This Rhode Island Civil War Artillery officer’s frock coat and pants belonged to a member of the 1st Rhode Island Light Artillery, Capt. James E. Chace. His unit was a storied regiment with a lot of combat experience in many of the biggest battles of the Eastern theater. At Gettysburg, Chace was a member of Battery G as a Lieutenant. He later became a Captain in Battery B.
The shoulder board on this frock coat shows that it was originally for a Lieutenant and then a single bar was later added to make it right for a Captain. So, it is quite likely this jacket was a witness to the great Battle of Gettysburg, July 1-3, 1863. So far, we’ve spent about 8 hours cleaning these items. They were both covered in moth cocoon remnants and waste. It’s tedious work; removing the waste without also removing fragile fabric or making existing holes bigger. It requires great care and slow progress. But the result is very rewarding.
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