Gen. James Slingerland’s 1832 Pattern Uniform Coat, Plus.


Brigadier General’s coatee,  epaulets, sword sash, Berlin gloves, saddle valise, and martingale.

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I have in the way of background material, very little for James Slingerland, other than he was in the New York State militia from the 1820’s to the 1850’s.  He was commissioned a Lt. Colonel in 1836; Brigadier General in 1842.  Slingerland was in the 9th Division, 31st Brigade, SNY.  He was from Albany, New York.

His Pattern 1832 General Officer’s Coatee is un-named, but comes with some provenance going back to the family in the 1980’s.

The regulation double breasted coat has 5 sets of two button all made by the firm of Wadhams, Webster & Co, Superfine, Wolcottville, Conn.,   These buttons (Albert’s GS-21) are not mentioned in Albert’s book on American Uniform Button.  This company went under this name from 1838- 1846, this in the same time frame as when Slingerland was promoted to brigadier general. Scarce buttons by today’s value about $50-60 each easily.  There are 30 button on the uniform.

The cuff button are not regulation, but original to the coat.  A pattern of dots for six pointed stars, there being 4 button to each cuff (one missing on the right).  The epaulets buttons which help hold these on the shoulder near the neck, may have been general staff types originally, or the one remaining which is a one piece eagle with “A” (artillery) may have been used by Slingerland.  I don’t know if he served in the artillery or not.

The blue wool overall is in fine condition with very little damage by moth or tears, etc.  The shoulder have sewn eyelets to accept the string ties from the underside of the epaulets which holds these in place. The wool facings are a light buff color, showing some wear and staining from use at the lower cuff areas.  The interior lining is mostly silk of the same light buff color and was tattered when purchased, and was conserved, salvaging most of the original silk. The tails of the coatee have the general staff insignia of 6 pointed stars, using gold and silver bullion thread and sequins.

Slingerland’s epaulets are in fine condition, these having some restoration to the underside silk lining as well.  The color and condition of the bullion are in fine shape; fringe shows little damage. Mounted on each is a silver bullion 6 pointed star

General officer’s wore gold sword sashes to distinguish their rank from the typical red worn by officers of the line. The silk is in very good condition with a few light age flaws, mostly wear and soiling.

His Berlin gloves show age staining as well, type of old material that over time turns this color if not cleaned in the period of use.

Purchased about the same time from the family, and ending up with the collector who I got this group from, was the generals leather saddle valise, and martingale, which also came directly from the family.

The tooled leather valise is embellished on each end with spread-winged eagles, which are 1830s pattern shako plate insignia employed here as military decore. Three straps are used for closure, and two guide leather panels are applied for accepting the straps from the saddle.  Overall length is 6×12 inches. There are some areas of edges chipping and wear overall but in very good condition.  In as found condition, never touched and would look better when properly cleaned.

Martingales are used to keep the saddle from sliding back, but more for show. It retains all of the straps that would buckle to the saddle pommel, and the under strap that connected with the girth. The body of the leather is painted in a yellow color and trimmed in black. This paint shows wear and aged patina, and like the valise untouched.  The center breast heart is enameled black leather with another spread-winged eagle superimposed upon it.

This completes the pieces in the grouping, all original to Slingerland.  Certainly more history can be found on this officer which will only enhance its value.  A scarce uniform from the Mexican War era.

Additional information

Weight 20 lbs
Dimensions 20 × 16 × 10 in