…How Real Soldiers Live
by Mort Kunstler
In December of 1862, Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia bedded down for winter quarters in and around the town of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County. After defeating their Federal adversaries in one of the most lopsided victories of the entire Civil War, the victorious but weathered army looked to the Christmas season as a welcome reprieve. Celebrations around the campsite were especially joyous during this time, as the daily stress of combat was put aside in favor of high spirits.
The officers expressed this sentiment as well and they often held private holiday dinners for their senior commanders. One such meal was hosted by General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, who was staying in nearby Caroline County. Although he was not the most socially adept of Lee's lieutenants, Jackson extended a warm invitation to his commander and staff to enjoy an evening of hospitality at his headquarters at Moss Neck Plantation.
Upon his arrival, General Lee was treated to a traditional holiday meal, as well as the welcome company of his most trusted subordinates. The evening went well as conversational merriment replaced the usual discussions of tactics and attrition. Laughter filled the room and, for a few brief hours, the war in Virginia was but a distant memory. For this Christmas night, it was a group of Southern gentlemen, not seasoned soldiers, who came together to celebrate and share a taste of home.
|Archival Paper||27" x 21 1/2"|
|Signature Edition||21" x 17"|
|Classic Edition||26" x 21"|
|Premier Edition||35" x 28"|