I have mentioned several times that our Gunboat Quilt was selected to be in the aforementioned exhibit at the American Textile History Museum in Lowell, MA from June 30-Nov 25, 2012.
In the process, we have had our quilt conserved and it now is greatly enhanced. The curators at the Museum have been wonderful to work with and the exhibit sounds fabulous.According to their information, “each object represents a deeply moving and insightful personal story, from the noose reportedly used to hang abolitionist John Brown to the quilt stitched by an Illinois mother using the uniforms of her two sons, one fighting in Confederate gray and the other in Union blue”.
An accompanying book has been written and it is first-class. It mentions that the women used their “needles as daggers” with the “same commitmentand fury as did their men on the battlefields”. The women of Alabama had the quilts raffled off to raise money to buy a gunboat. The cost of the gunboat was $ 80,000.
Mary Chesnut, so proud of the $2000.00 she and her friends raised for the cause found out that the boats were unwieldy and unmaneuverable. She confided sadly to her diary “oh, that we had give our thousand dollars to the hospital and not to the gunboat”!!!