Sunday, December 22, 2013

Civil War Sunday - Christmas 1863

Christmastime is a lonely time for men and women fighting wars.  They are hundreds or thousands of miles from home, missing their families, tired of the carnage they must experience, and, sometimes, just plain homesick and/or bored.

It was no exception for the soldiers of the Civil War that was fought in our country, the United States, between 1861 and 1865  as a number of states split off from our Union and formed another country, the Confederate States of America.

What was it like, that Christmas in 1863, as we approach the Christmastime of 150 years later?

In North Carolina, a Soldier's Christmas 1863.

Various Civil War letters and diary entries, 1861-1864.

Thomas Nast (this artist is responsible for how we view Santa Claus in modern times) did a number of Civil War Christmas illustrations, including one for Christmas of 1863.  When viewing Thomas Nast's work, be aware his sympathies were firmly with the Union and against the CSA (although his anti-Confederate tone softened as the war progressed).

One view of the Christmas "Legend of Abraham Lincoln" (his son Tad, according to articles I've read, sent gifts to various Union soldiers during the Christmas of 1863). 

This Santa, not strictly a "Nast" Santa, was made to depict a "Civil War" Santa holding period toys.

And finally, a display of Santas of many years ago.

Were you or a loved one a soldier during a past or present holiday season? What would you want my readers to know?


  1. Aha, this was interesting! Thanks Alana :)

  2. It's interesting the way customs change over the centuries. I can sympathize with all soldiers during this special time, which holds significance of family ties.


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