A Soldier’s Christmas 1863

Christmas in the Civil War was a time for reflection and a longing for home.  These are universal feelings and desires from men and women caught in the currents of their day.  In past years we have, in this blog, shared those thoughts written in drawingsdiaries and letters (see letters in the Carolina Christmas) – this year we share a newspaper article.

Union soldiers based as garrison on the small river port town of Plymouth, N.C., sought to bring a flavor of home to their duty station.  A grandly decorated house and such activities as a rowing contest and horse and foot races were temporary distractions from missing home and hearth and the comfort of Christmas with your “family circle.”  Even presenting a favorite officer with a token of esteem in the form of a sword could not assuage the notion that Christmas in the army was not the same as it was at home.  Clearly the men of the 85th New York made due in that way that all soldiers understand.

The unnamed soldier – KAPPA – captures the festivities of the moment and the longings of the time in describing Christmas Day in Plymouth, N.C., in 1863.

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