This chapter focuses on Christmas 1862. Somber reflection tainted Christmas in both armies as the holidays only widened the psychological gulf between soldiers and home folks. Chilly winds, sparse rations, and camp routine probably reduced optimistic Confederates' fighting edge despite apparently soaring morale. The better-supplied Federals could not yet shake the post-battle blues. However, the noble cause of liberty, a struggle for freedom and national unity, made Christmas worth celebrating, especially for Republicans with a strongly antislavery bent.
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