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

Saturday, September 21, 2019

1863 Album, Elizabeth, New Jersey

It would be great to see more of this 1863 album quilt
from Elizabeth, New Jersey

99  blocks, 96 of them signed

I've been sorting my paper files getting them in shape to send to the Quilt Research Collection at the University of Nebraska Libraries. I found this newsprint in my file of Civil War quilts, published in an article by Enola Gish in the small town newspaper, the Baldwin, Kansas Telegraphics in 1983. Enola met the Florida woman who owned it---she seems to have bought it at a garage sale.

Three names were mentioned: C.M. and S.A. Butler who signed the pieced baskets and Mrs. Woodward who signed the striped fabric on the left side below the heart and hand block.

That's all I know about the 1863 quilt. Was it a Civil War patriotic quilt
or one that just happened to have been made in 1863?

American Folk Art Museum Collection
Ladies of the Methodist/Episcopal Church, Elizabethtown, dated 1853 for the Dunns

Several surviving quilts made for ministers' wives have been attributed to Elizabeth, New Jersey, once called Elizabethtown. Lee Kogan wrote an article for the Folk Art Museum's Clarion (Winter 1989-1990 issue) about three similar samplers.

American Museum in Britain
Baptist Church, Elizabethtown, dated 1852 for the Waterburys

Newark Museum
Presbyterian Church, Elizabethtown, dated 1852 for the Reinharts

See Kogan's article in The Clarion here:
Page 58

We might guess the quilt at the top of the page was made in the early 1850s in Elizabethtown
but that 1863 date leaves no doubt it was finished ten years later. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Applique BOM Next Year

Gladi is making the most of her time healing a bone break by appliqueing.
One more block to go.

We have 830 members of our Facebook Hospital Sketches group with many wonderful examples posted every day. A week from today is the last Hospital Sketches block but it has been so much fun I think we ought to keep on making 18" traditional applique blocks (or whatever size.)

After next week you will have the nine blocks for the Hospital Sketches quilts and several months to finish that up.

At the end of January 2020 we'll start a new traditional applique block of the month, but next year's blocks will be more unusual. This year's were the common designs popular from abut 1840 to 1870. I'll draw them in the same size (I'm making mine 9" square.)

Newark Museum collection

These are NOT the blocks or border but this is the setting idea.

So you could just keep making blocks and make a large quilt or follow the set on next year's and make a second quilt. I've saved a few photos of medallion style applique quilts with a central block that is twice the size of the 12 blocks around it.

Similar style from a Freeman's Auction. 
May have been in Laura Fisher's inventory too.

Top based on 13 blocks arranged somewhat like this setting (no sash) with a larger block in the center (1 36" block, 12 blocks 18")---no 9" blocks as in the lower corner.

From the Iowa project and the Quilt Index.
1 large block, 8 smaller and some white sashing.

A little Photoshopping of some of Cassandra's Circle.
Adding new dresses and colorizing their portraits is like playing with paper dolls.

The BOM will be called Cassandra's Circle. Stories will have to do with the powerful women at the heart of the Confederate government, mostly based on Mary Boykin Chesnut's view.

Becky says she has four blocks done and so do I. Denniele's working on a Sprouts version with fewer pieces.

Here's the group