Brev. Brig. Gen'l
- Feb 14, 2012
- Central Pennsylvania
There's an American theme running through the war, our quilts. The famous Gunboat Quilts Confederate women created purchased an entire gunboat, an 1862 letter written home by a North Carolina officer begs for quilts for his wounded men, relief workers North and South were responsible for uncounted numbers created between 1861 and April, 1865. The Western Sanitary Commission Fair took down the bunting and tents, re-purposing the fabric into quilts for men on battlefields.
Example of a ' presentation quilt ', one purpose sewn for some special, specific event- Gunboar Quilts were of this ilk- workmanship is just crazy.
Also from the Met., close ups are too perfect to believe- but women did it.
Isn't it wonderful?
Thanks to Chellers, we have pages of examples here, a Ladies Tea sticky. She cherished these old treasures, recognizing Americana at it's very, very best. Thread is merely a kind of overview because really, as wonderful as we find our old quilts, their place in the war doesn't see enough discussion.
For some reason ( not snark, just can't figure it out ) our unbelievable Sanitary Commission is poorly reported on. Not merely huge, it rapidly grew to massive proportions funding and fueling compassion and packing off battalions of aid workers to battlefields, hospitals, ships and heck, trains. One of their major projects involved putting women to work- at home. Give us quilts. They did.
Part of an 1864 spread by Harper's, April of that year honoring the Sanitary Commission. They recruited women to sew quilts, ' housekeepers ', shirts and whatever else men needed in tents and hospital.
Just one fair, the massive Metropolitan Fair in 1864, in Union Square, NY spawned quilts from every county. Which were sent to soldiers.
You can't open an era paper without seeing lists - who sent what to where by way of food, clothing, medical supplies and staff. Needed? Despite heroic efforts by army medical units there just were not enough. Bull Run should have been the only time we were overwhelmed by numbers of wounded yet it happened throughout the war. Like we threw a war and someone forgot the band aids.
On every list of needed supplies? Quilts. Men who'd lain wounded for days on battlefields had hospital stays comforted by home-sewn compassion, quilts were sold or auctioned to raise money for aid and hundreds sent to encamped troops.
Just one of regular mentions of quilts. This was from a report on the Western Fair.
Tomorrow, ' famous ' quilts of the war- we already have threads on most, wonderful stories by themselves. Too terrific a topic to stuff into one post.
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