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God Rest Ye Merry Soldiers: A True Civil War Christmas Story Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged

4 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc; Unabridged edition (1 Nov. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400101735
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400101733
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 2.8 x 13.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Synopsis

Documents an inspiring event just after Christmas in 1862, when closely-camped Union and Confederate armies, having endeavored to out-sing one another with contrasting patriotic songs, joined together in a shared round of "Home Sweet Home.". --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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First Sentence
On Christmas Day 1862, North Carolina soldier Constantine A. Hege wrote his parents, full of the homesickness and weariness that gripped many a soldier that second Christmas of war. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By James Gallen TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 27 Dec. 2008
Format: Paperback
"God Rest Ye Merry Soldiers" tells the story of how the Civil War advanced the progress of Christmas from an unobserved feast to the greatest American holiday. This book begins with the tracking of Christmas, a day ignored in New England and an occasion of feasting and revelry in the South. In the years leading up to the Civil War the day had been achieving increasing importance. The absence of men from their homes sharpened the allure of this family holiday.

Centered on the Battle of Stones River/Murfreesboro, Tennessee from Christmas Eve 1862 through New Year's 1863, it tells of the armies singing their Christmas songs the night before the battle and then relates the human side of this Yuletide conflict. We are introduced to the wounded and dying, those who renewed antebellum acquaintances and the scars left on the survivors.

The last portion of the book picks up the post war transformation of Christmas into the Tradition we enjoy today. Out of our most terrible conflict arose our most Sacred Season.

This is a short book, a quick read. I was given it for one Christmas and read it during another. It forces the reader to pause and reflect on what Christmas has meant in the past and what it should mean to us today. Enjoy it some Christmas.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8b291f54) out of 5 stars 13 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8b0b9d5c) out of 5 stars A poignant story of the Christmas of 1862. 23 Jun. 2006
By K Scheffler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
An interesting little book about the Christmas of 1862 and the Battle of Stones River fought near Murfreeboro, Tennessee a few days later. The book traces the recent increase in popularity of Christmas in America, the steady decline in morale among soldiers on both sides during 1862, and how this led to a particularly poignant moment of comraderie on the eve of the battle. Very much enjoyed reading this book. A great stocking stuffer for the Civil War buff.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8b0be180) out of 5 stars Short, but fantastic! 5 Nov. 2006
By Detra Fitch - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
***** This is a small book that was actually released in 2005. Now, in 2006, it is being reprinted in a small paperback for more people to discover and enjoy. The story takes readers back in history, to the Civil War. Through the eyes of soldiers' letters (Union and Confederate) comes a true tale of a Christmas miracle. It will not take you long to read the story since it is less than two hundred pages, but it is a book that you will find yourself reading more than once. Full of joy, sorrow, compassion, and courage, this is a story you will never forget. *****

Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8b0be1f8) out of 5 stars Informative read of Civil War Christmas 6 Jan. 2006
By Matthew - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The book was well written. It is a short and easy to read book. The book contains a lot of letters from soldiers to their families at Christmas. They picture in their minds the good times they had at Christmas past, and yearning to be home, and the end to this miserable war. Soldiers were shot as they tried to sneak away from their unit, just to go home and see their family one more time at Christmas. The book is worth reading year round.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8b0be588) out of 5 stars A must read for the Civil War enthusiast 15 Jun. 2008
By Richard Greenleaf - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Ok, I admit it. I very nearly didn't add this treasure to my personal Civil War library. I was looking for a copy of Kevin Rawling's "We were Marching on Christmas Day," hoping beyond hope of finding it in stores after having read an article in my local paper about him being the Civil War Santa. An article which, I might add, mentioned his book and had me turning my attention to the Christmas season during the war for the first time. When I saw this book in stores for the first time I was at first intrested and then quickly turned off by it. It just seemed like it was a novel to me. I was looking for non-fiction, not a fictional story set at Christmastime during the war. But for whatever reason I decided to pick it up even though I really didn't want a novel on Christmas during the war.

Well let's just say I was far from disappointed about being wrong about the book. It is a fascinating look into Christmas and how the war affected it for soldier and civilian alike. Even more fascinating, for me, was to learn that one of the sources McIvor used was the very book I'd been looking for in the first place.

James McIvor brings together both research and individuals' letters to paint a picture of what life was like for soldier and civilian, North and South, alike. One can learn much about life at this time and how the war affected it. But even more than that, McIvor brings out how the feelings towards the war had changed from the early days when people on both sides expected all it would take was one big battle to get the other side to capitualate to the growing realization that the war was going to be a long one. And this was even more noticeable at Christmas, a time when most of the soldiers were so used to being at home with friends and loved ones. And at home the holiday season just reminded those who the soldiers left behind that their sons, grandsons, fathers, husbands, brothers, etc. were away fighting the war. Or worse, they were never coming home again.

"God Rest Ye Merry, Soldiers," along with "We were Marching on Christmas Day," is an absolute must for any Civil War enthusiasts library as it gives us a look into a too often overlooked element of the war. Holidays. We spend too much time paying attention only to the generals, politicians, dates and the events that occured on those dates that we overlook the the fact that the war was fought by living, breathing individuals. But when a book takes the time to remind us of those individuals and the lives they led during the war, then that book is absolutely worth reading. That is exactly what this book does. It reminds us of those individuals and also gives us an understanding of how they must have felt during the holiday season.

Now if only someone would provide a book that looks at some of the other holidays of the year and how they were affected by the war.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8b0be6c0) out of 5 stars Little cameos of life during wartime 9 July 2008
By Jean E. Pouliot - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The primary focus of GRYMS is on the human side of the American Civil War, made especially poignant around Christmastime. Much of the book presented events surrounding the battle of Murfreesboro -- a three-day fight in Tennessee that started on December 31, 1862. This gives author James MacIvor more than enough room to touch on many of the aspects of Civil War as experienced by ordinary soldiers of both sides. By 1862, the martial ardor of both sides had died down, as the romantic idea of a quick war gave way to the realization that many harsh months of inconclusive fighting lay ahead. MacIvor's route winds through a December military wedding, war weariness, bravery and cowardice in battle, mad generals, the pitiable executions of deserters on the day after Christmas, and brass bands "battling" on the night before battle, culminating in a soulful rendition of "Home Sweet Home." The book was very light on the political rationale for the war, but provided some wonderful vignettes illuminating the human experience of ordinary soldiers, including some of the homespun songs that made life bearable on the front lines.

Grades:
Engaging reading/listening: B
New/interesting info: B
Historical insights: C
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