New York Illustrated News – January 4, 1862

Over the next quarter-century, Nast’s family-oriented Christmas drawings would become a Harper’s Weekly tradition. In 1861, however, his first Christmas tree had a double meaning: ten leading Confederate generals and politicians hanging as labeled ornaments. The musician (right) probably was a memorial tribute to the artist’s late father Joseph, who had played the trombone in a military band in Landau, Germany (Nast’s birthplace), and in New York theatres.

Although Tommy had been married for three months, he evidently didn’t have his wife Sallie edit this cartoon. In the list of Southern cities, the two “N”s in Savannah were backwards; New Orleans was missing an “L” and ended with a backward “S”; and the “gard” in Beauregard was spelled “guard.” These mistakes didn’t detract from his usual pun, but they did illustrate Nast’s lifelong problems with dyslexia and spelling.