Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Yankee Diary 9: Our Thoughts Are Intense

Yankee Diary #9
Our Thoughts Are Intense by Barbara Brackman

Carrie's sweetheart Lieut. E. C. Clark
 led recruiting in Ontario County in spring, 1863

From Carrie's Diary. May, 1863.
"A number of the teachers and pupils of the Academy have enlisted for the war. Among them E. C. Clarke.... They have a tent on the square and are enlisting men in Canandaigua and vicinity for the 4th N. Y. Heavy Artillery. I received a letter from Mr Noah T. Clarke's mother in Naples [a nearby village]. She had already sent three sons, Bela, William and Joseph, to the war and she is very sad because her youngest [Carrie's Edmund] has now enlisted.... I have heard that she is a beautiful singer but she says she cannot sing any more until this cruel war is over. I wish that I could write something to comfort her but I feel as Mrs [Elizabeth Barrett] Browning puts it: 'If you want a song for your Italy free, let none look at me*.' "
I found a letter from Ed Clarke to his brother at Spared & Shared blog.

At first Edmund's major problem in the Union Army was trying to not look foolish during drills.
In a letter to a friend:
"I find enough to give me good exercise both of body and mind. Sometimes I even get quite tired out. I enjoy my rest all the better. I have had command of the company for the last 3 days, drilling them and taking them out on dress parade which for a novice dealing with old soldiers is rather embarrassing and of course I have had to study tactics diligently."
A New York Heavy Artillery unit
Edmund was in M Company of the Fourth New York Heavy Artillery

A year later Carrie wrote:
"May 4, 1864. The 4th New York Heavy Artillery is having hard times in the Virginia mud and rain. They are near Culpepper."
In September she alludes to his injuries:
"My war letters come from Georgetown Hospital now. Mr Noah T. Clarke is very anxious and sends telegrams to Andrew Chesebr every day to go and see his brother."
 Georgetown, Virginia hospital where 
Edmund Clarke spent September, 1864. 

Nurses at the Georgetown Hospital.

Edmund survived and was brought home by a local doctor. The usual cool detachment of her diary drops when she sees him.
September 30. " I ... found him just a shadow of his former self. However, 'hope springs eternal in the human breast' and he says he knows he will soon be well again. This is his thirtieth birthday and it is glorious that he can spend it at home. "

This unnamed man looks like E.C. Clarke in the
History of the Fourth NY Heavy Artillery.

And here's Denniele's.
Nice fussy cut stripe in the pole!
 The Army Camp Block

The pun "Our thoughts are intense" comes from an inscription on a Maine Civil War quilt by Cornelia Dow and others: "While our fingers guide the needle, Our thoughts are intense (tents)."

Block 9 by Becky Brown

This month's block is drawn from a sampler by Dorothea Lemley, which seems to picture an army camp with its conical tents. 

Dorothea's quilt is pictured in my book
Civil War Women. Her flag inspired Block #4.

I simplified Dorothea's eagle, inspired by one in an 1863 sampler from Bedford, New York.

Cutting a 9 x 15" Finished Block

Cut a rectangle 9-1/2” x 15-1/2”.
Fold it in half to find the center vertical line and press. Place the tree trunk a little to the right of this line. You are leaving room at the bottom left for a flag to be sewn over the seam later.

Cut one of each piece on the pattern sheets. Add seams when you cut the fabric.
For the tree trunk and the branch cut bias strips.
The trunk finishes to 1/2” wide by 8-1/2” long. Cut a strip 2” x 9”
The branch finishes to 3/8” by 3”. Cut a strip 7/8” x 3-1/2”.

To Print:
  • Create a word file or a new empty JPG file for each.
  • Click on each of the images above and below. The leaf is on a separate sheet.
  • Right click on each and save it to your file. 
  • Print that file on an 8-1/2" x 11" sheet. The eagle's wings should measure 8-1/2" across.
  • Add seam allowances when you cut the fabric.

One of the last things you are going to do as you set the blocks together is add the fourth flag you made for block 2. It goes over the seam line between another block and the camp.
But don't add it yet.

Here are Becky's blocks 1-9
Three more patterns to go = 5 more blocks.

In camp, 1862. 
Union Soldiers and a woman (perhaps a laundress) before a 
Sibley tent with a central tent pole.

Another Sibley tent on a quilt---this one with a Zouave soldier at rest---
from the 1863 album from Bedford.

I found a letter from Edward (sic) Clarke and recognized Edmund at the blog Spared & Shared:

Read the history of the Fourth New York Heavy Artillery:

See Cornelia Dow's Maine quilt at this post:

 *Carrie's quote about war is from Elizabeth Barrett Browning "Mother & Poet, 1861"

If you'd rather have the patterns in a different format I've listed all the Yankee Diary patterns for sale in my Etsy shop. Here are links to the last four blocks and the set and border:

PATTERNS 9-12 as paper patterns through the mail. $10.


Danice G said...

Oh what a fun block. Getting busy on this today :)

Becky in VA said...

I always come back and read again and just noticed Denniele and I both used the same fabric in our flag pole. This was a fun block to make!

Barbara Brackman said...

I hadn't noticed but you are right. It's a stripe from Baltimore Blues---only printed in brown and green as I recall. Makes an excellent flagpole.