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Civil War Brigadier General Frock Coat Attributed to John Cook of Illinois
4/30/2014 - Firearms and Militaria: Live Salesroom Auction
Navy blue wool double-breasted frock coat.  Gilt Staff Officers' buttons in rows of two manufactured by R&W Robinson.  Dark navy blue velvet collar and non-serviceable cuffs. Lining of frock coat is medium dark olive green with a close-quilted pattern throughout the chest and shoulders. Lining of sleeves is an aged solid white. Skirt of frock coat is 21" to a rough edge. Elbow is bell-shaped measuring 10" in width.  Brigadier's shoulder straps have a single silver bullion star in center. Along the edge is a single large bullion with small lines on each side.  Near the collar on each side is a stitch of thread that could be used for shoulder epaulets. Rear of coat has three seams leading to a large single center vent with two buttons at top of the vent and at the middle of the vent.

This frock coat reportedly belonged to Brigadier General John Cook (according to the consignor), formerly Colonel of the 7th Illinois Infantry, although the partially inked and badly frayed name tag in the collar is, unfortunately, unreadable. This coat we believe to have been Cook's interim uniform worn prior to his promotion to Major General in August 1865.

John Cook (1825-1910) entered service as Colonel of the 7th Illinois Infantry on May 9, 1861. He led a brigade in C. F. Smith’s Division at Fort Donelson where he was commended for gallantry and was soon promoted to Brigadier general on March 21, 1862. Thereafter, General Cook was assigned to the Department of the Northwest seeing some action against Sioux before taking over command of the District of Illinois headquartered at Springfield, his hometown. He remained on administrative duty for the duration of the war and mustered out on August 24, 1865 with a brevet promotion to Major General. After the war he dabbled in Illinois politics and held the concession for supplying the Rosebud Agency in the Dakota Territory in 1879. In later years Cook lived in Ransom, Michigan until his death on October 13, 1910 and was buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield.


Provenance:  
Sexton/Juno to the Consignor 1999


Condition:  
Coat shows that the lapels were worn folded over and buttoned as opposed to the normal buttoned-to-top look of most officers. Extreme wear on collar.  Old repair to armpit of right sleeve.  Two small repairs to chest area are very professionally done. Some loss of stitching to 5 of the button holes. Small seam open at the top of collar which could be repaired. Overall excellent condition is unusual for a rear General Officer's frock coat.
Sold: $6,462.50
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