Gunboats, Fairs, Ladies And Assorted Southern Pistols.....

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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bees hives two.jpg

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.

gunboat palmetto state.jpg


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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.
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This was merely Alabama- fair notices in South Carolina fairly clutter one post war book of records.
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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.
gunboat fair painting.JPG



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.
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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.

CSS Chicora,
gunboat chicora.jpg

gunboat helped chicora.JPG
 

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"... This mania to manufacture extraordinarily expensive ironclad gunboats arguably produced the most fascinating and powerful women's organizations that the South had ever seen: Ladies' Gunboat Societies. Ladies' Gunboat Societies were called by a variety of names, as John Coski explains in his "The Women of Civil War Richmond". Also known as Ladies' Aid and Defence Associations or simply National Defence Associations, these groups of Confederate women were most popularly and consistently known throughout the South as Ladies' Gunboat Societies. These organizations impressively organized themselves to orchestrate fundraisers, coordinate funds, stir Southern morale, and, of course, spur the building of gunboats for their particular coastal towns. In an impressive show of resolve, the Confederacy commissioned twenty-two ironclad vessels into its navy by the war's end. Of these twenty-two, there is some primary evidence that up to six: the Virginia II, the Fredricksburg, the Lady Davis, the Palmetto State, the Ladies Ram (Mobile, Alabama), and the Georgia, were either fully or partially funded by Ladies' Gunboat Societies..."

Excellent indepth thesis here:
http://trace.tennessee.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2593&context=utk_gradthes
 

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Missed those- have only been able to discover CSS Palmetto State and Chicora, associated with projects. Interesting! Found what seemed an isolated movement in NC which was swiftly pounced on by the papers as silly, you'd guess perhaps that organizer folded her efforts in with this national effort.

One objection you see repeated was over where money was needed? Please no one yell at me, just reporting what is back there to find- with troops in need of supplies, hospitals in a state of flux, there were some hard feelings about so much effort and money spent towards this.
 


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