Baptists and the American Civil War: October 23, 1865

Kentucky Tennessee MapToday Union Lieutenant Colonel James A. Thompson, stationed in Gallatin, Tennessee and hoping to be mustered out of service soon, writes to a friend, Sarah Sherburne.

Thompson’s letter includes a mention of revival season among the Baptists of the area.

“Gallatin Tennessee.
October 23″ 1865.

Friend Sarah
     Your kind letter dated Oct 6″ 1865. arrived several days ago but on account of my absence I did not have the pleasure of perusing it until yester day. I have been to Macon county on a scouting expedition and did not arrive at Gallatin until yester day noon. I hope your visit to “Pittsburgh” was a pleasant one and that you enjoyed it extremely well. as there is a prospect of our being mustered out of service I have made up my mind to go to school but whare I have not yet decided Oberlin seems to be a favorite place for a great many of my old school mates. I am sory to say I have not yet professed religion. we have been having a protracted meeting at the M.E. Church I have attended very regular yet as you say I can not excuse myself on over that ground. you ask me not to be affended at your plain talk you are not the only one who has written me on that subject. I would not demean myself so much, unless offence or insult is intended then it does but take long to cyper out between the lines. you will pleas excuse my “plain talk”, The Baptist commenced protracted meeting day before yesterday how long they will continue can be acertained only by the success they have. Gallatin is a pleasant place if it wer not so “Rebellious” I would like to remain her but thre is not half dozen Union citizen residents of the place.the young Ladies cant look at a “Soldier” the boys are all well but there are but few of the Pittsfield “boys” left they have been very unfotunate. are you acquanited with Mr James Gray from Germantown Ohio. he is a student at Oberlin and one of my old school friends is Mr Fox a student at Oberlin I have not heard from him since he has been mustered out he said he should visit your place and probably he should go to school at Oberlin You will be kind enough to excuse this short letter as subjects are scar an news not very plenty, hope to heare froom you soon

     Truly Yours
          James. A. Thompson.
          1″ Lt Co ‘F’ 12″ O.V.C.
Mis Sarah Sheburne
     Oberlin O.”

Source: “Letter from James A. Thompson, October 23, 1865,” Sherburne Family Letters (link)