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.
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.
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
Two verses out of quite a few- you can't find that in card
" Our reporter was a witness to a meeting.... " , then get out a hankie.
Cupids may be invisible but they're there. Someone missed the boat that year because this is Valentine's Day, 1865
And back to soupy but they deserved the toast. Valentine's Day 1865. Indeed.