The Final Struggles: September 1864 to April 1865

Sherman’s Plan

What was Christmas Day 1864 in Richmond like?

Mrs. Judith Brockenbrough McGuire described it thus:

The sad Christmas has passed away. J. and C. were with us, and very cheerful. We exerted ourselves to be so too.… When we got home [from church] our family circle was small, but pleasant. The Christmas turkey and ham were not. We had aspired to a turkey, but finding the prices range from $50 to $100 in the market on Saturday, we contented ourselves with roast beef and the various little dishes which Confederate times have made us believe are tolerable substitutes for the viands of better days. At night I treated our little party to tea and ginger cakes—two very rare indulgences; and but for the sorghum, grown in our own fields, the cakes would be an impossible indulgence.


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