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 tragedies of the Civil War touched many facets of life, from the pain & hardships of the soldiers to dealing with the loss of loved ones. The war affected the love lives of many as well, as evidenced by this letter found in the “Hammond Gazette” hospital newspaper from Point Lookout, Maryland, September 15, 1863.