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    Description

    Exceptional, Historic Altered Shell Jacket Worn by Member of the "Mounted" 45th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Emerging from the proverbial trunk in the attic is this exceptionally rare, contractor marked, customized artillery shell jacket worn by Private Charlton H. Welsh, Co. E, 45th Ohio Vol. Infantry. In February, 1863, the regiment was "mounted" to facilitate chasing down Confederate raiders in the region, particularly John Hunt Morgan, and remained on horseback for much of the war. For this reason the unit was issued shell jackets like other mounted troops. This example is most likely the only surviving example.

    Consigned directly from the family, Welsh's jacket is the standard regulation artillery jacket but with some notable alterations. The tall collar has been professionally reduced by half to about 1" in height, leaving just one general service button and its red trim on each side. The "pillows" on the back of the jacket, designed to support a saber belt, have also been removed. The piece shows genuine period use but is very sound. There are seam openings on each arm, the back and one side and a sprinkling of a few moth holes. There has been some mothing and fraying to the red worsted trim as well. One small general service button is missing from the ten-button front, although the shank remains, and one from each of the functional cuffs. There is also some white residue around each button, probably due to polishing during the war, which will be hidden when the jacket is buttoned. The interior white lining is sound but has a few tears and some fraying. In the cotton lining of one sleeve is a clear New York inspector's stamp and in the other is the bold marking "JOHN T. MARTIN./ NEW YORK." Martin had numerous uniform contracts during the conflict including one for 4,000 artillery jackets in the summer of 1863. Overall, it is a piece with much character and restoration/conservation should be uncomplicated. Most importantly, a photograph of another member of the regiment wearing the same jacket, Pvt. John Konkle of Co. D, can be seen on the excellent website dedicated to the regiment at 45ohio.homestead.com/photo4.html.

    Pvt. Welsh's jacket is accompanied by a number of other items also found in the trunk, including Welsh's original discharge indicating he was a 22-year-old farmer and a ninth plate tintype of an attractive young woman, presumably his wife or girlfriend. There is also a large number of documents and records of Welsh and the unit gleaned from the internet and archives.

    Welsh joined the 45th on August 19, 1862 and was mustered out June 12, 1865. The unit fought Confederate raiders throughout Kentucky and the region, and participated in the sieges of Knoxville and Atlanta among many other actions. Seldom has such a rare and historic jacket appeared on the market. A significant addition to even the most advanced collection.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2010
    26th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,535

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