Brev. Brig. Gen'l
- Feb 14, 2012
- Central Pennsylvania
You could use a LOT of imagery for this story. Bees, hives and do-not-get-in-the-way, win. Hang on, it's perfect, promise! Women across the South, working in cooperation, en mass- all a buzz.
Whoa, what?? Thought I'd poke around in the topic of " Gunboat Quilts " yet again. Not a lot of information and what is there is so unsatisfying. Well, was so unsatisfying!
Been trying to provoke interest in a project Southern women cooked up early-ish in the war, in 2018 known as " The Gunboat Quilts ". No interest whatsoever. Basically, women raffled and auctioned some of the most astonishing needlecraft this country ever produced, to aid in a ( reportedly, hang on! ) seemingly futile attempt to purchase an entire gunboat! Ha, right? Well, that is also what we hear. Again- ha! These women were hysterical. They bought a darn ship. Plus. No, really.
So get this. THEY DID IT!! An entire, $30.000 dollar gunboat, and then ' some '. Crazy stuff. It transpires not ' just ' quilts were raffled- fairs were held, socks knitted, clothing, hair, jewelry - sold. Ladies bought a gunboat and there's a Mallory letter toboot. Still digging for documents but yep. $830.000.00, maybe more.
This was merely Alabama- fair notices in South Carolina fairly clutter one post war book of records.
Not without contention, still looking into that, too. A North Carolina paper goes in depth, countering one woman's efforts point by point on the grounds she is going about the process poorly. Another, fairly, points out food for the troops would be money well spent. No, at this point I have no knowledge of which ship was purchased with what amount, from where- but they sure purchased an awful lot of ship.
Look, well aware of the implications, who is on first and what this war meant. This is entirely about Women and this dratted War, these were Southern women. Until yesterday, all information I'd been able to discover pointed to fund raising efforts failing, and badly, leaving behind some incredible needlework. A gunboat? That's crazy talk. An assortment of Southern pistols, determination, point-blank formidable stubbornness and there she was.
Crazy good quilt, a kind of masterpiece- but not the only thing to come out of efforts by ladies, to aid their husbands, fathers, sons and brothers.