Civil War and Christmas – by Sandy McBride

1863 had been a hard year in the War Between the States.  Men had fought and died in places the names of which will never be forgotten . . . Vicksburg, Gettysburg, Chancellorsville, Brandy Station, Chickamauga, Chattanooga.  The tide of war throughout the bloody year had ebbed and flowed both ways, yet neither side seemed willing to give it up.

In the final days of November, General George Gordon Meade, commander of the Union’s Army of the Potomac, which had been victorious at Gettysburg, would have one more crack at the seemingly indomitable General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia.  But as the two sides faced off along the Rapidan River in Virginia, Meade’s advance stalled, giving Lee time to prepare his defenses.  After skirmishes in the area around Mine Run at New Hope Church and Payne’s Farm, Meade thought better of it all. On December 2 he pulled back his forces before the skirmishes could lead to yet another full-scale bloodbath.  The fall campaign would come to an end without another devastating round of casualties.

The entire article is in the Dec. 19th issue of the Express.