Even the Civil War Couldn't Stop Santa Claus

Much of the Christmas exhibit at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine is from Kevin Rawlings's collection.
Much of the Christmas exhibit at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine is from Kevin Rawlings's collection. (Photos By Ricky Carioti -- The Washington Post)

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By Linda Wheeler
Sunday, December 11, 2005

Santa was dressed in red-and-white-striped pants, a blue jacket with white stars and tall black boots. His beard was white, his glasses were wire-rimmed and his eyes had a twinkle. The Civil War Santa was a Union man named Kevin Rawlings who had come to Frederick looking for good children to tell him their requests. He leaned close to hear this particular child.

Emma Bulger, 5, of Herndon seemed in awe of the man with all the questions.

"Have you been nice to your sister?"

She slid her eyes toward her mother and then nodded.

"Do you keep your room nice and clean?"

She didn't move.

"You wouldn't want me to trip over your clothes, do you?" Rawlings asked her. She shook her head no.

"A nice, clean room is a good thing," he said. "And what would you like Santa to bring to you?"

"I don't know," she whispered.

"Should I bring you a nice surprise?"

"Yes," she said, nodding her head vigorously.

Her sister, Virginia, 8, was ready when the big question was asked: "MP3 player and iDog."


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© 2005 The Washington Post Company

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