We Were Marching on Christmas Day

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9780961267049: We Were Marching on Christmas Day
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There are several theories about the origin of Nast's Santa Claus for the January 3, 1863, cover of Harper's. Some people even think this was the first appearance of Nast's "jolly old elf." One claim is that President Lincoln asked Nast to create a drawing showing Santa visiting a Union camp. The Union winter of 1862 is often said to be Lincoln's "Valley Forge," with so many hardships faced by the Army of the Potomac both in camp and on the battleground. Lincoln felt such a drawing might both boost the morale in the North and erode that of the South. Proponents of this theory claim that the drawing accomplished both goals. Kevin Rawlings, probably the best known impersonator of Nast's Santa, tells a different tale. He claims that Nast had a deadline at Harper's Weekly, compounded by the fact that Fletcher Harper, the editor of Harper's, asked the artist to create a special illustration showing some sort of link between the coming Christmas celebrations and the current war effort. Nast faced a case of "illustrator's block," trying to reconcile two such opposing ideas in one drawing...For children, Christmas was altered during the war. Presents were fewer, especially in the devastated South. In We Were Marching on Christmas Day, author Kevin Rawlings notes that some southern children worried about the Union blockade, and one little girl, Sallie Brock Putnam, plotted the course Santa Claus would have to take to avoid it. Sometimes fathers on both sides were allowed furlough, and children were said to react to their fathers as if seeing "near strangers".[13] Excuses for a lack of Santa included Yankees having shot him!

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9780961267063: We Were Marching on Christmas Day

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ISBN 10:  0961267062 ISBN 13:  9780961267063
Publisher: Toomey Pr, 1997
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