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Housewife In A Pocket

Minnesota Historical Society

Wisconsin was just 17 years old when the Civil War began. In 1861, every available man fit to serve was called to fight. Each man was issued two pairs of pants, two shirts, two pairs of underwear, and socks – all woolen. Each was given a tent, a blanket, and a bag for carrying enough food to last three days. And of course, each man had a rifle and ammunition.

All of this had to be carried on their backs, unless they were officers. So none of these men would have willingly carried anything else, unless it reminded them of home:

Gianofer Fields studies material culture at UW-Madison and is the curator of "It's a Material World" - a project funded by the Chipstone Foundation, a decorative arts foundation whose mission is preserving and interpreting their collection, as well as stimulating research and education in the decorative arts.

Original air date: 09/06/14

Audrey Nowakowski hosts and produces Lake Effect. She joined WUWM in 2014.