Author: Kevin Rawlings
In the first chapter of this book, the author follows the roots of American Christmas traditions back through the centuries of religious and pagan customs to the countries of their origins. The purpose of holly and mistletoe and the Yule Log are explained as well as a host of lesser-known figures such as Pelznikel and Zwarte Piet. By 1860, Christmas was an official holiday in many states. Unfortunately, it was also the last year of peace as one state after the other left the Union to form the Southern Confederacy.
The balance of the book covers each of the war years. The author blends period illustrations with personal accounts from letters and diaries to give the reader an entirely new perspective of the war. Accounts from both North and South, the home front and winter quarters, as well as those actively campaigning, reveal to what extent Americans went to -celebrate Christmas during the Civil War.
Hardbound, 176 pages, 8½" x 11", 58 illustrations