Beautiful example of a rather difficult uniform jacket to locate–the St. Louis Depot pattern. This jacket is in fine condition overall but two buttons broke off their thread when unbuttoning–they are both inside the pocket. Brilliant color and very little insect damage overall plus a crisp arsenal marking as shown. There is evidence this jacket was also used in another capacity since there are sizing markings in the inside center lining. Each upper arm area has a rough hole either torn or cut out, perhaps to remove an identification or from repeat wear from hanging after washing (they tended to turn them inside out and hang them by the sleeve lining to dry). Contrary to popular belief, costume companies purchased both surplus (“new”) uniforms as well as field used examples that were turned back in at the end of the Civil War. The jacket is 100% original with zero doubt and displays beautifully.
The jacket was produced and inspected at the St. Louis Depot, a major supplier of jackets for Trans-Mississippi Federal cavalry and artillerymen during the war. This government-produced piece exhibits a number of differences from both contractor and army depot manufactured jackets, including extensive use of machine rather than hand sewing, two single rows of trim (rather than double rows) on the collar, and an eleven button (rather than a twelve button) front. Rougly 13,000 artillery jackets were manufactured at the St. Louis Depot in the last year of the Civil War as compared to over 79,000 cavalry examples.