Merry Christmas from the 79th New York

nyhs_harpers1_3_1863_001-de1The 79th New York Infantry would like to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a joyous Holiday Season.

The scene at right was published in the January 3, 1863 edition of Harper’s Weekly. The image, by Thomas Nast, shows Santa Claus visiting a Federal camp. In the background is a sign that reads “Welcome Santa Claus.” The illustration shows Santa handing out gifts to children and soldiers, one of whom receives a new pair of socks. Santa is pictured sitting on his sleigh, which is being pulled by reindeer. Santa has a long white beard, a furry hat, collar and coat. Santa is holding a dancing puppet of Confederate President Jefferson Davis in one hand, and Davis appears to have a string tied around his neck, so Santa appears to be lynching Jefferson Davis. This is Nast’s first published picture of Santa Claus.






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