Saturday, March 4, 2017

Quilts Buried with the Silver 2 North & South

Cut-out-chintz block quilt in the Collection of the Charleston Museum.
Attached to the quilt is a note reading:
"Got wet and stained the night of Sherman's Raid."

Sherman's troops destroyed the Southern infrastructure
and terrified the population.

The North Carolina project noted they "documented a great many quilts that families believe were buried during the war. This may have been because the quilts were valued highly, or perhaps because they were suitable wrappers for silver and other family valuables."

Cotton Boll made by Temperance Neely Smoot
From the North Carolina project and the Quilt Index.
"According to the family this quilt was put in a trunk along with 
other valuables and hidden in a swamp to protect it from Union invaders.

It makes sense that most of the quilts with stories of being buried or hidden are connected to quilts by Southern women, as Yankee raids of Southern land were far more common than Confederate raids on the North.
Quilt buried on Clinch Mountain
Tennessee State Library

Jeananne Wright bought this quilt with a note pinned 
to it saying the Pope family buried the quilt 
for safekeeping before the Battle of Pea Ridge in Arkansas in 1862.

Quilt by M.E. Poyner, Paducah, Kentucky.
Collection Bill Volkening
Found during the Kentucky project
where the family noted it was buried to protect it from raids.

Quilt attributed to Catherine Nead (1793-?), Pennsylvania
The family was said to have wrapped their valuables in quilts
to carry them from Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, when
Confederate troops set the town on fire.

Chambersburg near the Maryland border was raided three times by Southern soldiers.

How accurate are the stories?
There is much evidence that quilts and other bedding were a prime target for raiding soldiers on both sides.

One of the more enduring tales about quilt patterns
is Ruby Short McKim's 1929 story about how the original quilt
in the pattern Order No 11 was stolen from the Kreegar family
by raiding Union troops.

Note the bedding being jayhawked off Missourians' porch in 
George Caleb Bingham's
painting of Order Number 11.

This high-style South Carolina chintz quilt was
stolen by a Union soldier and wound up at the Kansas
State Historical Society.

Rose Tree Quilt
Stolen from a Southern clothesline by a Southern soldier
who cut a hole in the center to wear it as a poncho.

From Southern Quilts: Surviving Relics of the Civil War by Bets Ramsey & Merikay Waldvogel.

See this recent post on Sheriff Jones losing a quilt during the pre-War Kansas Troubles.

Cold soldiers were looking for blankets of any kind. Hiding the quilts seems logical even if burying them doesn't. Metal boxes, wooden trunks, rubber tarps might protect the quilts as well as the silver.

1 comment:

WoolenSails said...

Wonderful post and amazing that the quits survived without too much damage.