A few months ago I purchased yardage of some Civil War commemorative fabric. Next year is the 150th anniversary of the war. There will be celebrations and festivities, programs and also a time for remembering. I have both Union and Confederate ancestors so my allegiance is split.
This weekend I decided it was time to do something special with the fabric. Using three different fabrics, plus the muslin for the lining, I started cutting fabric, batting and interfacing in anticipation of making a tote bag. Very seldom do I sew with a pattern, so this was just measure, cut with the rotary cutter and sew. My mother used to tell me that sewing is not done right if you don't have to rip. I ripped four times on my tote bag. Part of that was because I was thinking of Cherokee ancestry while I was sewing and just not paying attention. Somehow those Cherokees kept getting in the way!
On the front of the tote bag is a fabric photograph I made of my late husband's first cousin, three times removed, Richard Edmond Weathers (1836-1870). He was the son of Squire Beauchamp Weathers and Ruth Sharpe. Richard served in the Union Army, enlisting as a Quartermaster Sergeant on 13 August 1863 in Lamb's Independent Cavalry Regiment in Indiana. Less than a year later he was promoted to Captain in Co. H, 131st Regiment, 13th Cavalry, Indiana Volunteers. He was married to Elizabeth Shaw in 1859 and had two children when he enlisted. The 131st Regiment, 13th Cavalry was the last regiment from the state to be mustered out of the U.S. Army on 10 November 1865. The five oldest sons of Squire and Ruth Weathers served in the Union Army in the Civil War and fortunately all five came back to Indiana alive.
The background fabric behind the photograph is of a cannon and tiny labels saying "Remember Me." No genealogist will ever forget a Civil War ancestor or relative.