Baptists and the American Civil War: January 22, 1864

Civil War Hospital

Civil War Hospital

Many white Southerners keep a keen eye on happenings in Washington, D.C., hopeful that political unrest in the North may yet lead the United States to make peace with the Confederate States. Many Northern Democrats continue clamoring for peace.

At this moment, a political victory seems more likely than a military victory. President Abraham Lincoln is up for re-election in November, and should he lose the election there seems a decent likelihood that a peace deal could be arranged between the warring factions.

Or so the Confederacy hopes.

Today’s Richmond Daily Dispatch carries an item that offers a glimpse into mindset of the Northern Democrats upon whom the Confederacy is counting on to defeat Lincoln and his abolitionist agenda:

A cadous of Democratic members of Congress was held at the Capitol on the 11th–Resolutions were unanimously adopted disapproving of the emancipation proclamation.

A Democratic organ is to be started in Washington to be called the Constitutional Union.

The following resolution was also adopted by the caucus of Democratic members of Congress:

‘ Resolved, That we are for the restoration of all the States to the Union. Patriotism and true statesmanship demand that such a policy should be pursued towards the people of the States where the insurrection exists as shall be best calculated to bring this expensive and exhausting war in which we are now engaged to a close, and to restore said States to the Union, under the Constitution, with all their constitutions, rights unimpaired.

Meanwhile, today’s Georgia Baptist Christian Index includes a request for female readers to assist in the provision of reading material for the Confederate hospital at Whitesville, Georgia:

Dear Reader–Don’t pass this notice by without complying with the request it contains. We are anxious to secure a Library for the permanent Hospital at Whitesville, Ga., where many of your sons, husbands and other relatives are and have been or will be confined by sickness and wounds

While thus suffering and far away from friends and homes, our loved ones would have many a lonely hour cheered by the perusal of some entertaining and instructive books, and, in many instances, doubtless, would have their spiritual condition much improved.

Please, dear mother, affectionate sister, hunt around the house or on your book shelf, one or more volumes which you can readily spare for the poor soldier. Take it to your minister to-day and beg him to send the box full or package thus collected, at once to the following address–Rev. A. D. Cohen, No. 3, C. R. R., Ga.–Books for Soldier’s Library.

Dr. Lawton, the excellent  surgeon in charge, has kindly promised to make every arrangement for the proper care, &c., of the Soldiers’ Library.

Will not some friend of the soldier, in every city, town, village and neighborhood, volunteer to gather these books and send them at once by Express. What say you, dear ladies? We have never appealed to you in behalf of our soldier boys in vain. You ought to see how the eyes of a few we have mentioned it to sparkled, as the thought of a nice library and comfortable reading room presented itself in their minds. Come, now, add one more effort to the many past for the comfort of the suffering soldiers and God will bless you.

A. D. Cohen

Sources: “Later from the North,” Richmond Daily Dispatch, January 22, 1864 (link); A. Soldier, “Notice,” Christian Index, January 22, 1864