December! 

Happy Christmas!


Many of the current Christmas traditions celebrated today actually started during the Civil War era. Although Christmas wasn’t an official holiday until President Ulysses S. Grant made it one in 1870, many Americans observed the holiday throughout the war as a way to find comfort and bond with family members through long-lost traditions.

Christmas was widely celebrated in Europe for centuries but when the Puritans came to the New World they brought with them their distaste for the holiday. Instead of the joyful, family-oriented holiday that it is today, they turned Christmas into a solemn occasion that involved praying and reflecting on sin. Feeling that it was more of a European pagan holiday than a Christian celebration, Puritans officially banned Christmas in Boston for over 20 years during the mid 1600s. Even after the ban was lifted it was still viewed with suspicion and dragged on as a dull, muted holiday over two centuries later.


During the Civil War, soldiers celebrated by decorating
their camp 
Christmas trees with hard-tack and salt-pork and singing carols such as “Come All Ye Faithful” and “Silent Night.” After General William Sherman captured Savannah in December of 1864, his soldiers dressed their horses up like reindeer by attaching branches to their headgear and delivered food and supplies to hungry families in Georgia.

Although some soldiers, especially Union soldiers in the beginning of the war, enjoyed special Christmas dinners of turkey, oysters and pies, other soldiers were not as lucky:“And when I turned from these musings upon the bill of fare they would have at home to contemplate the dreary realities of my own possible dinner for that day – my oyster can full of coffee and a quarter ration of hard-tack and sow-belly comprised the menu”  wrote one soldier in a book titled The Story of a Common Soldier of Army Life in the Civil War, 1861-1865.



President Abraham Lincoln and his family celebrated Christmas during the first year of the war by holding a Christmas party at the White House. During the Christmas season in 1862 and 1863, he visited injured soldiers in a various hospitals. Mary Todd Lincoln raised money for Christmas dinners and their son Tad sent gifts to wounded soldiers he met during his father’s holiday hospital visits.

One of the most famous Christmas gifts was when General Sherman captured the city of Savannah, Georgia in December of 1864, a significant military achievement that marked the beginning of the end of the war, and sent Abraham Lincoln a telegram that read: “I beg to present you as a Christmas gift, the city of Savannah, with 100 and 50 guns and plenty of ammunition, also about 25,000 bales of cotton.”


Telegram from General Sherman
 presenting 
Savannah as a Christmas present
Sources:

this information was found at
 the Civil War Saga 


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November! 


“Thanksgiving in Camp” - Winslow Homer,  
Harper's Weekly, November 29, 1862

On October 3rd of 1863
Expressing gratitude for a pivotal Union Army victory at Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln announces that the nation will celebrate an official Thanksgiving holiday on November 26, 1863.


here's some links about the history 
along with some period recpies from Godey's Lady's book

Civil War's Trust about Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving recipes, Godey’s Lady’s Book  








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October!

Jefferson Davis reaping the harvest, October 1861 Harpers Weekely 
Happy Halloween!


please remember there is a board meeting
October 26th at 5pm in Reno - address sent via email 

We will also being in the Nevada Day Parade
for the 150th Aniversy of Nevada
 November 1st Carson City




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Comstock Civil War Reenactors 
are pleased to welcome its newest members who joined us in
Fallon, Nevada and thank those who helped make this a wonderful event which was blessed with history.



photo Courtesy of Alexander Gardner 1821 - 1882
 

As the living descendants and historians of President Lincoln and one of his primary generals shook hands, the newly formed Pinkerton Detective Agency Brigade ensured their safety.. 



the actual descends  of the men they represent as living historians, thanking each other for their service 
throughout history, for the gentlemen themselves as well as their relatives ,Thank you For your service to our country