Baptists and the American Civil War: February 10, 1865

South Carolina Civil War MapUnion troops under the command of Brigadier General Alexander Schimmelfennig, making their way up the South Carolina coast, today reach James Island near Charleston. In what becomes known as the Battle of James Island or the Battle of Grimball’s Causeway, the Union thus takes the offensive against Charleston for the first time since September 1863.

The 144th and 54th New York infantries lead the way, making some headway against the Confederate defenders. Yet when night falls, both sides withdraw, neither having made significant gains. The minor skirmish thus ends in a draw.

The inconclusiveness of today’s battle matters little, however, as panic reigns in Charleston and Union troops remain nearby.

Meanwhile in Virginia, the colored members of the white-controlled Court Street Baptist Church in Portsmouth this day are granted letters of dismissal in order that they may form an independent black church. The new congregation is shortly organized as the Zion Baptist Church, one of many new black congregations formed in the South this month.

Sources: Battle of Grimball’s Causeway (link); William Henry Stewart, editor, History of Norfolk County, Virginia and Representative Citizens (link)