Posts Tagged ‘civil war’

Robert Pieratt- Civil War Soldier

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in about Trail of Thread book series, Blog

Robert Pieratt, Civil War soldier, 1862.

Robert Pieratt, Civil War soldier, 1862.

Today I’m going through old photos that I’ll include in my next book. These are pictures I took in 2002 with my camera, of old portraits that were in my great uncle’s chest of family history.  Now—eleven years later— I’m scanning, cropping and figuring out where to put in my book, The Kansas Quilter.

As I sort them by family, and study the photos with a magnifying glass, I’m finding clues to my ancestors’ pasts.

For example here’s a photo of Robert Pieratt, probably taken when he enlisted in 1862. He died on Feb. 19, 1863—at the age of 17.

Here’s how I wrote his death in the letter, Feb. 26, 1863 in Stitch of Courage.

“Robert died at Fort Scott on February 19. He had the measles, then succumbed to pneumonia. We barely knew he was sick until Mr. Pieratt got word that he was dead and buried. I curse this war! If it hadn’t been for the Secession, Robert would have been home, alive and well. I can’t stand to think what conditions Robert lived in and must have died in without his family around him in his last hours. In my mind I picture him lying in a spindly cot without enough blankets, no one to bathe his fevered brow, all alone. Did he still have my quilt with him? Did he lose it, or wasn’t it thick enough to keep him warm and safe? Questions keep haunting me, along with his friendly face. I saw it only two months ago!”

(Excerpt from Stitch of Courage © Linda K. Hubalek)

Now look at the photo again and think how bittersweet it would be to have a picture of your son as he’s ready to go to war, and then to hear you’ll never see him again.

And then there’s more in this letter in Stitch of Courage, and you realize…

“The word of Robert’s passing came after his stepmother, Nancy, died of bronchitis on the 20th. She hadn’t been well for the last month but turned worse quickly at the end. The Pieratt children have lost two mothers. I feel their pain as I relive my own loss. Life can be so hard on children. “

The father, John Pieratt (from Trail of Thread) lost a son on the 19th and his wife on the 20th.

These are the emotions I try to portray for my books, because they were real—especially when you find an old photo like this one and know the story behind it…

Stitch of Courage

Written by lindahubalek on . Posted in Blog

Early Kansas and Civil War historical fiction by Linda K. Hubalek.With all the media on the 150th anniversary date of the start of the Civil War today, it made me pull my book Stitch of Courage off the shelf. I did a lot of research on the effects the Civil War had on the new state of Kansas, and was surprised by how the residents knew about the start of the war, considering how far away they were from South Carolina.

Here’s an exerpt of my Introduction in Stitch of Courage.

“While researching for this last book in the Trail of Thread series, my main queston was, How did the women survive the battles and hardships caused by the war?

We think the Civil War took place in the South, but the plains states endured their share of battles and tragedy. The Kansas and Missouri feud over slavery flared up during the war because of the raiding carried out by both factions.

Even though Missouri stayed with the Union, it also kept its slaves. This caused Kansas Jayhawkers, under the protection of the Union uniform, to raid bordering Missouri counties to free the slaves, often returning with the looted belongings of the slaveholders. These men wanted a reason to retaliate against Missiouri for its raids on Kansas when it was trying to become a free state (between 1855 and 1861) and the Civil War as the perfect excuse.

Think of the horrors these women witnessed. They were truly caught in the middle. They didn’t know where their men were fighting, or even if they were alive. They had to feed their families, and keep their farms and businesses going while their providers and protectors were away. In many cases their husbands were murdered, their belongings plundered, and their houses burned, right before their eyes.”

Can you imagine if this happened in America today? Of course the news would be instant with our forms of media, but the anxiety would be the same!