Tuesday, December 17, 2013
CIVIL WAR CHRISTMAS
Just as the populace was varied in cultures in our nation, the various traditions came from differing cultures. Santa Claus was originally a Turkish bishop; the Dutch brought hanging of the green; the Christmas tree was originally a German custom brought to Virginia by a German immigrant. The Scandavians introduced the mistletoe "kissing ball" to us.
In 1861 as the war was just beginning, the first Christmas for the Confederates was a relatively celebratory
By 1862, the cost of food had skyrocketed, so the men in the field didn't get the generous portions of meals as they did the year before. Even the cost of coffee had risen to the point of being almost prohibitive. There was widespread drunkenness among the troops. The men were missing home. They'd watched many of their friends die. They were ready for the war to be over. Children were afraid that Santa Claus would not be able to get through the blockades. Most of the gifts were handmade and were for the children.
When the Christmas of 1863 rolled around, the price of a turkey had risen to $100. Eggnog was $100 a gallon. The men were growing glum finding very little to celebrate. The visions of home with family around a Christmas tree, a cracking fire, stockings hung on the mantel, waiting for Santa Claus, tables laden with lavish feasts and drink served to seal the memories of Christmas into a vivid reality.
The last Christmas of the Civil War in 1864 dawned upon a weary nation. General Sherman had recently taken the city of Savannah, which he presented to President Lincoln as a Christmas present.
In June of 1870, Christmas was officially made a national holiday largely due to the sentiment of the men returning to their homes after the Civil War with their longing for the warmth of family and home.
Aren't we blessed that as we approach this Christmas season and celebrate the birth of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, our nation is free. The War Between the States was a horrible conflict of brother against brother. May it never happen again.
Visit my website at www.goldenkeyesparsons.com and Merry Christmas!