Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas During the Civil War

Christmas was celebrated in both the north and south during the Civil War.

The Thomas Nast cartoon for Christmas 1862 shows a a wife praying at home and looking out a window and her husband praying on the battlefield.

Both soldiers and civilians sung Christmas carols such as "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear" (1850), "Jingle Bells" (1857), "We Three Kings of Orient Are" (1857), and "Up on the Rooftop" (1860).

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote his poem "Christmas Bells" on Christmas Day 1864 after visiting his son, Charles, who was recovering from wounds suffered the year before.

See Walter Gable's Christmas During the Civil War for a good discussion of how soldiers and civilians spent Christmas.

Please take a moment during this holiday to pray for our soldiers and their families. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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