Civil War Colonel Uniform Group, ca. 1863

Value (2009) | $25,000 Insurance

GUEST:
I brought in a uniform that we had tucked away in the closet, and it belonged to my great-grandfather. I know he was a Union soldier, and he was from New York State.

APPRAISER:
The button has an "I" on it. What branch of the service has an "I"?

GUEST:
Infantry.

APPRAISER:
Infantry-- there you go. So we know he's infantry.

GUEST:
Uh-huh.

APPRAISER:
We have 108 on his hat. That would be the 108th Regiment. Do you know what these are for?

GUEST:
They look like epaulets to me, but I'm not sure.

APPRAISER:
They're shoulder straps. And if you notice, this one has a string running down. And that's because they actually were strapped onto the coat. They're shoulder straps. And they actually fit up on top of the shoulder.

GUEST:
That is wonderful. No, I didn't know that. That is terrific.

APPRAISER:
The bird in the center is the eagle, and it lets us know that he held the rank of colonel. And so we know what he was, we know what rank he held, we know where he was from. And we have everything together. And that's what's so wonderful about this group. We have his pants. The rank of colonel's fairly high up the food chain. So he had two hats. We have his gauntlets, we have his shoulder straps and we have his beautiful uniform. The uniform even still has the original sash.

GUEST:
I love it.

APPRAISER:
Beautiful crimson color. He was 47 years old when he went into the service. And this regiment is a very historic regiment. They fought at Antietam, they fought at Gettysburg, they fought at Petersburg. They fought everywhere. And not only were they there, they were heavily engaged. They lost massive casualties throughout the war. Not only did he survive the war, they gave him the honorary rank of brigadier general. And those type of ranks were just reserved for people that had gone above and beyond the call of duty.

GUEST:
My goodness.

APPRAISER:
Your ancestor was an amazing man. It's a great group. It's got everything that you could hope for, and it's completely untouched. So many times you see stuff that's been patched together and brought back to life. This one has more character than a Mark Twain novel.

GUEST:
Oh, wonderful.

APPRAISER:
It's fantastic.

GUEST:
That's great.

APPRAISER:
These hats are actually what they call a McDowell style forage cap. And the officers of the rank of colonel, they would have had their fancy dress hat and then they would have had these, which is the "let's go fight somebody" hat.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
And that's why we have the wear to them. And because they went into service, that's why so few of them survive. These hats alone are about $6,000 to $7,000 apiece.

GUEST:
My goodness.

APPRAISER:
If you were going to insure this as a group, it's something that I would insure for $25,000.

GUEST:
My goodness.

APPRAISER:
I mean, it's spectacular.

GUEST:
It just makes me a whole lot prouder to get the details, and I'm thrilled to have it. Thank you so much.

APPRAISER:
You're a lucky man.

GUEST:
Thank you, I am.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Shiloh Civil War Relics
Savannah, TN
Appraised value (2009)
$25,000 Insurance
Event
Denver, CO (July 25, 2009)
Material
Cloth

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