Sunday, July 7, 2013

Civil War Block of the Month - July 1863 - King's Crown/Living Off Cornbread

This block is called King's Crown and it was not clear to me how it is connected with the excerpt from Sarah Morgan's diary about shortages while she is in exile from her home in Louisiana.


I based my block's colors around the plaid I used in the corners.  That fabric was what I made a maternity shirt from for my sister-in-law Joanna when she was pregnant with my first nephew, Andrew who is now 30 years old. I've been incorporating plaids and/or stripes in every block for this project.

My family Civil War history for July 1863 includes a different Morgan than the diarist - John Morgan's raid made it into Indiana on the 9th. The confederates were able to destroy a section of the O&M railroad east of Billy, Shep and John's hometown of Hardenburg (modern day Hayden). They were burning the ties and heating the rails to bend them around the trees. The O&M section boss was notified and given orders to get help to make repairs to the tracks. My great great grandfather, Charles (Billy and Shep's brother), and my great great grandfather Henry Bruner (John's future father-in-law) were among the group of 7 men to head out, armed, not knowing what to expect.

As they arrived at the site, they spotted some of the Rebels riding off. One member (not Charles or Henry) wanted to shoot at them, but the others talked him out of it, not knowing how many others were around and wanting to start any fight they weren't sure they could win. 

Quoting from Rodger Ruddick's The History of Hayden and Spencer Township, "The local farmers got together and decided that some of them should get their guns and guard the covered bridges throughout the township for fear that these would be set on fire. Other hurried to get all of their horses and put them in the barns for safe keeping and then they stood watch over their homesteads.

"The following morning, it was learned that Morgan's Raiders had stayed the night in the Butler house located on Indian Creek. One of the sons of a [local] millhand told of how Mr. Butler gave John Morgan a barrel of whiskey so not to get killed or harmed.

"The Home Guards out of Indianapolis came down to Hardenburg on Friday, the 10th, in hopes of capturing these Rebels. The 500 sodleirs stayed at the Elliot haybarn for the weekend and the sight of all these blue uniformed soldiers in this small town brought out everyone with offers of food for the men. The townsfolk were trying to show their appreciation to the Home Guard for their coming and protecting them from Morgan and his men.

"While these soldiers were in Hardenburg being treated as guests of honor, the farmers out in the ountryside remained terrified. many had stayed up the entire night keeping a vigil over their possessions, and no one knew for certain where the Confederates were or what they were up to."

Three locals lost their horses to the raiders, and one of these was also robbed of his pocketwatch and $47, and his rifle was broken.

I have no letters to or from Shep or the 52nd Indiana during July.  The 82nd's participation in Rosecrans' successful Tullahoma campaign was over by the 4th of July, after which they set up camp in  Winchester and stayed there until mid-August. Billy wrote his brother Henry on the 15th, , "I expect you are having some pretty exciting times back there at home. I suppose John Morgan has been playing smash in Ind., he has been close to Hardenburg if the news is true. I would have liked very much to have been home just to see how the folks did perform. I'll bet there were a great bustle in Vernon when Old M. demanded the surrender of the town, but I say bully for Vernon for not surrendering. And I also say bully for Morgan if Indianaians are enough to set around and let him run through there and tear up particular thunder. General Thomas tells us that we will not have to go any father. I suppose our Div. is to be stationed on ths R.R., if it is, we will have fine times. In past, we have been having good times ever since we come here, plety of blackberries and apples."

Billy tells Henry he is writing while on duty, "I have to beat for the relief guard every 2 hours but it is not hard work." Billy is a musician with the regiment, so I believe he is talking about beating the drum.  When he signs the letter Billy lists how the 82nd fits in the Union Order of Battle under Major General Thomas and calls him "as good as man as ever was." He also says he is as well as he ever was in his life and never was better satisfied.

2 comments:

Sherrye said...

I love how the block looks feminine and masculine to me at the same time. I'm a sucker for polka dots, so the "dotted swiss?" is very appealing!
Plaids are a favorite of mine too, so this block just couldn't miss!

Cindy tedesco said...

You are going great huns with your blocks. Enjoy reading about the history.