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TheBaldYankee
10-25-2006, 09:05 AM
There's a nice looking Union Shell Jacket on ebay in my size, with a good potenial to get it really cheap. I'm trying to find out if a US infantry private ever wore shell jackets. I've been looking around. See photos of sack coats and frocks but no shells. I can't find the answer to my question though, photo or not. So I figure.... Where better to ask than here? I don't want to buy the thing if it's not appropiate for my rank and branch of service.

Thanks.

NoahBriggs
10-25-2006, 09:17 AM
When you say "Shell Jacket" do you refer to the New York State Jacket, or to the color-trimmed jackets some of the Artillery or Cav soldiers wear?

Anything on eBay should be suspect.

John1862
10-25-2006, 09:39 AM
When you say "Shell Jacket" do you refer to the New York State Jacket, or to the color-trimmed jackets some of the Artillery or Cav soldiers wear?

Anything on eBay should be suspect.


Or worse, the alleged "roundabout"

DanSwitzer
10-25-2006, 11:45 AM
US infantry wore shell jackets quite often. If it looks good and goes for a good price, I'd get it. States issued jackets to infantry. The Federal government issued jackets to infantry. Soldiers even bought jackets for themselves. In fact, for some events set in 1862 and earlier, the jacket is the preferred Federal item.

Big Dan

Kevin O'Beirne
10-25-2006, 11:46 AM
When you say "Shell Jacket" do you refer to the New York State Jacket, or to the color-trimmed jackets some of the Artillery or Cav soldiers wear?


In addition, several states in what we call today "the Midwest", including Ohio and Indiana, issued short-waisted "shell-type" jackets to infantrymen. In fact, these jackets were the preferred jacket for the Rich Mountain 2006 event, to name one.

There were a lot of different jackets issued to Union army infantrymen (and other branches of the service), often with variations on each type. Couple that with the reality that many soldiers field-modified their jacket to some extent (adding extra pockets, adding buttons, etc.), and the question of "did soldiers wear short jackets?" becomes more than just a simple reply. :)

TheBaldYankee
10-25-2006, 01:36 PM
Thanks everyone. I guess you would call this a roundabout. I joined an Ohio unit and wasn't sure if it was a popular jacket. I put in my max that I'd spend, the reserve is still not met. If I don't get it, no biggie. Just thought it would be nice to have. I already have my sack coat on the way.

I also got my eye on a hand made shirt XXL. It may be too big but if I can get it cheap I don't mind it a little baggy.

bob 125th nysvi
10-28-2006, 08:06 PM
Thanks everyone. I guess you would call this a roundabout. I joined an Ohio unit and wasn't sure if it was a popular jacket. I put in my max that I'd spend, the reserve is still not met. If I don't get it, no biggie. Just thought it would be nice to have. I already have my sack coat on the way.

I also got my eye on a hand made shirt XXL. It may be too big but if I can get it cheap I don't mind it a little baggy.

Check the sleeve length. I'm a long armed cuss and even things my size tend to have short arms.

And don't worry about ebay, I've bought lots of stuff on Ebay, much of it form reputable sutlers or seamstresses and NO ONE has noticed their from 'Ebay".

Bob Sandusky
Co C 125th NYSVI
Esperance, NY

jurgitemvaletem
10-29-2006, 04:36 AM
Bald Eagle,

sent you a pm concerning a couple of things.

thanks,
Jurgitem Valetem

TheBaldYankee
10-30-2006, 06:07 PM
Check the sleeve length. I'm a long armed cuss and even things my size tend to have short arms.

And don't worry about ebay, I've bought lots of stuff on Ebay, much of it form reputable sutlers or seamstresses and NO ONE has noticed their from 'Ebay".

Bob Sandusky
Co C 125th NYSVI
Esperance, NY
I'm a bigger guy but I'd say my arms are average. I usually don't have a problem with shirts, unles they shrink in the wash. I did win an auction on a handmade shirt yesterday, but I'm not sure if it's the one I was talking about in the previous post:confused: .

I just got a knapsack from an ebay sutler and it looks good to me. And I saved about $20. Being forced to be frugle in life I've learned that more exspensive doesn't always mean it's better, and cheaper doesn't always mean it's junk. One just has to be very careful, do some research and alot of comparing. And it never hurts to seek advice from those more experienced.

Guy Gane III
11-07-2006, 07:29 PM
I figured I would throw this out there.

Something that I heard from a while back was that the 49th NYVI's equipment/uniforms were in bad condition. (I think this was from 1863/64 and from a letter, which I dont own).

As it just so happened, an artillery unit (light or heavy - can't remember) was marching by and halted. Well, as the men took off all their stuff, they left their gear with no guard and those fella's walked away.

As the 49th was close by and realized these newbies walked away with no guard, they spared no moment by grabbing all the new gear and dumping all their old stuff in it's place.

As the Arty boys returned they were shocked to see all their brand new stuff looking like old rags.

Apparently the 49th captured these guys' stuff. I recall something about the boys rushing around to take the trim-tape off the coats. So that leads me to believe that if there were no strict uniform codes within a unit, what would stop you from wearing a different branch's coat? - other than supply issues. Now if this story is to be true and not one of those elaborate stories that soldiers would tell when they wrote home, that really goes against the grain. Not only one soldier but the whole unit would be wearing those coats. Weird.

I'll see if I can come across that letter or reference and quote it.

TheBaldYankee
11-16-2006, 05:41 AM
Something interesting happened recetly. The seller of the jacket I mention in my OP appears to have opened an Ebay store. The name is one some of you may be familiar with..... Tombstone Outfitters. I've shopped thier regular website but have not bought anything. I've abandoned the idea of getting a shell jacket (or any other coat besides my sack coat) for now. I've spent enough money for the rest of '06. But, what kind of rep does Tombstone have in the CWR community?

jurgitemvaletem
11-16-2006, 12:05 PM
Bald Yankee,

Do you have an address where we can see their goods?


thanks,
Jurgitem VAletem

TheBaldYankee
11-16-2006, 02:32 PM
Here's the link to their regular website

http://www.tombstoneoutfitters.com/index.html

And the Ebay Store

http://stores.ebay.com/tombstoneoutfitters_W0QQssPageNameZstrkQ3amefsQ3am esstQQtZkm

Oh, I just noticed that the jackets are imported. Don't know if that makes a big difference, but I do know I can get American made for around the same price.

terry sorchy
11-16-2006, 03:08 PM
Bald Yankee,
My humble advise is if your in a pinch cash wise for CW things then look for the TOP QUALITY USED stuff that people are selling and totally stay away from mainstream vendors. They dont research their wares and usually dont make them either. To save a few bucks you will be disappointed and will have to pick up the right stuff in the future anyway. Hence purchasing the same thing twice. Buy it right the first time, new or used from a reputable vendor or vendors wares, then you can go to any event anywhere anytime. If you buy mainstream your relegated to mainstream functions. And research, research, research.
Cheers:p
Terry Sorchy

Hog-Eye Man
11-16-2006, 03:32 PM
Hey baldy,

Terry is correct.... BTW, you need a mentor.

TheBaldYankee
11-16-2006, 10:26 PM
Thanks to all for the helpful advise. As previously mentioned I decided againts that jacket. When I first saw it it peaked my intrest, but that faded after i did some more researh and read some of the advice here. Then I found out it was an import. Really I'm going to hold off for awhile on other things like shel jackets and frock coats. I've spent enough for now. I still need a rifle though.

I have my uniform already and I'm quite happy with it. I am not a person who spend large amounts of money without looking into things first. I shopped and researched and compared for over a month before making a descision. The info I found on this site coupled with advice from the unit president where extremely helpful. Now I'm doing the same for rifles.

As far as mainstream.... That's kinda what I'm going for. I joined a mainstream, family oriented unit. That's one of the reasons I chose it. I have the utmost respect for the campaigners out there, but right now, that's not exactly what I'm looking for.

Mentor..... I guess you could call my unit pres that. He's been very helpful to me. But also I enjoy researching things when I'm into something. That's why I'm here. To help in that research.

Thanks agian. You've all been great, even when I get conflicting advice:pJ/K. But that's actually a good thing. Forums are boring when every one agrees. It helps when you can get different pov's.

toptimlrd
11-17-2006, 11:04 AM
Hey Bald,

Welcome to reenacting. To echo Aaron and Terry, even if you are going to primarily do mainstream events it is still a good idea to buy second hand top drawer gear to save money. By doing this you can get the truly good stuff for about the same price as the "it looks good from 10 feet away" stuff. The better stuff also will usually outlast the cheaper stuff and is often more comfortable and (needless to say) more accurate. I made the same mistakes many others before (and many who will follow made) in that I bought based more on cost than quality. I did buy from the better mainstream vendors, but quickly became dissatisfied with the products. It eventually cost me much more in upgrading my kit than if I had purchased the good stuff from the beginning. Plus if you buy proper gear to start with and you decide to try an authentic event, you can do so. I too enjoy the mainstream side but I also love the authentic c/p/h side as well (started the c/p/h stuff this year). I'm fortunate enough to be in a group that is primarily mainstream but that has an element of the c/p/h involved (yes the two really can get along when the attitude is right).

Can't comment of Tombstone's wares though as I have not seen any of their goods or even heard of them before. From looking at their website it would seem they are more interested in the SASS and "wild west" stuff though.

When looking at uniforms (or anything for that matter) look to see if it is made in the same way that piece ould have ben made in th 1860s. Is the fabric correct or is it some wool / poly mix that does not show the weave at all? Is the cut correct (body, sleeves, legs, etc)? When in doubt have your mentor explain the differences and what to look for. Is the weight of the fabric correct (hint, most mainstream coats are made from a fabric much too heavy)? Is the stitching correct for that piece? Not to sound like a stitch counter, but very few machine sewn buttonholes survive from that time period and even those look different than a modern machine buttonhole. Also most topstitching was done by hand. I know much of this sounds nit picky to the new reenactor but a proper kit really looks good compared to the bulk of what is out there and it makes for a great impression. Also, fear not your units loaner gear box for the first few events.

I saved the most important for last. Regardless of your kit, you have to get your mind right first. People don't want to hear about your so and so made sack coat and hat, what they want to hear is what it's like being a soldier during this time period. Read all you can, especially diaries and letters the men wrote. I strongly reccomend "Hardtack and Coffee" as a primer for the hobby. Know about the era, know what a soldier in your position would think about. Leave the anachronistic thinking at home (even at a mainstream event) and try to be in the mindset of a soldier all weekend. Do what soldiers did, chop wood, clean your musket, play cards (period correct deck of course), sing, write home (or have a pard write home for you if you can't read or write, remember this is the 1860s). Don't talk about modern stuff (i.e. there wasn't a Superbowl in 1863) even if the public isn't around. The attitude you take towards the hobby will speak more about your impression than all of the top drawer gear combined.

BTW, as to the weapon there are only a couple of manufacturers: Armisport and Euroarms (both out of Italy) that are the standards for the hobby. Once you find out which weapon (Springfield, Enfield, etc) your unit uses the next question is which company to buy from. There are plusses and minuses to both companies. The final question is if you want to pop a few extra $$ to have it defarbed. My suggestion is to look at a couple of vendors that defarb the weapons and talk to them, these vendors include Lodgewood (http://www.lodgewood.com/), Zimmerman (http://www.edsmart.com/jz/#repros), James River Armory (http://www.jamesriverarmory.com/), etc.

Hope to see you on the field, good luck.

TheBaldYankee
11-17-2006, 09:53 PM
Good points Robert. Thanks for the links. After reading your post I went and looked at my uniform, and I can see the weave:D . Like I said, I'm quite happy with it. It looks really good. Now if it all falls apart after the first season, then I guess I learned a lesson. Not all discount stuff is crap, but I'll just have to wait and see. But I agree with everything you said about the attidude and behavior.

As far as muskets.... If I buy new I'm going with an Armi Sport Enfield. The original 51st O.V.I. were issued enfields, but I saw photos of an actual uniform and accuterments of an original 51st soldier (and a pic of the man himself) and he had a Springfield. So, I'm not apposed to getting a used Springfield. I think I'll wait on the defarb. I can always send it out later. I've found several companies that will do it, and I'm sure there will be no shortage of advise here, when the time comes. I found The best prices to be from $445-$465. So now It comes down to shipping charges and seller reputation. the front runners are...
Brigade Sutler, Regimental Quatermaster, C&D Jarnigan, and Fall Creek.

Other that have low prices but I know little about their rep are Gettyburg Sutler, and Crescent City (well I know some folk here don't like them).

I maybe a fresh fish but I've spent the better part of the past month researching, and I've been obsessed with the Civil War for many years.

Once again thaks to all,
Anthony Salem

terry sorchy
11-17-2006, 10:52 PM
Anthony,
You will spend more money if you buy a musket that is not defarbed, and then sending it out to be defarbed. James river sells a defarbed enfield for 575.0 The stock is correctly contoured the bands and stock are correct, the modernmarkings are taken off, the lock plate is correct and the cartouches and inspectors marks are there. You wwill spend money on shipping costs four times on sending it out. James Rivers service is great to. Remember buy right the first time and you dont have to worry about it again.
Cheers
Terry Sorchy

Milliron
11-17-2006, 11:02 PM
You might want to have a look at this thread from the AC. Somebody appears to have just what you are looking for, if a little bit more than your original budget.
http://www.authentic-campaigner.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7359

I'd buy it.

toptimlrd
11-17-2006, 11:39 PM
You might want to have a look at this thread from the AC. Somebody appears to have just what you are looking for, if a little bit more than your original budget.
http://www.authentic-campaigner.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7359

I'd buy it.


The extra $$ for the used musket above is well worth it.

I will say that if you must buy a non-defarbed from the list of vendors you listed, I can vouch for Andy Fulks at Fall Creek. He's very good to work with especially for a mainstream vendor.

TheBaldYankee
11-19-2006, 10:41 AM
Anthony,
You will spend more money if you buy a musket that is not defarbed, and then sending it out to be defarbed. James river sells a defarbed enfield for 575.0 The stock is correctly contoured the bands and stock are correct, the modernmarkings are taken off, the lock plate is correct and the cartouches and inspectors marks are there. You wwill spend money on shipping costs four times on sending it out. James Rivers service is great to. Remember buy right the first time and you dont have to worry about it again.
Cheers
Terry Sorchy
Very True Terry. However, waiting, I believe, is a necessary evil. I'm working with a budget and I of course also have to purchase a bayonet, scabbard, frog, cleaning tools, and possibley a gun bag and sling. I can only afford so much. Baby needs diapers before I need a defarbed musket. Then you through in Property taxes due in January, and those pesky regular monthly bills that just never seem to stop coming and you see what I'm up against. I'm trying to join this hobby but live by my means, as I'm sure the rest of you are as well. Some have better incomes than others. We work with what we got.

VaTrooper
11-19-2006, 11:02 AM
You will spend more money if you buy a musket that is not defarbed, and then sending it out to be defarbed.


Thats a general rule but I think Im the exception to it. I bought my M41 from Janigan this summer and Im going to send it away for defarbing in the next couple months. It was $488 shipped. By the time I pay the shipping and for the services I'll have about $200 more in the rifle. Thats $11 less than what Id have paid now.

Wm Shifflett
Bean Counter Mess