Baptists and the American Civil War: March 17, 1861

Sam Houston, Texas GovernorThe morning after being deposed as governor by questionable means, Sam Houston, a Baptist, walks into his office and finds his former lieutenant governor – elected the previous day as new governor by one vote – sitting at his desk. Quietly, the once powerful politician gathers his personal belongings and walks off the stage of Texas political history.

During the coming months, Confederate detectives harass Houston at his Texas home because of his Union sentiments. Disillusioned, despondent and in ill health, Houston is reduced to the point of surviving by collecting firewood for a living when he dies July 23, 1863.

Thus ends the life of a once-outstanding politician whom some historians believe could have changed the course of the Civil War if he had played his political hand differently in earlier years.

Source: See James L. Haley, Sam Houston (University of Oklahoma Press, 2002); read a review of this volume