Gear Shed

Covet: Vintage Wool Blanket

Woolrich’s Civil War blanket was a favorite in the mid-1800s and is still beloved today.

Woolrich Civil War blankets are available in tan, gray, red, and navy.     Photo: Woolrich

Civil War Artillery Blanket.

A Union general thanks Woolrich for keeping troops warm.

During the Civil War, Woolrich supplied troops on both sides with wool blankets to stave off the biting and bitter winter cold of the battlefield. Legend has it that the company made blankets for Union troops by day, and for the Confederate army by night. From 1861 to 1865, soldiers depended on Woolrich, then based in Chatham Run, Pennsylvania, to keep them safe and warm.

Today, Woolrich’s Civil War blankets honor that legacy. Available in four sizes and styles, the Artillery, Fort Sumter, Calvary, and Gettysburg blankets are still made in the same woolen mill as their predecessors. Eighty-five percent wool and 15 percent nylon, these large blankets are attractive enough to be used as bedspreads but durable enough to endure picnics or camping trips.

If you covet these blankets, you might leave a note in the comments below, or review the product online. But back in the 1800s, Union Major General George Brinton McClellan, the Democratic Presidential nominee in 1864, wrote a letter to Woolrich, thanking the company for keeping his troops warm. The letter is preserved at the company’s archives, in what is now Woolrich, Pennsylania.

Artillery blanket: 70 x 84 inches; $165
Fort Sumter blanket: 60 x 72 inches; $139
Calvary blanket: 66 x 80 inches; $145
Gettysburg blanket: 60 x 84 inches; price TBA

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