Baptists and the American Civil War: November 8, 1864

lincoln_1863novToday is election day in the United States of America.

The presidential contest pits Abraham Lincoln, up for re-election for a second term, against Union General George B. McClellan, who today formally resigns his military commission in order to run for the presidency.

Lincoln has done all he can to give himself and his anti-slavery, pro-war Republican Party an edge in today’s popular voting that, in turn, will determine the electoral college ballot in the weeks to come.

While the final tally of votes will not be known for some time yet, Lincoln does win re-election by a landslide. The Northern public, in short, is supportive of Lincoln and the Republicans’ commitment to the war against the Southern Rebellion and the abolition of the institution of slavery.

With Lincoln and the Republicans firmly in control of the U.S. government for another term, the Confederacy’s hopes for survival are all but extinguished.

Meanwhile, today’s Bellville Countryman (Texas) newspaper publishes a resolution approved by the recently-concluded annual convention of the Texas Baptist Convention. The resolution is not complimentary of Lincoln, himself a former Baptist. On the other hand, it assures white Texans at large of Texas Southern Baptists’ unwavering support of the Confederacy.

Whereas, The moral support of all Christian patriots is essential to the efficient conduct of the war now being waged by the Confederate States in defence of the rights, liberties and territories inherited from our forefathers or secured by the valor of our fellow-citizens now living; and whereas, these rights, liberties and our territory are invaded by our northern foes, without cover of authority, either from any American constitution or the laws of nations; and it is requisite that all men, either as individuals or members of religious or political societies, should wield without hesitation their confidence to their chosen leaders: therefore.

Resolved, That this convention takes pleasure in welcoming Major J. G. Walker to the duties of commanding general of the District of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.

Resolved, That the past history of Gen. Walker, in the various positions which successively he has held and in which he has added lustre to our arms and national honor, is a full guarrantee that he will discharge all his duties, both in their civil and millitary bearings so as fully to maintain our present freedom from our northern invasion and equitably to distribute among our fellow-citizens the burdens which of necessity a state of war must impose.

Resolved, That it gives us pleasure to learn that in Gen. Walker we havo [have] a chief among us whose urbanity of manners, equanimity of temperament and assiduous to public affairs furnish a ready welcome to his headquarters of all whose necessary business compel attendance upon his person.

Source: 1864 United States Presidential Election (link); Bellville Countryman, November 8, 1864 (link)