I was not questioning the authenticity of the jacket, if that is what you meant. I thought I had seen a picture of it on the moc.org site and assumed they had done the work to authenticate it, and therefore already assumed it authentic.
In addition to that I thought I had read in Last Flag Down Australians were touring the Shenandoah while waiting for permission to dock. I thought I had read Whittle complained in addition to over crowding, having to repeat himself about the armament among other things people, people took officers buttons for souvenirs. With that I was just curious. I had guess Lieut Whittle would have a jacket or two. One of them is accounted for, and if I was correct about the complaint of the buttons being taken as souvenirs then were these buttons that were at auction a full set, or what was the history behind them? I just did a quick search to try to find the reference so I may have been mistaken so I am stumped.
So I am surprised and intrigued that the jacket has no buttons. Also very interested what other items remain. You may already be aware the Shenandoah signal guns remain, one of which is at Preble Hall here in Annapolis at the Naval Academy.
The Lt Dixon Life Preserver Hunley gold piece is extremely neat how that gold coin saved his life.
Although I am not sure I understand what you mean by "red lead" the gold piece or its connection.