Saturday, October 19, 2019

Lydia Dilliner's Flag Quilt

Several years ago our local newspaper featured this photo of a flag quilt owned by a woman who had inherited it from her great-grandmother. The pattern is the Peterson's Magazine Stars & Stripes Bed-Quilt printed in color in the summer of 1861.

Ad for the magazine:
"Every lady ought to have a number, so as to work one of these quilts."
Many women did.

The family story:
The quilt was "made by Lydia Frances Dilliner a teen-ager who grew up in a Union-supporting family in Point Marian, Pa., near the Mason-Dixon line. She was about 17 to 19 years old when she made the quilt. It was 1858 to 1860." ....During the Civil War, the Confederates were coming up into the vicinity. The family hid the quilt in the loft so the Confederates (wouldn't know they were) Union supporters."
Point Marion

Lydia Frances had to have made the quilt after 1861. Born in 1842, she was about 19 when the pattern inspired her. At the time she was living with her parents Ambrose and Elizabeth Dilliner in Point Marion on a farm on the Monongahela River in southwestern Pennsylvania. Western Virginia, which became the state of West Virginia in 1863, is south of Point Marion.

She had three sisters and two brothers. In 1868 she married farmer James Estep Sturgis and raised three children Leonard Ross, Carrie and Elizabeth. James lost two brothers during the Civil War. David died on May 29, 1862 in Baltimore and Phineas died four days later in Yorktown, Virginia.

James E. Sturgis "has pronounced opinions...and can well express them."

James died in 1918 and Lydia died at the age of 89 in 1931 in Point Marion.

Greene County veteran's reunion in 1895

How great that the quilt descended in their family in such good condition.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Susannah Deering Lohry's Grant Quilt: And a Few Digressions

The California Project's book Ho For California! pictured this collage showing front and back of a quilt made by Susannah Deering Lohry (about 1824-1883) in El Dorado County, perhaps in the 1870s. The back recycles a campaign banner for Union General Ulysses S. Grant.

We can't see much of the patchwork side but the pattern looks to be a variation of Birds in the Air,
a two patch of two different sized half-square triangles.

Here's a similar design from my collection,
a little older with some newer patches.

Wallace's Farmer called it  Birds of the Air in 1928

This one's more like Susannah Lohry's with 9 small triangles in each block,
again older with a chintz border.

It's hard to figure out how big the hand-painted banner on the reverse is, but it may be fairly large as it was probably designed as a parade banner during U.S. Grant's 1868 or 1872 Presidential campaigns. The quilt has preserved the banner, which is worth more than the patchwork side.

Similar campaign banner from Heritage Auctions

We might guess the Lohrys had Republican sentiments. The family kept the quilt, their bible and a good deal of information about Susan and Adam Lohry. And in the age of the internet we can find a little more.

Susannah Deering was from Kentucky, marrying German immigrant Adam Lohry in 1843. She gave birth to several children in New Franklin, Missouri, a town of Kentucky immigrants on the Missouri River north of Boonville.

Santa Fe Trail marker at Old Franklin, closer to (and often in) to
the Missouri River than New Franklin

New Franklin was an important town on the road west when the great Western migrations began after gold was discovered in California in 1849. The Lohrys joined the thousands on the overland trail, arriving in Northern California in the fall of 1853. They settled in the boom town of Uniontown on the American River in California's Gold Country. 

Uniontown was near California's first world-shaking gold discovery but Adam Lohry chose a more practical occupation than prospecting. He opened a store on the banks of the American River, selling goods to the miners, acting as a banker and prospering.

Google map aerial photo showing Uniontown (Lotus) today

The Placerville Guards march through town during the Civil War
Placerville was larger than Uniontown, although the
architecture doesn't look any more sophisticated.

When the Civil War began in 1861 California, a free state so far away from the fighting, was not affected in any great fashion. But all that gold was attractive bait for Southern partisans who tried ideas large and small. One big idea that failed: Creating a secessionist Confederate California state. 

Private in the Petaluma Guard, which put
down Confederate unrest in Healdsburg

A small idea that succeeded: A local stage robbery:

This story has a very familiar ring

In 1864 "the two coaches of the Pioneer Stage line were stopped by six men, armed with shotguns and pistols, and eight sacks of bullion taken away....They demanded the [Wells Fargo] treasure box...ordered to throw out the bullion [The driver] replied 'Come and get it.' And while two of them covered him with their guns, two others came and took the bullion."

Andy Devine and George Bancroft in the movie Stagecoach

The robbers took three sacks of bullion from the second coach. "The 'captain' of the band...handed to him the following receipt: 'This is to certify that I have received from Wells, Fargo & Co., the sum of $ --- cash, for the purpose of outfitting recruits enlisted in California for the Confederate States Army.' "

Lohry store in the 1940s.

The war may have been far away but mining camp life must have been tough. Susan's daughter Johanna (Anna) who traveled the overland trail as an infant was later described as a "lady of irrepressible determination and force of character," and we might guess her mother was too. Taking several young children across the country, living in a mining camp for the rest of her life, giving birth to ten children on the frontier and running a store after her husband's death took determination. 

Lohry store today.
 Unionville's name changed to Lotus, California

The Lohrys suffered tragedies too. In 1858 the children accidentally set the house on fire, destroying it completely. Of her ten children only four daughters survived Susan. One of the girls eloped, much to her father's anger, and one of the girls (maybe the same girl) married a man who stole the gold out of the Lohry store safe about 1880.

The American River moves fast enough in 
April to sweep one downstream quickly.

Adam threw himself into the American River soon after the theft in April, 1880. There was no prettying up a suicide in the Gold Country. In August 20, 1880 the papers reported the recovery of the body of the "well-known merchant at Uniontown who committed suicide by drowning...near Jayhawk" and Shingle Springs. The family memory is that "Susan placed an ad in the Placerville Mountain Democrat, offering a fifty-dollar reward for the recovery of Adam's body."

Susan died a few years later in Lotus/Uniontown in February, 1883.

Susan was not fortunate in her sons-in-law. At 24 Anna married Lotus Press proprietor George Washington Gallanar in 1876, moving to San Francisco and Sacramento and then in 1888 south to the pretty little coastal town of Pacific Grove near Monterey. Their son Frederick was born in 1877.

Pacific Grove in the early 20th century
"In 1889 Mr. Gallanar commenced the publication of the Pacific Grove Review and conducted the same until Mrs. Gallanar assumed control in 1890. The following year she became sole owner and editor of the Review, and now conducts its publication." 
They did like a cover-up in Pacific Grove. George Gallanar had a drinking problem and he seems to have disappeared from Anna's life in 1890, but not from the newspapers. In 1903 he shot and killed a man named Pete Garman in Redding during railroad labor troubles and served several years in San Quentin. While in prison his second wife Hannah Kuhn Gallanar visited him daily with a lunch and a smuggled bottle of whiskey. 

Hannah Kuhn Gallanar obtained a divorce in 1908 after three children. The 1920 census found George on the outside, living in Richmond near Oakland and married to Izola Gallanar. He died in Dallas, Texas in 1940.

"She hath done what she could."

But I digress. Anna Lohry Gallanar and her newspaper would be an interesting topic to follow, however,  the subject here is Civil War Quilts. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

2020 BOMs at Civil War Quilts

Jeanne Arnieri's beautiful blocks for Hospital Sketches
The 2019 Block of the Month
What will she think of next year?

We've been alternating pieced and appliqued quilts here for the Civil War Quilts Blocks of the Month, every other year. For 2020, however we are going to have two series, one pieced and one appliqued: Applique on the last Wednesday of the month;  pieced on the second Wednesday.

I usually focus my reading on a topic every year; last year I decided to read about South Carolina and the causes of the Civil War. Both series grew out of that reading.

The pieced BOM will be called Yankee Notions---Twelve traditional pieced blocks with monthly stories about two kinds of Yankee Notions:
  • Tangible sewing notions manufactured in the North. 
  • Philosophical and cultural notions dividing North and South.

The word notion has long meant an idea—-perhaps an idea that appears a little wild to the observer. Elite Southerners viewed New Englanders and New Yorkers with their foreign notions as threatening their aristocratic way of life. The two societies encountered each other in commercial business, for example city merchants or rural peddlers who sold small manufactured goods not made in the South before the Civil War. Somehow these small goods also became known as Yankee Notions.

The appliqued series will be Cassandra's Circle, thirteen appliqued blocks with stories about the women at the heart of Confederate power during the Civil War, viewed through Mary Boykin Chesnut's memories.
Mary Boykin Chesnut of South Carolina

See more about the applique series at this post a few weeks ago:

Applique blocks will be 18" so you can use them with the 18" blocks from Hospital Sketches. That could be useful if you didn't have time to do all nine blocks this year. 

Yankee Notions starts Wednesday January 8; Cassandra's Circle January 29, 2020. More information about fabrics in a few weeks.

The patterns are free here every month but you'll be able to buy patterns in my Etsy store and we will have Facebook groups too. I'll keep you posted here.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Grapevine in the Wilderness

Grapevine in Wilderness---A Civil War Quilt

Capper's Weekly, a Topeka, Kansas periodical, published this pattern in the 1930s. Women's features editor Louise Fowler Roote wrote that the antique quilt "was cut and sewn and quilted by a mother for her son who was serving as a federal soldier in the Union army. Mother and soldier son lived in the Hoosier state, Indiana. There the quilt was made more than 70 years ago. There it was first used, later coming to Kansas, where it was passed into the third generation."

In the thirties, as the generation who'd lived through the Civil War aged, there were many quilt stories told in soldiers' memories.

Janet Olmstead's Block #4

The picture above I scanned from a pattern drawn for a class I taught in Civil War quilts years ago. I doubt anyone ever made the Capper's design with all its grapes, but it's a pretty design, related to the Cockscombs & Currants block #4 in our Hospital Sketches BOM this year.

Some eccentric versions

Capper's Weekly's needlework column appeared under the fictional name of Kate Marchbanks.
Patterns were collected in booklets and sold by Famous Features syndicate. But not Grapevine in Wilderness.

Here's a pattern for a 16" block---for those who like dots.

Wait a minute, there's a corner missing. Let me see of I can find the other page.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Becky's Top Is Finished

Becky Brown's Hospital Sketches top is finished and looks like this
 (a digital mockup---quilt top awaiting hand quilting)

We've been showing her blocks all year, stitched from Vicki Welch's hand dyed cottons.

Can't wait to see this gorgeous top quilted (but hand work takes time).

Her border inspiration was a quilt by Hannah Johnson Haines of Illinois
Collection of the Rock Island County Historical Society, Illinois,
recorded in the Illinois project and pictured in their book.

Variations of that border are found from New York to the Rocky Mountains. Xenia Cord gave an AQSG paper on what she's called the Vessel, Vine & Floral border---an amazingly popular border.

Hannah's directional blocks inspired the Hospital Sketches set.
Here's a post on similar quilts.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

1902 Civil War Memorial Quilt

Flag quilt by Melanie Schmidt Schultheiss (1842-1933), Seymour, Indiana, pictured in the Indiana project's book Quilts of Indiana: Crossroads of Memories

The Indiana Project documented this patriotic quilt, transcribing the red embroidered words in the center.

"The flag 
that my dear
husband James Schultheiss fought under
3 years 5 months 21 days 1861-1865
Made by your wife Melanie S 
in 1902"

Spelling German names can be a problem. Here is their tombstone:
James and Melina Schultheis --- one S

The story that the family told the quilt documenters was that the Schultheisses met during the Civil War when James came into the Indianapolis tavern where Melina was working to tell her that her sweetheart had been killed. He'd promised the unnamed soldier to deliver the news in person. 

This is a little far-fetched---soldiers couldn't just wander off to deliver news, but it may be that he was delivering items the man wanted returned to her or conveying some last words. They continued to see each other and married.

An 1889 county biography of James:
"He returned home at the close of the war and settled in Indianapolis, learned the carpenter's trade, worked at it six or seven years, then floated around for a time, living in Knox, Ripley, Spencer counties, etc. Finally, he settled down in Jennings county, where he has since lived, and where he owns a farm of seventy acres of well improved land. He was married in 1866 to Miss Malinda Schmidt, born in Strasburg, Germany, and who came to America with her parents in 1856, settling in Indianapolis."
Melina (may actually be a variation of Magdalena or Melisande---both traditional German names) must have accompanied him in his "floating"  around Indiana.

James also has a veteran's tombstone
at the cemetery in Seymour, Jackson County, Indiana

Their records at Find a Grave give her name as Melina Smith Schultheis, born in 1842 in Paris, France.

It may be that the most reliable public record of this couple is this loving quilt.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Hospital Sketches #9: Star of the East - Camp Letterman

Hospital Sketches Block #9 by Becky Brown

Our last block in Hospital Sketches recalls a giant field hospital set up after the Battle of Gettysburg in July, 1863. Gettysburg's three-day fight in Union territory resulted in the largest number of casualties in the war with 45,000 to 51,000 soldiers killed, wounded, missing or captured. Neighborhood volunteers were joined by official staff who traveled to tend to the wounded, among them several women discussed earlier, such as Georgiana Woolsey and Annie Bell.

Sarah Middleton Robbins Broadhead (1831- 1910)

Quaker Sarah Broadhead, 32 years old, was one of the Gettysburg volunteers. Four days after the battle:
"This morning we started out to see the wounded, with as much food as we could scrape together, and some old quilts and pillows.  It was very little, but yet better than nothing....  I assisted in feeding some of the severely wounded, when I perceived that they were suffering on account of not having their wounds dressed. I did not know whether I could render any assistance in that way, but I thought I would try.
 July 8 — Again at the hospital early this morning. Several physicians and lady nurses had come on from Washington the previous evening, and under their care things already began to look better." 

Block 9 by Janet Perkins

Dr. Jonathan Letterman (1824-1872)

The Union Army soon established a hospital near the railroad east of Gettysburg, naming it Camp Letterman for Dr. Jonathan Letterman, Medical Director for the Army of the Potomac who'd ably attended to wounded after the Battle of Antietam a year earlier. The hospital, which operated for only five months, was a huge temporary complex. 

Camp Letterman, 1863
Decorating hospitals with evergreen swags and wreaths was
considered cheering. One learns to recognize photos of Camp
Letterman by the decor.

Block #9 by Bettina Havig

During the weeks after the battle the wounded Union and Confederate soldiers were moved to more permanent hospitals or sent home while 4,200 too injured to travel remained at the Camp.

The site began with 400 tent wards, each treating 10 soldiers.

Dark days inspire black humor. Here Drs. Chamberlain and Lyford
pose with a patient and two of their victims in their "Office."
Camp Letterman was well-photographed.

Organizations such as the Sanitary Commission, the Christian Commission and the State Relief Agencies set up their own areas.

Sanitary Commission offices under an arch.

The seated man with the white beard is New Yorker Gordon Winslow.
The woman is probably Mrs. H.C. May

Gordon Winslow (1807-1864)
Winslow was a chaplain and a 
Sanitary Commission administrator. 

The King of Prussia Historical Society has a series of Gettysburg photographs
labeled with names, helping us identify the people at Camp Letterman.

The center woman in the plaid dress is Anna Morris Holstein, who
 served with her husband Major William Holstein in
supplying the field hospitals for the Army of the Potomac.

Anna Morris Ellis Holstein (1825-1900)
CDV of Anna taken during the war with the field photo

Anna Holstein was from Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. After the Battle of Antietam in 1862 she and her husband "gave up our sweet country home, and from that date were 'dwellers in tents,' occupied usually in field hospitals, choosing that work because there was the greatest need, and knowing that while many were willing to work at home, but few could go to the front."

Major William Hayman Holstein, Seward King, Mrs. Knowles, 
Anna Morris Holstein, Dr. H.C. May, Mrs. May, Rev. Gordon Winslow

Perhaps this is a portrait of the Holstein's "Valued friends who regularly met in our tent, when the fatiguing duties of the day were over."

Katherine Fish Winslow is thought to be the woman on the left with husband Gordon Winslow at right. The Doctor on the table is possibly Cyrus N. Chamberlain, the jokester from Massachusetts, and the seated woman is Sarah Smith Sampson from Maine. 

Block 9 by Paula Smith

Sarah Smith Sampson (1836 - 1907)

Sarah Smith Sampson from Bath worked with Maine Relief and spent several weeks at Camp Letterman. The larger photo looks to have been taken long after the war by the curly fringe (we'd call the hairstyle bangs). See block #4 for more information about the Maine organization. 

As patients died or recovered enough to travel home and to other hospitals the tents were packed to go to the next battle. By October only 300 patients remained and in November, after President Lincoln gave his short Gettysburg Address in the hospital cemetery, Camp Letterman closed.

Crowds in Gettysburg for the cemetery dedication

The Block

Our final block appeared in many quilts in many variations.

It's in the lower right corner in this humorous stereograph from
the end of the 19th century

Esther Blair Matthews inked a name "Star of the East" on her 1858 quilt
in the collection of the Virginia Quilt Museum.

Crocosmia, the Star of the East 

See more about the pattern history here:

By Block #9 anarchy reigns. Follow the pattern!?!
You'll have to choose the parts you like. I couldn't get
all five petals in there or the stems.

To Print:
Create a word file or a new empty JPG file.
Click on the image above.
Right click on it and save it to your file.
Print that file. Be sure the square is about 1" in size.

For the background cut a square 18-1/2".
Add seam allowances to the pattern pieces if you are doing traditional applique.

The last block is non-directional so goes on a
north/south axis.

Becky Brown
Added dots

8-1/2" x 8-1/2"

Cut a 9" square
1 Each of B and E to I
2 of C
1/2” Finished bias stem

Denniele Bohannon's #9 Star of the East Sprout
with an extra freckle, finishing to 9"

After the War:

Locket inscribed:
"Presented to A.M.Holstein from the wounded officers 
and soldiers,1st Div, 2nd Corps,Gettysburg,July 1,2,3, 1863."
The photo of the locket is from her Find-A-Grave file:

Anna and William Holstein were among those discussed in this series who went to Annapolis, Maryland after the war to tend to Union prisoners from the Andersonville prison. After that grueling duty the Holsteins went back to Pennsylvania in the summer of 1866. 

The Hosltein's farm in 1877

Anna published her memoir Three Years in Field Hospitals of the Army of the Potomac in 1867 and remained an activist, working to preserve Mount Vernon and the Valley Forge Battlefield, until her death at 75.

Colonel Cleveland Winslow (1836-1864)

One wonders how much post-traumatic stress syndrome hospital workers had to deal with for the rest of their lives. One sad clue: Chaplain Gordon Winslow, the white-bearded man in the Gettysburg photos, died in May, 1864 after falling overboard from Sanitary Commission steamer The Mary Rapley on the Potomac River. He was accompanying 28-year-old son Cleveland Winslow, mortally wounded at the Battle of Cold Harbor. Old newspaper accounts of people falling overboard always beg the question: Did he jump?

1858 Sampler Quilt by Esther Blair Matthews (1776-1866) 
Collection of the Virginia Quilt Museum

Esther included several of the stylized, popular album designs such as the pineapple, a wreath, the Star of the East and the tulips, but many seem to be drawn directly from nature.

Block 9 by Barb Sanders

Extra Reading:

Three Years in Field Hospitals of the Army of the Potomac by Anna Morris Holstein