November 18, 2013

Home for the holidays

Few holidays are filled with the nostalgia of Thanksgiving.  As much an annual homecoming as a day to express gratitude, the thoughts of a hearty meal, cozy fire and family are enough to make most Americans place everything on hold for the day and just be together.  
150 years ago, hundreds of thousands of Americans were unable to spend Thanksgiving with their closest loved ones; as most of the country engaged in the Civil War.  One can imagine the poignancy on Thanksgiving Day, 1884, when a group of ladies in Cardington, Ohio, presented a mother with a handmade quilt emblazoned with the names, companies and regiments of nearly three hundred Ohio Civil War soldiers, including her son, Captain James St. John (96th Ohio Volunteer Infantry).   Surely Amanda St. John of Cardington, Ohio, was as grateful for their friendship and a precious memento, as they were for her family’s sacrifice.

Civil War memorabilia is quite collectible, with a focus on firearms, uniforms (including buttons) and military ephemera.  However, family archives and personal mementos have a wide audience, appealing to anyone with an interest in the history of this important era.  

With it’s central location and large population, Ohio played a key role in the success of the Union Army - sending over 300,000 soldiers to battle.  As we celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War, the market for newly discovered items with strong regional connections is stronger than ever.
This important Grand Army of the Republic quilt was presented to Amanda St. John of Cardington, Ohio, on Thanksgiving Day, 1884.  Listed on the quilt are the names of hundreds of Civil War soldiers, including her son, Capt. James St. John.  Sold, Garth’s, $1,528.

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