Baptists and the American Civil War: November 10, 1862

Richmond, Virginia

Richmond, Virginia

A “large and influential meeting” of Richmond, Virginia citizens takes place today.

From the Richmond Dispatch:

Shoes for the Soldiers. – A large and influential meeting of citizens was held yesterday [November 10], in pursuance of the call made in the daily papers, the object being to raise money to purchase shoes for such of the soldiers of Gen. Lee’s army as might be in need. Rev. J. Lansing Burrows, of the 1st Baptist Church, was chosen Chairman, and A. H. Sands, Esq., Secretary of the meeting. A number of gentlemen addressed the meeting on the objects proposed to be accomplished by the movement. Several testified from their own personal observation to the destitute condition of some of the soldiers, and the necessity of aiding the Government in supplying their wants in respect to shoes and clothing. The most generous disposition was manifested by those present, and if their feelings be an index, as we are sure it is, of the popular heart, there will be no difficulty in raising any amount necessary.

The gentlemen present subscribed between four and five thousand dollars on the spot, some individuals and firms giving their checks for as much as $800 on account of subscription to the fund proposed to be raised. On motion, committees were appointed in each ward to solicit subscription, and chairmen were appointed for the purpose of laying off each of the four wards into districts, and assigning each member of the committee his work. The committees, it will be seen, meet at 9 o’clock this morning. Promptness in this matter is very essential.

Clothing the Confederate Army is a tremendous challenge. Prior to the war, the South sold cotton northward and in return purchased Northern-produced clothing made from Southern cotton. The war subsequently cut off trade between the sections, leaving the agrarian South without the industrial infrastructure to produce manufactured clothing on any significant scale. Now, inflated currency makes the purchase of available manufactured clothing all the more difficult. In response to shortages of clothing, many Baptist women in the Confederacy join women of other denominations in knitting and sewing clothing for soldiers, in addition to collecting money for the purchase of available manufactured clothing. For many women, supplying clothing for Confederate soldiers is a monthly, if not weekly, project.

Source: “Shoes for the Soldiers,” Richmond Dispatch, November 11, 1862 (link)