Baptists and the American Civil War: February 13, 1862

Confederate States MapNorth Carolina Baptists learn of good news in the Confederate camps near Richmond, Virginia, in an article in this week’s Biblical Recorder:

A few weeks since a number of Testaments were sent into a camp near [Richmond, Virginia]. The religious soldiers immediately determined to organize themselves into a Sunday School, and to invite their comrades to meet with them to study the Word of God. They also began a prayer meeting, and now religious services are being carried on every day and night, and many are becoming interested in religious matters. All this is due to the Testaments which were sent out, for till then no such effort had been made or thought of.

Following months of news of overwhelming vice in army camps, many Baptist mothers and wives on the Southern home front are relieved to learn of early hints of a religious revival among soldiers.

With each successive winter during the war, revivals become more common South and North. Alongside the revivals of the coming years, reports of Sunday Schools in the camps also grow. Revivals and Sunday Schools both become manifestations of wearied soldiers missing family and friends, an ever-present fear of death, and a longing for the war to end.

Sources: “Army Colportage,” Biblical Recorder, February 12, 1862 (link); map (link)