In the winter of 1862, during the seemingly endless nightmare of the Civil War, a small miracle occurred. Just after Christmas, on the eve of the bloody battle of Stones River in Tennessee, the Union and Confederate armies set up camp within shouting distance of one another. To raise their spirits, they began a battle of patriotic tunes-"Yankee Doodle" drowned out by "Dixie." Then, during a pause, a Union band struck up the wistful strains of "Home Sweet Home." A Confederate band chimed in, and soon every regimental band and every soldier, Rebel and Yankee alike, had swelled the chorus. This bittersweet moment is the centerpiece of James McIvor’s portrait in miniature of a country weary of war.
Filled with soldiers’ letters-marked by humor, yearning, and courage-as well as Christmas poems and songs from the period, this is a tale of unabashed holiday spirit for our own divided nation.
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James McIvor is a freelance writer.From Publishers Weekly:
This charming stocking stuffer recounts Christmas celebrations during the early Civil War, with an emphasis on how the holiday united opposing soldiers before the Battle of Stones River in 1862. Though Congress didn't decree Christmas a national holiday until 1870, it was spreading nationwide as an American tradition by the time the war broke out. In 1861, the first Civil War Christmas saw festivities in both Union and Confederate camps, but the second, after a bloody year of war, found soldiers on both sides realizing that the war was a common enemy. McIvor zooms in on the Union and Confederate armies camped near each other at Murfreesboro, Tenn., where on Christmas Eve 1862, their bands played favorite Northern and Southern tunes. When one band started "Home! Sweet Home!" thousands of homesick soldiers began to sing before being overcome by emotion, and the night fell silent. A few days later the armies clashed in one of the bloodiest battles of the war—but even amid the powder smoke soldiers helped one another's wounded and dead, marking friendly and enemy grave sites. Though this slim book skips lightly over dense history and has a slight sentimental flavor, it's distinctly readable and moving throughout. (Nov.)
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Book Description Viking Adult, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0670034517
Book Description Viking Adult, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0670034517
Book Description Viking Adult, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110670034517
Book Description Viking Adult. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0670034517 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.1178575