Baptists and the American Civil War: January 25, 1864

Civil War States MapThe war, well into its third year, is a canvas upon which countless human stories unfold. Tragedy is often the theme of such stories, yet spiritual victories and simple stories of human inspiration are also splayed across the canvas of war.

Baptist newspapers North and South often carry short items of interest, little stories that focus upon a particular theme or place etched into the larger story of the war. Southern Baptist newspapers week after week train their focus upon any good news in regards to spiritual victories amidst the war-time carnage. Some such stories are in house, while others are culled from whatever other news sources the editors can get their hands upon.

Among the variety of war news items in this week’s North Carolina Baptist Biblical Recorder are the following short pieces:

Ministerial Exempts.–Statistics furnished by the war department show that there are 156 ministers among the 22,807 exempts of North Carolina, 184 among the 20,382 of Virginia, 271 among the 15,837 of Georgia, and 219 among the 5,815 of South Carolina.

Religion in the Army of Northern Virginia.–A correspondent of one of our exchanges writes. “The religious condition of our army at present is both healthful and hopeful. Now that the weather has become unfavorable for frequent out door service, many of the regiments have neatly constructed log chapels, and many other chaplains in lieu of this convenience, substitute the social prayer meeting from hut to hut, Bible classes, tract distribution, private conversation, &c., for the more public ministrations of the word.”

What One Trace May Do.–An army colporter gives the following: “One noble soldier said to me, ‘Thank God for the tract you gave me. It was blessed to my conversion. I may die from this wound, (he was shot through the breast,) but I feel that Jesus is my trust. I fear not to die.'” This is not by any means an isolated case. Who then would not give liberally to scatter these little messengers of truth broadcast among our soldiers?

A Happy Meeting.–Says the Richmond Sentinel: “The son of a distinguished Mississippian was captured at Vicksburg, last summer, and his father, not getting any information of him from the time of his capture, had nearly lost all hope of seeing him again. As the father was descending the capitol steps, on Wednesday, he met his son going up, and clasped him in his arms. Only those who have experienced the unfathomable depths of a father’s love, and a son’s affection, can imagine the happiness of that meeting. The son (only some 16 years old) had, after many adventures and great suffering, returned to the bosom of his father, when hope had almost fled. It was as if he had risen from the dead.”

Source: Biblical Recorder, January 23, 1864 (link)