Post by bradandlaurie on Dec 12, 2007 15:28:41 GMT -5
A Frontier Army Christmas
Lori A. Cox-Paul and Dr. James W. Wengert
Laurie and I found this in the bookstore at Fort Robinson during a recent trip there. Now with Christmas so close it just seemed like the right time to say something about this book. This seems like the definitive book on the subject of how Christmas was celebrated on the frontier army posts before 1900. It contains enough minutiae on the Christmas traditions of the era to satisfy the most ardent historically obsessed.
The book also gives the reader a real appreciation for the hardships that soldiers and their families faced on the frontier. For some soldiers Christmas was simply a very lonely time of deprivation and survival in the harsh winter climate. For the families it was often a time in which the holiday only served to remind them of the isolation of the frontier posts.
Still, it is interesting to read about how many managed to cope very well with this during Christmas. The book details how they would often adopt a pragmatic optimism about there situation. The book tells how they would use the often limited resources available to them to create the decorations and decorations for celebration. The book is an amazing testimony to how optimism can win over circumstance.
'A Frontier Army Christmas', Lori A. Cox-Paul and Dr. James W. Wengert, 1996, Nebraska State Historical Society, ISBN 0-933307-02-0