Baptists and the American Civil War: April 1, 1861

Osage IndiansWhile secession and the coming Civil War focus on the future of blacks in America, Native Americans are also impacted by the looming conflict.

Today, all Union troops are ordered to leave Indian territories in Confederate control. The Community & Conflict: The Impact of the Civil War in the Ozarks (link) web site sums up the impact of the war upon Native Americans:

When the Civil War began in 1861, most of the Native Americans in Indian Territory supported the Confederacy. The reasons for their support of the Confederacy are numerous. Several of the Native Americans were slave owners themselves. However, most of the Confederate Support stemmed from the fact that the Native American Tribes deeply mistrusted the Federal government. The Federal government had given the tribes no reason to support them, as they had been almost completely disenfranchised at the government’s hands. The Union also did nothing to regain Native American support when the war began … Finally, most of the federally appointed Indian agents to the tribes were from the Southern states and exerted a strong southern influence on them.

Baptists in the South are also players in this unfolding saga regarding Native Americans. By now, Indians are a major mission field for southern Baptists. Yet in the coming months and years of war, southern Baptist support of Indian missions wanes and, by the end of the war, is virtually nonexistent. The reason for this development is both decreasing financial resources and a growing lack of mission interest in the face of the war.

Photo source: (link)