GAR Fundraiser quilt by Anna Black Hutchin, 1924-1927.
Collection of the Kansas Museum of History
Read more about this quilt here:
It's on display now in Topeka at the Kansas Museum of History in the exhibit: “Speaking of Quilts: Voices from the Collection and Community,” which runs through Aug. 31, 2014.
Detail of a Women's Relief Corps quilt
from Pennsylvania, recently offered online.
Many of the surviving quilts with a link to the Union veteran's ladies' organizations were made to raise funds for their charitable and memorial work. Written references to these fundraisers are included in meeting accounts.
The headquarters of the Kansas G.A.R.
and Woman's Relief Corp about 1910
At a Joplin, Missouri encampment (as the summer retreats of the veterans' groups were called) a quilt was in the works in 1893:
"I have found women all along the line trying to do something for the soldiers. And now the ladies of Missouri have prepared a quilt, and you see they know something about military affairs for here are the Corps badges; they have spread upon it with loving hands these emblems; and now what they want is the name of every comrade that can give as much as twenty-five cents, and your name will be recorded upon this quilt, with the regiment and corps to which you belonged, and then the quilt will be put on exhibition, and sold, and the money used for the relief of the comrades."
GAR parade in Toledo, Ohio
At an 1885 get-together in Bristol, Connecticut the reporter found:
"One of the most unique schemes for aiding the Grand Army, is that represented by a large, though incomplete, bed Quilt hanging on the east side. In the center are the badges of Gilbert TW Thompson Post GAR and the Ladies’ Relief Corps, No 4. Every third block---all the blocks being three inches long by one wide---is white, on each of which Miss Keziah Peck, of the Corps, has written in indelible ink the name of some person who has paid a dime for that purpose. The ladies have done all the sewing. There are now nearly seven hundred names on the quilt, which is to be finished in time for their fair next winter. The blocks are red, white, and blue."
The encampments and reunions continued into the 1930s and later,
and so did the fundraising quilts.
And if you will notice in the comments on the March 22 post many groups continue.