Baptists and the American Civil War: January 10, 1863

Nashville, Tennessee Civil War

Nashville, Tennessee During the Civil War

The Union occupation of Nashville, Tennessee is characterized by much strain and stress in the daily lives of white Southern civilians who remain in the city. The Baptists have been booted from the First Baptist Church facilities, while white locals swap stories of local black freedmens’ (still considered slaves by white Southerners) antics and misdeeds for amusement and as affirmation of the inherent immorality of the black race.

The following stories in today’s newspaper illustrate the topsy-turvy world of occupied Nashville.

The First Baptist Church having been taken by the military authorities for a hospital, the room of the Young Men’s Christian Association, over the shoe store formerly occupied by Messrs. Farrar & Dismukes, on College street, has been secured for the use of that congregation.  The members and others usually attending the First Baptist Church, and the teachers and members of the Sabbath School, are requested to meet there to-morrow (Sunday) at the usual hours.  The Sabbath School will meet at nine o’clock in the morning, and there will be preaching at eleven. The public are invited to attend.


A darkey gives quite an amusing description of the desperation with which the Confederates fought at Murfreesboro’.  He says they even shot mules out of their cannons.  “‘Fore God, Massa,” said he to his master, “I seed it wid my own eyes!  I seed ’em shoot a mule out of a cannon and it hit Gen. McCook’s horse behind, and it went clean through him!  I ‘clare it did!”


A negro named Washington, a slave of Mrs. Chickering, was arraigned for disorderly conduct in abusing and cursing Mrs. Garrett, and taking from her house property belonging to Mrs. G. without authority.  Mrs. Garrett was the principal witness, and testified that she owned the girl whom Washington claims for his wife, and that in consequence of his very bad conduct she had frequently forbidden him to enter her house.  At length he demanded Mrs. Garrett’s servant and all the clothing and furniture which he was pleased to call hers, and, after much cursing and calling Mrs. Garret a damned liar, he left and returned soon after with a wagon, a white man in Federal uniform, and a teamster, and took from the house beds, bedstead, chairs, clothing, bedding, and other property, notwithstanding Mrs. G.’s protestations.  Mrs. Garrett’s mother and Mrs. Thomas corroborated her statement in the main particulars.  A witness, who belonged to Hospital No. 7, said he had charge of the hospital wagon, and that the negro had told Dr. Fletcher that he had been turned out of his house, and that his furniture was in the street, and asked permission to use the hospital wagon to have it taken away.  The Doctor told witness to accompany the negro for that purpose, and he did so, but does not know where the furniture was taken to.  The Recorder lectured the last witness on the impropriety of his conduct, but excused him from positive blame, as he acted only according to his orders.  The negro was condemned to receive thirty-nine lashes, and to remain in the work house until the property unlawfully taken be restored to its owner.

Source: Nashville Dispatch, January 10, 1863 (link)