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Thread: Where To Buy A Good Shell Jacket

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    56

    Default Where To Buy A Good Shell Jacket

    I've gained some weight and my trousers went through all of the 125th events. Looking at procuring a new uniform. Whom is a good supplier for Confederate shell jackets...cadet grey wool...and same for trousers? I want a common issue jacket/trousers that would be utilized in the Western Theater with The Army of Tennessee.

    C&D Jarnagin made everything I now have. Are they still making uniforms? How is their quality now?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Middle Tennessee
    Posts
    1,009

    Default

    Reb,

    Cadet grey is no longer the standard for AoT. Things have changed in the past 25 years.

    I suggest you hook up with a unit you like, use their standards and vendor list and enjoy your hobby. The choices vary based your comfort level and interest in authenticity.

    Good luck!
    Mint Julep

    A Proud 5%'er

    A Dead Whale or A Stove Boat!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    56

    Default

    Mint Julep,

    Thanks for the post. Thats great advice, one just does not go out and buy something they may like....the unit being portrayed is the standard that each individual should go by.

    The reason I wore a cadet grey wool shell jacket for the 125th anniversary events is due to a certain visit by a spectator 25-26 years ago. I was a new recruit and my regiment, the 63rd Tennessee, was participating in a living history at Knoxville. An older gentleman, and his wife, read in the paper that we were going to be at Fort Dickerson that weekend. He just had to come and share information about his great grandfather that was a private in the original 63rd. He told us some great stories from a diary that had passed down to him from that veteran. We were totally engrossed with what he had to say and then, before he left, he said...."Would you like to see the jacket he wore during the Knoxville Campaign?" He went to his car and brought it out. A cadet grey wool shell jacket. It was amazing. We were so awed by his sharing of all this with us that, as he drove away, our sergeant said, "Did anyone get his name, address and phone number?" Ha! We all were so stunned that no one got his phone number.

    I wanted to go with this type jacket because of this but having contact with, and knowing, several well known relic dealers (Larry Hicklen of Yesteryear at Murfreesboro and many others) I was curious as to the type of coats/jackets they dealt with that were originals worn by the Army of Tennessee. The most common surviving examples were cadet grey wool shell jackets. It was rare for them to see one made from a jean wool material. Again, the majority of examples I have seen in museums and private collections (except for the Ky. Orphan Brigade) are cadet grey wool with some being just grey. Why all the jean wool stuff by reenactors all of a sudden? I know the Columbus Depot made some but most surviving examples I have seen and talked to others about are not jean wool. Maybe you can shed some light on this. I have not seen this and those that dealt in memorbilia for a living did not see it either nor what was in most museums at that time. This is why I don't understand jean wool as now being the standard. Thoughts?

    Thanks for the response. Sound advice. Hope you have a most memorable 150th campaign.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill, FL
    Posts
    3,854

    Default

    Get yourself a copy of "Cadet Gray and Butternut Brown" by Thomas Arliskas. It will shed some light on just what was being worn by CS troops in the west. As Minty said, A LOT has changed in the course of research and information disemination in the last 25 years. What was state of the art back in the 80's may or may not be "right". Jean wool is the standard today because a heck of a lot of research has shown that for western troops, there was a majority of garments procurred, made, and/or issued in many, many forms of jeans. Yes, there was cadet gray kersey, imported blue/gray kersey, and other forms of kersey, but the more we look into things, the more is coming out that sometimes kersey wool was needed in other areas such as blankets. There are no absolutes, but the current thoughts by most in the know are that you can get a lot of mileage out of a non-descript naturally dyed gray jacket. There are several examples in "Echoes of Glory" by TimeLife Books, and several more available at the touch of a mouse when doing internet research.
    Ross L. Lamoreaux
    Tampa Bay History Center
    www.tampabayhistorycenter.org
    On Facebook at: Tampa Bay History Center Living History Programs

    "The simplest things, done well, can carry a huge impact" - Karin Timour, 2012

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    279

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    Hello

    My Personel favorite is Ben Tart. Amazing quality and very reasonable prices.

    Peter Griebel

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Middle Tennessee
    Posts
    1,009

    Default

    What if that jacket was a veteran reunion jacket? Most of those appeared to be cadet grey and it was more likely to have survived into the 1980's than a wartime, war worn coat.

    I recall my great uncle proudly showing off the musket his g-g-grandpa brought home from the war. The lock plate was clearly stamped 1876. I told him it was nice. No reason to ruin it for him.
    Mint Julep

    A Proud 5%'er

    A Dead Whale or A Stove Boat!

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