Baptists and the American Civil War: June 19, 1861

First Baptist Church Forsyth GeorgiaThe Civil War thus far, to a significant degree, is the story of young men far from home missed by loved ones who are nonetheless proud of their men’s bravery and intrigued of news from strange lands.

Like a knight in shining armor who answered the call to save his loved one from a dastardly aggressor, Pierce Young of Georgia is in Virginia, enjoying his new adventure and preparing for battles that lie ahead. His future wife, Julie Stanford of Forsyth, Georgia, pines for him. Today she receives a gift from Pierce.

Received this beautiful diary from Staunton, Va. It will ever be a cherished Souvinir of My friends and relatives who are now in the Old Dominion. On April 1st. they left their native Georgia to assist Florida – June 2nd they left for Virginia and, when this was purchased, were in route for Phillippi.

Accompanying this was “A Guide Virginia Springs”. Giving in addition to the routes & distances A description of the Springs and also of the natural curiosities of the State. A map attached with distances – Do I prize them? More than gold of Ophir.

The young Baptist lady, a teacher at the Forsyth Female College and member of First Baptist Church of Forsyth, thus begins keeping a diary of the early war months, chronicling her activities in middle Georgia, as well as thoughts and reactions to the news of war that swirls from distant locales.

Source: “The Diary of Miss Julia A. Stanford” (A copy is available in the Mercer University Georgia Baptist History Depository, Macon, Georgia)