Baptists and the American Civil War: December 11, 1865

Civil War States MapToday’s Richmond Daily Dispatch reports on the city’s orphans, of which Baptists have a particular interest:

The orphan asylums of Richmond, both Protestant and Catholic, are stated to be in state of almost perfect destitution, with a very limited supply of either fuel, food or clothes. This is doubtless true, and the sufferings of the poor, helpless children during the trying months of winter are painful to contemplate. If there is any wealth in Richmond, it cannot take a better direction than by bestowing a portion upon these really benevolent institutions.

Meanwhile, the city’s Fifth Colored Baptist Church, having met in secret during the war, comes out of hiding, publicly opening its doors.

Also this month Robert Johnson, a former slave and then a private in a U.S. Colored Regiment, is mustered out of the U.S. Army. In 1870 he becomes the second pastor of the Metropolitan Baptist Church of Largo, Maryland.

Sources: “Our Orphan Asylums,” Richmond Daily Dispatch, December 11, 1865 (link); Douglas R. Egerton, The Wars of Reconstruction: The Brief, Violent History of America’s Most Progressive Era, New York: Bloomsbury. 2014, p. 139 (link); “Rev. Dr. Robert Johnson,” Metropolitan Baptist Church (link);