Calico fragment that came through Confederate blockades during the Civil War

Object Number: 
2012.9.2
Date: 
ca. 1861-1865
Medium: 
Printed cotton
Dimensions: 
Overall: 11 x 1 1/2 in. (27.9 x 3.8 cm)
Description: 
Fragment of printed cotton fabric in checker pattern with solid blue checks and "spotted" brown; in old envelope inscribed in pencil: "Ran the blockade during the last civil war"
Gallery Label: 
This calico fragment belonged to New Yorker Samuel Phillips Dill (1834-1902), who served in the Civil War with the 173rd Regiment, New York State Volunteers. While fighting in the southwest he was captured and spent fourteen months in the Confederate prison at Camp Ford near Tyler, Texas. Dill wrote an account of his escape and recapture in 1867, a copy of which is in the N-YHS Library. The library also holds a copy of "A Brief Sketch of the 173rd Regiment" (1868) by Dill and a copy of the Camp Ford newspaper, "The Old Flag," which was also reportedly written by Dill. The fragment of calico was presumably saved by Dill, who may have cut it off a bolt or larger piece that came through the blockade of Confederate ports during the war. Most likely it is English calico, but it could possibly be of northern manufacture, and run into a southern port via Bermuda, Cuba, or Mexico by a small blockade runner coastal ship.
Credit Line: 
Gift from the Family of Beatrice D. Gunther
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group