A Civil War Christmas $10
A Civil War Christmas
A Civil War Christmas
“Oh When will this war end? Will another Christmas roll around and find us all wintering in camp? Oh! That peace may soon be restored to our young but dearly beloved country and that we may all meet again in happiness.”

A Civil War Christmas

CONTENTS

Introduction
Is Jingle Bells a Confederate Carol?
The Story Behind I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
Within the Lines
The Wartime Journal of a Young Georgia Girl
Christmas in the Confederate White House
Letters From Home
Epilogue

We of the South honestly believed that we were fighting for States Rights, while the North is equally honest in the conviction that it was fighting to free the slaves.

The real tragedy of this war is that two peoples who both believed in the same God and the sending of “The Prince of Peace” slaughtered each other by the hundreds of thousands while calling on that same God for vindicaton of their deeds.

Now that we have seen how much more can be accomplished by peaceful cooperation, and a greater respect and understanding of human rights we wonder how it could have ever come to pass.

And she brought forth her firstborn son
and laid him in a cattle feed-trough
because there was no room in the big house.

And his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor,
The Mighty God,
The Everlasting Father,
The Prince of Peace.

And of the increase of Peace and of his Kingdom, there shall be no end.

Deo Vindice!


Review By S. Warfield (Maryland)

A Civil War Christmas by John C. Rigdon is a very interesting look back at the Civil War through excerpts from diaries and also from poems and letters written by soldiers at Christmas to their loved ones back home. An account of making toys and goodies for slaves and for children in an orphanage for Christmas in the South, using what little the people had, is a tribute to the human spirit and the spirit of Christmas.

The book starts out with the story of the song "Jingle Bells." It never started as a Christmas song. It was written in 1857 by James Pierpont to memorialize the "cutter" races in Boston that were sleigh races that ran between Medford and Malden Squares. How it became a Christmas song and what it has to do with the War is an interesting tale. Another Christmas carol of our modern times was written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, but it also wasn't written as a Christmas song. It had more to do with looking back from Lee at Appomattox Court House and some family history. The history of "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" is explained in detail.

The middle of the book is not so much about Christmas as it is about the War itself and its effects on the people of the South. Part of a diary written by a Southern woman is very interesting as is information about a visit with Mrs. Jefferson Davis. It is the latter part of the book that speaks directly to the reader from soldiers. Letters home written by them at Christmas tell a bleak story of men whose friends had died and who missed those back home. Like soldiers today, they craved letters from their loved ones. There are also poems written at that time about Christmas.

I really enjoyed the book, having had a lifelong interest in Civil War history. The stories in the book are told mainly by the women of plantation owners, so the reader doesn't hear from the dirt farmers who were eaking out a living and what kind of Christmas they might have had, if any.

If you like Civil War history, you should enjoy this book.

"When my bones they lay down, In the cold cold ground, Have someone play Dixie for me."


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