Stable Frock Coat
(Courtesy: QM Museum, Fort Lee)
Cavalry and light artillery were issued white canvas three button stable frock coats that were issued for wear while grooming horses. Grooming a horse brings a lot of dirt and loose hair to the surface, which then might cover the surface of a wool uniform. Being canvas rather than wool these garments were easily cleaned.The image was taken in 1866 and is one of a series of colorized plates illustrating period uniforms. The model is wearing a forage cap with the brass letter of his company on the front. The stable frock has rolled collar, a two button closure and no insignia of any kind. He is wearing light blue trousers and holding a brush and curry comb.
It is mentioned in period accounts some troops, such as the California troops of the 2nd Massachusetts Cavalry, wore their stable frock in camp a fatigue uniform.