Religion: The Importance Of Religion During The Civil War

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Religion for both the North and South were important to the soldiers and Generals. Both sides believed God was on their side, they looked toward God for meaning. They had equal excitement and fervor in their religious actions. Many evangelists, leaders, and soldiers declared that God had ordained the war, its length, damages and outcome. The people in the Union and Confederacy, both believed that whoever the victor was, was the side God was truly supporting. New England political and ministers said they were God’s ‘chosen’ people. With the start of the Civil War Southerners claimed the title and through print and ritual actions, proceeded to prove their claim.
In the North, with Abraham Lincoln in power, he recognized the importance of religion as a core principle and stabilizes to the Union Army. He did all he could to provide spiritual guidance for the soldiers. On May fourth, 1861, Lincoln commanded all regimental commanders to appoint chaplains for their units. This hand-picked chaplain would be expected to be an ordained minister of a Christian denomination and was to receive an officer’s salary. Not only that, but Lincoln also supported the Christian’s in a way of giving much attention to the United States Christian Commission, an inter-denominational organization
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There were very few theologians and chaplains in the Confederacy, because no emphasis was put on religion throughout the war. The Confederacy was more eager to have “fighting men” then “preaching men”. Although Davis was not apt to teach religion in the camps, not all the soldiers were built up that way. Many commanding officers did their best to spread the Gospel throughout the camp and encourage each other. Jackson himself tried to declare and avoid fighting on the Sabbath. Although, their president was not fully concerned with their religion many commanding officers
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