Christ in Camp and Combat

Religion has too often been relegated to the far periphery of the history of the War Between the States, eclipsed by the emphases on the battles, tactics, and personalities of the conflict. In reality, religion was the very marrow of who Americans were. Religion, specifically traditional and evangelical Christianity, was the very foundation of Southern society during the antebellum period, and that spiritual emphasis permeated society during the war.

 

When the war came, ministers and Christian laymen alike were burdened for the spiritual welfare of the generation of warriors who answered their country’s call to defend their homelands and who were fated to give their lives for its honor and preservation. A plethora of volunteers from every denomination of Protestant Christianity, as well as from among Roman Catholicism and Judaism, became chaplains, missionaries, and colporteurs. Their mission was to help the soldiers avoid the negative temptations of a life away from the positive influences of home, church, and community and to prepare them for the real possibilities of death and gruesome wounds. They not only encouraged them to prepare for eternity but also to accept the ultimate defeat of the Confederacy as God’s will. This book is the story of those Christian heroes, spiritual soldiers in a spiritual conflict amidst the raging winds of earthly warfare.

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