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In Their Own Words

December 25, 1861

Civil War Christmas Recorded in Journal

From his plantation at Rockbridge, Thomas Maguire recorded in his journal his thoughts about this first Christmas Day of the Civil War:

“Dec. 25 - Christmas Day, 24° clear & the promise of a pleasant day. There is not near so much bustle among the young folks as usual on that occasion. Abe’s government has cast its shadow of war around the country, and gloom and seriousness is the effect, even among the young and thoughtless. It is to be hoped this misfortune will not long oppress our country, but that peace will soon be established & rejoicing once again resound through our country. I shall devote this day to writing to the soldiers that are enduring the hardships of camp life & standing between us as a wall of fire and the vandals of the North, so we comparatively are enjoying peace and the pleasures of home. All honor to the volunteers of the Confederacy - they deserve well of their country.”

Source: Franklin M. Garrett, Atlanta and Environs: A Chronicle of its People and Events (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1969 reprint of 1954 original volume), p. 518.