Baptists and the American Civil War: May 19, 1865

confederate_mapSome five weeks after the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, the ripples of the South’s defeat continue to spread.

Today Jacob Elliot, a lawyer and Texas Baptist, hears rumors of the surrender of the Trans-Mississippi Department of the Confederate Army:

“May 19: — Mr. S. Williams reports that the Trans-Mississippi Department has surrendered upon the same terms of Lee and Johnson and that the Southern States are to go back into the Union with all their rights guaranteed. The past has been gloomy. The future promises nothing better.”

The news is a bit premature. Although some units are abandoning the field and returning to their homes, the full and formal surrender of the Trans-Mississippi is yet two weeks distant. In addition, the reconstruction of the Southern states involves certain conditions, including the abolishment of slavery.

Meanwhile, one of the war’s final engagements takes place at Montgomery, Alabama, as a detachment of soldiers from the 1st U.S. Florida Cavalry is ambushed by a band of “unrepentant” Rebel soldiers. In the Skirmish at Hobdy’s Bridge, a Union officer is killed.

Sources: “Jacob Eliot’s Civil War Journal” (link); “General Kirby Smith Surrenders the Trans-Mississippi Forces,” Civil War Trust (link); “Skirmish at Hobdy’s Bridge” (link)