This dress was worn by Mr. Carter's great aunt, Mary Payne. Other than her name, we know nothing about her. Perhaps future research may reveal move. We have additional items that might have belonged to the same woman and that also date to the Civil War era. Since the donor said that this dress was worn in 1861, it is likely that it was connected with a special event in the wearer's life. It is a good example of the day dresses of the period. It was exhibited in the Hall of American Costume from 1964 to 1973.