Baptists and the American Civil War: July 21, 1863

Civil War era whiskey label

Civil War era whiskey label

A brief article in this week’s North Carolina Baptist Biblical Recorder echoes advice from the South Carolina Confederate Baptist regarding church members who are growing corn partially to turn into whiskey, and partially to sell at high profits to the public, while food is ever more scarce in the South.

The Confederate Baptist, in reply to a correspondent who asks what should be done with a church member who will run up corn, at public sales, to four and five dollars, on the wives of soldiers, while he is engaged in distilling corn into whiskey. Says: “Turn him out of the Church, prosecute him for violating the law, and get the soldiers’ wives to take their broomsticks, and drive him out of the district. Let him go where he belongs, among the Yankees, and even among that degraded race, he will find most people far better than himself.

Meanwhile, details of the Confederate loss at Gettysburg are now coming more into focus. The Biblical Recorder includes a brief piece, gleaned from a Northern newspaper, about the death of Gen. William Barksdale, a former lawyer, newspaper editor and U.S. Congressman from Mississippi who became an officer in the Confederate Army when the war began. Barksdale was killed during the Battle of Gettysburg, on July 3, following injuries while leading an attack against the Union’s position.

A correspondent of the N.Y. Tribune writing from the battlefield of Gettysburg, states that Gen. Barksdale, of Mississippi, who was mortally wounded in the battle, declared with his dying breath that he was proud of the cause which he had espoused and proud of the manner in which he had received his wounds. He also asserted the invincibility of the South. Let the dying words of this heroic man rebuke the faint-hearted and desponding everywhere.

Sources: “Whiskey Distillers” and “Faithful Even in Death,” Biblical Recorder, July 22, 1863 (link)