Wednesday Dec. 25 1861
DAZZLING DINNER DISPLAYS DETERMINATION
Following a White House meeting where the Trent Affair was rehashed
yet again, President and Mrs. Lincoln persevered with a great
Christmas feast this night. After the horrors of the last year it
was no doubt the last thing they felt like doing, but as usual in
wartime a pretence of normalcy was considered essential for morale.
In Winchester, VA, though, Gen. Thomas J. (“Stonewall”) Jackson, on
one of his rare leaves home, had a quiet dinner with his wife.
Thursday Dec. 25 1862
AGGRESSIVE ACTIVITIES AGGRAVATE
Although no great battles marred the celebration of Christ’s birth
this year, there was no cessation of the average sort of small
skirmishing. Actions took place in Warrenton, Va. Confederate Gen.
John Hunt Morgan continued his raid on Federal forces in Kentucky,
leading to violence at Bear Wallow and Green’s Chapel in that state.
There was even a disturbance of the peace at Prim’s blacksmith shop
on Edmondson Pike, Tenn.
Friday Dec. 25 1863
CULPEPPER CAVALRY CEREMONY CONDUCTED
As a great many members of the Union army had signed two-year
enlistments in 1861, it was becoming a matter of great concern to
get as many of them to re-enlist as possible, as this saved the
considerable expense of training new enlistees from scratch. (Common
wisdom of the day claimed that it took two years to make a
cavalryman, although the process had speeded up considerably by
now.) Capt. Kennedy of the 9th NY Volunteer Cavalry celebrated the
decision of several of his men to re-up by holding the swearing-in
ceremony on Christmas Day, at Culpepper Court House, Va.
Sunday Dec. 25, 1864
CUSHING CONDUCTS CHRISTMAS CACAPHONY
US Navy Lt. William Barker Cushing, who not long before had sunk the
CSS Albermarle and received great acclaim, spent this day assisting
in the assault on Ft. Fisher. Gunboats provided covering bombardment
as Gen. Benjamin Butler’s 2000 troops came ashore and advanced on
the fort. Cushing’s route was to be up New Inlet, but it was found
to be blocked by a sandbar and he was driven back.
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