Tail coats

“Men in claw-hammer coats and tall, beaver hats and ladies in silk dresses and sunbonnets were standing looking down at us from above the red-clay walls we had tried so hard to climb…”

So says Private Lafayette Bolton of the Dalton Guards, of the Phillips Georgia Legion, one of the attacking Confederate units in the battle. He was on burial detail in Chapter 8. All of these items of clothing are self-explanatory except the claw-hammer coats, also called swallow-tail coats for the division of their cloth at the rear of the coat.

The coats were quite common in the 1860s, had been for decades, but nowadays are generally only seen in tuxedos, the white-tie-and-tails configuration of the men’s evening dress apparel. As Wikipedia relates at the link:  “The historical reason coats were cut this way was to make it easier for the wearer to ride a horse…”

About Dick Stanley

Retired Texas daily newspaperman
This entry was posted in Civil War clothing, Fort Sanders, The Phillips Georgia Legion and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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