I posted an art sunday civil war christmas last year, but decided I wanted to do one again this year, as we are still in celebration of the anniverasary of our civil war.
Christmas dawns on nations engaged in fraternal warfare. The largely non-religious nature of the holiday at this time in American history is evidenced in relatively little discourse of religious nature. In army camps North and South, many soldiers feast on turkey and side dishes and engage in recreational activities. On the home fronts of both nations, the holiday celebration is muted by the absence of family members away in the army.
For some northern soldiers, the holiday is rather dull. One Minnesota soldier writes:
This Morning dawned very pleasant and the whole day, but it was a very dull Christmas for us…. the dulest Christmas that ever I spent in all my life and hope I never shall again. Being a soldier is not like being at home on that day. The boys in my mess got a lot of oysters and good fresh milk and made a good Soup of them. But I had to look on and see them ‘go in right’…. good ernest, as I am no oyster eater. I could not stand it to look on, so I pitched in and eat a lot of bread and Molasses, for a substitute for oysters.n 1861, Nast was assigned by his bosses at Harper's Weekly to draw an illustration for “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” His Santa was drawn from Nast’s Bavarian roots and was among the first American commercial images of Santa. In 1863, Nast drew Santa crawling down a chimney.A nice blog post here about a civil war christmasAnother post from Barbara Brackman's civil war blog hereTo the left is a photograph of one of Thomas Nast's depictions of a heartsick separated family's Christmas during the third year of the American Civil War. The woman looks longingly at the winter's moon while the lonely soldier gazes sadly at his family's picture. Click on the picture for a larger image. Then, look closely at the lower images to see the graves of comrades and other scenes all too familiar to the Civil War soldier. Conversely, in the upper right and left corners, joyful images offerhintsof a much happier time.This photograph originally published in Harper's Weekly, now courtesy of the Library of Congress.from here do also click on this painting for a larger view if it does not show up-still click to view