Homade militia coat


This homemade coat in militia style was worn by 19-year-old militiaman John Miner during the Battle of Stonington. While serving with the gun crew for one of the defenders’ 18-pound cannons, he was seriously injured by an explosion. One hundred years later his son described the event: “I have heard my father say due to the haste and excitement of the volunteers they failed to properly cool their gun before pouring into its muzzle the powder, which due to the excessive heat of the gun caused the powder to explode prematurely, as you may see by reference to the coat—burned and torn upon the neck and shoulder.” (Coat and letter, courtesy of Stonington Historical Society, 2009.120.001)