December 25, 1863

Today is Christmas, the anniversary of the Advent of our Lord and  Saviour Jesus Christ.  The day has seemed more like the Sabbath than any day I have spent in the army.  Of course work has been done, but we have had no inspection nor review, and divine services have been held.  This morning Hobbs and I went over to Botts’ woods, from which the guard has been taken and ”backed” some wood into camp.  At dinner time our mail due at night came in and I received a letter from Miss Godding containing a Christmas present in shape of a Photograph of Mr. Larrabee of Gardiner.  It was kind and thoughtful in Miss G. to send that letter with the expectation that it would reach me on Christmas.  Such acts or deeds of kindness render our friends dearer to us than costly gifts, or gold.  It afforded me much pleasure to think of the contents of the letter, and to know that friends in the North were thinking of us soldiers in the field.  How many prayers ascend today in our behalf from the loving and loyal hearts of our many dear friends in our northern home as they bow with reverence around the family altars consecrated to our God and Father!!  And shall we forget to pray for them and ask God’s blessing to rest upon all they do?  From the inmost recesses of our heart our fervent prayers ascend to God that all of them may be blessed, and especially, that his spirit may be present and abide with them.  Divine services at two.  Rev. Mr. Lovering addressed us, calling our attention to the 2d chap. of Luke, 11th verse.  The importance of certain days in men’s life remarked about.  Long existence of great principles referred to.  Custom of the Druids related.  Yearly fire.  Exhortations to us to kindle new fires on our heart’s altars this day.  A very appropriate exhortation.  Mr. L. is a very good speaker, and thus far has shown an admirable feature in his discourses.  They are brief and pointed.  No unnecessary words are used.  We admire such discourses when we have to stand in the open air and listen to them.  It is a treat to hear a good man utter words of truth and wisdom so seldom have we heard them during the past three months.  Dress parade at which Maj. Mattocks first made his appearance in place of our Col.  Perhaps more correctly I should say the first appeared at divine services, for there he had command of the regiment.  Our Col. is Corps officer of the day I believe.  Visited Dr. Colman at the 3d Maine, and enjoyed a happy Christmas Eve with him.  Called on Dr. Hersons.  Eat two pies at Chaplin’s.  Fair and pleasant this morning.  Overcast this P.M.  Col. West was division officer of the day instead of Corps officer.  Had quite a time with an inebriated man on horseback, who had lost his way.  He offered me some whiskey.  Took none of course.

Diary of Edwin Emery [Edwin Emery Diaries and Memoir] 

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