Saturday, August 13, 2016

Van Fleet Flag Quilt

Flag Quilt by Emma Jane Bullock Van Fleet, 1867
Yakima Valley Museum

This Illinois quilt is in the collection of the Yakima Valley Museum in Washington.

Alfred and Emma Van Fleet
From the Yakima Valley Museum collection.
They have a photograph album of the Van Fleet family.

Emma Bullock Van Fleet (1845-1886 ) stitched the names of 46 battles that her husband Alfred saw during his two enlistments in Company K of the 8th Illinois Cavalry. Alfred fought at Gettysburg. 

"Gettysburg Pa July 1 1863"
See the Museum's website here:

Mustered out in St. Louis in 1865, Alfred bought land in De Kalb County, Illinois. He and Emma married in 1867 and soon moved to Ames, Iowa. Alfred, a blacksmith's son, took an interest in barbed wire, the innovative fencing material. In 1878 the family moved to Joliet, Illinois, the center of barbed wire manufacturing where Alfred invented and built wire machinery. He, his brothers and his son Elon operated several machine shops,building among many other items, gasoline engines.

Emma died in 1886 in Joliet at the age of 41.

In 1916 Alfred was killed in an automobile accident in Seattle while spending the winter with his daughter Grace Walker and her husband Wesley.

We can guess that Emma's Washington descendants donated her Civil War memorial quilt to the Yakima Valley Museum.

In 1996 Gail Bakkom, inspired by the Van Fleet quilt, made her own Veteran's flag,
honoring another soldier from the Civil War.
See more about her reproduction quilt in this preview of my book Quilts from the Civil War by clicking here:


suzanne said...

I think we have this feeling that quilters have artistic license to whatever they want with American flag images. I'm glad, this one is so innovative. I like the faded-looking, pale blue version more.

Shelina (formerly known as Shasta) said...

I really like how the star is made out of stars.

Lady Jane said...

I always love visiting your site, it is such a lesson in history. I haven't worked on my quilt in a while but when the weather gets cold I will be at it again. Hugs, lj

Jan in VA said...

That second picture of him, in the sepia tones, shows a handsome young man, almost James Dean-like; no wonder she married him and honored him with such a delightful quilt. I do wonder how she died so young. These history lessons are just wonderful! Thank you. :)