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Major Brinton's Modern Coffin Varnish Battlefield Whiskey T-Shirt

Regular price $34.95

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This irreverent, fun t-shirt that plays off the original Civil War Battlefield Whiskey tee, Major Brinton's Coffin Varnish. Brinton was a brigadier surgeon who served in the Union Army and later was part of Ulysses S. Grant's staff. He was in charge of collecting and preserving the carnage of the battlefield.

He used a lot of whiskey to preserve the bones of the Civil War.

You can find these specimens today at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Coffin Varnish was the nickname for the less than tasty whiskey that Union and Confederate soldiers had to to drink. Suffice to say, it was not the bourbon that we drink today. The best or most sought-after pour in the 1860's was said to be Old Crow, and that was General Grant's preferred drink. First introduced in 1835, it is one of the earliest Kentucky bourbons.

So, for this Civil War history t-shirt, we went with a skull wearing a beret. Berets of course were not worn in the Union or Confederate armies. According to Wikipedia, "The first use of the modern beret in the U.S. military was in 1943, when an Army battalion of the 509th Parachute Infantry was given maroon berets by their British counterparts for their service in the war." The first widespread use was by Army Special Forces, e.g. the Green Berets. John Wayne, a thirsty bourbon drinker, starred in the 1968 movie, "The Green Berets." 

Today a black beret is worn by US Army soldiers in service dress uniform and by the US Air Force Tactical Air Control Party. Blue is worn by the Air Force Security Forces. Grey is the U.S. Air Force Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape. Maroon is Army Airborne, a legacy from 1943; it is also worn by Air Force Pararescue. Pewter Grey is Air Force Special Operations Weather. Scarlet is Air Force Combat Control. The Army Rangers started wearing tan berets after black berets became the standard cover for the Army in 2001. And green is still the Green Berets.

Speaking of colors, this tee with a black design is available in three colors. we also have a version in red (Bloody) lettering here, which come in a few other colors.

The Vintage Look

The shirt has a unique distressed, vintage look; cool, subtle, like washed in a creek. Like maybe it's seen a few things. The fabric remains the highest quality (see below).

The T-shirt

Our tees are the highest quality you will find. 100% combed and ring-spun cotton by Bella Canvas, a USA-based company. Feels soft and lightweight, with the right amount of stretch. It's comfortable and very flattering for both men and women.

Free Shipping -- Please allow from 7 to 14 days for shipping.

• Ash color is 99% combed and ring-spun cotton, 1% polyester
• Fabric weight: 4.2 oz (142 g/m2)
• Pre-shrunk fabric
• Side-seamed construction
• Shoulder-to-shoulder taping

Size guide

Length (inches) 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34
Width (inches) 16 ½ 18 20 22 24 26 28 30