COMING IN DECEMBER 2020
RARE CONFEDERATE MONTGOMERY DEPOT ENLISTED UNIFORM JACKET IDENTIFIED TO JOSEPH STONE OF THE 32ND ALABAMA.
inv # 02-13998
This exceptional rarity is 1 of 7 known examples of what is generally termed a Montgomery Depot jacket. This jacket was worn by Joseph Newman Stone who originally enlisted in Company G of the 1st Confederate Infantry in April of 1861. He was promoted to corporal and then appointed regimental musician in February of 1862.
After one year of service with the 1st Confederate Infantry, Stone reenlisted with the 32nd Alabama. While serving with the 32nd, he was detailed to the 6th and 9th Tennessee Consolidated Regiment. A year later he joined Buck’s Escort Company of the Mississippi Cavalry as the company bugler. He served with this company until the end of the war.
It is possible that Stone received his Montgomery Depot jacket during his stay at the Mobile Hospital while recovering from a musket wound received at Chickamauga. This theory is supported by the fact that Stone penned “Jos. Stone 1863” on the lining of the jacket. It is also possible he received the jacket while his command was stationed near Corinth, Mississippi, subsequent to the Tennessee Campaign concluded early in 1865. Joseph Stone’s jacket is nearly identical to other known Montgomery Depot jackets except that the bottom edge of the jacket has been shortened enough to necessitate the removal of the lowest button and button hole. This would suggest that the standard issue jacket was too long for Stone who may have been of smaller stature. The original buttons were likely wooden as in other known Montgomery Depot jackets. The wooden buttons have been replaced with Eagle “I” buttons of northern manufacture, possibly taken from a Union uniform. The button holes are well made and appear to be sewn with the same gray colored thread used in other Montgomery Depot jackets. The weave is made up of a white cotton warp with a light sheep’s gray color woolen weft. The fabric’s color, and somewhat striped appearance, is a result of the heterogeneous colored fill yarn used at distinct intervals. The weave is 1 woolen yarn over 2 and under 1 cotton warp yarn and 1 cotton warp yarn under 2 and over 1 woolen yarn. The exterior pocket welt falls between what was originally the middle button hole and the one above it. It is likely that Stone added this pocket when the coat was shortened and formed the pocket welt and inner bag from removed material. The jacket does not have a double row of top stitching. Instead there is a single row basting stitch all around, even along the bottom edge where the jacket was shortened. The jacket is constructed with a 6 piece body, 1 piece sleeves and a 1 piece collar. The bottom edge of the back is cut with a noticeable rounded dip at the center. The lining of the jacket is made of an unbleached cotton osnaburg material without an interior pocket.
A salient feature of this rare jacket is the fact that Stone penned his name in the lining along with the year “1863”. It has been theorized that Stone received this jacket while recuperating in the hospital in 1863 but it is unlikely the jacket would have lasted through 2 years of hard service. Some experts feel it is more likely Stone received this jacket in January of 1865 after the Tennessee Campaign, and recorded his name and the year of his enlistment in the Mississippi Cavalry as a bugler.