If you could spend Christmas “back in time” during the Civil War, in what city and what year would you choose to celebrate? Why?
Tough one but I would probably choose Washington DC in 1862. The combination of anguish over the Fredericksburg defeat, the feeling of “Christmas spirit” and the feelings over the upcoming final Emancipation Proclamation (“will he really go through with it?”) would perhaps make for an interesting experience or study in contrasts.
My first reaction is Charleston, SC. Always a magical place to spend the holiday. The food, the celebrations, and the beautiful churches. 1862, was the last year before the Union Blockade had a serious effect of the local economy. However, after some more serious thought, Staunton, VA may be the place. The sense of relief after General Jackson’s victories in the Valley that spring and summer, and General Lee’s defense of Richmond would have made for an interesting place to celebrate the Christmas and New Year’s holiday in 1862.
Atlanta in 1864. A little Habitat for Humanity work among the ruins.
Washington DC, Christmas 1864. Because of Lincoln’s re-election, moves could be made that were not politically driven. By that I mean both Lincoln and Grant could appoint commanders, and demote others, without worrying about the wrath of any ‘offended’ Senator, or Governor, or what ever. They knew that things were going their way. Washington was probably THE ‘happening’ place in the country at that time.
Lexington, Virginia 1865. Lee taking over as President of Washington College, VMI rebuilding, the South rising from the ashes.
Washington DC in any of the war years, but 1861 would have been fun, with all the changes taking place. Lincoln just sworn in, folks leaving, folks arriving, Willard’s full of speculation and excitement–yep! Pour me an eggnog!
I’d want to be in Nashville for either Christmas 1862 or 1864. In 1862 the town was abuzz with activity and anticipation before the Stones River Campaign, whereas in 1864 the town was abuzz in the wake of George Thomas’ crushing victory 10 days before.
I agree totally with mr. Kolakowski. I always had a spot in my heart for General George Thomas who being from Virginia lost his entire family for remaining with the Union side. On top of that
Sorry my piece got cut off early. As I said I totally agree with mr. Kolakowski being in Nashville. First of all you have George H Thomas who lost total communication with his family for choosing to remain and fight on the union side even though he was from Virginia. Then you had Rosecrans having a nervous breakdown and fleeing the Chattanooga as George H Thomas and others fought to the death to save what they could of the army. Then you had Grant and Sherman’s constant debates if they should remove them because he supposedly had the slows. After Hood left Atlanta and fled North Sherman sent Thomas after I come and naturally he gave him the least experienced troops, very little artillery, Cavalry where you could see the ribs on the horses. And then once General Thomas established his army at Nashville despite the fact there was a complete ice storm covering the field of battle for days General Grant again kept urging his removal if he didn’t move on the enemy despite the weather conditions. And then when the weather conditions were finally right General Thomas completely crushed hoods Army of the Tennessee. I would love to have celebrated that moment and that Christmas with the amazing accomplishment General Thomas pulled off with no help at all from Grant and Sherman who I do admire but I’m disgusted at the way they treated such a brave loyal man. Happy holidays everyone
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