Happy Easter

by fifer1863 on April 6, 2012

As I am enjoying a few days off with the family, I want to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you, a very Blessed Easter.

Civil War Easter Tidbits

Ever wonder what days  Easter fell on during the Civil War.?   Well, I looked it up:

March 31st 1861
April 20th 1862
April 5th 1863
March 27th 1864
April 16th 1865

Here is an entry in the diary of Union soldier Daniel Chisholm: “The beautiful Easter Sunday finds us all O.K. for it is as pretty and warm day, but we have no eggs. We could have them at 40 cents per doz. but I guess we will do without this time”-  (Menge, p. 7).

Here is a link to an Easter Sermon from 1862

Finally, here is a clipping from  April 1, 1861 edition of The Philadelphia Inquirer:

Philadelphia Inquirer April 1861

The joyous festival of Easter presented yesterday its religious contrasts with the sombre season of lent, which closed on Saturday night.  Holy Saturday was observed with the customary offices of those churches which commemorate the day.  Throughout Saturday, from seven o’clock in the morning until seven in the evening, the services in the roman catholic churches continued, excepting with a brief interruption.  The new fire illuminating each altar was blessed, and the benediction pronounced upon the baptismal fonts.  The Episcopal and Unitarian Churches, as well as the Roman Catholic, prescribe particular services for Holy Saturday.

Again, may the blessings of this Easter season be on you and your family.



Menge, W. Springer Menge, J. August Shimrak. The Civil War Notebook of Daniel  Chisholm: A Chronicle of Daily Life in the Union Army 1864-1865.New York: Orions Books, 1989.


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Memorial Day Proclaimed

by fifer1863 on May 29, 2011

Headquarters, Grand Army of the Republic
Washington, D.C., May 5, 1868

I. The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance no form or ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades
will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.

We are organized, comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose, among other things, “of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers, sailors, and marines who united to suppress the late
rebellion.” What can aid more to assure this result than by cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foe? Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains, and their
death a tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms. We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the Nation can add to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders.

Let no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and found mourners. Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten, as a people, the cost of free and undivided republic.

If other eyes grow dull and other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain in us.

Let us, then, at the time appointed, gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us as sacred charges upon the Nation’s gratitude,–the soldier’s and sailor’s widow and orphan.

II. It is the purpose of the Commander-in-Chief to inaugurate this observance with the hope it will be kept up from year to year, while a survivor of the war remains to honor the memory of his departed comrades. He earnestly desires the public press to call
attention to this Order, and lend its friendly aid in bringing it to the notice of comrades in all parts of the country in time for simultaneous compliance therewith.

III. Department commanders will use every effort to make this order effective.

By command of:



4 Irish related Civil War items

March 16, 2011

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I thought I’d do a quick post on 4 Irish-related Civil War Items.   #4 – Civil War Steeplechase by Edwin Forbes: This sketch is from March 17, 1863 and shows a “Saint Patrick’s Day celebration, Army of the Potomac, American Civil War. Irish Brigade holds a steeplechase race” […]

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Happy New Year

December 30, 2010

Taking a moment to wish all of my readers a Happy New Year. I also wanted to give you a heads up on some upcoming posts: Part 3 of Teaching the Gettysburg Address A review of some iPod Touch/iPad apps More on getting kids to act like historians A book review Some screencast how-to posts […]

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A Civil War Thanksgiving Proclamation

November 15, 2010

Today is Thanksgiving and it is a holiday steeped in tradition. I wonder how many of you know that it was Abraham Lincoln who, on October 3, 1863, proclaimed “the last Thursday of November” as Thanksgiving Day. Another interesting bit of information is that a lady by the name of Sara J. Hale, the Editress […]

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Merry Christmas

December 24, 2008

A quick post to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. In the spirit of keeping this on topic, I share the following image from

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