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Friday, December 14, 2012

Holidays in the Civil War

That time of year is upon us again, and would you believe where I'm at, it's nice enough out to be planting flowers? It's true! For others, though, while we face the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, some  sit down to the Christmas table without those we loved, missing those who might be stationed elsewhere, or worse. The idea of holidays fresh in mind and soldiers for a certain little book I’m working on, I began to wonder what kind of revelries might the soldiers of old have arranged. What, for instance did a man fighting far away from his fathers do to mark the occasion?

So, I went poking around for some answers to this question. First off, to cover a holiday we just passed, Thanksgiving. Indeed, if you look into the history, the first official celebration of Thanksgiving occurred in November 1864 when President Abraham Lincoln signed a document that year making a national day of celebration on the final Thursday of each November. Word went out and the boys in blue, how did they mark it?

According to the civilwarhistory.com did you know donations were taken on behalf of the soldiers? The donations were used to send turkey and the other staples of the early thanksgiving dinner (what did it say? Cranberry?) and this sent to the Union’s soldiers stationed as far away as Miami, Florida.

Christmas was treated with some of the same trappings with which we are familiar today, some soldiers (from what I’ve read) set up their own Christmas trees, and had special goodies (brandy!) set aside to celebrate the day. Others, those towns directly affected by the war (say, Savannah in 1864) saw Christmas greeted with battle and destruction, halting the usual reveries and balls. If Santa couldn’t come that year, Southern parents blamed it on the Union blockades.

But even in the midst of war, the people tried to remain cheerful. Here’s hoping your holidays will be, as well.

Looking a good read to complete your Christmas lists? There are many fine writers here. If you like something with a little paranormal, my novel, The Artist’s Inheritance (featuring a helpful Civil War ghost) is on sale at Amazon and Barnes and Noble for $.99 for the holiday. 

Settling into their new home in Gulf Breeze, Florida, Caitlin senses changes come over her husband Trevor. He's obsessed with a beautiful chair he's carving, a passion that smacks of his familial curse dating back to the Civil War.

Armed with newfound precognitive abilities, and little experience of the supernatural, Caitlin must proceed with caution. If she fails to break this cycle of damnation, she'll lose forever the one thing she loves most: Trevor. 

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday.
Juli D. Revezzo


  1. Juli, thanks for an interesting post. Your book sounds intriguing, so I'll take advantage of your sale. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  2. Nice little piece of history, Juli. Happy Holidays!

  3. I liked the post, too! Merry Christmas to you from me, too!

  4. Thanks, Ladies. I hope you all had a good one! :) Sorry it took me so long to get in here and say so. The holidays aren't quite officially over yet, are they? hehe. Happy new year to you all!