There wasn’t a good Christmas noted by a 13th Regiment letter writer, diarist or memoirist after 1861 in Leesburg. That was the last one where food was plentiful with all the comforts, even if furloughs had been revoked.
Christmas 1862 was warmer than expected but they spent it on picket duty in Fredericksburg, with a brigade drill on Christmas Day. Christmas 1863 was much worse, spent building shelters in frigid East Tennessee with the mercury hovering above zero and little clothing and few shoes. Parched corn was the usual fare.
But 1864 brought a new low “celebrated” in wet, rat-infested trenches east of Richmond. At least the remnants of the regimental brass band got a trip to the capital city:
“On Christmas our band got permission to go to Richmond on a serenade to play for some of our officers,” 3rd Sergeant Wilborn P. Smith of the Pettus Guards wrote his sister back home in Mississippi. “I…have to pay $2 for a quart of meal. I reckon you can buy a bushel for that. I have money about $150 in cash can make that do me for some time…[the rest was illegible].”
There would no Christmas 1865 as a regiment. At least the survivors would be home.