Christmas At The White House

On Christmas Day 1864, Tad Lincoln, the President’s young son, embraced the spirit of the holidays, inviting several cold and hungry newsboys he had met into the White House for Christmas dinner. 

Although the unexpected guests were a surprise to the White House cook, the president welcomed them and allowed them to stay for dinner. Thomas Pendel, a bodyguard and doorkeeper appointed during the Lincoln administration, recalled in an interview: “’We didn’t have many doings in those days’ says Mr. Pendel, ‘there were too many grave things to think about… Mrs. Lincoln used to buy a great many presents for Tad, but he could amuse himself with the ‘bucktails’ better than with playthings.’”– (Company K of the 150th Pennsylvania Volunteers known as the “Bucktails” for the deer tails they wore on their hats ) 

 - See more at: http://blog.whitehousehistory.org/history/president-lincoln-christmas-gift-1864/#sthash.kXRXsdkC.dpuf

I just started reading that new Seward biography from the library.

So, Seward was like, five, and in school when a solar eclipse came and he thought the world was ending and he ran all the way home crying. Awww…

And he ran away to Georgia for awhile before he came back to finish college.


He was a Bucktail.

New York had a political party called the Bucktails, and Seward was part of it.

How much more awesome can this guy get? *devours book eagerly*

Thomas Davee Chamberlain -The Forgotten Brother

Lieutenant Colonel of the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the American Civil War, the brother of Union general Joshua L. Chamberlain, the Colonel of the 20th Maine Infantry.

After Gettysburg, the major battles in which Thomas Chamberlain and the 20th Maine were involved were the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House and the Siege of Petersburg

At the Siege of Petersburg, the 20th Maine was in reserve, while Joshua (against his better judgment) led his Pennsylvania Bucktail brigade in a charge on a section of the Confederate defenses known as Rives’s Salient. Turning to direct his troops, Joshua was struck by a minié ball, which entered just below his right hip, nicked his bladder and urethra, and stopped at his left hip. Such a devastating wound should have been fatal, and when he arrived at the field hospital, three miles behind the lines, his life was feared over. 

Thomas Chamberlain, back with his regiment, eventually heard the news. He and the surgeon of the 20th Maine, Dr. Abner O. Shaw, went to the hospital where Joshua was dying. As Thomas waited, Dr. Shaw, with Dr. Morris W. Townsend of the 44th New York, worked all night to try to save Joshua Chamberlain’s life. 

Thirty-five years later, Joshua Chamberlain wrote that, after the surgeons had finished: “Tom stood over me like a brother, and such a one as he was.” Remarkably, Col. Chamberlain survived to enjoy his “on the spot” promotion to brigadier general, although he never returned to full fitness. A number of biographers of Joshua Chamberlain say that his life was saved through the activity of his brother, Thomas.