Carol James to visit May meeting with Revolutionary War battle sash

We have an exciting program this month! Carol James, who many of us were delighted to meet when she was in town last year teaching sprang, will be visiting with a very special show-and-tell.

Carol is the author of Finger Weaving Untangled and Sprang Unsprung, and is the acknowledged North American expert in this almost forgotten fiber technique. Thanks to funding from the Winnipeg Arts Council, she has faithfully reproduced the sash George Washington wore into battle and left to the ladies of Mount Vernon.

Information available from George Washington’s Mount Vernon states:

At the Battle of the Monongahela on July 9, 1755, every officer on Major General Edward Braddock’s staff was injured or killed, with the exception of his aide-de-camp, George Washington. Braddock also sustained a fatal wound and is said to have been carried from the field in this, his officer’s sash. Washington alone brought order to the fray, forming a rear guard to enable retreat. Family tradition maintains that Braddock presented the sash to Washington prior to his death four days later.

Braddock presenting the sash to Washington meant he was entrusting the troops to Washington. The date on this sash is 1709.

George Washington's battle sash, replica

Replica of George Washington’s battle sash

It seems that this Major General Edward Braddock was Edward Braddock, Jr. His father, Edward Braddock, Sr., graduated from military academy in 1709. The battle sash was passed from father to son to Washington. Until Washington had his own designed and created, he wore this blood red battle sash across his chest.

As generals had done for generations, the netting was worked using a technique called sprang. Designed for a quick and efficient removal of it’s wearer should he fall in battle; the sash was able to spread and support the fallen with strong grips all around for the surest grasp to transport the not quite dead to the nearest medical assistance.

The original sash is old, fragile, and in special storage at Mount Vernon where it is never to be touched. Carol’s sash is currently on an international tour and on its way to Mount Vernon. It will be shown in select venues in Canada and the United States. Stops in Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, and New York are scheduled on the way to its new home in Virginia.

Stop in and see the Ohio debut of this beautiful and historically significant item at our Friday, May 24th, meeting at the Orange Public Library. Join us for the day starting at 12:00 pm with a brown bag lunch. Viewing from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Contact Victoria at for more details or just drop in to view this amazing recreation of a piece of American history.

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