Baptists and the American Civil War: January 10, 1862

The Second Baptist Church of Richmond, Virginia, announces a concert to raise funds to supplement the meager salary of a regiment of Confederate soldiers. As reported in today’s Richmond Daily Dispatch:

Among the first who rushed to arms to repel the Yankees in their attempt to conquer Virginia, was a regiment of Kentuckians. They were at Harper’s Ferry at the very beginning of the war, and now form a part of the army of the Potomac. They left their homes at the first report of the invasion of Virginia, and for nine months they have withstood, most courageously the trials of war, deprived of many things necessary to a soldier’s welfare. Separated from their friends by insurmountable obstacles, they are dependent on their small pay for their comforts, and at the present price of things, eleven dollars a month cannot go far! A concert for their benefit will be given, next week, in the Second Baptist Church, corner of Main and 6th streets, by the same ladies and gentlemen, who, last month, delighted our people by two of the most charming concerts ever given in this city. We are told that their third concert will surpass in variety the two first ones. As there will be a great crowd, it has been suggested that persons who propose to aid this laudable project should procure their tickets in advance.

As the war progresses, the salaries of Confederate soldiers fall to a mere pittance in the face of raging inflation.

For their part, the Second Baptist Church congregation has come a long ways from white members’ support, some four decades earlier, of education for African slaves and generous support of African Americans as missionaries to Africa. During those intervening years, a southern white culture increasingly afraid, in the face of slave revolts (real and imagined) of the Africans who provide the region’s labor, explains much of the context of the hardening attitudes towards Africans within Second Baptist and other Richmond area Baptist congregations.

Source: “Concert,” Richmond Daily Dispatch, January 10, 1862 (link)