Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Catalog Data

unknown  Search this
Physical Description:
fabric, cotton (overall material)
thread, cotton (overall material)
pieced, inscribed (overall production method/technique)
overall: 90 in x 60 in; 229 cm x 152 cm
Object Name:
quilt top
Place made:
United States: Massachusetts, Amherst
Date made:
Three hundred eighty-four 3 ¾-inch squares of printed and plain white cottons were used to create this quilt top. The plain white squares were all inscribed in ink by many different hands. Several squares are dated “June 1864” and some state a place, “Amherst, Mass.” Most squares contain religious messages, but some secular inscriptions are evident: “Three cheers for the Red, white & blue 1864” “God save Gen. Grant and his brave men” and "A remembrance from the children of Amherst June 1864."
On July 1, 1864, the "Hampshire and Franklin Express" published the following note (p. 2) under "LATEST WAR NEWS":
"Album Bed-quilts"
"The Ladies Soldiers' Aid Society of this village [Amherst, Mass] are making quite a number of small hospital quilts, of patch-work, on every square of which is most neatly written in indelible ink, a sentiment of sympathy, a verse of scripture, or a choice scrap of poetry or prose, and are altogether, very beautiful articles, and cannot fail to be comforting to the wounded soldier to decipher, as he lies on his weary couch of pain."
The pieced top was used to cover an older wool quilt (TE*T14021.00A) and the finished product was sent to a Union army hospital during the Civil War.
Currently not on view
Civil War  Search this
Quilting  Search this
ID Number:
Accession number:
Catalog number:
See more items in:
Cultural and Community Life: Textiles
Domestic Furnishings
Data Source:
National Museum of American History