Baptists and the American Civil War: September 27, 1865

South Carolina Civil War MapGilead Baptist Church of South Carolina’s Grindal Shoals community dates to September 27, 1804. Revolutionary veterans comprised six of the founding members.

Upon the commencement of the Civil War, many members joined the Confederate Army, including pastor Philip Ramsour Elam. William Lee took Elam’s place as pastor for 1861 and 1862.

During Lee’s pastorate, three church members were killed during the Battle of  Second Manassas: brothers Captain John E. Hames and Sergeant Charles Asbury Hames, as well as Henry M. Foster. Their deaths took place on August 30, 1862. Many other members also were killed during the war.

The Hames’ brothers father, however, survives the war. The family’s tragic experience of multiple deaths during the war was not uncommon.

Many survivors, including those from the Gilead congregation, walk the long road home following the war. Once home, joy is often intertwined with sadness. In addition, weeks or months of limbo follows as Confederate veterans await a decision on how the victor will treat them.

Minus his two sons, today Lemuel finally receives a government pardon for having fought in the rebellion against the United States.

More than eighty Confederate veterans are buried in the church’s cemetery.

Source: Robert A. Ivey, “A History of the Gilead Baptist Church,” Grindal Shoals Gazette, August 5, 2011 (link)