Question of the Week: 12/23-12/29/19

What’s your favorite Civil War Christmas song, account, or quote?

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5 Responses to Question of the Week: 12/23-12/29/19

  1. Ryan Quint says:

    I’m partial to the story of Henry W. Longfellow writing “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.” A story of a man nearly broken by the wounding of his son, but still persevering. Longfellow’s poem is a reminder to all of us to keep going.

  2. I don’t know many songs or accounts, but the one that sticks out to me is Elisha Hunt Rhodes’ diary entries for the Christmas following the debacle at Fredericksburg in December of 1862. The soldiers with the Army of the Potomac decorated their winter quarters, sang carols, and tried to enjoy themselves despite the ordeal they had just been through. Shows the resilience of human nature and their commitment to tradition.

    • John Foskett says:

      That’s an interesting one. According to my ancestor’s diary he and his comrades in the US Engineers battalion spent that same day building themselves a hut at Falmouth and also found some oysters to go with “soft bread” and beans. (They used New Years’ Eve to finish the chimney).

      • I stand corrected. Looking back into “All For The Union”, he said about 12-25-62 “We have passed a very quiet day and expect that we have been excused from drill, the day has been like others… In the evening Lt. Col. Goff of our Regiment and other officers came to my tent and we had a sing. I should like to be home on this Christmas night.”
        I’m not sure where I got the idea that they decorated. Might have been from another diary, but not from Rhodes. BUT, there was singing!

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