Reenactors and a patriotic-clad Union Santa Claus greeted visitors to Fort Ward as part of the annual Civil War Christmas in Camp program on Dec. 11 at Fort Ward Museum. “We are here portraying the Union regular army as it was during the Civil War encamped here at Fort Ward around Christmas time,” said reenactor David Welker. According to the Alexandria Gazette Packet, "A highlight of the event was a Civil War-era Union Santa Claus, based on an 1863 cover of Harper’s Weekly by artist Thomas Nast. Reenactors interpreted army life in winter camps and celebrated by opening Christmas boxes from home, singing carols of the period around a campfire, and preparing holiday meals." As per Alexandria Gazette Packet, "Fort Ward is the best preserved of the Union forts in the extensive system known as the Defenses of Washington. The Museum offers exhibits and public programs throughout the year."