letter excerpt The Dix Family Archive
The Tennilles

Francis Tennille (1747)
William A. Tennille (1792)
Francis T. Tennille (1799)
William A. Tennille (1840)
Mary A. Tennille (1870)
George F. Tennille (1873)
William A. Tennille, Jr. (1877)

View Tennille Scrapbook

William Alexander Tennille  Mary Alice Tennille

Fort Gaines, GA,
May 17, 1904.

Interesting Relic

We were shown yesterday, the sewing machine needle that stitched the uniforms that were worn by the Fort Gaines Guards when they marched to the front at their country's call in the 60s. This needle has been sacredly preservered [sic] - it is needless to say, by a Southern woman - for who else on God's green earth would have ever loved the cause so dearly as to have had this forethought. And now, after a generation has strutted its brief period on the stage of Time, bade good bye and entered the portals of oblivion, this little mite of steel, its brightness undimmed by a long rest, is again brought on the stage to stitch the present to the past.

The following extract from the letter to Mr. T.M. Brown, is self explanatory:

East Orange, N.J. 1904

Mrs. Tennille sends you the following message. Her mother, Mrs. Tuttle, loaned her sewing machine to the ladies to make the uniforms for the Fort Gaines Guards. She only had one needle large enough and, for fear it might be broken, Mrs. Tuttle and Mrs. Wakefield did all the stitching on those uniforms and there were two uniforms for each man in the company. The needle was never used afterwards, but was preserved by Mrs. Tuttle as a sacred memento, and Mrs. Tennille now sends it to you to be given to the company if it is still in existence and wants it, if not, you keep it yourself.

I am your old friend.
W.A. Tennille.




Copyright 2002 Gabriel Brooke, (website). Transcription and editing: John Thomas, (website). Design and production: Marc Kundmann, (website).