Baptists and the American Civil War: August 30, 1863

Civil War Hospital

Civil War Hospital

Emily Quiner, a nurse in a Union hospital in Memphis returns to her home in Madison, Wisconsin, and worships in her home church this morning.

Prior to the war Quiner was a school teacher in Madison and a member of the Janesville Baptist Church. For the past two months, however, she has been serving as a Union nurse.

Less than two months earlier, and just before leaving for her stint as an army nurse, Quiner wrote of her patriotic convictions in conjunction with July 4 celebrations.

This Fourth is an important one to us all, and who could look upon the two thousand brave men who passed through our streets today volunteers to defend our liberty and not feel his patriotism swell within him. Our country is shrouded and darkened by this cloud of civil war but trusting in God as our help and strength and as the supporter of the cause of right we shall yet see the clear sky over our heads and the light of peace and fraternity bearing upon us.

Today, glad to be back in her hometown, Quiner writes about being back in her home church.

Went to church this morning. Mr. Goodspeed of Janesville preached for us. He gave us a very good sermon. Staid to Bible Class. It seemed good to be in our old church once more. Mr. Campbell came to see me in the afternoon, remained to tea, and accompanied us to church in the evening.

Quiner is one of many Baptist women of the North who volunteer as army nurses during the war years. Collectively, their service contributes to the Union war effort in significant. ways, saving many lives and enabling many soldiers to return to army ranks.

Source: Emile Quiner’s Diary, 1861-1863, Wisconsin Historical Society (link) and  (link) and (link)