Baptists and the American Civil War: February 25, 1863

confederatesoldiersNorth Carolina Biblical Recorder editor J. D. Hufham is making diligent efforts to place subscriptions of his weekly newspaper into the hands of North Carolina’s Confederate soldiers in an effort to evangelize and encourage spiritual growth. At the same time, there are conflicting reports of Confederate camp life this winter season. Some soldiers and observers lament the increasing sinfulness of the camps, pointing to alcohol, card-playing, Sabbath breaking and other moral depravities as being far too prevalent. Other first hand accounts speculate that revival is brewing within the Confederate army.

In reality, army camp life in the Confederacy is a mixture of the profane and the holy, the later referring to personal morality and a commitment to defend the Confederacy with one’s blood, a measure of godliness by the reckoning of white Southern Baptists. While one letter published in today’s Biblical Recorder condemns gambling among soldiers and officers, others offer more positive words about soldiers.

Whether profane or holy, however, the soldiers appreciate gifts of personal articles sent from Baptist churches and women’s groups, as voiced in the following brief letter appearing in today’s edition of the Biblical Recorder.

Camp Daniel, near Kinston
February 19th, 1863

Mr. Editor:–The members of Company K, 53rd Regiment, desire through your columns to return thanks to their stock of comforts. We are under obligations to those friends for boxes of clothing, provisions, &c.

They will please accept our thanks for their kind remembrance of us. It is fully appreciated, and even if we should never be able to repay it, we hope it will be repaid in blessings from Him who is above all.

T. C. L.

Source: Biblical Recorder, February 25, 1863 (link)