Civil War Blog

A project of PA Historian

Christmas 1863

Posted By on December 25, 2013


The Christmas Day 1863 edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer was dominated by a new Christmas story by Charles Dickens, Mrs Lirriper’s Lodgings, which consisted of four pages of text (“quadruple sheet”).  However, the news of the day was still included in the daily newspaper as were editorials.

A portion of the Inquirer‘s Christmas wish, as it related to the Civil War, is presented below:

The genial season of the Christmas holidays are again upon us, and as is the good old custom, we greet our readers, this morning, with the social cheer of a Merry Christmas….

As a nation we have much cause for rejoicing at the improved conditions of our national efforts as compared with the Christmas of last year.  Then the terrible battle, and the defeat of our army at Fredericksburg, cast a deep gloom over the community and the future was darkened with the overshadowing prospect of European intervention in our struggle to suppress the Rebellion.  And as time passed, the invasion of our own State by the rebel hordes made a deeper impression, causing every pulse to beat more quickly for the success of the Union cause.

But the glorious and ever memorable victory at Gettysburg soon hurled the rebel horde back to their lair beyond the Rappahannock, where they are rendered harmless through the power and watchful care of our brave soldiers, and where in good time they must become a prey to the gallant Army of the Potomac…. Chattanooga and other glorious victories attest the onward and triumphant progress of the Union arms.  The giant of the Union has tightened his grasp, and the Rebellion now writhes in despair with the convulsive throes of speedy dissolution….

Ere another Christmas day comes around we may hope to see the glorious Stars and Stripes proudly waving and acknowledged as the emblem of the nation’s power in every one of the revolted States.

In our city we have good cause for rejoicing….  Prosperity prevails in all the branches of trade and manufactures; work plenty for all, and the markets bountifully supplied…. Let us not forget the gallant soldiers who are absent. Many a prayer will second this day… for husbands, sons and brothers now in the army.  The vacant seat at the table will cause many an anxious thought, while the memory of the noble dead will cause many a tear to drop on the family hearth this Christmas Day.


Mrs. Lirriper’s Lodgings is available as a free e-book download from Gutenberg.  Civil War-era newspapers are available through the on-line resources of the Free Library of Philadelphia.


One Response to “Christmas 1863”

  1. day care in millersburg pa says:

    Christmas is the best season of the year. It is one of the reasons why family will gather in this occasion. One of the best season of the year.

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