Richmond Depot Jackets
Originally, the Confederate government hoped to outfit its troops in a finely made double-breasted frock coat. Time and material shortages dictated that an alternative be found. Such an alternative was the commutation system, through which states/local municipalities would provide uniforms for their own troops, to be later reimbursed by the government. By the fall of 1862, this system had been done away with, and the Confederacy now relied on the depot-issue system.
Perhaps the most common garment that might be found in the eastern Confederate armies by mid-war would be the shell jacket which we now refer to as the "Richmond Depot, type II," to utilize an identification system outlined by historian Les Jensen. (Jensen's three-part article on Confederate issue jackets may be found here.) Generally, these are made from jeancloth or kersey (imported blue-grey English kersey is particularly seen on later-war jackets), feature a six-piece body, nine button front, interior breast pocket, epaulettes, and belt loops.
The earlier version of this jacket (the "Type I") would have tape trim on the epaulettes, collar, and cuffs, while the later version of this jacket (the "Type III") would eliminate the epaulettes and belt loops entirely. Some "transitional" models have been encountered, including one in the collection of the Gettysburg Visitors Center which has belt loops, but no evidence of having been made with epaulettes. Also available are commercial copies that followed the depot pattern but with stylistic differences.
Our replicas can be made with any appropriate material and combination of belt loops/epaulettes, or lack thereof. Commercial copies/commutation versions may be machine topstitched, but generally have all visible stitching by hand. They are lined in osnaburg, and feature Military Warehouse general service eagle buttons either sewn on, or driven through the material and held on with rings or a strand of cotton tape, both shortcuts frequently taken during the period. Other buttons, such as branch of service (block or script "I," "C," or "A") may be substituted upon request.
Richmond Depot Jacket Thumbnails
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- Type I Commercial Copy
- Type II
- Type III
- Richmond Depot Type II jacket of logwood-dyed material worn at Spotsylvania 2004
Ordering the Richmond Depot Jacket
Specify type/fabric/color preference.
Commercial copy - machine topstitching & handsewn trim, $175.00
Handsewn topstitching and trim, $200.00
Entirely handsewn, $275.00
Commercial copy - machine topstitched, $160.00
Handsewn topstitching, $185.00
Entirely handsewn, $260.00
Handsewn topstitching, $195.00
Entirely handsewn, $270.00
All prices include shipping and handling.