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God Rest Ye Merry, Soldiers
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God Rest Ye Merry, Soldiers

3.5 of 5 stars 3.50  ·  rating details  ·  60 ratings  ·  11 reviews
In the waning days of 1862, Union and Confederate troops set up camp within earshot of one another in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Christmas had just passed, and for many of these battle-wearied young soldiers the holiday season was a melancholy reminder of the families and loved ones theyd left behind. Bands from both camps played patriotic songs in an attempt to raise spirit ...more
ebook, 176 pages
Published October 31st 2006 by Plume Books (first published November 3rd 2005)
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Darlene Ferland
James McIvor has given us a glimpse into what the life of the soldiers fighting in the Civil War was really like. Christmas and war aren't usually thought to be the subjects of a book to be read during the season of goodwill and glad tidings but the author has shown his ability to take the reader into the hearts and minds of those boys/men fighting for survival. The book begins with the second Christmas of the war in 1862 and, through letters, takes the reader into their hearts and minds. For hi ...more
This book looks at the events surrounding the Battle of Stones River outside Murfreesboro, TN during the New Years of 1863. It also looks at the changing attitudes of the soldiers of both sides towards their foes, and the respect that was growing between them. The war’s role in the creation of the modern celebration of Christmas is also discussed.
The title is a bit deceiving, not entirely just a bit. It does tie in Christmas to the Civil War in a really unique way and I was not disappointed. This is a very short (165 pgs) and incomplete history of the Civil War. If you're a CW buff you'd enjoy this and in fact should add it to your list. And likewise if you're a beginner of CW studies you should also add it to your list.
The book basically begins and ends with Christmas scenes; one at the beginning of the war the other at the end. The aut
May 26, 2007 Jenny rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone, but particularly someone insterested in history & the Civil War
Shelves: favorites
I LOVED this book!! It is packed with history about the Civil War, and with the personal letter excerpts the author uses, and the poems that were written during the time period of this book, it makes for very interesting reading. You feel like you know all the soldiers after you've read the book, and can feel their pain and agony suffering the cold, and loss of their comrades and everything else that they go through.
Although about the Civil War, this book is a wonderful holiday reminder of how it might feel to be a soldier far for home at Christmas. It gives historical highs and lows - of men divided by a horrible war but united in the doubts, fears, and the loneliness war brings. A wonderful reminder of how lucky we are to live in a war free country, able to celebrate the holiday season as we choose.

This is my personal copy. Good. Civil War, both sides, and Christmas tradition. U.S. history. I learned a lot. never heard of the Battle of Stones River (TN). There's a monument there and 6100 graves. Quite a price paid for the Union of our nation. Try Stanley Weintraub's Silent Night (WWI) and General Washington's Christmas Farewell.
I could not possibly write a better review than James Schmidt. See his review. I felt that the title episode was way too short, only 3 pages or so in the 160 page book. The book has lots of quotes. I love the primary source detail, but I wanted more detail regarding the title incident.
For a Christmas story, I found this rather depressing. As a history of Christmas during the Civil War, I found it enlightening. Nations and men rush into war with fervor, and as the war drags on, the fervor turns to horror and sadness, especially at Christmas time.
Enjoyed this little historical read. Not quite what I expected from reading the title (as other reviews have mentioned). This book wasn't the type that I couldn't put down, but it did have some touching stories and accounts from men on the battlefield.
Such a wonderful rewarding, memorializing story of such a historic time! I cried but yet felt uplifted. Great to read during the Christmas season!
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