com/szabo/deadatgettysburg.jpg

NJS

GreencoatCross
10-09-2006, 07:25 AM
Nick,

I knew I saw that style of pocket before and it was indeed in this picture. That's the one.

tompritchett
10-09-2006, 08:08 AM
What does machine buttonholes have to do with this thread? It should be moved to another thread.


I actually went back and reviewed how the topic of machine buttonholes arose in this thread to see if if the topic could be broken out. It appears that it came from the mention of an historical sack coat that was essential all machine sewn except for the button holes. In response to that another poster mentioned five Federal trousers that had machine sewn button holes. Since the evolution involved the discussion of historical articles of clothing, I consider that an acceptable evolution of thread focus. Therefore, this thread is no open to discussions of historical articles of clothing in general as long as it flows with the thread (if it does not, please start a new thread). However, I do not wish the subject of vendors reproductions of those article to become a focal point again. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

W PA bumpkin
10-09-2006, 09:23 AM
My question is, how can a hooded overcoat be "cool" when only one exists , and on the other hand five known issue pair of trousers exist and it is questioned.

NJS

With all due respect:

are one-of-a-kind garments exempt from study even though they are documented? Does this rule only apply to officers' uniforms that were custom made? I understand your disdain for the term "mystery" jacket, but, are these also exempt from study? Look at the odd, partially completed/mismanufactured items that are 100% authentic to this period in addition to field repairs/modifications/commanding officers' specificatons.

Some of us know that sewing machine-produced garments exsisted and were offered by dry-goods' mail-order catalogues during this period even though it was a cottage industry. Take into account the number of garments that were machine sewn but finished by hand to SAVE TIME in order to fill orders. Take into account the number of civilian garments used out of neccesity by soldiers, including the popular sack coat and overcoats. Look at the VARIETY among Federal uniforms made by sub-contractors. I consider all of these when "studying" uniforms and equipment and STILL maintain an open mind with an ounce of skepticism.

Please do not count us out as jaded "career farbs" who are stuck in a particular mindset. Some of us are still learning and we remain open-minded to new information as long as it is presented to us in such a way that we are not force-fed one's personal opinion and then made to feel inferior by one's superior knowledge (and name-calling).

Still anticipating photos of the other sack coat as promised from the original topic so as to be better informed,

Memphis
10-09-2006, 09:51 AM
Some of us know that sewing machine-produced garments exsisted and were offered by dry-goods' mail-order catalogues during this period even though it was a cottage industry.

Machine sewn garments as a cottage industry?

Perhaps you meant to say large scale mass production in that age of garment industry mechanization. We have a difficult time grasping the scale of manufacturing that existed in the industrialized north before and during the war.

Just my two cents,

hanktrent
10-09-2006, 10:16 AM
Some of us know that sewing machine-produced garments exsisted and were offered by dry-goods' mail-order catalogues during this period even though it was a cottage industry.

I'm curious for more information on that. I've seen ads for shirts that you could purchase from the manufacturer by mail, like Ballou's French Yoke Shirts. But they seemed to be direct from the manufacturer, one product line only, rather than in with "dry-goods mail-order catalogues."

I've seen examples of wholesale catalogues, like Russell & Irwin Hardware, that sold sad irons by the dozen or horseshoes by the barrel for resale or use in a business, but can you give more information on retail catalogues selling a variety of dry-goods items including clothing, by mail direct to the consumer?

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

W PA bumpkin
10-09-2006, 06:25 PM
Machine sewn garments as a cottage industry?

Perhaps you meant to say large scale mass production in that age of garment industry mechanization. We have a difficult time grasping the scale of manufacturing that existed in the industrialized north before and during the war.

Just my two cents,

You're absolutely correct in our (my) grasp of the scale of manufacturing in the industrialized North. I do try to keep in mind that not everybody was sitting around with needle & thread in hand doing all of this sewing, but on the same note I have a difficult time imagining the mechanization of the garment industry during the mid-nineteenth century. Maybe I need to visit a few more museums and read up on this subject.

Regards,

W PA bumpkin
10-09-2006, 06:34 PM
I'm curious for more information on that. I've seen ads for shirts that you could purchase from the manufacturer by mail, like Ballou's French Yoke Shirts. But they seemed to be direct from the manufacturer, one product line only, rather than in with "dry-goods mail-order catalogues."

I've seen examples of wholesale catalogues, like Russell & Irwin Hardware, that sold sad irons by the dozen or horseshoes by the barrel for resale or use in a business, but can you give more information on retail catalogues selling a variety of dry-goods items including clothing, by mail direct to the consumer?

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

I, too, am curious even more so now. To be quite honest this has come up in conversation over the past two years between myself and a couple of pards who have been handling original uniforms and civilian garments for over thirty years. These guys have been around Civil War paraphenalia since the early 1970s and it is they who have been my personal source of knowledge in addition to the many people who I've met along the way.

I will endeavor to answer this question regarding mail-order garments to the best of my ability, and in the event that I cannot, I will admit so.

Sincerely,

Marc Shaffer
10-09-2006, 11:41 PM
http://www.rootsweb.com/~orphanhm/uniforms.htm

Concerning the Weller overcoat:

"Maj. James Hewitt of the 2nd Kentucky used his personal funds to purchase special overcoats for his regiment during the winter of 1861-62. One of these unique hooded coats survives today in the Kentucky Military History Museum"

All found on the 1st Ky Orphan Brigade website. While I'm far from an expert, I believe that all sorts of clothing would have been seen on CS troops early in the war. Especially if they recieved their clothing during the time of the Great Appeal.

Regards,
Marc Shaffer

W PA bumpkin
10-10-2006, 06:36 AM
Machine sewn garments as a cottage industry?

Perhaps you meant to say large scale mass production in that age of garment industry mechanization.

Just my two cents,

After re-reading my comments, what I meant was that the mail-order part was something new, due in part to the population growth in Northern cities, the Homestead Act, et al, and the need for ready-made garments. That is why I used the term "cottage industry." Industrialization was not "new" per say; rather, ordering clothing through the Postal system was.

I hope that this clarifies my point.

Also, thanks to Marc Shaffer for illuminating the provenance of the hooded Weller overcoat.
Sincerely,

hanktrent
10-10-2006, 12:06 PM
I will endeavor to answer this question regarding mail-order garments to the best of my ability, and in the event that I cannot, I will admit so.

The reason I'm curious is that it's my understanding the big retail "mail order catalog" era was post-war, and that there really weren't Sears Roebuck-style catalogs pre-1865. When things were sold retail by mail, it was more individual product lines by an individual manufacturer--books or patent medicine or shirts, etc., each separately.

So I'm curious about information on general dry-goods catalogs selling retail by mail in the pre-1865 era, since it's something I'm not familiar with.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

FranklinGuardsNYSM
10-10-2006, 02:02 PM
I own an 1850 circular from a New York firm that was mailed to Ohio, listing "a general assortment of Clothing constantly on hand," including coats, overcoats, pants, vests, shirts, and drawers.

It is clearly meant for remote ordering, not so much a "come visit our store," as the following appears at the top of the page: "For the accomodation of those who may wish to order, we annex a list of the principal articles in our stock; renewing the assurance given in our former circular, that goods will be selected with the utmost care, and at precisely the same prices as though the purchaser was here to select for himself."

However, I'm curious as to whether or not this document may have been more of a wholesale listing to retailers.

W PA bumpkin
10-10-2006, 02:08 PM
The reason I'm curious is that it's my understanding the big retail "mail order catalog" era was post-war, and that there really weren't Sears Roebuck-style catalogs pre-1865. When things were sold retail by mail, it was more individual product lines by an individual manufacturer--books or patent medicine or shirts, etc., each separately.
Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

In an attempt to answer your question and explain my misnomer "catalog," I have talked to two pards who have clarfied the mail-order system. You are absolutely correct in that the "catalogs" were a post-war (1880s) phenomenon. Mail-order clothing was offered via circulars and newspaper advertisements prior to, during, and following the War years. I was under the assumption that the circulars were small catalogs offered by the manufacturers or retailers and this is where I WAS WRONG.

Therefore, since it was not my intent to mislead or misinform you in any way and there was an error made on my part, I apologize for the incorrect use of the word "catalog."

Sincerely,

NJ Sekela
10-10-2006, 09:42 PM
Sir:

Believe it or not, I believe that we are on the same page. At no time do I ever have disdain for any original garments. [deletion - THP] The Weller overcoat is a fascinating piece.

I am thrilled that things are being made that are not cookie cutter. [deletion - THP - let's not start yet another war in this thread]

The Weller coat was only worn by one regiment in the course of the war. Machine buttonholes are more widely represented than that overcoat. [deletion - THP]

I don't think that you are a career farb, and if anything else, your other postings show an open minded attitude.

I am, &c,

NJ Sekela

NJ Sekela
10-11-2006, 04:43 AM
Sir:

Regarding the Confederate Sack coat, it would be moot and pointless to post information that is not in rebuttal to the original coat. I was INDEED trying to engage Mr. Daley in a discussion of the original piece, in hopes that he could provide addition information to clarify the provenance. That has not, and apparently WILL not happen.

Unless someone else has notes and measurements on that garment, there would be no point in posting information.

NJS

cosgood
10-11-2006, 09:51 AM
Nick,

Concerning machine sewn buttonholes. There is a pair of A&S contract trousers in the smithsonian, wonder if they have machine sewn buttonholes like the others? It would be interesting to see if maybe this contractor did machine sewn buttonholes on all his garments? I dont have alot of info on the A&S trousers, very little. Does anyone happen to have the info on how many pairs were made? Or has seen the pair in the smithsonian?

Casey

FranklinGuardsNYSM
10-11-2006, 11:06 AM
From what I understand, between 1863 (the year that William Anspach and M. Hall Stanton started working together) and 1865, they produced 200,500 pairs of foot pattern trousers and 105,000 pairs of mounted pattern. Seems they were also big on greatcoats and jackets.

tompritchett
10-11-2006, 05:23 PM
Regarding the Confederate Sack coat, it would be moot and pointless to post information that is not in rebuttal to the original coat.

Personally, while I can see why posting pictures and discussing the construction details might be moot in regards to engaging Mr. Daley in an on-line debate, IMHO, it would not necessarily be pointless as it would 1) enlighten all of us of what to look for in purchasing reproductions of such coats, and 2) might encourage more pictures to be posted for analysis.

While I will respect your decision to refrain from posting this information, I would urge you to reconsider. Thank you.

tompritchett
10-11-2006, 05:40 PM
In regards to issues towards the prevalence of such less than standard items such as machine sewn buttonholes and hooded overcoats, I would like to remind everyone that reliance on just surviving artifacts is very limiting because the vast majority of items manufactured back then have not survived. For example, we know that the one Weller overcoat was actually representative of at least enough to outfit a full regiment. Do we have any other data from sales receipts, contracts, or eyewitness accounts that these overcoats may have been sold to other regiments? As far as the 5 trousers with machine sewn buttonholes, were these trousers all from the same manufacturer or are they samples of several different contracts? These are the types of questions and answers that we should be focussing on in this thread rather than how "correct" are they because so and so makes them or says that they are.

The only true source for authencity question is historical research. Yes, we know that these items existed. The questions we should be addressing is just how prevalent these items were based upon the historical data. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that any one person will ever be able to access and study all the applicable documentation that has managed to survive, so this type research will always end up being a collaboration of the work of many separate researchers who have each studied different sets of records and who are willing to share their results with each other in a non-confrontational manner.

Provost
10-11-2006, 10:53 PM
Just to make things clear, I will be closing this thread by the weekend. Take time to post your last gasp of information, feel free to post a new thread, but this one has grown WAY too huge.

Provost