Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote the poem on Christmas day 1863. In November of that year Longfellow’s oldest son, who had volunteered for the Union Army without his father’s knowledge or permission, was severely wounded in battle. References to the Civil War are rarely included in the hymn based on Longfellow’s poem.
I heard the bells on Christmas Day Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet The words repeat Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
And thought how, as the day had come, The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along The unbroken song Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
A wonderful photo ( ebay ), a small boy whose patriotic mother made him a tiny, military inspired outfit, a gifted drum and dear little be-ribboned hat make us 'sigh', how cute. There are several horrifying aspects to this photo- war is blood and death and suffering and mindless horror, not make-believe dress up- we 'sigh' anyway. And we only have images of our ancestors whose childhood was safe from want to 'sigh' over.
Not a long thread- but a reminder and an important one. Our image of " Victorian Christmas ", added to, eras mixed, co-mingled, inexact and wildly inaccurate in spots can indeed be delightful. ' It ' was probably not exactly how we...
On Christmas Eve in 1818, two men with a small guitar entered a church in Oberndorf, Austria, and prepared to sing a new Christmas carol.
Times had been bad in Oberndorf, where many people worked on the water, manning the salt barges that plied the Salzach River. The upheaval in central Europe caused by the Napoleonic Wars had just ended.
And only two years before, the dreadfully dark summer of 1816 — later blamed on ash from a volcanic eruption in Indonesia — had caused famine and...
Christmas during the Civil War served both as an escape from, and a reminder of, the awful conflict rending the country in two. Soldiers looked forward to a day of rest and relative relaxation, but had their moods tempered by the thought of separation from their loved ones. At home, families did their best to celebrate the holiday, but wondered when the vacant chair would again be filled.
Civil War soldiers in camp and their families at home drew comfort from the same sorts of traditions that characterize Christmas today. Alfred Bellard of the 5th New Jersey noted, “In order to make it look much like Christmas as possible, a small tree was stuck up in...
Taken from an 1863 Nast spread for Harper's, Keeping Christmas in the era looks fairly familiar. Tree, family, toys children and Joy galore- Father Christmas has morphed into Santa in another section of the page, the feast into Christmas dinner and Christmas greens entwine the whole. Christmas, kept.
Dad always said ' The Civil War was yesterday '. Not as baffling a statement as you'd think considering we're only a few generations post war. What seem huge changes between the war years and 2018 were really a slow roll into an ancestor's tomorrow, incremental, societal shifts only notable because they've been glued end-to-end...
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The American Civil War
The American Civil War, arguably the most traumatic event in the history of the United States, was fought from 1861 to 1865, and was the culmination of sectional issues which deeply divided the country between a pro-Federal government North and a pro-states rights, in the pro-slavery South, whose eleven states formed a breakaway government called the Confederate States of America. The costliest war in terms of human lives, the American Civil War claimed in excess of 620,000 battle or disease-related deaths - roughly two percent of the country's total population, and nearly more deaths than all other American wars combined.