Covering the War

Baltimore Album

Maker unknown
Dated 1847
Made in Baltimore, Maryland
IQSCM 2005.056.0001, Acquisition made possible by Robert & Ardis James Fund

IQSCM 2005.056.0001, detail

This quilt honors Major Samuel Ringgold, the first U.S. officer to die in the Mexican-American War (1846-1848) at Palo Alto, with a repeated appliqué design of his coffin resting on a catafalque in the Merchants’ Exchange, amidst the trappings of a full military funeral. The same design honors Colonel William H. Watson, a Baltimore native who died in the Battle of Monterrey. Death assured each officer’s status as a Maryland hero, and in 1861 James Ryder Randall invoked their examples in his poem titled, “Maryland, My Maryland:” “With Ringgold’s spirit for the fray, / With Watson’s blood at Monterey . . . / Maryland! My Maryland!”