Civil War Christmases (in Missouri and Kansas)
This is Christmas day: But how differently circumstanced from any other Christmas I ever before spent, a prisoner of war and guarded by soldiers on every hand. Our kind captors not yet having handed over to us our bedding and baggage which we left in the wagons at Sedalia.
This is New Years Day[.] But there is nothing surrounding us bearing evidence of the fact[,] closely guarded and kept inside of a crowded building[,] we are cut off from the outside world only as we look through windows upon our armored guards without[.]
This is Christmas week but persons do not seem to be enjoying it much -- last Sunday evening I believe it snowed faster & prettier than I ever saw it -- as I sat by the window I wished so much for you to be here -- to look at the large flakes that fell so silently, with me -- for somehow I felt sad & would like so much to have talked to you[.] Christmas day we had no company -- I frequently managed to be along, to think of the last Christmas that rainy day when you were here, & we read all day -- Do yo remember it?
|The Union Christmas Dinner|
you could not have sent me a more lovely or acceptable Christmas gift[.] Please accept many thanks -- and -- I shall never look at this gift -- without thinking of the dear giver. I was reminded too of the last Christmas when that beautiful chain was placed around my neck by tender, loving hands. When I wear it, I think of the departed One, to whom it once belonged.
|Dr. Jason Roe is a member of the Missouri Valley Special Collections department and a content manager and editor for the Library’s digitization and encyclopedia website project, The Missouri-Kansas Conflict: Civil War on the Western Border. He received his Ph.D. in U.S. History from the University of Kansas in May 2012 and is the author of the Library’s popular “This Week in Kansas City History”|