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    William Tecumseh Sherman: His Dress Uniform as General of the Army. That it survives intact is remarkable. That it remains in a private collection is astonishing. In the pantheon of military saviors of the Union, in the wake of America's Civil War, General Sherman stood, and stands, second only to Grant. In March 1869, as General Grant was inaugurated president, Lieutenant General Sherman was appointed to succeed him as Commanding General, and Congress responded by granting him a fourth star and making him "General of the Army," a rank he filled for the next fourteen years. The dress uniform that General Sherman adopted is a combination of elements which make it unique to him.

    Chapeau: Conforms to regulation but, as befits its wearing by a general officer, is somewhat finer. Two black ostrich plumes run down the back. The tassels front and back are of bullion. The black silk rosette on the side features a bold strap, tilted forward, with the embroidered gold national eagle surmounted by thirteen silver stars.
    Sash: Also conforms to regulation. Buff silk net was prescribed for general officers with gilded fringe pendants.
    Belt: With saber hangers, of gilt thread with the red trim of an officer of Artillery.
    24-button Frock Coat: A departure from published regulations. This style of placket was first designed for General Grant to reflect the unusual honor of wearing four stars. Replacing the 14-button, 16-button, or 18-button dress coats, the Grant and Sherman (and later, Sheridan) coats bear two rows of twelve buttons, each consisting of three groups of four.
    Epaulettes: Finally, the uniform's features unique to Sherman are the General of the Army epaulettes. General Grant had worn straps and epaulettes with four stars on each shoulder- the straps bore four in a row; the epaulettes a grouping of four. Sherman designed this epaulette to be both bolder and more elegant. The gold field of each epaulette contains two large embroidered 5-pointed stars of sterling silver thread flanking the U.S. coat of arms with the national eagle embroidered in gold.

    In 2001 this uniform was featured, with Glen Swanson's permission, in More Army Blue: The Uniform of Uncle Sams's Regulars, 1874-1887 by the noted scholar of the military history and material culture of the Indian Wars, John P. Langellier. In his letter of thanks to Mr. Swanson, Dr. Langellier explained that he had requested his publisher to hold publication - of a book, he said, that took him "two decades to research and write!" - in order to expand and redesign the section discussing Gen. Sherman. Despite the delay and the added expense, he wrote, "this one of a kind specimen had to be included in order for the book to be definitive."

    With General Sherman's uniform is a framed photographic portrait, 26.75" x 32.875" overall, by Napoleon Sarony. Sarony was not only an artist with the camera, he was a master, as in this case, of the enlargement. This classic portrait depicts Sherman in his dress uniform as General of the Army. It is matted to show his handwritten dedication "To Mrs. Mary Logan Tucker/ Daughter of Genl Jno. A. Logan." Maj. Gen. John A. Logan (1826-1886) had served Sherman as a corps commander (and as one of his closest friends) during the Atlanta campaign and the March to the Sea. In the center and right, Sherman signed his name in large, bold script, "W. T. Sherman/ General," and dated the gift June 20, 1890, just months before his death in February 1891, a week after his 71st birthday.
    From the Glenwood Swanson Collection.




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    Auction Dates
    June, 2018
    9th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 10
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