Voices from the Past - Christmasday!

Posted: 12/5/2011
Author: Laura June Davis
Portrait of Rear Admiral Raphael Semmes, CSN by Maliby Sykes

Good morning! To celebrate the holidays, all of the quotables this month will reference Christmas 1861. Our first voice from the past is Raphael Semmes, who wrote the following statement in his diary on Christmas Day, 1861:

Christmasday! Bringing with it, away here in midocean, all the kindly recollections of the season and home, and church and friends. Alas! how great the contrast between these things and our present condition. A leaky ship filled with prisoners of war, striving to make a port through the almost constantly recurring gales of the North Atlantic in midwinter!
 

 

Citation:Raphael Semmes, "Diary of Raphael Semmes, December, 1861," in The Cruise of the Alabama and the Sumter, vol. 1. (New York, NY: Carleton, McCarthy and Co., 1864), 419.
 
Photo Credit: U.S. Navy Historical Center's "Online Library" of digital images.
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The Bookshelf

Excommunicated from the Union (2015)

Author: William Kurtz

Reviewed by: William S. Cossen

The Immortal Irishman (2016)

Author: Timothy Egan

Reviewed by: Thomas J. Ryan

A Self-Made Man (2016)

Author: Sidney Blumenthal

Reviewed by: Robert O. Faith

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