Baptists and the American Civil War: June 20, 1865

Freedmen in Richmond, Virginia.

Freedmen in Richmond, Virginia.

A Freedmen’s Bureau superintendent of schools for freedom is appointed in Richmond, thus beginning the organization’s educational activities in the former Confederate capital city.

The Bureau recruits teachers from the Northern states. Among the organizations supplying teachers are the American Missionary Association, the New York National Freedmen’s Relief Association, the New England Freedmen’s Aid Society, the American Baptist Home Mission Society, and the American Freedmen’s Union Commission. Of the teachers thus recruited, many are Baptists. While most are white Baptists, some are black.

Northern military, political and religious might is thus marshaling and mobilizing in a determined effort to force racial equality upon the South.

The task will not be easy. While teachers face eager black students on the one hand, on the other are angry, resentful white citizens determined to keep blacks in servitude.

Sources: “Records for the Field Offices for the State of Virginia, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865-1872,” p. 5 (link)