Tag Archives: Christmas
Grand Military Ball

Christmas Eve at Hilton Head with the 104th Pennsylvania Regiment

Christmas eve was the occasion of much gaiety at Hilton Head. The officers of the post gave a grand military ball, which was held in the large building on the beach used for department head-quarters.

The numerous rooms were tastefully decorated and a large and gallant company assembled. Seventy ladies graced the scene. As all the officers could not he allowed to leave their commands in presence of the enemy, each brigade in front of Charleston was authorized to send three representatives. Surgeon Robinson and captain Pickering represented my command. The ball was considered a very fine affair in army circles.



A Mother’s Christmas Thoughts

This poem by ‘Madge Merton’ – a possible pseudonym of Canadian writer/journalist Elmira Elliott Atkinson – appeared in the December 1891 issue of Godey’s Lady’s Book.

A Mother’s Christmas Thoughts

He kissed her with a soft good-night,
Her boy, grown tall and strong;
And she, alone in dim twilight,
Across the years has gone.

Sweet, patient face, dear mother heart,
Aching its sad, lone way
To those past years—that nobler part
Where little children play.

And all the fire-lit, cosy room
She filled with vanished joys;
And ’round the hearth, in dark’ning gloom,
Clustered her one-time boys.

Wee Harry played with drum and fife,
And led a mimic fray;
Poor lad, he lived a soldier’ s life,
And died the death one day.

And Harold watched an engine puff
And o’er the hearth-rug fly;
“I’ll be a driver, sure enough,
Won’t I, mamma,” he’d cry.

Tall John was all was left to-night,
The others nobly died;
One in the thickest of the fight,
And one steel rails beside.

Slow down the mother’s cheeks there ran
Tears born of chastened grief;
The tears that bridge a sorrow’s span,
And bring a sweet relief.

Sweet, patient face, dear mother-heart,
Aching its sad, lone way
Across to Christmas Eve’s apart,
Where little children play.

As Printed

A Mother's Christmas Thoughts - Godey's Lady's Book - December 1891

A Mother’s Christmas Thoughts – Godey’s Lady’s Book – December 1891


Collection: Godey’s Lady’s Book
Date: December, 1891
Title: A Mother’s Christmas Thoughts
Location: Philadelphia, PA


Christmas with the Third New Hampshire

Christmas day, 25 Dec. 1861. We had dress parade and a long battalion drill. After dress parade the Chaplain, by request of the Colonel (as he said in his diary), gave an address on various points. He also said he got a load of bricks that day, and the boys built him a fine furnace.

The night before, the Company was detailed for picket duty. Circumstances requiring no explanation rendered one and all—regardless of rank—good fellows. And this too before the men were posted. The empty bottles lying about, seen at daylight, were only circumstantial evidence, and therefore not reliable as a basis of assumption that somebody had drank toasts to Christmas.

During the night the officers, entering into the sport of the occasion, amused themselves and others by passing themselves off as the “Grand Rounds,” which travels mounted. As they approached a post, they would stamp and jingle their sword scabbards to imitate mounted officers. Much fun was the result when the faithful sentinel directed that one dismount and approach with the countersign.

Chapter: December, 1861
Source: 1861-1865: The Third New Hampshire and All About It. by D. Eldredge, Captain Third New Hampshire


Christmas Giving Tips from Godey’s Lady’s Book

At no time in all the year is the heart so filled with joy, or the home so replete with genuine home love and home feeling as during the time that leads us up to the holiday season.

Christmas Day is, to be sure, our day of days–the most joyful of all the joyous season;but surely every home-mother, at least,will agree that the days of preparation before Christmas are filled with a quiet,steady, soul stirring happiness that could not be exchanged for any single day of revelry. For is it not during the weeks that precede the holidays that we prepare gifts for our dear ones? Are we not busy planning and scheming, and, perhaps,denying ourselves some coveted thing that we may enrich those we love? (more…)