Sometimes soldiers had to sew a torn jacket, reattach a button, or mend a hole in their sock. So they carried kits like this one to hold sewing needles. These needle kits were sometimes called “housewives,” because usually it was woman’s work to sew. But on the battlefield men had to be able to sew for themselves. It’s not known who carried this needle kit, but since it is decorated with a United States flag, it probably belonged to someone who supported the Union.