Dec 28 1864 Christmas Dinner (Soldiers Served Dinner in Court Hall)
Christmas Dinner. – In response to the card of Mrs. Harry, published in last week’s paper, numerous contributions were received, both from town and country, and the Soldiers about Hagerstown had a magnificent Dinner served to them in the Court Hall, on Saturday.
The Hall was tastefully decorated by a detail from the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry. On the east wall pended large Portraits of the three Generals prominent at present, with their names, Grant, Sheridan, Sherman, in large evergreen letters, forming an arch above them. On the north side a portrait of President Lincoln, with an evergreen arch over it, “The Soldier's Thanks to the Loyal Ladies of Hagerstown.” On the West end of the hall was a large portrait of the Father of his Country, with the words, “The Union must and shall be preserved,” also in evergreen. The portraits were encircled with flags, and the various weapons used in the cavalry arm of the service were suitably placed on the walls midway between the portraits and the outer and lower portions of the arched inscriptions. In the corners and on the gallery, cedar bushes completed the decorations. The soldiers are entitled to credit for the handsome manner in which the work entrusted to them was performed.
The tables were arranged and laid with great care by the ladies, who turned out numerously and labored hard to go as near as possible to making everything look like home to the brave men they served. And to the soldiers accustomed to eating their meals off tin dishes resting upon their knees, the once familiar sight of a white table spread, covered with china dishes, was a genuine pleasure. The Provision was not only ample but varied. The meats embraced Beef, Ham, Sparerib, Saussage, Turkeys, Chickens, Ducks and one Oppossum. Rusk, Biscuit and Bread completed the solid base of the meal. Of sauces there were Potatoes in every style, canned Tomatoes, Hominy Corn, Saur Kraut, etc. For spreading the Bread there was an abundance of excellent Butter. Among the relishes there were Cheese, Tomato and Cucumber Pickles and Celery. There were also stewed Apples, Peaches and Cherries. The Dessert embraced Apples fresh and roasted, Grapes, Pies, Custards, Pound Cake and Jelly Cake.
All these articles were of the very best quality, and were evidently prepared by cooks and bakers well skilled in their arts. Certain it is the Soldiers relished them, and that they will long bear in remembrance the kindness of the fair ladies in and of the country around Hagerstown. The following resolutions by a portion of the soldiers who partook of the feast have been handed us for publication. They will explain themselves:
Camp of 6th Penn’a Vet. Cavalry.
Near Hagerstown, Maryland.
December 24th, 1864.
At a meeting of the members of Company K, 6th Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteer Cavalry, the following resolutions were submitted and unanimously approved :
1. That we tender our sincere thanks to the Union ladies of Hagerstown for the bountiful repast tendered us as a Christmas Dinner, on Saturday, December 24th, 1864.
2. For the time being separated from home and those near and dear to him, any act of kindness touches a tender chord in the heart of the soldier. It bids him cheer up, and gives him encouragement in the performance of his arduous duties. We will look back upon our sojourn in this place and feel a pleasure when we recall to mind the events of December 24th, 1864. We hope ever to prove worthy of the kind regards and best wishes of the Union ladies of Hagerstown. To the ladies and gentlemen of the Committee and all concerned, we tender our sincere thanks, and wish them all a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
Orderly Sergeant M. Golden,
Sergeant J. T. Baynes,
“ A. T. Smedley,
“ H. Ballantine,
A. P. Jones, Secretary
Herald & Torch Light
Washington County Free Library
Hagerstown (Md.), Newspapers; Maryland, History, Civil War, 1861-1865
Washington County (Md.), 1861-1865