Saturday, January 23, 2016

A Sanitary Commission Quilt Arrives in Bowling Green

Boxes and barrels headed to Louisville from Ohio

Josie Underwood was a young woman living with her pro-Union parents in the Union state of Kentucky in 1862. In June a load of Sanitary Commission supplies arrived in town for the Federal soldiers occupying the town and the injured men in the hospitals. Among the barrels and boxes: a box of quilts.

June 15, 1862
Bowling Green, Kentucky
"Ma has been appointed-receiver and distributor of sanitary stores, sent by various societies throughout the north. The first consignment came today ...Ma had a room on the back porch cleared for them---but it would not hold half---so they are piled up on the porch and a soldier has been detailed to guard them....A box of quilts was opened---on one was pinned a paper---with these lines written on it.
Mary Jackson is my name
Single is my station
Happy will be the soldier boy---
Who makes the alteration.
All the soldiers there---clamored for it, declaring their desperate lack of covers. Ma told them to stand in a row and draw straws for it."

Detail of a Sanitary Commission stamped fabric
that Linda Frost made for a reproduction soldier's
quilt based on the kinds of quilts sent in those boxes and barrels.

Sanitary Commission Headquarters at Gettysburg, summer, 1863

Josie Underwood's Civil War Diary has been edited by Nancy Disher Baird and published by the University Press of Kentucky.

Read more about her family at this post:

The main bridge and the Underwood home were burned when Confederate
occupiers left Bowling Green.

UPDATE: It's Sold

Linda and I are selling models we've made for various books
and classes at my Etsy store. 


Kimberly Smith said...

I am completely fascinated by the Sanitary Commission quilts. Somehow they feel like the Holy Grail of quilting to me. Thank you for sharing.

Barbara Brackman said...

Just think how many were made!!!!

Monica said...

LOL! Hot stuff, that Mary. :D

Jeanne said...

The "Mercy Street" on PBS about a Union hospital in Virginia helps make the tragedies of the Civil War so real. Thanks for sharing about the Sanitary Commission.