Baptists and the American Civil War: May 2, 1861

Richmond, VirginiaPressure builds between the state of Virginia and adjacent Washington, D.C. Both the Union and the Confederacy realize that Virginia will be pivotal in the war. Against this backdrop, the U. S. Navy today blocks the entrances to the James River and Hampton Roads, Virginia. In addition, U.S. sources also seizes two additional Confederate vessels, after having already seized several previously.

Many Virginia Baptist leaders voice loyalty to the Confederacy and church services are noticeably down in attendance as many young men have already left to join the Confederate army. U.S. President Abraham Lincoln is aware that Virginians are hastily training their military, and hopes to exploit the Union sentiment prevalent in the western part of the state.

Meanwhile, according to the New York Times:

“The Baptist State Convention of Georgia, submitted a communication to the Congress of the seceded States at Montgomery, endorsing, approving, and avowing support to, the Confederate Government, and requesting the said Government to proclaim a day of fasting and prayer, “that God will deliver us from the power of our enemies, and restore peace to the country.”’