Monday, April 6, 2015


Anne's Civil War Quilt
a gift to her Grandson
The Battle of Fort Donelson

My camera was not cooperating and this is the only decent photo I captured.  The quilt is stunning!

The Union capture of Fort Donelson near the Kentucky-Tennessee border opened the Cumberland River, an important waterway to the invasion of the deep south.  This battle earned Brig General Ulysses S. Grant a promotion and a nickname "Unconditional Surrender."  The Battle of Fort Donelson is considered one of the costliest battles of the Civil War.

This very modest, primitive log structure is Shiloh Methodist Church.  The Union Army named battles after cities, the South named battles according to geographic locations. The church did not survive the battle of Shiloh (this building is a reconstruction). More than 27,000 men were killed, wounded or captured.  It was after the Battle of Shiloh, Grant knew the war could not be won with one major battle and it is said the South never smiled again.

One day after the Battle of Shiloh, a Lincoln staffer reported to President Lincoln that General Grant was drunk.  President Lincoln listened and said:  Oh, we get all sorts of reports here, but I'll say this to you:  that if those accusing General Grant of getting drunk will tell me where he gets his whiskey, I will get a lot of it and send it around to some of the other generals, who are badly in need of something of the kind.

After visiting some of Tennessee Civil War battlefields, I need to get working on my own Civil War quilts.

Grandmother Bessie's signature quilt has been pulled from the unfinished heap.  I have been practicing my cursive writing and getting the names together.  

The Stones River Battlefield (Murfreesboro) is a short drive from our home.  Of the major battles of the Civil War, this battle had the highest number of casualties for both the Northern and Southern armies.  The battle was fought from December 31, 1862 to January 2, 1863.  

The Battle of Chickamauga was the most significant defeat of the Union Army in the Western Theatre.  The battle had the second highest number of causalities (Battle of Gettysburg was the highest). 

Each of the fifty states which make up this country of United States has its own unique history.  Tennessee experienced some of the deadliest, costliest battles during the Civil War.  It was a divided state with loyalties to both the Northern and Southern Armies.  The war divided families--a great uncle was killed the first day of battle at Gettysburg fighting with the Confederate Army, a cousin died at the Battle of Stones River fighting for the Union Army.  


  1. We drive near the Stones River Battlefield and Chickamauga on our way to Hilton Head and have often thought about stopping. At one time, I thought I was a history major ... and the Civil War was the time I most enjoyed studying.

  2. Thank-you for this lovely bit of history, we love any and all American history.
    Love colors for your quilt.


  3. What a lovely quilt to see, and yours are so wonderful too :)
    I've visited Chickamauga several times. And I've been to Gettysburg twice. Both places hold a lot of tangible emotions, I feel when I am there. Thank you for the lovely post!

  4. Very interesting history indeed. And the quilts -- your signature quilt is wonderful, as is the one you visited. I love writing and the like on quilts in the old fashion.

  5. Very interesting
    Thanks for sharing

  6. always love your historical posts Betty ! so much sadness associates with the Civil War and you're right so many families divided forever more. Love your signature quilt - it will be awesome! Hope you had a lovely Easter and enjoy Spring this week . Mel

  7. Grandmother Bessie's signature is lovely and I look forward to seeing the names on. What fascinating pictures and history you shared!

    Enjoy the coming week!

    Robin in Virginia

  8. This was a very interesting post. I love any kind of history and find the Civil War so interesting. My family is from Southeastern Kentucky(Whitley County) and they were also quite divided. My DH does the genealogy and I think we just found a direct descendant who fought for the Union.

  9. I sure enjoyed seeing Anne's Civil War quilt and your sharing all the history of where you visited. I just have purchased from our library book sale "Civil War Women" by Barbara Brackman. And here you have this lovely post.
    Thank you - love Annette

  10. Great post, Betty! I love civil war history and of course the quilts! Just wonderful!