Baptists and the American Civil War: March 19, 1865

James Philip Eagle

James Philip Eagle

Today yet another fight takes place in North Carolina. In the Battle of Bentonville, North Carolina the armies of Union General William T. Sherman and Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston clash as Union forces march to Goldsboro. And once again, the Federals secure a victory.

In the days following the battle, the basement of the First Baptist Church of nearby Raleigh is briefly used as a hospital for wounded Confederate soldiers.

In the meantime, James Philip Eagle (1837-1904) is fighting for the Confederacy in North Carolina. Having enlisted in the army as a private in the Fifth Arkansas Mounted Regiment, he has risen to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Second Arkansas Mounted Riflemen.

Following the war Eagle becomes a prominent Baptist leader and leading politician in Arkansas. For 24 years he serves as the president of the Arkansas Baptist Convention, and for three terms as president of the Southern Baptist Convention. In addition, from 1889-1893 Eagle serves as governor of Arkansas.

Sources: Battle of Bentonville (link) and (link); “Goodnight Raleigh” (link); James Philip Eagle, Encyclopedia of Arkansas (link); James Philip Eagle (link)