Saint Valentine's Long Year, 1865, When Cupids Collided Or, The Boys Were Home

JPK Huson 1863

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#1
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Best war era Valentine's Day card I've seen. War and love do not rub elbows well. This seems more pointed than drippy. We held our breaths through February 14ths 1862, 1863, 1864 and 1865. Then the most gigantic Valentine's Day of the generation happened. Hundreds of them.

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June, 1865, Ohio. There's a Valentine no one could stuff onto a card.

We've been soupy on the topic of Valentine's Day dating wayyy back in American history. This isn't a thread on The History Of Valentine's Day. One day dedicated to all-things-loved seems to be more a mid-winter reminder of who matters to us. And how vital these ties are- on Valentine's Day we can get away with saying so. Seems to me the ACW ( and all war ) brought us face to face with Cupid daily. Not, please, the drippy, sentimental, confetti strewn path to ' love ' , roses, lace doilies, women draped over chaise lounges, a cavalier on one knee and beaming cupids pointing arrows at both. I mean, that's nice. It's missing the point IMO.

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April 1865 signaled the end ( mostly ). By June trains were pulling in to home towns all over this country, wharfs creaked under crowds as eyes strained for the first sight of that steamer; mustered out troops faced their last fight- getting through those crowds for that first kiss. The Boys Were Home. Newspapers exploded. Valentine's Day? There's a reason reporters can be viewed as a little hard boiled. Showing up to record fatal accidents, fires, disasters and riots - much less the shambles called war can get to you. Well, these scenes repeated as town after town welcomed troops home reduced them to tears. Cupids collided and ran out of ammunition over those train platforms. The Boys Were Home. Valentine's Day, 1865 was a season, not a day.

John Hays contributed a poem to that endless Valentine's Day, 1865
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Two verses out of quite a few- you can't find that in card

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" Our reporter was a witness to a meeting.... " , then get out a hankie.

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Cupids may be invisible but they're there. Someone missed the boat that year because this is Valentine's Day, 1865

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Illinois

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And back to soupy but they deserved the toast. Valentine's Day 1865. Indeed.
 

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JPK Huson 1863

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#7
I would enjoy your putting together a thread on 'pet-names' shared between lovers, like Jackson and his bride. Has it been done yet, @JPK Huson 1863. (Please...an arrow inventory).
Lubliner.

Ha! Yes, terrific idea- in 20 years of CWT history, guessing it occurred to someone- maybe not. Have to say you can't quite see some of these couple exchanging too many romantic nicknames? Grant and Julia, for instance, calling each other " Schnookums ", or ok, better, Jackson referring to his wife as " Kitten ". But you never know! Have a feeling Kilpatrick may have had resorted to some endearments we'd be happier not hearing.
 

NH Civil War Gal

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#9
https://www.journalofthecivilwarera...ldier-lovers-a-story-of-civil-war-valentines/

During the war, companies ran a number of Valentine ads that targeted women with loved ones off at battle. “Don’t forget your soldier lovers. Keep their courage up with a rousing Valentine. All prices. Six cents to five dollars each,” advertised Strong’s Valentine Depot in 1862. In 1863, New York City’s American Valentine Company promoted “soldiers’ valentine packets,” “army valentine packets,” and “torch of love packets.” In Washington D.C., Shillington’s likewise advertised packets specifically for soldiers, which “contains two superb sentimental valentines and elegant embossed envelopes; also comic valentines and beautiful valentine cards in fancy envelopes.”

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Robert H. King’s valentine for Louiza. Courtesy of the Library of Virginia.
On November 8, 1861, Robert had written to his wife, “it panes my hart to think of leaven you all” and signed his letter as many soldiers did, with “yours til death.” Ultimately, this would be true, and all Louiza would be left with was this paper heart. Robert died of typhoid fever near Petersburg, Virginia, in April 1863. She kept this valentine until her own death decades later, perhaps believing there is more heart in handmade.
 
Joined
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Chattanooga, Tennessee
#10
Ha! Yes, terrific idea- in 20 years of CWT history, guessing it occurred to someone- maybe not. Have to say you can't quite see some of these couple exchanging too many romantic nicknames? Grant and Julia, for instance, calling each other " Schnookums ", or ok, better, Jackson referring to his wife as " Kitten ". But you never know! Have a feeling Kilpatrick may have had resorted to some endearments we'd be happier not hearing.
Yes, I could enjoy the glimpse of personages such as Custer and McClellan being delved into by you. Your exclamations of empathy would no doubt bring a chuckle of delight my way, where anything I say would be returned with a white gloved incrimination by the nether parts.
Lubliner.
 

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