Baptists and the American Civil War: December 16, 1864

Civil War States MapToday the Battle of Nashville, an ill-fated affair for the Confederacy, comes to a close as the Army of the Tennessee, despite being positioned on high ground, is overwhelmed by the onslaught of Union forces. Confederate General John Bell Hood‘s troops, their ranks decimated after two days of intense battle, retreat under the cover of darkness, heading back south toward Franklin.

This was the last best chance for the South to turn the tide of the warm, and Hood had hoped to emerge victorious. Today’s Union victory, however, proves to be his final undoing, while pounding yet another nail in the coffin of the Confederacy.

Meanwhile in Texas, Jacob Elliot, a lawyer and Texas Baptist, notes that Texas Baptists are observing the day with fasting and prayer.

Dec. 16 [1864] — one year ago President Davis set aside this day for fasting and prayer. Today Gen. E. K. Smith has set apart today for same purpose. Also observed by the Baptist State Convention of Texas.

Whether or not Baptists of Texas know of today’s events at Nashville, the many (millions, perhaps, in total) prayers on behalf of the Confederacy have proven inadequate: Nashville is out of reach, while in the frigid trenches near Richmond an ever-thinning line of Confederate soldiers stands between Union forces and the South’s capital.

Sources: Battle of Nashville (link) and (link); “Jacob Eliot’s Civil War Journal” (link)