Collection of the Ohio Historical Society
For decades after the Civil War, the Union Veterans' group The Grand Army of the Republic held annual national "Encampments," huge reunions of Union soldiers. The 22nd Annual Encampment was held in Columbus, Ohio in September, 1888.
Thousands of veterans camped out in tent cities
at these National Reunions.
During the festivities a quilt was raffled to benefit the GAR. Apparently the GAR post in New Carlisle, Ohio organized the quilt by asking women associated with Union Generals to contribute blocks. Or was it made in Columbiana in Salem County?
Julia Dent Grant may have made or sponsored this block dedicated to her late
husband General U. S. Grant
Jessie Benton Fremont and the block dedicated to Gen. John C. Fremont.
Caroline Harrison's husband's block. In 1888
Benjamin Harrison was running a successful
campaign for President.
General Frank Blair's block and his wife
Apoline Alexander Blair in a portrait by
George Caleb Bingham.
Mrs. John C. Black with General Black's block.
In the 20th-century portrait she is holding
a photograph of her late husband.
James B. McPherson was Ohio's highest-ranking Union officer
killed in battle. The block honoring him was made by a Miss
McPherson. He never married, so this may have been a niece.
Organizers also asked state governors to donate a block but only one state block from California
is in the quilt. Who bought it? Who won it?
Stories conflict. Was the quilt sold at the Re-union or sold to California's Governor Robert W. Waterman? The Ohio Historical Society's information says it was donated by descendants of the lucky winner of the 1888 raffle. There is also some indication that more than one quilt was made.
"Thirty-six women sent quilt blocks to New Carlisle, where they were incorporated into the three quilts. They were entered in an Ohio centennial celebration in 1888, where the National won a first premium in the Art Needle...."