Baptists and the American Civil War: June 22, 1863

African SlaveryRev. Jesse H. Campbell, Confederate army chaplain appointed by Georgia Baptists, today offers his commentary on the loyalty of African slaves and the evilness of Northern efforts to force freedom upon slaves.

When the history of this inhuman and murderous war comes to be written, it will be recorded as a remarkable fact that for more than two years of its existence, its horrors were not augmented by even a local servile insurrection; and that, too, notwithstanding the whole power of the United States Government has been brought to bear on our slaves, to incite them to this diabolical work. Exasperated to madness because they could not crush the rebellion in sixty to ninety days, (though they have brought against us, first and last, at least a million and a half men), our enemies have armed our slaves, whom they have enticed or forced from their peaceful homes, to aid them in their work of destruction, rapine and murder, and have done their utmost to convert our fair land into another St. Domingo. I leave it to our Government to determine the policy of the war. But I wish to place upon account the opinion I have entertained from the first, which is, that we should have been justified if we had never taken a prisoner.–No mortals can tell to what we may be driven at last, and, while I pray that God may deliver us from such a necessity, I believe his law would justify us in accepting this issue, should the continued barbarities of our enemy force it upon us. We were justified in hanging John Brown, and his accomplices, who were but representatives of that nation of fanatical hypocrites, now bent on our subjugation of extermination. But when the whole nation comes with the same intent, forsooth, we must deal with them upon the principle of civilized warfare even though they [undecipherable] our slaves taken in battle for our own citizens who may have fallen into their hands.

Source: J. H. Campbell, “From Our Army Evangelist,” Christian Index, January 22, 1863