Baptists and the American Civil War: September 18, 1863

Mary Beckley Bristow

Mary Beckley Bristow

Today Mary Beckley Bristow, a member of the Sardis Baptist Church in Union, Kentucky and a Confederate supporter, journals her anxieties about her nation and family.

Have been busy about many things to day, but one subject is on my mind and in my heart almost forever when awake, let me be doing what I may or saying what I may. It is the cause of my country. The South has had many reverses and to me, a short sighted worm of the dust, those late reverses look almost irreparable. Yet I know in the hands of an Omnipotent God those very things that make my heart sink and flesh cringe may ultimately prove the best things that could have happened for the cause I deeply & devotedly cling to. I have also been anxious, O, so very anxious, to hear from our darling boy far away in the Confederate army. The last news we had he was sick, and I know I felt thankful when I heard it, for that sickness alone prevented him from being a prisoner with the brave General Morgan. Now I feel so anxious to know how that sickness terminated, where he is, & what he is doing. O, would it please God to guard & guide our loved one, shield him from disease & death in battle, and bring him safely home to us at the right time, if it be His sovereign will. And if it be decreed that we should see that manly form and dear face no more on earth, may it be Thy will we should meet in that bright, glorious world, where wars cannot come, where sickness and sorrow, pain nor death are felt nor heard no more. . . .

Among home front Southerners, Bristow is far from alone in her concerns.

Source: Mary Beckley Bristow Journal, September 18, 1863 (link)