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    "I had remained true to the last"

    Confederate Frock Coat and Archive of Major Hugh G. Gwyn 23rd Tennessee Infantry Wonderful, identified "Zouave-Sleeve" Confederate Officer's Frock Coat Actually Shown Worn by the Officer in a Wartime Photograph: Wounded in Action at Chickamauga, on the Staff of Basil Duke ( Leader of Morgan's Cavalry), and Escort to Jefferson Davis.
    Direct from the officer's family comes this significant uniform and effects of Major Hugh Gwyn. Gwyn was appointed First Lieutenant and Adjutant of the 23rd Tennessee Infantry (CSA) in June, 1863, with rank from May 2, 1863. In his capacity as the regiment's executive officer he was wounded in action at Chickamauga in September, suffering a gunshot wound to the right hand and receiving praise in the official report of his regimental commander. After spending time in the general hospital in Atlanta he returned to duty with the regiment, but found his wound impeded his performance of the duties of regimental adjutant and his old regiment undergoing a consolidation with another unit. He therefore requested a transfer and was ordered to report to General John Hunt Morgan in early 1864. After the death of Morgan, Gwyn was assigned to General Basil Duke as 1st Lieut and Assistant Adjutant and Inspector General. He was part of Jefferson Davis's escort to Georgia after the evacuation of Richmond. The Confederate government then transferred its base of operation to Abbeville, South Carolina.
    The lot includes:
    1) Double breasted frock coat made of gray wool kersey. There were originally seven large South Carolina state seal buttons in each row down the breast, the two surviving are backmarked "H.T. & B. Manchester". Hand sewn button holes. Standing collar which measures 1 1/4" high in front and 1 1/8" high at the rear. Stitched to the collar on each side is a single gold bullion star on buff backing, each measuring 7/8". The coat is piped around the top of collar, down the front on both sides, on the tail vent and pocket flaps with a light colored buff wool. The sleeves measure 5" across at the cuffs and 11" across the elbow. The cuffs exhibit triple rows of flat gold metallic braid, the bottom inverted "V" piped in buff wool. Unusual functional cuff measuring 10" up the sleeve, faced with buff wool, on which are placed 30 small brass ball buttons joined with 1/8" gold braid which zigzags up the cuff from button to button. The back skirt was originally fitted with four South Carolina buttons, one remaining. The skirts exhibit pockets, accessed from inside the coat. Back skirt trimmed with buff wool. The interior is lined with course red cotton, the upper body slightly padded, the breast with 6 rows of hand stitched horizontal lines. Left breast pocket lined with white cotton. The coat exhibits some scattered mothing but nothing that detracts. Right sleeve seam at the shoulder is open as is one of the rear skirt seams, both easily repaired. In addition, there exists a photograph of Major Gwyn in which he is wearing this coat. That photograph is reproduced here and is not included in the lot.

    2) 1854 Half Dollar housed in an envelope on which is inked (by Gwyn): "The last coin paid to Hugh G. Gwyn by the Confederate government Savannah River 1865. Money distributed through orders of Gen'l J.C. Breckinridge from special train brought out of Richmond Va by President Jefferson Davis; I got 32.50 as my officer's pro rata."

    3) Group of CDV's of: Horace Ready, Bogardus NY backmark; General A.P. Hill and General Breckinridge both with C.D. Fredricks backmarks; Patrick Cleburne with J.C. Elrod's backmark. Gwyn served under these commanders.

    4) Commission issued by the Confederate States War Department ,Abbeville, S.C., May 2nd 1865 appointing Gwyn Major and Adjutant and Inspector General to rank from December 1 1864. Signed by General John C. Breckinridge, then serving in the capacity of Secretary of War.

    5) Receipt dated March 3, 1865 for $1000.00 payable to Captain H. G. Gwyn, signed by Lt. Llewellyn.

    Included is an extensive report of authenticity written by noted authority Les Jensen in which he notes that the unusual sleeve braid exists on other Confederate coats and that tailor's account books from Petersburg, dating from the 1864-65 period refer to some officers ordering a "Zouave sleeve". He also notes that "The use of South Carolina buttons is probably indicative of the coat's origins in either South Carolina or Augusta, Georgia. The use of a colored lining, obviously intended to be seen, exists on several coats which originated in South Carolina, but has not been seen elsewhere."

    Also included are copies of Gwyn's Confederate records in the National Archives. Letters in the Museum of the Confederacy note Gwyn's statement: "...I had remained true to the last and that I had commanded a detachment that enjoyed and engaged the enemy last, on this side of the Miss. River..."


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2015
    12th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 4,681

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