Quilt raffle a piece of historic preservation and education

Quilt raffle a piece of historic preservation and education

October 12th, 2011 by Mike O'Neal in Catoosa

From left, Gerry Depken, Fort Oglethorpe historian and member of the city's Tourism Commission; Martha Steele, quilter and member of Fort Oglethorpe Tourism Commission; and Catherine Edgemon, city of LaFayette Main Street and Economic Development director, display the quilt that will be raffled off. Photo by Mike O'Neal

From left, Gerry Depken, Fort Oglethorpe historian and...

Earlier this year, the Tri-State Civil War 150th Commemoration Association decided to tell the story of hospitals and medical care during that conflict to promote tourism related to the sesquicentennial of its namesake conflict.

"We needed to tell a story that is different from any other in this area," said Chris McKeever, executive director of the 6th Cavalry Museum and Commemoration Association member.

The association contracted Connie Huddleston, a museum consultant, to research, design and fabricate a portable display to relate that tale of military medicine. The result is a four-panel exhibit that will be unveiled Nov. 12 during a "Gone With the Wind" Ball following the Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon.

Marathon race director Jenni Berz told the Fort Oglethorpe Tourism Association that racers had a special request for this year's event.

"The runners asked for an authentic Civil War experience they could enjoy after the marathon with their family and friends," Berz said.

The ball will be held on the grounds of the Gordon-Lee Mansion and will re-create a key part of the Atlanta Bazaar scene from the movie "Gone With the Wind." The movie presented a realistic presentation of actual events: fundraising raffles of handmade quilts to benefit the Confederate cause.


What: Quilt raffle to benefit the Tri-State Civil War 150th Commemoration Association's medical history exhibit.

Where: The exhibit will be unveiled and the quilt auctioned during the "Gone With the Wind" Ball at the Gordon Lee mansion in Chickamauga on Nov. 12.

Cost: Raffle tickets are $1 each or six for $5 and can be purchased at the event or by calling 706-861-2860. Raffle proceeds will be matched by a Modern Woodmen of America community grant of up to $2,500.

About the quilt: All the fabrics used are reproduction Civil War fabrics giving the quilt an authentic look. Martha Steele estimates she spent 30 hours piecing the quilt and 100 hours hand quilting. The quilt can be seen online here.

Martha Steele, who teaches quilting at Sew Bee It in Ringgold, has donated a handmade Underground Railroad sampler quilt to spearhead fundraising efforts for the display.

"The quilt panels were used to offer directions for runaway slaves," Steele said.

This quilt has been shown throughout the region and used as a teaching tool for Black History Month.

Information about this and other Civil War sesquicentennial events can be found online here.