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Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day 1860-1865

Y'all do realize, don't you, that today is only the 1st of the 12 Days of Christmas? 12th night falls on the 5th of January, and Epiphany marks the end of the season on the 6th (and you just thought Christmas was almost over!). Anyway ...

Here I will share another little historical tidbit from the years of the war between the states . . . as recorded by James Madison Hall (1819-1866) . . . who is the Keeper of The Journal . . . which is the source of the following info . . . this J.M. Hall was the stepson (as well as son-in-law) of my 3rd-great-grandma, Mahala Lee Sharp Hall nee Roberts (1816-1885) . . . and I first learned of the existence of this journal in January of 2000 from a half second cousin twice removed, Esther Marjorie Biggers nee Hall.

Tuesday Dec. 25th 1860. I am still in Liberty [Texas], and this being Christmas we closed doors, and set in for a regular bender. I took my Christmas dinner with my friend James Wrigley, which by the by was a splendid affair, and reflected credit on his amiable wife. There was a feast of reason and a flow of soul, together with a fine flow of champaigne etc. etc. Many times I toasted the loved ones at home, and thus passed the day very pleasantly, although it was cold, cloudy and drizzling rain during the entire day.

Wednesday December 25th 1861. Today being Christmas, no kind of business was done. The Steamer Ruthven arrived & departed. We had a fine flow of egg nogg to ward off the dullness of the times. weather changeable & very warm for the season of the year. [Liberty, Texas]

Thursday December 25th 1862. Today I remained at home with the little woman [Margaret A. Hall Stewart nee Sharp, Hall's wife as well as his step-sister, & Mahala's daughter] and babies and enjoyed a fine Christmas dinner with several nice egg noggs gotten up in a style as only the little woman knows how to fix them. I contracted with Mr. Thomas Dailey for 1000 lbs. of pork at 14 cents. The drafting of the militia came off in Crockett and Sam Sharp [Hall's step-brother, & Mahala's son, & my 2nd great-grandpa] was drawn to serve under the three months call for the protection of our coast. weather cloudy and warm, with occasional showers of rain. [Houston County, Texas]

Friday December 25th 1863. Today being Christmas all order of business was suspended, and we all went in for a regular jollification. I had with me to partake of our Christmas dinner, Father [Col. Joshua James Hall], Mother [Mahala], Capt. Peacock, Mrs. Bird, Mr. Leaverton, and sundry others besides the home folks. the egg nogg flowed freely and all went off as merry as a marriage bell. . . . Weather changeable & cool. [Houston County, Texas]

Sunday December 25th 1864. Today Sam Sharp & I with the children in the little wagon, Nellie [wife of Sam, & my 2nd-great-grandma] & the little woman in the buggy, all drove down to Mother's [Mahala] where we spent our Christmas. We had a fine dinner & a good eggnogg. We passed the day very pleasantly. Weather cloudy & rather warm. [Houston County, Texas]

Monday December 25th 1865. Today I am very busy at the warehouse loading the steamer Kate & sloop Luna. we put 135 B/c. [bales of cotton*] on them, when they left for Galveston. The only thing I had in way of Christmas festivities was a first rate dinner which was gotten up in the little woman's happy style. Weather variable and warm, for the season, with occasional showers of rain. [Liberty, Texas]

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