Civil War Confederate States of America shell jacket worn by Colonel Tomlinson Fort, 1st Georgia Infantry, Company L, plus shoulder straps and albumen print, 4 items total. 1st item: “Butternut” Richmond Depot woolen single-breasted shell jacket with six-piece body, one-piece sleeves, and six button holes with one wooden and three cloth buttons, osnaburg interior lining with one pocket. Unmarked. Also includes three loose buttons, two (2) wooden and one (1) mother of pearl. 28 1/2″ H x 21 3/4″ W x 11″ D. Note: This is the coat that Colonel Fort wore on his return to his home in Milledgeville, Georgia. The brass buttons were cut off in Savannah and replaced by the ones now on it, as a law had been issued forbidding Confederate States of America (CSA) buttons to be worn. 2nd-3rd items: Two (2) gold tone metal and fabric Captain’s shoulder straps, manufacturer’s marks for James A. Smith, stamped en verso. 1 1/2″ H x 4″ W x 5/8″ D. 4th item: Early 20th century albumen print depicting a composite of three Civil War era cartes de visite (CDV) of the Fort Brothers: Colonel Tomilson Fort (1839-1910), lower right (depicted wearing the shell jacket and shoulder straps in this lot); Dr. George Fort (1828-1866), top center; and Lieutenant John Porter Fort (1841-1917). The three portraits are superimposed on a decorative shield dated “61-65” and flanked by two crossed Confederate flags, above, and two crossed sabers with a “CSA” canteen, below, with a row of ten stars, across the top of the shield. Fragmentary red “Art Department” label, en verso. Housed under glass in a black wooden frame. Print – 8 7/8″ H x 7 5/8″ W. Sight – 9 3/4″ H x 7 3/4″ W. Framed – 10 7/8″ H x 8 7/8″ W x 3/4″ D. Note: a CDV of Dr. George Fort and his surgeon kit are also included in this auction, lot 511. Provenance: Private Ringgold, Georgia collection; among items purchased in the 1960’s from the old location of the A. P. Stewart Chapter of the UDC (United Daughters of the Confederacy), formerly the Nathan Bedford Forrest UCV (United Confederate Veterans) home, St. Elmo, Chattanooga, TN. Note: The 1st Georgia Infantry regiment, also known as the 1st Georgia Regulars, was organized at Macon, Georgia in April 1861. The companies first named were twelve months’ troops, a majority re-enlisting for the war, while others were mustered out when the twelve months expired. The regimental commander, Col. Charles J. Williams, died on February 8, 1862. Now led by Col. William J. Magill, the regiment served in the Army of Northern Virginia in the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War. When Magill was wounded at Antietam, being part of Gen. G.T. Angerson’s brigade, the command developed to Cpt. Richard A. Wayne. The 1st Georgia was transferred to the Department of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida in early 1863. In Gen. George P. Harrison’s brigade it participated in the Battle of Olustee. When Magill retired on September 3, 1864, Wayne was named as his successor. The regiment was surrendered along with Joseph E. Johnston’s army at Bennett Place in North Carolina on April 26, 1865. Biography: Colonel Tomlinson Fort (1839-1910) was born in Milledgeville, Georgia, to Dr. Tomlinson Fort (1787-1859) and Martha Low Fannin (1804-1883). Tomlinson Fort graduated from Oglethorpe University in 1857, and moved to Savannah, Georgia to practice law. Fort returned to his hometown to care for his father’s estate in 1859. At the beginning of the Civil War, Fort joined the 1st Georgia Infantry regiment and served throughout the war. Fort’s two brothers also served in the war; Lieutenant John Fort joined the 1st Georgia Infantry regiment and Dr. George Washington Fort was a surgeon, 53rd Regiment, Georgia Infantry. Fort was wounded five times during the Civil War including Malvern Hill, Second Manassas, and John’s Island, SC. Tomlinson Fort was captured in late 1864 until the remainder of the war. Fort moved to Chattanooga in 1865, and though he came to the city with very little, he quickly found work, and by the mid-1870’s, was one of Chattanooga’s leading businessmen. Fort served as city attorney, city recorder and served on the Board of Public Works before being elected Mayor in 1876. Fort’s election to the office marked a turning point for the city, as he was the first ex-confederate elected mayor and was able to improve the city’s financial status. (source: http://www.chattanooga.gov/about-chattanooga/history-of-mayors/1876-colonel-tomilinson-fort). See related lots 507, 511, 540 and 544. CONDITION: 1st item: Jacket is in stable condition with insect damage and age deterioration. Three-fourths of surface has holes, tears, abrasions, and/or unidirectional loss. Most significant damage: 1 1/2″ tear top right shoulder; 1″ hole top of left sleeve; 1″ tear with fraying left side top of collar; 2″ tear with fraying right side top of collar; 1″ unidirectional loss with fraying lower left edge on back; 3/4″ tear right side near arm hole on back. Heavy wear to buttons. Moderate soiling to end of sleeves and front opening. Interior lining discolored and weak seam with fraying right side top of button placket where wool joins lining. 2nd-3rd items: Overall good condition with surface grime, area of tarnish to metal, and holes, largest 1/2″ x 1 1/4″. 4th item: Overall stable condition with repaired tears, largest 8 1/8″ x 1 1/8″. Several pieces of white archival tape and scotch tape, minute foxing spots, en verso.
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