Baptists and the American Civil War: May 15, 1862

Richmond, Virginia

Richmond, Virginia

A recent letter from a North Carolina Baptist Confederate soldier is published in this week’s North Carolina Biblical Recorder. Writing from Gordonville, Virgina, the soldier (identifying himself only as D. W. C.) reflects upon his early weeks in the state where the Union is on the offensive. His observations include the adoration of Richmond women and the growing evidence of religion in the camps.

Bro. Hufham:–As we have left Kinston, N.C., we feel much out of humor, for the absence of your esteemed Recorder.–We would be glad could you send it on to us, as it is a messenger of peace to a poor wearied soldier. We arrived here last month, leaving our baggage in Richmond, many of us without our blankets. When they will get here, is unknown; we fear some accident has befallen the train. As we came up to this place last Saturday evening, a few miles this side of Weldon, the train was stopped by running off the track. None got killed, but some were badly injured. One young man got his leg broken. This was the most serious accident. Others were so badly injured as to be left at our hospital in Petersburg. This accident happened from a neglect of spiking the railing when the road was under repair. We hope the overseers of all our railroads will be more careful in the future.

Our men are in fine spirits and but few sick. We are to report to Gen. Ewell, and suppose we will stay here till the remainder of our brigade comes. We expect the conflict to commence soon, but we trust in God, our greatest Leader, and desire Him to give us victory over the enemies. The idea of shedding blood is unpleasant to us; but justice demands it, and we must go forth to battle. On our way from Richmond, the ladies cheered us by waving white handkerchiefs from every cottage. This with Southern flags waving at other places, with many bouquets thrown to our boys as we passed by was indeed cheering. Our religious interest is getting stronger daily. Not an oath have I heard for many days. Drinking liquor is not tolerated in camp, and but few want it. We are desirous for peace, that we may return to our homes, and worship in our churches. Pray for us.

Source: Biblical Recorder, May 14, 1862 (link)