PORTIONS OF THE “OLD ARMY BLANKET CARRIED & USED BY JOHN MCDANIELS THROUGH THE CIVIL WAR 1861 – 1865”

$1,095.00
Originally $1,500.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 846-248

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This is a nicely documented section, in two pieces, of a regulation Civil War army issue blanket with an old pencil note that was pinned to it at some point, reading, “Old army Blanket carried & used by John McDaniels through the Civil War 1861-1865.” A quick search turns up 15 men by that name in the Union army, though perhaps we can disregard the one sailor, and another 99 under “McDaniel,” which could be an easy error in army records. The reverse of the paper has part of typewritten note concerning a mortgage, but does not help in further identifying the soldier. The note, however, is very typical of family identifications attached to heirloom objects for the family or to relics of civil war service placed on exhibit in local G.A.R. halls or historical societies and likely dates around 1900.

The blanket is in two sections, the largest of which is about 16 by 51 inches. The color and weave are exactly what you want to see in an issue blanket: brownish in tone and with a rather open weave. These were left unfinished at the ends by the contractors and by regulation had black end stripes near the ends that, like the blanket themselves, are more brown (whether by intent or oxidation of the dye is debated by some collectors) and the longer piece shows one of these across the narrow end. A large “U.S.” was to be worked in the center with yarn in broad stitches. This is gone, as is often the case in even the best preserved examples.

Blankets were so useful in civilian life, and army blankets were hardly of the highest quality, that few survive. These pieces have tears and runs, but when folded or rolled display very nicely as a piece brought home by a soldier and preserved by the family as a memento of his service after its useful life was done. It could possibly be rolled over a cylinder to approximate a blanket roll for a display of field gear, but we like it more as a family heirloom from a veteran’s service. The note shows some holes and stains, and is torn across the middle from folding, but looks great on top of the blanket, as it probably was for many decades.   [sr] [ph:L]

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