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Southern Religion, During The Civil War

1245 words - 5 pages

The battle at Fort Sumter sparked the birth of the Confederacy. Eleven states joined together to stand up for their viewpoints; forming the Confederate States of America. They believed each individual state should have the power to govern itself; second, the belief that slavery was ordained by God and evidence of support could be found in the Bible. The Christian religion had its part in shaping the Civil War.
Both the North and South believed that religion was one of the main reasons for the Civil War. Both sides believed that God was on their side. Ministers, generals, leaders, and editors confessed that God ordered the Civil War, decided how long it would last and decided the length, ...view middle of the document...

The South was encouraged, as they considered themselves a new nation under God. On this day, William C. Butler presented a sermon of thanksgiving at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Richmond, Virginia. In this famous sermon Butler declared:
God has given us of the South today a fresh and golden opportunity—and so a most solemn command—to realize that form of government in which the just, constitutional rights of each and all are guaranteed to each and all. … He has placed us in the front rank of the most marked epochs of the world’s history. He has placed in our hands a commission, which we can faithfully execute only by holy, individual self-consecration to all of God’s plans.
This sermon sparked the widespread use of sermons and public fasting. God was put at the center of everything in the south. God’s message was shared, from the southern point of view, everywhere one turned, in churches, newspapers, public gatherings, services in military camps, and on the battle field.
Evidence of religious devotion can be found in documenting letters sent home from soldiers; such as the letter wrote on July 14, 1861 by Sullivan Ballou. He wrote home to his darling wife, Sarah. He tells her that if he is to die, “Not my will, but thine O God, be done.” He writes about how he feels “suspicious that Death is creeping behind me with his fatal dart, am communing with God, my country, and thee.” He notes how grateful he is to God for the moments he has shared with her, and if it is Gods will, they will have more. He closes by asking Sarah to “Tell my two mothers his and hers, I call God's blessing upon them. O Sarah, I wait for you there! Come to me, and lead thither my children.”
The men were called to fight in the battle, and the women were called to take care of the home and business. The women and children were the ones sitting in church each week, while the husbands and boys were off to war. The preachers took on the responsibility of encouraging those on the home front; they built up the morality by encouraging the women and children to keep up the family homes and businesses. The sermons focused on supporting the war. The women believed the war was Gods calling.

During this time period, slaver endured much debate. People who owned slaves believed they were right to do so. After all the courts decided that slaves were property; it was a slave owner Constitutional right to protect their property. The belief of the South was that God allowed and called for slavery; God used slavery as a punishment for not following his word. Southerner's...

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