"Made by my husband's great-great-grandmother Edna Cable Stanton in Johnson County, Tennessee. 'Big Edna' Stanton (she was six feet tall) was a midwife and farmer, widowed when her husband died in the Civil War. This quilt top, which was made sometime after the War, descended to her great-granddaughter Mara Branham, who had it quilted by Anna Stout in 1953. Mara always called it Shooting Star. I'm inclined to think that it started out as lilies and never had the leaves added!"
Edna Melinda Cable Stanton was born in 1828 in Carter, East Tennessee to Mary Whitehead and Conrad Cable. When the Civil War began in 1861 she was in her early thirties, married for about 4 years to William Garrett Stanton and living in Johnson County, Tennessee raising two young boys Casper and Andrew. Mary was born that year, we can hope some consolation for a lost girl Amanda listed on the 1860 census but not after. William is recorded as 21 here but he was about 36. They may have lived near Dry Run, a small Johnson County community.
The Stantons were poor people. He is listed as a farm laborer, perhaps working on the neighbor Dugger farm. Edna's sister Rhoda married a Dugger.
William Stanton joined the Confederate forces in September, 1863, leaving Edna with a baby John and probably pregnant with Julia who was born in 1864, the year her father was killed.
Edna's 1890 widow's pension records tell us a few things. Private Stanton was in the army for 6 months before he was killed and Edna's name was pronounced Edney.
In 1880 Edna was living with three of her children Andrew, Mary and John along with Hannah, possibly Andrew's wife and grandson Thomas. Also living there was Manerva Vaught, a Black woman in her mid 60s, listed as a Servant.