The term "commutation jacket" as we know it today generally covers any jacket that was sent from home to a soldier serving in the field or issued to him after being provided through relief societies or purchased on the unit-wide scale from manufacturers. Early in the war the commutation system was set up to allow the central CS government some relief from having to supply the soldiers, at least until the depot system could come into full swing. Even once the depot system was supplying thousands of uniforms evey month many soldiers preferred to have garments made at home by loving hands rather than the sometimes sub-standard depot-produced garments.
From the perspective of the living historian, a good plain commutation jacket is second only to an untrimmed frock coat in terms of versatility. As always so-called "generic" garments cannot be a substitute for wearing the garments documented to a specific unit at a specific time, but for the units for which little documentation is available, or for the time periods where the specific type of garment that was worn is unclear, a simple untrimmed commutation jacket is an excellent alternative. Furthermore, documentation bears out that simple homemade jackets are seen being used by CS soldiers in all periods of the war from the initial mobilization of the militas to the surrender at Appomattox.
Our basic reproduction features a standard six piece body and two piece sleeve, epaulets, a single interior patch pocket and a six button front. From this basic jacket you can add details to suit your impression or preferences. The pattern is drafted from Devere's system of patterning. This system and its variants was the most common patterning style used during the period, both north and south. Our variation on it gives you a boxier cut, but a longer body that will be sure to cover your shirt! The collars are more squared than other CS depot-issued garments. The osnaburg lining is set in place by hand with stitching along the entire perimeter of the interior of the jacket. The cuffs and collar are hand topstitched, and all exposed stitching is done by hand. The jackets come standard with a 7 button fronts but we can do 8 or 9 at no extra charge if requested.
We also have the capacity to do reproductions of specific original commutation jackets, please enquire with us to discuss price and details. Pictures are of our standard jacket with the addition of piped epaulettes and wood buttons.
Standard Grade C.S. Commutation Jacket
Price $200.00 — Hand-Sewn $325.00
(Includes exposed hand sewing, epaulettes)
Make sure you have a current size chart on file with us before ordering.
Save by bundling with a pair of CS Enlisted Trousers!