God Rest Ye Merry Soldiers: A True Civil War Christmas Story Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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More About the Author
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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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
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.
Engaging reading/listening: B
New/interesting info: B
Historical insights: C
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