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Antique quilt has a sad beginning
Tears of deserted wife fell on antique quilt during its construction.
I am very fortunate to have a very old quilt, 161 years old, made by my Great-Great Grandmother when she was eighteen years old in 1848. Clarissa Claridge Bringle was born in 1830 near Covington, Tennessee.  Her granddaughter, Frances Lee McBride, was my grandmother. She is the one who told me about Clarissa.

Clarissa gave the quilt to my grandmother. My grandmother gave it to my mother and my mother gave it to me.

Clarissa married a man named Barzilla Carol McBride. He was on his way from North Carolina to California in 1850 when he stopped in West Tennessee. There he met Clarissa and they were soon married. Barzilla was the son of a Baptist minister who had 18 children.

When the Civil War began in 1861, Barzilla left his wife and children and returned to his home state of North Carolina to fight for the Yankees. Clarissa was pregnant with their third child when he left for the war.

Sadly, Barzilla never returned from the war to see his son, whose name is Jim McBride, for whom I am named. He fought in the 1st North Carolina under J.E.B. Stuart and was at the Battle of Gettysburg. After the war, Barzilla stayed in North Carolina and married again.

When I look at the old quilt, which is the oldest quilt I know of in Tennessee, I think of the deep sadness and heartache which my Great Great Grandmother endured. I am sure her tears fell on this quilt as she prayed and wondered why her beloved husband refused to come home after the terrible war. We do know he had a wound to his head during the war and we have pondered if perhaps this injury actually affected his ability to think rationally.

I hope you enjoy the quilt, the old photos of Clarissa and of her rascal husband, Barzilla. He seems to be saying in the photo, “Have gun – will travel.”


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