"Who is this that looks forth like the dawn, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army with banners?"

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


"We had a holiday on Christmas, no drilling and no work, and moreover no marching or picket duty to do: something quite unusual for us. My humble self, Corp. Baldwin and John Knights, and Alfred went down to Fairfax Station to see the country but got back in time for Christmas dinner, which consisted of beefsteak and potatoes, both excellent."  ~  Hezron G. Day, pvt., Company C, Sixteenth Regiment, Letter of December 27, 1862

"Thursday December 25th Christmas day. Excused from all unnecessary duty to-day. Taking it easy in A.M. & playing foot-ball &c in P.M. The weather for the past few days has been very warm & pleasant, not even freezing at night. We cannot hope that such weather will continue."  Diary of Horace Barlow, 56, Co. C, 12th Regiment

"Christmas. In all the brigade there is no drilling. The chaplains preach to the various regiments. Then many visit the Chantilly battle field. A citizen points our the spot where the brave Kearney fell; where the lines swayed to and fro. Here, side by side, are the graves of friend and foe. The enemy held the field. Their dead are buried very decently; but shocking to say, only a few sods were thrown over ours, and frequently, feet, hands and skulls are sticking out, flesh still on. But we found men from the twelfth regiment covering these heroes that fought so bravely. We lose another of our soldiers. Oscar Reed dies suddenly of typhoid fever." ~ Lt. Edwin Palmer, 13th Regiment,  The Second Brigade: or, Camp Life, By a Volunteer (1864) 

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