Mary Carswell wasn't much of a speller but
you have to give her credit for advocating
on her 1887 Civil War Commemorative quilt.
"Made by Mrs. N. W. Carswell, Waterbury, Conn., 1887"
Collection of the Hudson River Museum.
Picture from Safford & Bishop's 1973 book, pp. 302-3
This is Mary's second quilt made of corps badges and other memorabilia from the veterans' organizations. The first dated 1885 is in the collection of the Mattatuck Museum in Connecticut.http://civilwarquilts.blogspot.com/2014/03/mary-carswells-grand-army-quilt.html
Mary Carswell, born about 1820, was married to Union Veteran Norman Williams Carswell (1819-1898.) He joined the 15th Vermont Infantry in September 1862, which went to Washington to defend the city and then on to Manassas and Gettysburg.
Norman W. Caswell died with "Nothing"
One problem with uncovering information about the quiltmaker is the variable spelling of her married name. Her Vermont-born husband is listed as Carswell or Caswell. One can imagine that Vermonters pronounced both spellings as Cahz-well. He's buried as Norman Carswell in Waterbury, Connecticut but listed on the Union Soldiers Memorial in Wheelock, Vermont as Norman Caswell.
The Bombardment of Fort Sumter
Mary earned a mention in 1899 as the oldest member attending a Connecticut convention of the Women's Relief Corps, the W.R.C. She was "seventy-nine years old. This woman is the owner of a quilt which is a curiosity, as in its construction she has made use of various army corps badges, G.A.R badges, W.R.C. badges and other emblems and mementoes prized by old soldiers, and which she has loaned to various G.A.R. gatherings....."
Only one quilt is mentioned, perhaps this one the second.
The top embroidery is "Sunset View of Fort Sumpter Before the Bombardment"
The bottom: "The Penalty of Treason is Death."