Civil War Quilts

Civil War quilts were sewn by the women both in the Northern States and in the Southern States.

The war efforts were supported and provided much needed bedding for our soldiers as well as bandages and other type supplies.

Many quilts were designed with very fancy border designs simply because many of the women had sons and husbands fighting the cause and it was their way of saying, " I miss you and hurry home."

The women, both North and South, designed the main theme of the quilts and then added offsetting border designs for appeal; some with applique, flying geese blocks and even prairie point blocks.

It was common for the quilts to be very elaborate and beautiful.

The borders often help to decide the theme which in turn became the Civil War Quilt design that could be mass produced by the women.

Their choice of fabrics were from just about anything they could cut into pieces for quilting.

The experienced and inexperienced sewers worked all hours to supply the much needed Quilts.  Somewhat like America's Quilts of Valor program.

They would raffle some of the appliqued quilts for money to buy gun supplies, gunboats, food, anything the soldiers needed.

Civil War Quilt
Design For a 9-year Old!

Alice created and designed this Civil War Quilt for Alex who was but 9 years old. His excitement to own a civil war quilt was amazing.

Each time I found myself needing to talk to Alex's grandmother about Alex's new Civil War Quilt I couldn't help but feel his enthusiasm.

when I was doing my research on Civil War Quilts I came across the story of Johnny Clem who was about the same age as Alex. I just knew I was meant to make this Civil War Quilt. It has a special place in my heart.

 Alex This Story and This Quilt is For You

So the story goes, Johnny was no average Union soldier, and not even a man... Not yet, anyway. But there is one thing you have in common...each of you has a Civil War Quilt in which to keep warm.

He was a drummer boy in the Union forces at a very early age of 9. An estimated three hundred such youths served at the age of thirteen or maybe as young as ten or below.

One such boy was the formidable Johnny Clem from Newark Ohio who became a Union recruit. It is ironic how Johnny starts out in Ohio and ends up in Tennessee...just as my sister and I have.

Johnny was also known as "Johnny Shiloh" after his drum was torn to pieces by a shell at a Church in the small town of Shiloh along the Tennessee River.

Many youngsters who loved to play the drums or blow the bugle slipped into Civil War units through some sort of chicanery or another.

Johnny was one of these youngsters who was only nine when he "joined" up in 1861.

He became a lance sergeant by the time he was twelve and in 1916, some 55 years later, he retired as a major general and was the very last Civil War combat veteran still in active service in the U.S. Army.

 Civil War Background

In 1854, the U.S. Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act. which essentially opened all new territories to slavery by asserting the rule of popular sovereignty over congressional edict.

Pro- and anti-slavery forces struggled violently in "Bleeding Kansas," while opposition to the act in the North led to the formation of the Republican Party, a new political entity based on the principle of opposing slavery's extension into the western territories.

After the Supreme Court's ruling in the Dred Scott case (1857) confirmed the legality of slavery in the territories, the abolitionist John Brown’s raid at Harper's Ferry in 1859 convinced more and more southerners that their northern neighbors were bent on the destruction of the "peculiar institution" that sustained them.

Lincoln's election in November 1860 was the final straw, and within three months seven southern states—South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas--had seceded from the United States.

Outbreak of the Civil War (1861)

South Carolina. On April 12, after Lincoln ordered a fleet to resupply Sumter, Confederate artillery fired the first shots of the Civil War.

Sumter's commander, Major Robert Anderson, surrendered after less than two days of bombardment, leaving the fort in the hands of Confederate forces under Pierre G.T. Beauregard.

Four more southern states—Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Tennessee--joined the Confederacy after Fort Sumter. Border slave states like Missouri, Kentucky, and Maryland did not secede, but there was much Confederate sympathy among their citizens.

Though on the surface the Civil War may have seemed a lopsided conflict, with the 23 states of the Union enjoying an enormous advantage in population, manufacturing (including arms production) and railroad construction, the Confederates had a strong military tradition, along with some of the best soldiers and commanders in the nation.

They also had a cause they believed in: preserving their long-held traditions and institutions, chief among these being slavery.

In the First Battle of Bull Run (known in the South as First Manassas) on July 21, 1861, 35,000 Confederate soldiers under the command of Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson forced a greater number of Union forces (or Federals) to retreat towards Washington D.C., dashing any hopes of a quick Union victory and leading Lincoln to call for 500,000 more recruits.

In fact, both sides' initial call for troops had to be widened after it became clear that the war would not be a limited or short conflict.

The Civil War in Virginia (1862)

George B. McClellan--who replaced the aging General Winfield Scott as supreme commander of the Union Army after the first months of the war--was beloved by his troops, but his reluctance to advance frustrated Lincoln.

In the spring of 1862, McClellan finally led his Army of the Potomac up the peninsula between the York and James Rivers, capturing Yorktown on May 4.

The combined forces of Robert E Lee and Jackson successfully drove back McClellan's army in the Seven Days' Battles (June 25-July 1), and a cautious McClellan called for yet more reinforcements in order to move against Richmond.

Lincoln refused, and instead withdrew the Army of the Potomac to Washington. By mid-1862, McClellan had been replaced as Union general-in-chief by Henry W. Halleck, though he remained in command of the Army of the Potomac.

Lee then moved his troops northwards and split his men, sending Jackson to meet Pope's forces near Manassas, while Lee himself moved separately with the second half of the army.

On August 29, Union troops led by John Pope struck Jackson's forces in the Second Battle of Bull Run (Second Manassas). The next day, Lee hit the Federal left flank with a massive assault, driving Pope's men back towards Washington.

On the heels of his victory at Manassas, Lee began the first Confederate invasion of the North. Despite contradictory orders from Lincoln and Halleck, McClellan was able to reorganize his army and strike at Lee on September 14 in Maryland, driving the Confederates back to a defensive position along Antietam Creek, near Sharpsburg.

On September 17, the Army of the Potomac hit Lee's forces (reinforced by Jackson's) in what became the war's bloodiest single day of fighting.

Total casualties at Antietam numbered 12,410 of some 69,000 troops on the Union side, and 13,724 of around 52,000 for the Confederates.

The Union victory at Antietam would prove decisive, as it halted the Confederate advance in Maryland and forced Lee to retreat into Virginia.

Still, McClellan's failure to pursue his advantage earned him the scorn of Lincoln and Halleck, who removed him from command in favor of Ambrose E. Burnside.

Burnside's assault on Lee's troops near Fredericksburg on December 13 ended in heavy Union casualties and a Confederate victory; he was promptly replaced by Joseph “Fighting Joe” Hooker, and both armies settled into winter quarters across the Rappahannock River from each other.

Can't you imagine how the landscape must have looked with the soldiers all wrapped in their own Civil War Quilt to keep warm? Can you further imagine what it would be like to see those antique quilts and be able to examine them thoroughly.

Blocks Used to Build
this Civil War Quilts Pattern!

Civil War Quilt Patterns Civil War Quilt Patterns

Battlefield Prayer – General Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and J.E.B. Stuart Fredericksburg  V.A. Dec 12, 1862
A prayer offered by the three top commanders before going into the Battle of Fredericksburg in northern Virginia

Heat at Catherine Furnace – General Stonewall Jackson and J.E.B. Stuart, May 1, 1863
This is a terse account of Jackson’s famous flank movement going by the  landmark of an old brick making furnace in order to get to the main highway where the Battle of Chancellorsville  takes place.

Civil War Quilt Patterns Civil War Quilt Patterns

New Day at Appomattox – General Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee April 10, 1865
The first meeting between  the North and South prior to General Lee’s surrender to General Grant at Appomattox Court House , Virginia April 10, 1865.

Northern Lights – Fredericksburg Virginia Dec 14, 1862
While crossing the river the Union troops were watched by General Lee and his staff.  The northern sky was aglow by the aurora borealis at Fredericksburg Virginia.

Civil War Quilt Patterns Civil War Quilt Patterns

Return to Clark’s Mountain – Virginia March 5, 1864
After winning the battle of Cedar Creek, General Lee returned to Clark’s Mountain to rest his troops.

Taking Battery “A” - General Lewis A. Armistead Pickett’s Charge July 3, 1863
General George Pickett’s second in command, General Armistead, loses his life in the charge to take the Union Battery “A” at Gettysburg.  This proved to be a costly battle for the South.  Southern troops retreat to Virginia.

Civil War Quilt Patterns Civil War Quilt Patterns

Vengeance at Okolona – General Nathan Bedford Forrest
'War means killing," he said, " and the way to kill is to get there first with the most men." He was not taught at West Point, but he gave lessons to West Point.

Williamsport Crossing – Williamsport Maryland  June 25, 1863
Generals. Lee and Longstreet cross the Potomac at Williamsport, Maryland, to invade Pennsylvania.

Civil War Quilt Patterns Civil War Quilt Patterns

Rebel Flag is their Battle Flag Symbol of St. Catherine.
This Battle Flag is also called the "Rebel", or "Dixie"  flag, and is often incorrectly referred to as the "Stars and Bars".

If you like this quilt (even thou it has no border designs) and cannot find any printed panels as we have used, not a problem.  This quilt would look just as great using the "Rebel Flag Center" in place of each printed panel.  E-Bay is a good source to find special panels like these if you are interested.

You can get your hands on this pattern by clicking here...

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