"Alpheus S. Williams" U.S. Issue Blanket

Price ​$225.00


Known to every soldier east and west, the Federal issue blanket was a staple of active campaign bivouacs and garrison camps alike.  The U.S. Army specified a “gray” 5 pound blanket measuring 7′ long by 5 ½’ wide although wartime exigency, manufacturing variation, and relaxed inspections resulted in a much wider variety being issued.  Our reproduction is based on an original in our own collection.  Several months of development resulted in a custom yarn blended from gray and brown sheep's wool produced specifically for these blankets.  The most exciting feature of the original blanket is the yarn used to make the end stripes and the “US”, which was logwood dyed with a heavy copperas mordant.  This feature has been replicated exactly for our reproduction, so needless to say your stripes will fade!  

Our reproduction 100% wool blankets are woven on an antique shuttle loom by Family Heirloom Weavers and made from yarn sourced here in the Midwest.  We are extremely proud that these are 100% American-made.    

The blankets weigh just under five pounds, and measure 81" by 78" (they are intentionally over-sized to allow for a modest amount of shrinkage.)  They will arrive to you straight off the loom (as per the original) with instructions on how to sew the “US” in the center and prepare it for field use.  A high resolution photo of the original “US” is included below to illustrate the creative way in which it was sewn.   

Because every reproduction blanket based on an original example needs a name, we have decided to name these blankets after Michigan General Alpheus S. Williams.  This is not because Williams used or owned the original, but simply because Alpheus S. Williams GAR post #40 was located across the street from our shop, so we figured he would be a good namesake for this run.  

This second run of the Williams blanket is made from different yarn than the first, so though the dimensions and weaving details are the same, the blankets will look distinctly different.  A small batch of blankets were made from a blend of yarn from the first and second run.  These blankets have a  more "green-tan" appearance and will be available until they sell out.  You can select your type in the shopping cart.

Finished blankets (washed with a hand sewn "US" in the center) are available from S&S Sutler of Gettysburg!

This product is a limited run, so make sure you order yours today!