Baptists and the American Civil War: July 20, 1863

Jacob Eliot, Navarro County, Texas

Jacob Eliot, Navarro County, Texas

Southerner Jacob Eliot (1803-1870) of Corsicana, Texas is a successful attorney, a slaveholder, and the church clerk of the Corsicana Baptist Church. A senior citizen during the war, he assists the war effort on the home front. He also keeps a journal during the war, in which the entires tend to be brief and to the point.

During this month of anguish in the Confederacy, Eliot records belated news of Gettysburg and Vicksburg and provides daily insight into the life and thoughts of a slaveholder.

July 5: — I have just written a Bill-of-Sale for a negro woman I bought from Mr. Day for $3000.

July 7: — I went over to Chatfield to attend a four day revival meeting. Saw twenty four persons baptised by Elder H. R. Puryear, Baptist. Attended also the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. I was a guest at the home of Capt. Robert Hodge. Rumors of awful fighting at Vicksburg.

July 16: — Rumors are that Vicksburg fell into the hands of our enemies on the fourth day of July. A rumor which I do not wish to believe. {The Battle of Gettsyburg lasted two days, 3rd and 4th of July, 1863, from which the South could not recover. — Yet the war goes on.}

July 20, Monday: — Aline, a negro girl I bought from Theo. H. Patterson, became sick a few days past. She died today. On the 17th of next November, she would of been fifteen years old. Dr. Love attended. Mr. Burager made the coffin for Aline. A large number of negroes attended. They sang and prayed at the grave in an intelligent and appropriate manner.

Source: Source: “Jacob Eliot’s Civil War Journal” (link)