I'm still trying make sure I put a stripe or a plaid - or both - in each block. The reverse toile print I used in the background of this block was purchased to back a wall quilt a few years ago. but I really like it here. The two red fabrics were recently purchased at a tiny quilt shop in Chickamauga.
I don't have any news from Shep with the 52nd in Tennessee, but Billy wrote to his brother Hiram from the camp at Chattanooga on February 9th, telling him he is well and cooking dinner of beans and "corn dodger." They are living fine with plenty of dried fruit, potatoes and onions. (Onions were prized by Civil War armies both for their flavor and the vitamins.) Billy reports that a depot full of quartermaster stores burned that morning, having caught fire from a cook shanty. His unit was ordered to carry out the goods. "We didn't get more than half of if carried out, the balance was burned. The fire broke out about 4 o'clock in the morning."
|from the Library of Congress collection, a Federal Camp by the Tennessee River, Chattanooga|
Billy continues, "I think that the Rebel Army is about used up. They have to keep 3 and 4 picket lines between their Army and ours, to keep their men from coming over in squads of hundreds, and they break through sometimes anyhow. The pickets are formed of those that are most hostile to the U.S." Billy has also just seen one of the largest bears of his life. The bear and his keeper were captured at Knoxville and are performing for the troops. Six mules pull the bear's cage on a wagon. Billy expects to get paid soon. Since he has enough money to last until next pay day, he's going to send his earnings home.