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Civil War Double-Breasted Frock Coat Worn by Col. Charles B. Stoughton, 4th VT Infantry

A superior dark blue-black wool colonel of infantry seven-button double-breasted frock coat with matching buttons marked "D. Evans & Co." Shoulder straps are navy cloth material with double border and silver embroidered eagle. Cuffs are serviceable. Skirt is 19" to rough edge.  Bell-shaped elbows measure 9" in width.  Coat is noticeably "wasp-waisted," made for a officer of demure size. Inside lining of coat is black with wide quilted pattern in chest.  White lining in sleeves.  Inside piped chest pocket on left side. The lining of the collar is black velvet.  Back of coat has three seams that lead to center vent with two buttons at the top of the vent and two in the middle of the vent. The "Evans" button missing in the photograph is accounted for.
   
Accompanying the coat is a comprehensive notarized letter of provenance dated "4/27/99" signed by Susan Laura Stoughton Bell, a family descendant and former owner.  Colonel Stoughton's effects including this frock coat (Lot 35) were sold by Vagabond Auctioneers on April 3, 1999. The coat passed through the hands of at least two parties before being purchased by the consignor. Additionally, several conveyance documents including the original Bill of Sale to the consignor are included.

Charles Bradley Stoughton (1841-1898) was a noble soldier who commanded a fighting regiment in the famed Vermont Brigade and spent much of the war winning back the family honor after his older brother, Edwin H. Stoughton, was cashiered. From Rockingham, the young Stoughton enlisted in the 4th Vermont as 1st Lieutenant & Adjutant on August 1, 1861. Thereafter, his exploits were inextricably linked to the unequaled fighting qualities of his state’s namesake brigade highlighted by his own daring and élan.

Stoughton was promoted to Major prior to the Peninsula Campaign and was present in all of the regiment’s battles that harkened his promotion to Lieutenant Colonel on July 17, 1862. At South Mountain he led a charge that captured 121 men and the colors of the 15th Virginia Infantry.” He fought at Antietam and was promoted to Colonel on November 15, 1862 when his brother was advanced to Brigadier General. Colonel Stoughton led the regiment at Fredericksburg on December 13, 1862 where the 4th Vermont suffered heavy casualties, later reporting: My colors were completed riddled with canister and musket balls. Scarcely hanging together. The top of the staff, upon which is a brass eagle, was shot away by canister, but saved and brought away.

In March 1863 the hapless General Edwin Stoughton was captured in his night clothes at Fairfax Court House during a daring raid by the grey cavalier, John Mosby. General Stoughton was later cashiered. Thereafter, Charles brazenly took it upon himself to assuage the family honor. He fought at Chancellorsville and led the regiment at Gettysburg. During the lackadaisical pursuit of Lee’s army after Gettysburg, Colonel Stoughton was severely wounded on July 10 in a sharp engagement at Funkstown, Maryland losing his right eye. The wound forced Stoughton to resign his commission on February 2, 1864.

Colonel Stoughton received a brevet brigadier’s star on March 13, 1865 “for faithful and meritorious service” during the war. Stoughton married and lived in Bellows Falls, Vermont after the war practicing law. He died on January 17, 1898 and is buried in Immanuel Cemetery in Bellows Falls.

Provenance:Descended in the family to Jon Feazell to S. Meadow to Consignor

Condition:Backed left elbow has hole.  Small moth holes on center of back, lower skirt on each side and 2 on the back right elbow.  Back of collar has 3 holes.  Wool shows signs of thinning in a couple areas of the back.  Several holes on the right skirt including the rough edge. Several moth holes on left skirt.  Mothing on shoulders and collar.  2 holes on the chest and the 3rd button from top on right side is missing.  The inside lining has strong signs of wear holes throughout the waist line and shoulders.  The velvet part of collar shows wear. Overall condition is fair.

Estimate: $5,000 - $7,000
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$9,400
05/01/2014

 

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