William Dickinson Luckie
Contributed by his Great-Great-Great Niece, Eve B. Mayes of Athens, Georgia
Was searching for info on Co. K of 3rd GA CSA & discovered from the roster that my great-great-great Uncle William Dickinson Luckie of Covington, GA, was a member of that company! His brother was also a Confederate soldier. His sister, Elizabeth Freeney Luckie, married Rufus Lafayette Moss of Athens in 1854, which might explain why he joined the Athens Guards instead of a Newton Co. group. A cousin owns a hand-made crazy quilt that contains two ribbons from the Aug. 9-10, 1883 reunion of the 3rd Georgia at Tallulah Falls, GA.
The quilt is mounted in a frame behind glass to prevent further deterioration of the fabric (it was made in the 1880s) - a beautiful "crazy quilt" with all kinds of fabrics, brocades & deep burgandy corduroy as the edge pieces around the quilted squares. Each piece has fancy embroidery all around it with numerous different stitches used on the quilt.
Tallulah Falls was the summer home of Rufus Lafayette Moss (the husband of William Dickinson Luckie's sister) - RLM was the commissary (I think that's right) for Gen. Howell Cobb (also of Athens). That's why I believe Tallulah was chosen as the place for this reunion. There were lots of hotels (I believe 7 at one point) around the gorge & this was a very popular place to spend the summer - the ladies & children went to Tallulah while the husbands worked & rode the train up from Atlanta or Athens on Friday afternoon. One hotel called the Cliff House was owned by the Moss family - their summer house is still standing & now a delightful restaurant with the most yummy croissants.
Comments about the Quilt
by Betsy Worth Nelson, Chester, CA
The Crazy Quilt "craze" (from whence it got its name) began from two influences. First was the 1876 bicentennial in Philadelphia. Over 2 million attended, and there were 250 exhibitors from Japan. The Japanese asymmetrical design and their rich collections of silks combined with the pressure from women's magazines of the day on interior design (the second influence). The quilts were made not for warmth, but to display the talents of the needleworker. Also these were made by wealthy women who usually left sock darning and menial sewing tasks to the help. Commemorative silks were often incorporated, as were cigarette and cigar silks.
In my lecture at Feather River College recently, I addressed the issue of quilts and their place in the Civil War and the battlefield. While Civil War reenactors may have a point that a wool blanket was more practical as a bedroll, it did not mean that quilts weren't made and used. The US Sanitary Commission began to improve battlefield hospitals, but with a huge influx of supply donations quickly became an agency of distribution, and women filled many of the positions in the agency. The commission held fund raising fairs and quilts were auctioned off. The winner often donated back the quilt to be reauctioned. In one case a quilt was auctioned five times in one day. Women also made quilts for the hospital and the battlefield. Over the period of the war 125,000 quilts were stamped with the USSC seal (to prevent theft). As these were not masterpieces and suffered some abuse in their use, few have survived to the present.
In the south quilting was at close to a standstill. Where northern women gathered in sewing groups for a cause (they had been doing this prior to the Civil War in the abolishinist movement and to support political candidates), southern women were not allowed. It was considered "unladylike" to gather into sewing groups with unrelated women. Also, the agrarian South had cotton but no cloth or thread or even needles (the root of the conflict), and blockades of the ports kept imports from arriving. There was an effort to auction needlework items to purchase gunboats. Three boats were purchased by 1862, but by that time my records say most southern ports were already blocked.
You may have also heard of a code of quilts on the underground railway prior to the Civil War. It is a nice story, stating that certain quilt designs were hung on the line to give certain messages. Specifically a log cabin quilt with black centers (they typically had red centers to depict the home fires) meant the house was a safe house. However, the first example of a log cabin quilt dates back to 1869 and probably has more to do with Lincoln's log cabin roots. It's a nice legend anyway.