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Civil War Field Modified Cavalry Shell Jacket
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This eleven-button front cavalry shell jacket surfaced about ten years ago and has been in a collection since. It came out with a color copy of a soldier's memorial for Company G of the 9th Iowa Cavalry. A few of men were noted by hand on the original as having died or deserted. Only two are marked as "discharged" with a date: the First Sergeant and a private named Henry O. Wing, who served in the unit from 7/20/63 to 3/24/64. It is a good possibility that the jacket belonged to Wing, but there is no proof. Nevertheless, it is a scarce field-modified cavalry jacket on which the soldier has lowered the collar to a more comfortable height and removed the sword-belt bolsters from the rear waist.
The collar retains its piping along the base and up the slanted front. The bottom stripe of the lower false buttonhole leading to the button has been retained on either side. The top edge of the collar was sewn down, but not re-piped. The fastening hook remains on the lower right collar. The loop on the left is missing.
The space in the rear piping created when the bolsters were removed was filled in with the piping from the bolsters.
The body lining is plaid and the sleeve linings white. They are secure. I see no markings.
The 11-button front is characteristic of the Cincinnati Depot, however, and this would make sense for a western cavalry outfit.
There is some scattered mothing overall, but nothing too horrible. A few scattered pencil point nips on right shoulder and at left breast, the largest the size of a pencil eraser, and a few on the back.
Left sleeve has some moth nips below the elbow, mainly on the back side and edge. Two finger nail size spot just above the upper cuff botton. A couple of pencil point holes near the cuff edge. Left sleeve, one finger nail size spot on the leading edge just below the chevron, two similar spots on the back of the elbow, and two at front of biceps.
There is minor wear to the lining. Small wear spots to the lower inside edge at waist. One finger size hole at waist at left back.
This is a very scarce jacket. We see plenty of surplus mounted jackets, but very few that were actually issued and worn. The alteration of the jacket also makes it very special. I have only owned one other such modified cavalry jacket that had been preserved by a veteran.
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