The not Great but "good enough" Coat.
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Author:  Jboring [ Wed Dec 22, 2010 2:23 pm ]
Post subject:  The not Great but "good enough" Coat.

Iafter doing some searching and some reading, I'm wondering, were the USSS issued the standard Light Blue greatcoats or were they all the same shade of green? I have read personal accounts referenceing "grey" coats during an action. Were these issued or "barrowed?"

EDIT: Ok, so I just answered my own question...new one...who makes the best sky blue Great Coat out there?

Author:  BrianTWhite [ Wed Dec 22, 2010 7:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The not Great but "good enough" Coat.


If you can get in on a run of overcoats by Chris Sullivan (Stony Brook Company) or check his "consignments" section for one made by him, you're in luck. Chris Daley used to make quality overcoats as well but has removed them from his catalog. My company has offered them in the past as well but they are not a regular catalog item. Charlie Childs (County Cloth) offers greatcoats in pattern, kit, and finished garment forms and are definitely among the best. These makers use the best materials and pattern, and have studied a number of originals to ensure accuracy.

There are other sources out there that would probably be of greater interest to you if saving money is a concern. With most of the more accurate garments you'll find on the market they will be a little more costly due to the use of authentic materials, etc., as mentioned above. C&D Jarnagin offers a fairly accurate Federal greatcoat for $325 that is lined with dark blue flannel (which was sometimes done in the war using QM-rejected blouse flannel). The jeancloth lining they offer for an additional $75 is in my opinion a bit pricey but more common than flannel linings. Buttons sewn on will cost you an additional $50. You can also get the coat without buttonholes...they will simply be marked and you can sew them in yourself by hand. Machine-sewn buttonholes stick out like a sore thumb and did not exist during the war, so if you can work them yourself or have someone else do it that would be the best option.

As for the gray overcoats, they were a one-time early war issue and not worn past April 1862. You can read more about those and how they were made in some of my earlier posts...they were definitely unique.

Good luck! If I can help you any further feel free to contact me.

Author:  Jboring [ Wed Dec 22, 2010 9:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The not Great but "good enough" Coat.

Thank you Brian, that is exactly what I was looking for. The Great Coat isn't one of those things I'm gonna pick up right away, but it will happen shortly after a majority of my kit is together. Price isn't really a HUGE concern (it is always in there somewhere though), as I've been through the ordeal of starting cheap in WWII and end up dumping more and more into correcting myself. So, since I am severely needle and thread challenged, and no one is hand sewing Berdan uniforms that I have been able to find (currently), I'm gathering of initial kit from Quartermaster Shop. The Great Coat...I think I'll try and pick up from one of the vendors you mentioned that do the more accurate garments. Unless...your outfit might make a couple sometime soon :-)

Author:  BrianTWhite [ Thu Dec 23, 2010 12:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The not Great but "good enough" Coat.


I have been thinking about making both the seamless gray felt overcoats and standard infantry overcoats for a while now. The gray felt coats are going to take some more developing BUT I'm open to producing a sky blue overcoat or two sometime this winter.

You can always wear a dark blue blouse while saving money for a top-notch frock coat. There aren't many making Federal frock coats well but I could put you in touch with one or two that might be able to help you out.

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