Baptists and the American Civil War: March 10, 1862

First U.S. Paper Money

First U.S. Paper Money

The United States is now battling against the Confederate States on several fronts. Financially, raising funding for the war effort is critical. Today, the U.S. issues the first national paper money. Denominations are $5, $10 and $20. The paper money becomes legal tender on March 17.

Meanwhile, President Abraham Lincoln continues to push for emancipation of African slaves. Today he meets with border state congressman to discuss his recent offer of financial compensation in return for the gradual emancipation of slaves in border states. Despite the offer of monetary reward, the border state congressman turn down the president’s offer, expressing fear of potential problems associated with a large free black population in the states.

In the Confederacy, white Baptists remain committed to the Southern cause, with many turning to spiritual means in an effort to win the war. Today marks the beginning of the army ministry of J. J. Hyman, Baptist chaplain of the Forty-Ninth Georgia Regiment.

I left my home on the 10th day of March, 1862; joined the Forty-ninth Georgia Regiment as a private soldier on the 1st day of May. I was commissioned chapĀ­lain of the Forty-ninth Georgia Regiment. The battles around Richmond prevented us from having regular Divine service. After the battles were over, the Forty-ninth Georgia Regiment was attached to General J. R. Anderson’s Brigade, afterwards General E. L. Thomas’s. At this time I was the only chaplain in the brigade (four regiments). I, being young, knew but little about the duties of a chaplain, but was willing to do anything in my Master’s cause. Being in the command of General Jackson, we had but little time for religious service during the whole of 1862.

In the coming years of war, Hyman emerges as one of the most visible Southern Baptist army chaplains.

Source: “Greenback,” including image (link); “Compensated Emancipation” (link); J. William Jones, Christ in the Camps: Or Religion in Lee’s Army. Richmond: B. F. Johnson, 1887, 504 (link)