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How many changes of clothing do you have? Most Civil War soldiers owned just one set of clothing, which was quick to wear out during long marches and bitter fighting. As you can imagine, mending clothes was a must for soldiers. Therefore, most Civil War soldiers carried a “housewife”, or sewing kit. This kit contained the items necessary to darn socks, replace buttons, or fix a whole in a jacket. Made for soldiers by wives, mothers, daughters, and friends, housewives were crafted from scraps of leftover fabric and typically included buttons, needles, thread, and extra fabric. When it was time to replace a button or stitch a tear, a soldier could quickly pull out his “housewife”, and all the necessary supplies would be there.