Baptists and the American Civil War: October 8, 1863

Georgia MapWives, children, siblings and parents on the Confederate home front worry incessantly about their soldier men, a situation reflected in Southern Baptist newspapers.

This week’s Georgia Baptist Christian Index repeatedly turns its attention to Confederate soldiers. The following editorial pays homage to those who fought in the recent Battle of Chickamauga, a battlefield victory that brings renewed hope to the white South, yet a battle that came with a high cost, as the Confederacy suffered more casualties than did the United States.

Next to God, we are indebted to the self-immolating heroes, who fought, bled and died upon the Chickamauga’s stream of death, for the late glorious victory that crowned our arms near Chattanooga.

All honor to the gallant living; and ever-growing fame to the heroic dead! Thanks to them for a victory which has saved us from Yankee domination, and inspired the great Heart of the Confederacy with a new determination to be forever free!….

Among the wounded warriors of the South, many are now housed in the hospitals of Macon, Georgia, located south of Atlanta. The influx of wounded in Macon reflects the presence of the Union Army near the state line in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and includes many who were wounded in the recent Battle of Chickamauga. The following editorial praises these “gallant soldiers” and calls them to Jesus.

In the Hospitals, at Macon, are hundreds of our gallant soldiers who are receiving the attention of our citizens; tho’ if that attention were a hundred times more assiduous, it would not equal the merits of such heroes; for every man who suffers as a soldier in the ranks of our struggling country is a hero.

It is a satisfaction to know that the Post Surgeon of this place, Dr. J. M. Green, is such a kind and attentive surgeon, and so capable of filling the position he occupies; we are glad for the sake of the brave and self-sacrificing men who come under his charge. And we hope that the citizens of Macon and surrounding country will by no means slacken in their endeavors to promote the comfort and welfare of these sick and wounded braves.

As for the men themselves, may the leisure they now enjoy be occupied in giving heed to the things that make for their eternal peace. Not at all can they tell how soon they may be summoned once more to face the cannon’s mouth, or mount the deadly breastwork; and while the God of Peace thus gives them time and opportunity, let them embrace the precious period, and as men whose future is uncertain, seek for those enduring riches that are at God’s right hand. Let the thoughtless reflect; and let each and all look to Jesus for help, and relying on his almighty merits, trust in the love and mercy of God. He will by no means cast out those who come unto Him by and through Jesus. Come, all ye laboring and heavy laden, and you shall have rest unto your souls.

Come now!

Seek ye the Lord while he may be found: call upon him while he is near.

Sources: “Honor to Our Defenders” and “Soldiers in Macon, Ga.”, Christian Index, October 9, 1863