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1864 January 1: Will This Be the Year the War Ends?

January 1, 2014

The front page of the January 2, 1864, issue of Harper’s Weekly featured the USS Weehawken and portraits of the late and the present kings of Denmark.  Inside the magazine, a two-page spread featured a Thomas Nast illustration for New Year’s Day comparing the North (left half) with the South (right half).  The North is depicted as happy–happy soldiers home on furlough with their wives and children, former slaves celebrating their freedom, and a soldier on picket duty who is well-clothed and equipped.  The South is depicted as sad–a weeping mother and children at a grave, with an amputee nearby, a Rebel soldier in tattered clothing, and slaves working.

Was this going to be the year the Union would be victorious?

The University of Wisconsin-River Falls’ Chalmer Davee Library has microfilm copies of Harper’s Weekly for 1858-1865 (UWRF online catalog).

New Years Day, by Thomas Nast from "Harper's Weekly" of January 2, 1864

New Year’s Day, by Thomas Nast from “Harper’s Weekly” of January 2, 1864

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