The Civil war brought out the patriotism in everyone.  The first call to arms was issued April 15, 1861.  By April 24, 1861, men from Quincy and Adams county were marching into Cairo, Illinois, as infantry reinforcements.  On May 31, 1861,  the patriotic ladies of Quincy formed an organization known as the Needle Pickets.

The Needle Pickets numbered one hundred and two.  Their mission was to provide aid and comfort to the troops and their families left at home in Adams county. As the war wore on and its effects spread the Needle Pickets extended their assistance to provide food and clothing to the poor and needy regardless of their direct participation in the war.

The ladies prepared ‘lint, bandages and articles of comfort and convenience’ for the soldiers in the field.  They solicited flannel, linen and other materials useful for the war effort.  They helped at the five war hospitals located in Quincy.  They sent nurses to attend to the needs of the sick and wounded soldiers at Vicksburg.  They sent supplies to many military hospitals including those in Cairo, St. Louis, Fort Henry, Fort Donelson, Paducah, Corinth and Savannah.  They supplied reading materials in both English and German to the hospitals.

Fund-raising was an important part of the work of the Needle Pickets.  They held fairs, amateur entertainments and lectures.  They solicited donations from their fellow citizens.  From 1861 to 1865, the Needle Pickets raised $28,714.85 for the war effort.

Auxiliaries of the Needle Pickets were located throughout Adams County.  Needle Pickets children were known as the Busy Bees.  Some sources indicate that the membership included some men.

The first officers, elected to serve for three months, were: 

Mrs. Fox – Captain
Mrs. Bushnell – 1st Lieutenant
Mrs. Charles – 2d Lieutenant
Miss A. Asbury – Paymaster
Mrs. Morton – Orderly Sergeant

At the next election the officers were: 

Mrs. Fox – President
Mrs. Bushnell – Vice-President
Miss Burns – Vice-President
Mrs. Morton – Recording and Corresponding Secretary
Miss Annie Jonas – Treasurer

M E M B E R S:

Mrs. C. M. Abbe
Mrs. George Adams
Miss J. Adams
Mrs. A Asbury
Miss S. Austin
Miss J. Baker
Mrs. J. T. Baker
Miss S. Baker
Mrs. R. S. Benneson
Mrs. J. P. Bert
Mrs. Bertoninger*
Mrs. J. M. Bishop
Mrs. A. Blakesley
Mrs. F. Boyd
Mrs. T. H. Brougham
Mrs. G. Brown
Mrs. O. H. Browning
Mrs. J. H. Buckley
Miss L. Bull
Mrs. L. Bull
Mrs. G. Burns
Miss L. Bush
Miss E. Bushnell
Miss H. B. Bushnell
Mrs. N. Bushnell
Miss E. Catlin
Mrs. E. Charles
Mrs. M. Charles
Miss L. Church
Miss V. Church
Miss K. Cohn
Mrs. M. Converse
Miss Cook
Mrs. Cook
Mrs. J. C. Cox*
Miss L. Bross
Miss J. Curtis
Miss L. DeZeng
Miss E. Dean
Mrs. H. Dills
Miss A. Dimock
Mrs. L. Dimock
Miss E. Doway
Mrs. W. L. Duff
Miss E. C. Everett
Mrs. Ewing
Miss M. C. Field
Mrs. M. Finley
Mrs. N. Flagg
Mrs. L. Forester
Miss E. Foss
Mrs. A. Fox
Miss L. Fox
Miss M. Fox
Miss E. Frisbie
Miss H. Gilbert
Mrs. J. B. Gilpin*
Mrs. Goodwell
Miss S. Goodwin
Miss M. L. Grant
Miss C. Green
Miss M. Green
Mrs. S. Green
Mrs. J. Grimshaw
Miss Hardy
Mrs. J. Hinchman
Mrs. J. Hitchcock
Mrs. E. Hoffman
Mrs. J. Hollowbush
Miss S. Jackson
Mrs. D. Jameson
Miss Jenkins
Miss A. E. Jonas
Miss R. Jonas
Mrs. W. Joseph
Mrs. P. C. Keller
Miss C. Keyes*
Miss L. Keyes*
Miss M. L. Koch
Mrs. E. M. Kock
Mrs. C. Ladd
Miss F. Lane
Mrs. A. Lawrence
Mrs. C. Lee
Miss Livingston
Mrs. E. A. Long
Mrs. Lubbe
Mrs. E. Manson
Mrs. E. Mayo
Mrs. A. C. McFadon
Miss E. McFadon
Mrs. C. Mead
Mrs. George Miller
Mrs. F. C. Moore
Mrs. J. Moore
Mrs. C. H. Morton
Miss J. T. Morton
Miss S. Nash
Mrs. F. Nelke
Miss A. Niles
Miss M. Niles
Miss M. Norton
Miss Osborn
Miss K. Palmer
Miss M. Palmer
Miss Patrick
Mrs. U. S. Penfield
Miss Powell
Mrs. M. F. Powers
Miss M. Prentiss
Mrs. C. A. Prevost
Miss Reigart*
Mrs. S. Relfe
Miss H. Richardson
Mrs. J. Ritler*
Mrs. G. A. Roberts*
Miss B. Rogers
Miss C. Root
Mrs. Roscka
Mrs. J. Rowland*
Miss Ryland*
Miss M. Shelbs
Miss L. Sherman*
Miss S. Sherman*
Miss S. Simpson*
Mrs. H. K. Snow
Miss A. E. Stahl
Mrs. F. C. Stanley
Mrs. C. A. Streeter
Miss M. Sublett
Mrs. Taylor
Mrs. A. W. True
Mrs. A. Van Doorn
Mrs. J. K. Van Doorn
Mrs. C. A. Warren
Mrs. Warwick
Mrs. Levi Wells
Mrs. J. H. Williams
Mrs. M. E. Williamson
Mrs. E. Wills
Mrs. D. Winton
Mrs. J. S. Wood

The names marked with an asterisk indicates they withdrew from the society.

Much of the information here and the list of Needle Pickets was supplied by Adams County genealogist, Barbara Ippensen.