Saturday, March 19, 2011

12 Louisiana

Louisiana by Becky Brown
Louisiana can represent the Morgan family and all the Southern soldiers.

During the spring of 1861 the new Confederacy established an army, organizing local militia, seizing federal weapons at Southern armories and issuing a call for troops. The first call established a 12-month term of service. Surely the War would be over by the spring of 1862.

Unknown Confederate soldier.
All the portraits on this page are of unknown sitters
 from the Library of Congress

Diarist Sarah Morgan, who speaks for many Confederate women, changed from a careless girl to a heart-broken woman during the War. The contrast is evident in the evolution of her writing about her brothers. Her first enthusiastic accounts of George, Gibbes and Jimmy joining the Confederate troops reflected dreams of  battlefield glory.

July 11th, 1862.
"A letter from George this morning! It was written on the 20th of June, and he speaks of being on crutches in consequence of his horse having fallen with him, and injured his knee. Perhaps, then, he was not in the first battle of the 25th? But bah! I know George too well to imagine he would keep quiet at such a moment, if he could possibly stand! I am sure he was there with the rest of the Louisiana regiment. The papers say 'the conduct of the First Louisiana is beyond all praise'; of course, George was there!"
Sarah's hopes for her brothers' heroics soon became anxiety for their safety and vain prayers for their survival. In the last months of the War both Gibbes and George died within a week.

On the 30th of January [1865] came [Gibbes's] last letter, addressed to me, though meant for [his wife]. It was dated the 12th — the day George died. All his letters pleaded that I would write more frequently — he loved to hear from me; so I had been writing to him every ten days. On the 3d of February I sent my last.
Friday the 5th… I saw [our eldest] Brother pass the door, and heard him ask for mother. The voice, the bowed head, the look of utter despair on his face, struck through me like a knife. 'Gibbes! Gibbes!' was my sole thought; but Miriam and I stood motionless looking at each other without a word. 'Gibbes is dead,' said mother as he stood before her. He did not speak…"

Sarah's diary speaks so eloquently of the family loss, but she, her sisters, sisters-in-law and mother were just a very few of the hundreds of thousands of women who lost soldiers during the Civil War.
Two percent of the population of the
United States died during the 4-year War.

The block Louisiana was first published in Hearth and Home magazine about a century ago when the magazine asked readers to mail in blocks named for their home states. The BlockBase # is 1335.

Cutting the 8" Finished Block
A - Cut 4 dark rectangles 4-1/2" x 2-1/2"
B- Cut 4 medium squares 2 -7/8" Cut each diagonally with one cut.

 You need 8 triangles.
C - Cut 1 light square 5-1/4". Cut into 4 triangles with 2 cuts. You need 4 triangles.

The photographs of the Confederate soldiers are from Civil War Faces, a webpage from Flickr and the Library of Congress. The Liljenquist Family recently donated their rare collection of almost 700 ambrotype and tintype photographs to the Library of Congress in remembrance of the Union and Confederate soldiers who served. Click here to see more portraits.

And see the post about block #3 Seven Sisters for information about Sarah Morgan and her Louisiana diary.


Anonymous said...

Love what you are doing here with the block and giving readers the CW history.
Our country's history is so precious. It breaks my heart when I run into people everyday that don't know it and don't seem to even care to learn. God Bless you Barbara and all your readers.

Anonymous said...

Love all of the old pictures. I have completed my block and posted it on my blog along with a how-to.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the story of Sarah, and for the wonderful pictures. The block is a favorite of mine, but I haven't made it in 8" size before.

grandma peden's porch said...

great colors on the quilt block pink seems to be my color right now.

Mary said...

Such heartbreaking stories. Thank you for posting, Barbara. I'll post my block in the flickr group as soon as I'm finished.

KathiP said...

Just found out about this blog and am so excited. I am a fan - of Barbara and her quilts and now this blog. I made the Lincoln quilt this past year (although out of civil war fabrics - not homespuns) and it turned out great. Thanks for this great blog. Now you have given me one more project for my UFO bin!!!

Roslyn said...

I would love to make these but I
d like a 12.5" block. Are there any online options for converting the block size?

Lady Jane said...

I have your civil war sampler book and am trying to make this Louisiana block 12x12 and using the measurements on pg. 7 doesn't come out right. The rectangle is too small. If I increase it to 71/2 the other dimensions will fit but the block is too big. Is there a change in measurements for this block. Also any other blocks in this book??? I am on #12 Louisiana block. Thank you. Sharon at

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