Tag Archives: fort sumter

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.

Civil War begins! Reports Dayton paper

April 12th marked the 150th anniversary of the first shots of the Civil War at Fort Sumter, SC. I was curious what the newspaper headlines looked like, so I decided to check it out in bound volumes of Civil War era newspapers at the Dayton Metro Library.

Here is what the front page of the Daily Dayton Journal for April 13, 1861, looked like:

Daily Dayton Journal, April 13, 1861

Daily Dayton Journal, April 13, 1861

Hmm…a bit bland. I don’t know why I’m always still surprised when mid-19th century papers don’t have a lot of pictures or graphics, but somehow I am. Here’s a close-up of the text from the center just under the masthead, so you can actually read the text:

Daily Dayton Journal, April 13, 1861 - headline closeup

Daily Dayton Journal, April 13, 1861 - headline closeup

Looks like capital letters, spacing, italics and exclamations points were the old-school tools of print media to get an urgent message across!

The Daily Dayton Journal was the Republican newspaper in Dayton at that time.

The Democratic paper was the Dayton Daily Emipire (of which notorious Copperhead and Daytonian Clement Vallandingham was an early part owner). Unfortunately, the library does not happen to have any issues of the Empire for April 1861. I did, however, look at a few issues from 1860, which included an interesting note on “True Republicans”.

If you know anything about the history of the press, you know that newspapers could be very political and papers with opposing viewpoints often sparred with one another. For instance, here’s another snippet from the Empire proclaiming to include “a great many things not in this morning’s Journal“.

Oh politics and the press… I can still remember a time when I didn’t realize the media was partisan. Ah, to be young again. Ha!

I have made a mental note to myself to check both of these papers for some other crucial dates and events of the Civil War and see what each has to say. I have some obvious dates in mind, such as the Battle of Gettysburg, the Emancipation Proclamation, the surrender of Lee and the assassination of Lincoln. (I hope both papers are available; there are gaps in the Empire especially.)

If anyone has any other suggestions of dates/events to look for, I’d be glad to hear them. And don’t forget, you can always visit the Dayton Metro Library‘s Magazines & Special Collections department (basement of Main) and review our historic newspapers for yourself! 🙂

(See more images from the Daily Dayton Journal and the Dayton Daily Empire on Flickr.)

Also of interest: The Dayton Daily Empire will be included in the next round of digitization for the Ohio Newspaper Digitization Project by the Ohio Historical Society.