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    Description

    Superb Enlisted Man's Grouping Containing Housewife, Canteen, Writing Kit, Photographs, Regulation Kersey Trousers, and an Exceedingly Rare Example of the Regulation Frock Coat Made of "Shoddy," all Belonging to Private Harlan P. Stimson, Co. C, 185th N.Y. Vol. Infantry. The highlight is Stimson's classic frock coat, perhaps the best specimen known of a uniform manufactured from that fabled material made from scraps and reconstituted wool. It was because of such cheaply made government issued garments that the word "shoddy" was propelled by the soldiery into the common American vocabulary to mean something shabby or of poor quality. Close examination of the coat's rough wool shows some of the mixed fibers, but the coat itself is in almost perfect, sound condition with no mothing and only a minor seam opening at the back of the collar. The chest lining and interior coattail pockets are in similarly fine condition. All nine of the original brass general service buttons remain on the front, two at the back and two smaller ones at each cuff (one missing). As per regulation, the coat is edged at collar and cuffs with sky-blue wool. With the coat is Stimson's pair of government issued sky-blue kersey trousers, apparently completely hand sewn, with the characteristic split waistband vent and cuff, and seam and watch pockets. Showing honest wear, the trousers are also in remarkable condition. Included is Stimson's 6" long, roll-up "housewife" or sewing kit accompanied by a descriptive note stating it was a "Companion Made By/Mrs. Mary Sweeney 1864/Carried by H. P. Stimson/in the Army 1864 + 1865." An inside section holds needles and another contains thread, thimble and pin cushion. Typical of many veterans, Stimson refurbished his canteen after the war, adding gold paint to the metal, replacing the strap and recovering the body in velvet which he painted with a floral design on one side. With the material is a cloth and pasteboard case in which he carried envelopes, paper and other writing material. The item is in fragile but displayable condition with most interior pockets missing and is accompanied by an old typewritten museum tag describing it as "Pri. Harlan Page Stimson/ carried this portfolio thro [sic]/Civil War. Member of/Co. C, 185 N.Y. Volunteers." With the set are carte d'visite photographs of young Stimson in civilian clothing and four of other identified members in the unit along with several postwar paper items. Twenty-three-year-old Stimson served with this V Corps unit from Sept., 1864 to May, 1865 seeing action at Burgess Farm, Hatcher's Run, Quaker Road, Gravelly Run, Five Forks, and Appomattox.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2008
    20th-21st Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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