Baptists and the American Civil War: October 3, 1864

Kentucky Tennessee MapAttempting to disrupt Union General William T. Sherman‘s operations in Georgia, the Confederate’s Army of the Tennessee takes advantage of the absence of Federal troops at Kennessaw and Big Shanty by seizing the rail lines and commencing operations to destroy the rails, hence cutting off the Federals’ supply route between Atlanta and Nashville.

Unamused, Sherman orders a contingent of Union troops to move north out of Atlanta to engage the Rebels.

While the Confederates cause havoc for a few days, they are no match for Union forces, who in the days ahead restore order along the railway.

Meanwhile, Mary Beckley Bristow, a member of the Sardis Baptist Church in Union, Kentucky and a Confederate supporter, writes of her travails.

October 2d 1864

Darker and darker grows the war cloud to my limited sight each day that passes. This evening my negro man Sim left for the Army. He was drafted. Thus a part of my independence for a living is gone, just as I concluded that my negroes would probably stay with me. Well, I need not be disturbed at that for I know that my dependence is precisely where it was before, In the same kind hand it has ever been. . . .

October 3rd 1864.

I loaned Sim my horse and buggy to go to Covington, and he was to have sent them back this evening, and he has not done as he promised. I feel by far more restless about my horse than I do about Sim, for he and the balance of the negroes have grown too large in their own esteem for one to care about them, though I do sometimes pity them. But I do care for my horse and buggy and hope they will be returned safe tomorrow. I have spent a great deal of my life and all of my money raising negroes for old Lincoln to take from me at his pleasure. But the truth is, and I know it is strange but true, that although I and two of my brothers will be left dependent or nearly so if our negroes are taken, yet I cannot care about it. The idea of losing our independence as a nation and having the Abolitionists to lord it over us is what seems unbearable and causes a perfect writhing of my heart strings. I am certain the Lord will let our enemies go so far and no farther than he pleases. Why such irreconciliation? Remember, O Lord, mercy this night.

Source: Bristow Diary, September 17, 1864 (link)