The Civil War in Missouri

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United Confederate Veterans' Coat of Paul A. Fusz

1902
MHM Collections

In August 1864, Paul A. Fusz joined J.M. Utz to procure quinine and other medical supplies for the Confederate army. Upon leaving St. Louis and going outside of the Federal lines, Utz and his recruits were captured as they rode to join General Sterling Price's army. Fusz, just 17 years old, was charged as a spy and imprisoned. Utz was condemned to death, but Fusz, possibly due to his young age, was paroled.This officer’s frock is from Fusz’s membership with the United Confederate Veterans (UCV), a national organization formed in 1889 to preserve the camaraderie and shared experiences of the men who served together. Amazingly, the United States approved of this organization designed to celebrate a rebellion against the country. It is likely that the way that ex-Confederates were welcomed back into the fold helped to shortchange the reforms that the Reconstruction era sought to enact.Fusz became commander of the Northwest Division, UCV, in 1905. The general’s rank shown on the coat indicates Fusz’s rank within the UCV, which was different from the rank he held while serving with the Confederate army.