A Quilting Party of the '50s
When Joseph Fountain, a 44-year-old English immigrant, joined the Sixth New Hampshire Volunteers, December, 1861, his wife Mary Ann must have sent along a quilt to keep him warm. Sometime in the early years of the Civil War while in Virginia Joseph was ordered to march with a light pack:
"We have just received orders to through [throw] away all we can't carry on our backs, and you never see such a time there is, in nailing up boxes of all sizes to send home, and you will receive one from me in which I have sent my old quilt, for I did so hate to through [throw] it away and I want you to get up a quilting match and fix it up new again, I dont know what else I have put in it only I know there is quite a variety.Joseph left Mary Ann with six children from 18 years old down to an infant back in New Hampshire. He survived the war although he was discharged with a disability in November, 1863. His letters were offered at a Cowan's Auction last November.
Quilting Party in Western Virginia
And the Army provided shipping services in the field. Boxes of homemade goods came into the camps, gifts for soldiers from family and friends, and boxes went out.
Adams Express office in Virginia
I've noticed before that several soldiers wrote their families they were shipping boxes home, usually in the context of plundered Southern goods.
The Army or the private shipping services like Adams Express sent all those quilts, silver and other souvenirs up north