Baptists and the American Civil War: March 27, 1865

lincoln_1863novMuch of North Carolina lies in shambles, compliments of the army of Union General William T. Sherman.

Thomasville is one of the towns impacted by the war this month, albeit not directly by Sherman.

Mere weeks earlier Confederate troops, retreating northward from Sherman’s advance, had paused in Thomasville. Here General Joseph E. Johnston ordered a tobacco warehouse and two churches — the Baptist and Methodist — to be used as hospitals for soldiers.

When Johnston’s army moved on, the churches they left behind were devoid of pews and in great disarray.

Meanwhile, today in City Point, Virginia U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and Generals Sherman and Ulysses S. Grant meet to plan the final stages of the war. Grant assures the president that he is within days of punching through Lee’s defenses at Petersburg, even as Sherman’s forces proceed largely unchecked through North Carolina. Lincoln expresses the concern that Lee might escape from Petersburg and join Johnston in an effort to prolong the war, to which both generals offer assurance that it will not happen.

Finally, Lincoln reminds the generals that surrender terms must include the Union war aims of emancipation and equality for former slaves.

Sources: “Civil War Sites: Thomasville, North Carolina,” Thomasville Tourism Commission (link); “Lincoln, Sherman and Grant Meet,” (link)