Kiverlids and a memory about being a boy during the Civil War

I never know what I’ll find when I’m looking through older issues of the Denton Record-Chronicle. It’s an eye opening experience to travel through 123 years worth of old newspapers. And while I’m looking for an obituary, or an article for someone (part of my job), a headline or word, such as “Kiverlid”  will “pop out.” (see that, spell check doesn’t even recognize it)

So what’s a Kiverlid and how does it fit into a boyhood story about the Civil War? Well, a long time ago a man by the name of H. F. Browder, wrote a column called Ramblings By the Loafer that appeared regularly in the DRC. On October 22, 1918, he posted a column about the pleasure of seeing an old-fashion Kiverlid, a colloquial expression for coverlet, or comforter. His posting got some of the old-timers to write-in about their memories and Jefferson Davis Bates (b.6 Aug. 1861-d.23 Jan. 1937), wrote about seeing soldiers in blue:

“I remember the first soldier I ever saw. I had been named Jefferson Davis after the president of the Confederacy, and the older boys had told me that if the Yankees ever came thru there they would surely get me. One day I was playing around the big old double log house that we called home when some of the family exclaimed, ‘Look Yonder!’ I looked and it seemed to me that a great snake was coming across the prairie. Then I saw it was men dressed in blue coming two and two down the road. Somebody said, ‘It’s Yankee soldiers.’ That was enough for me and I headed into the house and under the bed. Directly I heard them talking. One said, ‘They are going to stop.’ Another said, ‘No they are going on by.’ Finally someone said, ‘Yonder two of them came up to the house.’ I was most scared to death and lay back as close to the wall as possible. I heard them come in and sit down on the porch and heard the family talking to them. Then they called me to come and see the soldiers, but I never uttered a cheep. Then they hunted me up and dragged me out of the hiding place. I was so sure that my last minute was there, but they took me out and told the officers what was the matter with me and they laughed and talked to me until I was over my fright. The whole regiment of 1000 men camped at our place because there was water there and they had a brass band – the first I had ever seen and the show was the greatest event in my life.  I watched them drive the wagons in a great circle and then the band played, and I was carried away. It was the most wonderful sight I had ever dreamed of. The soldiers were on their way to Fort Richardson at what is now known as Jacksboro and I remember that when the horses trotted the riders would spring up and down English fashion and we made all manner of fun of any such riding.”

This leaves me to wonder, if this recollection would exist on paper, if not for a kiverlid. My grandmother made quilts and the memory of them transports me to her stories of being a woman during World War II. This post also makes me kind of sad because I think of how many words are lost to time and may never be used again; one of my favorites is thunder mug, but of course, why would we use it?

~Leslie Couture

Special Collections

Loafer 25 oct 1918

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