In 1863, there were no bright, blinking lights to decorate homes with but there was still Christmas.
Saturday, the Victorian Society at Falls Church hosted “A Civil War Christmas,” at the Cherry Hill Farmhouse to give a glimpse of what the holiday would have looked like back then. It was the first time the Victorian Society hosted a re-enacted Christmas.
“In the past, we have done re-enacted Civil War Thanksgivings,” said curator Diane Morse. “This is the first year we’ve done the Civil War Christmas.”
More than 200 people visited the Falls Church landmark to see re-enactors – wearing soldier uniforms and dresses of the era – go through a version of Christmas many have never seen. Re-enactors served candy, cake and apple cider to guests as they toured the home. Guests were entertained by music of the time, which included a live flute performance.
Side chatter could be heard throughout the house as visitors glanced at the Civil War era decorations, which included a Christmas tree with several handmade decorations. Morse said the group of 12 reenactors wanted to do something different for the holidays and decided on a Christmas theme. The year 1863 was a good one for people in the Falls Church area, she said.
“We did 1863 because it’s the first year the Troops of the Potomac moved off the farmland,” Morse said. “It’s the first year the farmers had something to celebrate.”
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