Monthly Archives: July 2019

Civil War Sampler #8: Fox and Geese

My Civil War Sampler Block 8 is Fox and Geese:

Fox and Geese, completed October 20, 2018

Fox and Geese, completed October 20, 2018

The stories about Fox and Geese on Barbara Brackman’s blog center on the siege of Fort Sumter, South Carolina, and U.S. Navy officer Gustavus Fox, who was attempting to relieve Fort Sumter with supplies but was unable to do so before the fort was surrendered to the Confederates.

For my colors, I went with orange, like a fox, and a pretty blue with what looks (to me) like cotton fluff to sort of symbolize both the sky (for the geese) and also the state of South Carolina (the blue and the cotton). The light has a light brownish flowery, viney print that I just thought went well with everything else and could maybe look like…little beaks, or feathers, or just foul-like coloration? (OK that’s a stretch.)

Incidentally, in between completing this quilt block and writing this blog post, I traveled to the Charleston, South Carolina, area on a family vacation. Here are a couple of photos I took during my visit to Fort Sumter:

Lisa at Fort Sumter, SC, June 2019, with Charleston in the distance

Lisa at Fort Sumter, SC, June 2019, with Charleston in the distance

I definitely get that Fox had quite a ways to go to try to re-supply the fort with food. It’s pretty far out in the harbor, away from the land in either direction. You can see how far away Charleston is in this photo, for instance. I guess that makes sense – if this is your harbor defense, you want the defending (presumably from ships coming in from the ocean side, foreign invaders) to start happening way out there before they get too close.

Fort Sumter's Battle Flag, photo by the author, June 2019

Fort Sumter’s Battle Flag, photo by the author, June 2019

This enormous flag flew over Fort Sumter until the fort’s surrender. It’s kind of amazing to me that we still have it at all. Here’s what the exhibit text panel said:

This 10-foot by 20-foot tattered storm flag flew over Fort Sumter during the bombardment of April 12-13, 1861. On the second day a Confederate projectile shattered the flagstaff causing members of the Federal garrison to rush onto the parade ground, amid exploding shells and burning timbers, to retrieve the fallen flag. They carried it to the ramparts where it was hastily nailed to a wooden pole and re-raised. The tiny nail holes are still visible along the flag’s left border.

If you are ever visiting that area, I highly recommend a visit to Fort Sumter, as well as nearby Fort Moultrie, both operated by the National Park Service.