While Christmas is certainly a time when many who would not normally do so reflect on the spiritual, historic newspapers reveal a time when the lines between the spiritual and the physical were not nearly so distinct. Religion, while largely stripped from the currently public square, was part and parcel of daily conversation in the not to distant past. An example would be the following report of the importance of religion in the lives of Civil War soldiers found in the Hammond Gazette (Point Lookout, MD) of September 22, 1863. My Christmas wish is that we would regain our previous understanding of the role of true religion in everyday life, minus the driving harsh conditions of the past. Please enjoy.
The “Hammond Gazette” hospital newspaper from the Civil War, dated August 25, 1863, has an interesting front page item concerning the “Gray Beard Brigade” (see below) and why they are inclined to stand & fight. And also a likely reason why one of their elderly members joined the army.
Occasionally the human side of war comes through in the newspapers of the day, giving hard evidence of the tragedy of lost life and how it affects those back home. The front page of the: “Hammond Gazette” from Point Lookout, Maryland, Jan. 27, 1864, contains a poem titled “Who Will Care for Mother Now?” (see below) It reflects the sorrows & concerns of a dying soldier, and obviously attracted much attention as the internet is full of references to this poem, which at some point was to music as well.