Tag Archives: Christmas

The Eggnog Riot at West Point

The illegal parties started in Rooms No. 28 and No. 5 in the West Point Barracks on Christmas Eve 1826. That year the 260 cadets had been told their holiday beverages should not be spiked with alcohol, the leadership’s latest … Continue reading

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Santa in Camp

One of my Christmas traditions is to read The Battle for Christmas by Stephen Nissenbaum – a fine book by a great historian.  But this season, I have been enjoying Santa Claus: A Biography by Gerry Bowler.  A cultural historian … Continue reading

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Henry’s Last Christmas

“My Dear Mamma, I am very much afraid I shan’t get home to you on Christmas. At present appearances, I don’t think it would be safe to leave the army before January, for of course it would be inexpressibly mean … Continue reading

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Holiday Village Reenactments and Reflections

The rattle of musketry cracked with volley after volley as officers struggled to bark commands to keep their battle lines organized amid the din. Two regiments of Federal troops were arrayed in a line of battle, facing off against a … Continue reading

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Gen. Sherman Sends Christmas Greetings to His Children

During a break from the scourge of war, Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman penned a Christmas letter to his daughter Maria, whom he affectionately calls “Minnie.” The general and his army were in occupation of Savannah, Georgia, after a long march … Continue reading

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Weekly Whitman: A Christmas Greeting from a Northern Star-Group to a Southern. 1889-’90

Walt Whitman sent a Christmas card to the entire country of Brazil in 1889. That year, a Brazilian field marshal named Manuel Deodoro da Fonseca overthrew Emperor Dom Pedro II and declared the nation a republic. On Christmas Day, seventy-year-old Whitman wrote … Continue reading

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Christmas In Winchester, Part 2

Continued from Part 1, which details the Civil War Christmas Winchester civilians always seemed to look back on with fond memories… By Christmas 1862, “Stonewall” Jackson had left the Shenandoah Valley for the final time. The general that Winchester adopted … Continue reading

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Civil War Christmas is Coming and the Flag is Missing: Oh Dear!

I have a grandson who lives in Louisiana. He turned two this Fall and is getting much positive reinforcement from his grandparents (us!) for his Cajun background. One of his other grandparents suggested we send a set of Civil War … Continue reading

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Santa For the Yankees, Too

Santa, as we know him, is a creation of artist Thomas Nast who created the bearded old elf for the 1862-63 Christmas edition of Harper’s Weekly. In his famous drawing, he showed Union soldiers opening their Christmas boxes from home. One soldier … Continue reading

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Keeping Tradition… “I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day”

One of the ever-popular Christmas blog posts on Emerging Civil War is Meg Groeling’s article about Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and his war era poem that became a holiday song. As we come to the end of a day that is … Continue reading

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