Gloucester Civil War Coat Update from George and Charles King

Update about the Bacheler Civil War coat from the irrepressible brothers Charles and George,


We added a new photo to show Gloucester Civil War coat fans the materials that will be going into the huge display box that is (finally) under construction THANKS TO YOU.  Gaylord Archival is making the display for the coat with a Smallcorp part right now! The Massachusetts State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB) awarded the coat a second grant this January. That’s all for now.”
George King
Charles King

Looking for a GHS photograph of Frank Cox for David Cox and GHS photos that look like It’s A Wonderful Life

(L-R GHS senior photographs) David Cox, Norm Cox, and seeking photo of Frank Cox


David Cox had five older siblings. At the time of David’s graduation photograph, the family of Mr. and Mrs. Frank L. Cox were residing at 853 Washington Street, Gloucester, MA. David’s mom was so beloved  2 families named their daughters after her, and 3 families named their sons after her (her maiden name ‘MacAulay’ as their middle.)


Here is a close up of the GHS photograph for his brother, Norman (“Norm”). Norm gave this print to his friend, Ken. Thankfully it made its way back to the Cox family.

Norman Cox

Frank and Norm graduated together from Gloucester High School in 1941; Frank had to make up a missed year recovering from pneumonia. He must have been busy as he was a recognized athlete and Flicker mentions his status in “our rogues gallery”. At this time the Cox family resided at 616 Western Avenue.


We are wondering if anyone has a copy of a cadet formal photograph of the oldest brother and sibling, Frank Cox? Or a copy of the senior photo as seen in the yearbook. Both Frank and Norman were in the Army Air Corp during WWII. Frank was drafted out of the Citadel and was a bombardier flying missions out of England. Norm went to Harvard on a GI bill. After retiring from a long career at Mitre Corp, Norm worked with David at the store. At Gloucester High School, all three Cox brothers were cadets which Albert Bacheler established at the school. David won awards.

Here’s one mention from the papers that David hopes I ditch, which I’d consider however it’s worth repeating for that mention of Albert Bacheler (see Civil War coat) and the brag: David Cox, a senior cadet from Company E, turned in a brilliant effort last night to take top honors in the 63rd annual Prize Drill and Dance in Albert W. Bacheler Drill hall of Gloucester High School.”


The girls had their own unit, the ‘Girls Drill Team’ which David’s sister and athlete, Theo, won. We don’t know if there were cadet photos for the girls. Louise and Christine were David’s other siblings. David told me that there were 4 special Prize Drill and Dance galas at Gloucester High School each school year. The first was the individual drill competition. The second was the prize squad drill competition. The 3rd dance was the Officers Party. The 4th and final prom was the Sargents Party and for this one the boys wore white jacket cut aways. These scans are from the collection of David Cox. He’s speaking to Nancy Knowles Rossi in one of the photos. Who can you recognize?

What is everyone gathered around in that last photograph?


Catherine Ryan Shares More About the Bachelor Coat

Catherine writes that the story about her sons Charles and George King’s successful fundraising effort to preserve the Albert Bacheler Civil War coat was number five amongst readers for the Cape Ann Beacon. cape-ann-beacon-top-5-stories-2016

Bacheler Civil War coat : a case for a case?

Charles and George King write,

“Hey everybody,

The coat is with the textile conservator and they’re working on it and it’s going great! A magazine about the Civil War is publishing some news about this special Gloucester coat and restoration. We will share that as soon as it’s published.  In the meantime, we have a display case to decide on!
As a reminder, we hope that the coat will be shown 3D which poses some problems. For instance it makes any display case bigger and therefore more expensive. Before we make a decision we’d like the public to weigh in.
We have three options. All of them include the coat standing up on a special form from the restorer, a secure Gloucester High School location, and a stand design big enough to support the coat and show it off.Case002
1)We can place the coat in the huge, already made display case in the Gloucester High School currently filled with trophies and an old poster. The JROTC case needs to be de-cluttered and rearranged and the lighting switched out.
Pros: inexpensive and easy
Cons: You can not walk around the coat. (However we could install a mirror behind it.) 20160414_152350
2)We can put the coat in a 5 sided display case (1/4″ plexi) on a pedestal out in the open in the Gloucester High School. The wood shop could also make a cabinet for underneath the pedestal Pros: you can walk around the coat  Cons: more expensive than option 1 (estimates from a museum and gallery supplier start at $2000) Case006

3)Same as option (2), with some first class benefits that may offer more climate control
Pros: Special access door, special linen wrapped aluminum base, 3/8″ plexi
Cons: Pricey as estimates (from a museum and gallery supplier) with crating and shipping were more than $5000.


Conservation vs. good enough?
Because some of the estimates are as much money as the restoration, we are considering all the pros and cons and want to hear from the supporters.
On the one hand, we think it’s a shame to repair the coat and chance going through this for nothing. On the other hand, these estimates are more than it costs for kids to go to camp this summer.
We ask: is there a case for such a case?
Please email us your vote for  1), 2), or 3) or  any comments or questions you have.
We hope to reach as many residents as possible, especially kids.
We wish nd Jane Enos will ask the Cape Ann Beacon readers, Mr. Lamont will ask the Gloucester Daily Times readers, and Kim will ask Good Morning Gloucester, and Caroline will ask in the High School,and Jule will ask Bay State Banner readers –even though we’ve asked so much already. “
Charles and George King

GHS cool Class of 1971: Who did this?

Were you there? Who did you go with? Who organized the line up? Who did the poster?

Do you have photos?

How did I get here? The Gloucester High School gym was named after Albert Bacheler, as in the former Principal and owner of the very special Civil War era coat needing restoration. We’ve heard from Gloucester graduates and former teachers with no recollection of the coat. We’ve also heard from some that remember seeing it. Thanks to Barry Pett and Ken Joyce for adding in details. I’m looking for interior photographs of the old gym, especially those showing the cadet side where we’ve been told the coat was featured. On this poster it’s simply G.H.S. Gym.

Barry Pett’s graduation year made me think of 1970s high school concerts held in gyms, and there you have it: off road research and fun side trips.

j geils

J. Giels Geils Band played Stonehedge in Ipswich twice in 1970  J. Geils Band tour dates 

BREAKING NEWS – $4000 reached for the Bacheler Civil War Coat!!!

George and Charles King write:

O.K. everybody, all of us may have just saved a one-of-a-kind Civil War coat for the nation! With an amazing new on-line contribution in the last 24 hours for $1000 the fundraising for the restoration itself (if not the final display box) has come to a close!

We have raised $4000!

We hoped to have the coat fixed by the time we were in Gloucester High School. Thanks to everyone who worked towards this goal, the fundraising for the repairs has been completed before we’ve even graduated sixth grade!

A possible location for the coat that we like in the High School will be in front of this double display you can see in the photograph below and attached. The initial estimate to repair and mount the coat was $3500, but that was before we got involved. That $3500 was for a two-dimensional skinny archival display case.

We hope the coat will be freestanding within a museum quality display case that we can walk around and see from all directions. That makes the estimate bigger because the case is bigger. If it’s freestanding we may not need a hand crank. Our mom is pricing the cases (they need to be special UV plexi and other stuff). You can see examples of what they might look likehere. Some of them breakdown for travel.

The big clear display box will be mounted on top of a wooden cabinet. We were excited to see an example of a beautiful cabinet created by the GHS wood shop! Maybe they could do the pedestal for the case. See the close up photograph we took on the day that Caroline Enos interviewed us for The Gillnetter.

Please share our letter to the president on Facebook and everywhere for us, because we would like to know if there is another coat out there like this one. His friend was given one, too, so there may be another one. We think that it just might be the only one in the whole country and we want people to know about the Gloucester Civil War coat that was given by a slave to Albert Bacheler after escaping Libby prison to safety. He kept the coat to teach generations of Gloucester students. Also, President Obama could give us a great quote for the coat. 

You can see your quotes for the coats and other information on the youcaring site. Thank you everybody, all the coat supporters, and the news –Good Morning Gloucester, Cape Ann Beacon, Bay State Banner, Gloucester Daily Times, and The Gillnetter– for spreading the story and helping save this coat.

Surprised and grateful,

Charles King and George King

image (3)See More Photos Here Continue reading “BREAKING NEWS – $4000 reached for the Bacheler Civil War Coat!!!”

Caroline Enos writes about the Civil War Coat for The Gillnetter

Everyone in Gloucester should read the  The Gillnetter, the Gloucester High School newspaper. Let’s give the young journalists finding their voice some readers. It’s good.

What’s it like to write for a high school paper nowadays? This one has embraced the digital world so it’s earth-friendly. It’s a beauty with a very easy layout. I dove in for one story but stuck around. There are editorials such as this one about the high school bathrooms needing attention by Rachel Alexander with original art by Rachel Nearis; actionable information; unexpected topics; and lots of local news  likethis inspiring report by Hanna Zuidema or this one  “pizza lovers of Gloucester Have Spoken”  by Corynn Ulrich. Did you know The Gillnetter journalists were invited to the Boston Globe?

Gloucester The Gillnetter homepage MA

What brought my attention to The Gillnetter was anticipation for a story about the Civil War coat from students at the high school. Caroline Enos interviewed George and Charles before April school vacation. We hoped she’d come to Awesome Gloucester pitch night to support them and hang out. That she did. Thanks to her open notebook and scoop we have a record of a lovely testimonial delivered by Russell Hobbs. You can read Caroline Enos’ article here.



Like I said, those King brothers are going places!

If you’ve been following the fundraising efforts by Charles and George King for the Gloucester High School Albert Bacheler Civil War coat, then you know how creative and ernest they are in accomplishing the restoration of this exciting piece of Gloucester history. Thanks so much to these two dynamos for the thank you notes; not only are they go-getters, but thoughtful, too!


For more information, visit The Story here.

Bacheler Coat Caper youcaring page for the High School Civil War Coat

Hi Joey,

In the spirit of just do it and one person CAN make a difference: the parent that called attention to the Civil War coat is…Kim Minnaugh! She saw the display label and coat when she was at the High School and looked so closely she saw the damage. Then she did something about it. She reached out for help. Maybe it’s the photographer in her that had her looking closely. Her actions have inspired us and kids, too.

Bacheler Coat Caper YOUCARING page

The Committee for the Arts will use the money to pay for the necessary textile conservation, display form and case. James’ Cape Ann Giclee poster really helps. Look for it at City Hall and a few more spots coming soon!

20151107_132605 20151110_155839 Gloucester Civil War coat wecaring



Gloucester’s mystery Civil War Era Coat tomorrow CITY HALL 1-4pm

Cat Ryan says have a closer look thanks to Cape Ann Giclee

Hi Joey

Mold and forgotten history has damaged a distinctive 19th century jacket, our very own historic ‘coat of many colors’ worth more than the fabric itself!

80 years ago Roger Babson presented this Civil War era coat to the community during a town wide celebration for the 50th Anniversary of the Gloucester High School Cadets, an ROTC forerunner founded by Albert W. Bacheler (b. 1843 Indiana – d.1929 Melrose, MA). Bacheler was an esteemed principal of Gloucester High School for a staggering 30 years (1814-1913), a Civil War Veteran (New Hampshire regiment Army of the Potomac), and a Dartmouth alum.

Chairs for 1500 people were set up in advance of that event! Artist Charles Allan Winter designed the program!

You see, it wasn’t just any coat.

Back then everyone in Gloucester knew Babson and Bacheler and understood the many reasons that this very special coat was a gift for our City. Babson was a key speaker at the event and his topic was solely Bacheler and this coat. School teachers and colleagues said that Bacheler liked to show his students the coat as inspiration, a reminder that one never need to be discouraged. Principal Bacheler told students how this coat was given to him by a Virginia slave who harbored him after his escape from Richmond’s infamous Libby Prison during the Civil War. While this incredible story warrants our attention, verification and further exploration—what a great project for our students!

In 2015, the coat that remains to tell the story is in immediate need of our care.

A concerned parent noticed that the coat near ROTC and Veterans awards and memorials at Gloucester High School had developed mold and brought it to the attention of various folks in town. The coat is everyone’s artifact. The school budget, PTOs, City Archives, city committees, the Cape Ann Museum—none have a budget to pay for this coat repair. The coat has been examined by a professional textile conservator through the Committee for the Arts. This garment needs to be fumigated, cleaned and repaired. It also requires an armature to support it and new display. The estimate for treatment and preparing it for installation is $3800.

Come “see” the coat during Jason Grow’s WWII Veterans’ Portrait Exhibition at City Hall on Saturday, November 7, 2015, from 1-4pm. The coat is too fragile to travel at present and will be represented by a full size photograph thanks to the generosity of Cape Ann Giclee! thank you James!

Donations will be accepted at the event or checks can be mailed and made payable to The Gloucester Fund, 45 Middle Street, Gloucester, MA. PLEASE write “Civil War coat” in memo field on the check. We are setting up a youcaring site and will apply to Awesome Gloucester.