This block is one I have always known as Broken Dishes, but Barbara Brackman thought of the basic pieced square inside a square design as a reminder of wishes to go home.
We've already seen how Shep Whitcomb hoped to go home on furlough. In June of 1863, Shep and the 52nd Indiana Regiment had started to move to Vicksburg, but, Shep explains, "General Hulbert had already written an order for our Regt. when on examining his roster, he found that he had already more troops from this district than was called for so we did not have to go this time." June 3rd, they left with General Andrew Jackson Smith's expedition into Arkansas to chase Rebel General John Sappington Marmaduke. The forces battled on June 6th and 7th at Lake Chicot, an oxbow lake formed by the meandering of the Mississippi river. I didn't find much information about the battle, and Shep doesn't mention it in a letter to Henry and an unnamed sister (not Joanna, as he tells the others to tell her he will write to her soon) sent from Fort Pillow on June 14th. He does reiterate a recurring theme when he tells Henry, in part "I hope that it is the way you predict, that our country has passed through her darkest hours. We certainly have got the advantage of the Rebels in the South and if the people of the North only became a little more peaceable and united in their efforts, I think we will soon have peace again. Oh! That great blessing, peace! And still how little it is valued by a great many in regard to the freedom of speech. I think it worse than nonsense to try to do away with that principal unless we change our form of government for I don't hope we are to find out where the majority is unless we are all allowed the privilege of speaking for ourselves. In fact, when we are deprived of that privilege, we will no longer have a Republican form of government."
Shep goes on to say that as far as he knows, the soldiers are for waging the war until the Rebels are willing to give up and come back into the Union. Some of his comrades receive letters from home encouraging desertion, but he is thankful not to have received such letters
The 52nd moved to Memphis and would be out on campaign again starting on June 23rd. That is the same day the 82nd, with John and Billy, left Triune to be part of a plan to make General Braxton Bragg, positioned north of Duck River, think the Union was going to attack at Shelbyville, about 30 miles south-southeast.
From the regimental history, the 82nd moved from Triune via Salem and Christiana, and from there to Henry's Creek "During the 24th and 25th it rained incessantly, rendering the roads over which we were frequently obliged to travel exceedingly difficult for the passage of artillery and wagons, and not exceedingly food for the army of footmen. We, however, got through, train and all, in very good shape."
On Tuesday morning, June 26th, the 82nd, supported by the 17th Ohio, charged the battery to their front, on Scott's branch of Garrison Creek. They drove the enemy battery and supporting regiment from the hill on which they had taken position. "Although the Eighty-second was in the advance, the Seventeenth Ohio lost the most men in this charge, the enemy overshooting us and the Seventeeth getting the effect of the greater part of the leaden hail. The charge was made through an open field covered with weeds higher than the men's heads." The rebels were now on the run, so the Union troops moved on in pursuit, in the direction of Tullahoma Tennessee, another 18 miles or so to the southeast of Shelbyville.