William Wiswell, Secession Exploded, 1861
"We do further declare and ordain, That the union now subsisting between the State of North Carolina and the other States under the title of the United States of America, is hereby dissolved."
The Secession Explosion loosed some demons in Wiswell's view.
Dr. P.C. Caldwell seems to have become interested in politics during the 1861 election when he supported Democrat John C. Breckinridge.
Chintz Applique Quilt, 104" Square,
"Sally Roxana Caldwell 1833" on reverse
At home was wife Sarah Roxana Caldwell whose name is inked on the back of this quilt in the collection of the Mint Museum in Charlotte. Sally Wilson married Dr. P.C. Caldwell in 1831 according to the records of St. Peter's Episcopal Church. Born a Quaker Sally Roxana joined St. Peter's after her marriage and with her sister Elvira Catherine Alexander became an active member of the church.
The Charlotte Branch Mint operated from 1838 until the Civil War.
The building is now the Mint Museum of Art Randolph
During the war the Mint building was
Confederate headquarters and a hospital
Sally's quilt and family memory speak of prosperity in antebellum Charlotte where her husband was a physician. She apparently gave birth to three children but baby Mary Elizabeth died after only a few weeks in 1845.
Son Joseph W. Caldwell joined his father's practice in 1854 when
he was about 21.
Corner of Trade & Tryon Streets about 1900 from the collection of the
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. The Caldwells had an office on Tryon Street.
Reading the Western Democrat reveals that debt was a chronic problem for the Drs. Caldwell.
"N.B---All persons indebted to me by accounts are requested to settle the same at an early day."
In 1858 their office was for rent.
And the next year their house.
Son Joseph became an assistant surgeon in the 23rd Regiment North Carolina Infantry when the war began and Sally's offspring nurse Kate Guion Babcock and Drs. Connie Myers Guion and Annie Parks McCombs were respected women in the health field well into the twentieth century.
The Civil War took a personal toll as well as financial. Joseph died in the summer of 1862 at the age of 29 with no mention of cause or glory so we can assume his parents had little comfort in burying him at St. Peter's churchyard.
Mrs. R. Caldwell's death notice, March, 1863
Sally Roxana died eight months later and the following month the family held a sale at their home at the "old Lucky Rock House, four miles from town," advertising household goods and livestock. P.C. Caldwell barely outlived the war, dying of consumption in the summer of 1865.
Granddaughter Kate Guion Babcock (1866-1943)
in her nurse's uniform. She was the eldest of
Sally Roxana's daughter Kate's 12 children.
Sally Roxana's quilt passed down through Kate Guion's family; great-granddaughter Annie McCombs donated it to the Mint Museum. The quilt is a link to the Civil War and a strong family of women.
Read about the medical women in the Caldwell family:
Kate and her husband in Asylum Doctor: James Woods Babcock and the Red Plague of Pellagra by Charles S. Bryanhttps://www.sc.edu/uscpress/books/2014/7490.html
Look to This Day! The Lively Education of a Great Woman Doctor: Connie Guion, M.D. by Nardi Reeder Campion, Boston: Little, Brown And Company, 1965