Carpet Blankets
 

Vicki Betts, professional librarian ath the University of Texas at Tyler, maintains a website with her exhaustive research on the Civil War.
It includes numerous newspaper references to the use of ingrain carpet as blankets.

Her homepage can be found here: http://www.uttyler.edu/vbetts/

The following newspaper references are from her research archives: http://www.uttyler.edu/vbetts/blankets.htm

From Phillip Katcher's "The Army of Robert E Lee:" “Very few of them carry a knapsack, but most a haversack and blanket…
many of the blankets are made of old carpet, with very gay colours and almost
all have a hole in the middle, through which a man inserts his head when
the weather is cool, or when it rains….and the effect is marvelously
picturesque, especially when you see them lying or squatting down in
groups round a fire cooking their meals.”

Little Rock] Weekly Arkansas Gazette, September 27, 1862, p. 1, c. 3
"Make the Soldier Comfortable.—Major Gen. Holmes has made known to our people
generally, and to the ladies particularly, the fact that, if a supply is not gotten up at home,
many of our soldiers will lack blankets to make them comfortable and preserve their health,
during the approaching winter.  The ladies here responded promptly and patriotically, many
of them giving the last carpet they have to be made into substitutes for blankets for the purpose.
We feel confident that the call will be cheerfully and fully responded to by the ladies
west of the Mississippi, to whom it is addressed.
All contributions of blankets, or substitutes for blankets, or clothes, will be forwarded to
Maj. Jno. B. Burton, Chief of the Clothing Bureau, Trans-Mississippi Department."
Montgomery Weekly Advertiser, October 22, 1862, p. 2, c. 2
"The Savannah Republican says that the proprietors of the Pulaski House of that city have
tendered all the carpets in their establishment to the Committee collecting clothing for the army.  
There are 120 rooms in the house and the carpets will furnish 500 good blankets. 
 This is a splendid donation.  All honor to the generous proprietors."
[Little Rock] Weekly Arkansas Gazette, October 25, 1862, p. 1, c. 1
Contributions for the Soldiers

—The Patriotism [of] the Ladies of Little Rock.—

Mr. Editor:  But a short time ago, the ladies of Little Rock, of their own accord, held
a meeting and determined upon measures to assist in furnishing our brave soldiers
with blankets and other necessary articles of clothing.  Since then, carpets, costly
and rich, have been converted into blankets, and other equally useful articles of
clothing have been made [hole in paper].  Wiling, patriotic hearts have made [hole in paper]
and fingers but little wont to use the coarse needle, now ply it with rapidity.  This argues
well for the success of our cause.  A people thus working together, and willingly giving
their property and their services to their country—their gentlewomen, like the matrons of
Rome, giving, not mere trinkets of personal adornment, but house-hold property of real
comfort and use in their families, all for the benefit and protection of the soldiers—can
and must conquer. . . . The ladies who have thus parted with their carpets, are assured
that their reward is a soldier's gratitude—a gratitude which none but a soldier can feel.
                Will not the ladies of other towns and cities in this Military Department emulate
the noble action of the ladies of Little Rock?
                The thanks of the soldiers are also due to the Masonic Fraternity for the
contribution of the carpet of their Lodge Room—making about 50 excellent blankets.

Respectfully, &c.
John B. Burton, Major
and A. Q. M. Chief Clothing Bureau,
Trans-Miss. Department.

Natchez Daily Courier, November 5, 1862, p. 1, c. 1 "Two of the steamboats, unemployed on the river, have given their bedding, carpets, &c., to
Major Mims, to be used, as blankets for the Southern soldiers.  An appeal is made to this city
and county, for similar appropriations.  Better, far, that our extra blankets and all our carpets
should be in the hands of our brave volunteers, than they should be destroyed by Federal soldiers."
Montgomery Weekly Advertiser, November 26, 1862, p. 2, c. 6 A Worthy Example.

We learn that the members of St. Paul's Church, in this city, have determined to take up the
carpet on the floor of that sanctuary and convert it into blankets for our soldiers.  We
heartily commend their action to other churches in this city and throughout the Confederacy.  
Surely we can afford to kneel or stand upon bare floors to shelter from the cold the bodies
of the brave men who are fighting to secure our rights of conscience no less than our
political liberties.
—Columbus Times.

Clarke County [AL] Journal, January 8, 1863, p. 1, c. 5 Another Appeal to the Women of Alabama.

Executive Department of Alabama

Montgomery, 7th Dec. 1862.

The troops of this State who are bravely defending your liberties, in the mountains
of Virginia and Tennessee, are suffering for blankets.  The Confederate Government
is unable to supply them in sufficient quantity.  I must again appeal to the women of
Alabama, who have so well sustained their part in this revolution, to give up their
carpets, their remaining blankets, and such other suitable bedclothing as they can
spare to the cause of independence.  A ready response to this appeal is certain
to increase the efficiency of our troops and alleviate their sufferings.  It may save
the lives of thousands.           
            The articles contributed should be sent to Duff C. Green, Q. M. General, Mobile;
Geo. C. Lyon, Esq., Demopolis; E. L. Johnson & Co., Selma; W. B. Pickett, A. Q. M.,
Montgomery, and Robert W. Colchart, Huntsville, or to the Judges of Probate of
Counties, who will forward them as above at the expense of the State.

John Gill Shorter,
Governor of Alabama.

N.B.—All papers in the State will give this appeal one insertion and forward their
account to the Executive Office.

John B. Taylor,
Private Secretary.  

Natchez Daily Courier, January 6, 1863, p. 1, c. 2 Blankets and Supplies for the Soldier.

We are prone to forget that there are many a poor soldier, who are yet without
blankets these cold, stormy nights.  Warm ourselves, we are too apt to forget
those who are in the field, suffering from exposure.  We are informed that
there is still a great lack of blankets and socks.  If we look around our premises,
cannot we find one or more carpet that can be spared; a few more pairs of
socks?  If so, let them be forwarded immediately to Mr. James Carradine's store.  
The soldiers are yet in want; let us respond to their wants, liberally and promptly.

Savannah [GA] Republican, December 28, 1863, p. 2, c. 3 State Carpets for the Soldiers.

—The Montgomery Advertiser states that, in accordance with the requirements
of an act of the General Assembly of that State at the recent session, the carpets
in the rooms of the State capitol in that city are being taken up for the use of the
soldiers from Alabama.  They are to be used in lieu of blankets, which cannot
be procured.

 
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