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Nast’s “Christmas, 1863” unveiled.

A Civil War Surprise

By Dana B. Shoaf
4/27/2017 • Civil War Times Magazine

You never know where the Civil War will turn up.

Nast’s “Christmas, 1863” unveiled on the wall of the 1810 “Cape Cod” style farmhouse. (Courtesy Justin Squizzero)

During restoration of his 1810 “Cape Cod” style farmhouse in Newbury, Vt., homeowner Justin Squizzero uncovered this Thomas Nast engraving titled “Christmas, 1863,” which depicts a Union soldier returning home for the holidays to a happy family, still glued to the wall.

Farmer George Burroughs and his wife and children, along with perhaps a widowed sister, lived in the house during the 1860s.

Squizzero is still doing research on the house and occupants, and has not yet connected any Burroughs family member to the Union Army.

It’s easy, however, to imagine someone putting up the print during a cold winter day in 1863, and hoping for the safe return of a loved one.

Thomas Nast’s “Christmas, 1863” as it appeared in Harper’s Weekly. (HNA)

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