Identified Mounted Infantry Shell Jacket - Inventory Number: UNI 059
Exceptional, Historic Altered Shell Jacket Worn by
Member of the "Mounted" 45th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Emerging from the proverbial trunk in
the attic is this exceptionally rare, contractor marked, customized artillery
shell jacket worn by Private Charlton H. Welsh, Co. E, 45th Ohio Vol. Infantry.
In February, 1863, the regiment was "mounted" to facilitate chasing
down Confederate raiders in the region, particularly John Hunt Morgan, and
remained on horseback for much of the war. For this reason the unit was issued
shell jackets like other mounted troops. This example is most likely the only
Consigned directly from the family, Welsh's jacket is the standard regulation artillery jacket but with some notable alterations. The tall collar has been professionally reduced by half to about 1" in height, leaving just one general service button and its red trim on each side. The "pillows" on the back of the jacket, designed to support a saber belt, have also been removed. The piece shows genuine period use but is very sound. When the jacket was originally discovered there were seam openings on each arm, the jacket has since been professional conserved by Henry Cooke of Historical Costume Services of Boston Massachusetts, textile report included. The back and one side and a sprinkling of a few moth holes. There has been some mothing and fraying to the red worsted trim as well. The interior white lining is sound but has some fraying. In the cotton lining of one sleeve is a clear New York inspector's stamp and in the other is the bold marking "JOHN T. MARTIN./ NEW YORK." Martin had numerous uniform contracts during the conflict including one for 4,000 artillery jackets in the summer of 1863. Overall, it is a piece with much character. Most importantly, a photograph of another member of the regiment wearing the same jacket, Pvt. John Konkle of Co. D, can be seen on the excellent website dedicated to the regiment at 45ohio.homestead.com/photo4.html.
Pvt. Welsh's jacket is accompanied by a number of other items also found in the trunk, including Welsh's original discharge indicating he was a 22-year-old farmer and a ninth plate tintype of an attractive young woman, presumably his wife or girlfriend. There is also a large number of documents and records of Welsh and the unit gleaned from the internet and archives.
Welsh joined the 45th on August 19, 1862 and was mustered out June 12, 1865. The unit fought Confederate raiders throughout Kentucky and the region, and participated in the sieges of Knoxville and Atlanta among many other actions. Seldom has such a rare and historic jacket appeared on the market. A significant addition to even the most advanced collection.
Charlton H. Welsh:
Enlisted on 8/6/1862 as a Private, at 19 years old.
On 8/19/1862 he mustered into "E" Co. OH 45th Infantry
He was Mustered Out on 6/12/1865 at Camp Harker, TN
(Attached as Wagoner, Hosp Dept 1st Div 4th Corps)
OHIO FORTY-FIFTH INFANTRY (Three Years)
Forty-fifth Infantry. - Col. Benjamin P. Runkle; Lieut.-Cols., Alexander S. Ramsey, Joseph Hill, George E. Ross, John H. Humphrey; Majors., James E. Marsh, James T. Jennings. This regiment was organized at Camp Chase August 19, 1862, to serve for three years. The day following its muster-in it went to Kentucky, having been ordered to Cynthiana in that state, where it remained until the advance of General Kirby Smith compelled it to fall back to Covington. About the middle of February, 1863, it was mounted at Danville and performed much arduous service in pursuit of a body of Confederate cavalry in the region lying between Crab Orchard and Mount Sterling. At Dutton's hill a part of the regiment was engaged for the first time, having 1 man mortally wounded. At Monticello and Rocky gap it lost 2 men killed and several wounded -2 of the latter mortally. It constituted a portion of the force which pursued the Confederates in the raid from the Cumberland to the Ohio at Brandenburg and thence through Indiana and Ohio to Buffington island, where a part of the enemy surrendered. On that occasion this regiment, being in the advance and pushing the enemy hotly, had 1 man mortally and a few others slightly wounded. Returning to the scene of more strenuous hostilities, it lost at Philadelphia, Tennessee, 3 men killed, 4 mortally wounded, 1 of whom was an officer, and more than 100 men captured. At the Holston river, the following month, the regiment was suddenly overpowered by a very spirited attack and thrown into disorder, 100 men and officers being taken prisoners, 5 killed and several wounded. In the fighting of November 18, in the siege of Knoxville, the regiment lost 5 men killed and 6 mortally wounded, including the adjutant. It was next engaged in the action at Bean's station, but without sustaining loss. In May, 1864, the battle of Resaca was fought, in which the regiment had 2 men killed and 3 mortally wounded. It afterward participated in many of the actions of the Atlanta campaign, and then followed Hood to Tennessee. It was mustered out June l2, 1865.
Inventory Number: UNI 059