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PATTERN 1876 US ARMY BARRACKS BEDDING BLANKET – VERY NICE EARLY SPECIMEN:  Dating from the Custer era, this Indian Wars Pattern 1876 Bedding Blanket, as described on page 152 of Randy Stephen’s The Horse Soldier 1776-1943, Volume II, features the correct gray body with 2 ¾” wide indigo blue stripes at each end.  One of the most basic pieces of the standard equipment issued to each frontier soldier, these blankets saw heavy service in both the barracks and in the field, surviving in very limited numbers today.   

This blanket measures 74” long and 57” wide, very close to the original dimensions and well within the range of shrinkage normally encountered in these blankets as caused by the aging of the wool and repeated washings through the years.  This blanket has a couple of small stains, but otherwise has survived the years in overall very good to excellent condition.  The indigo stripes at each end have faded a bit with time and age, but both are fully discernable.   When originally issued, these blankets had a “U.S.” stenciled with ink or paint in the center of the blanket, but as with this specimen, this marking soon wore away with use and cleaning and is seldom found intact.  The ends of the blanket are unbound as was common for 19TH Century blankets.  There is an old label sewn to one end of the blanket, perhaps the maker’s tag or the soldier’s identification, but the printing or writing is no longer present.   

As you can imagine, these blankets did not survive in great numbers due to the hard use they experienced in service and as they passed on as surplus to the multitude of post-army agencies, charities and retail stores they were simply used up with little to no regard for their historical value.  This early Indian Wars bedding blanket is a scarce item, particularly when found in this condition, and it will certainly add to your collection, displayed with a soldier’s field kit, on a Model 1872 Barracks Bed, or rolled up on the cantle of an Indian War saddle.  (0114) $595 

NOTE:  THE LIGHT STREAKS SHOWING ON THE BLANKET IN THE PHOTOGRAPHS BELOW ARE RAYS OF SUNLIGHT SHINING ON THE BLANKET AND NOT FADING, BLEACHED AREAS, OR DISCOLORATION IN THE MATERIAL.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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