Archive for the ‘Religion/Clergy’ Category

Extract from Dr. Hubbard’s sermon [on the death of George Burgwin Johnston]


I have thought it fit to present these reflections to your minds, because we have had in recent months not a few intimations of our mortality & in the past week, one which has filled with a peculiar sadness the hearts of those who knew him who was departed, best.

It is not our intention to eulogize the dead. When once, in the burial service, the benediction of the Church has been pronounced over the departed, she leads them in her master’s keeping, trusting in His words of promise, & His unfailing mercies. Yet it is well, sometimes, when our hearts are deeply touched by the loss of a friend, to retain the impression of our loss, & confirm our memory of the excellent qualities of him who has been taken from us. And surely there are not a few here present to whom the life of one as lovely & this early death furnish both admonition & example. To that end would I speak of him.

A life of only twenty three years is too brief for what the world would call the achievement of great things. It is then that the elements of the character are arranging themselves around those centres which are to determine all its energy & activities in the future. This early period is the season of hopes, of plans, of discipline, of preparation, when the muscles of the soul are developed, its strength maturing. And it is because, in the death of our late friend, so rich hopes have been extinguished, a training so admirable cut off from all its results, that we grieve over our share in his loss so deeply.

Capt. Johnson seems to have had a rare constitution of nature always amiable, & affectionate, always firm in duty, safety & generous in all his impulses & purposes; from his very childhood to have exhibited those traits which in later years won so entirely the regards of those who knew him. As a student of the University he was faithful in every relation, to his teachers, to his fellows, to himself. No appointed service was left undone, & each & all well done. His acknowledged superiority in talents & attainments excited no envy in others, no pride in himself: while his upright manly bearing gained for him from every quarter respect & confidence. Few young men have for many years left College with purer name, or with brighter prospects of usefulness & distinctions. When he became a teacher, all that was anticipated for him was realized; popular because he was faithful, & successful because he was in earnest, & creating everywhere esteem & affection by his transparent unselfishness & purity of heart. The same qualities he carried into his brief soldier-life, & these for they earned like rewards.

The crowning beauty of his character, & the source of all his rare excellencies, was his christian faith. Trained in christian duty, from early life, there seems to have been no time when the light of Heaven did not shine on him, & he grew up in the purpose of consecration to God, & so all along to the end dwell in that peculiar calmness & peace, which comes from a pure conscious, & an obedient heart, & the superadded grace of the Spirit.

Loving much, he was loved much. Patient and submissive he was gently carried in the arms of the Great Shepherd. He was strengthened from above to lead, what many who hear one will join me in calling a most exemplary & consistent life, & so received that gift, almost more excellent, of consolation & an arm to lean on in his long passage through the valley of the shadows of death.  “Not my will, but thine be done” was in those trying hours, the language of his heart & lips,& can we doubt that the humble disciple thus following in word & spirit The blessed Master is this day “with Him, to go out no more from him forever”?


April 10th 1864.


Source: George Burgwin Johnston Papers, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh as found on www.ncecho.org.

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An Appeal to the Citizens and Patriots of North Carolina—We the undersigned ministers of the Eastern Conference of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of North Carolina, having been appointed a Committee for the purpose of publishing an Appeal in behalf of the Daughters of our deceased Soldiers, respectfully and earnestly ask your attention to the following:

1.      The above named Conference has in contemplation the erection of a Female Seminary, with a view to furnish the daughters of our deceased and disabled soldiers with a gratuitous education, including board and clothing, if needed.

2.      This institution is to be located at Louisville, Forsythe county, N. C., a remarkably healthy locality, where 20 acres of land, and 2000 dollars in cash have already been secured from two citizens of the place, to aid in the erection of the necessary buildings.

3.      In order to establish this enterprise on a sure and permanent basis, it is proposed to create in the outset a fund of 100,000 dollars, to be called “The Soldier’s Endowment fund,” the interest alone of which shall be expended in the education of the class of orphans referred to.  The board of Directors will be instructed to make from time to time such additions as the growing wants of the Institution may require.

4.      Besides the daughters of deceased and disabled soldiers, other young ladies may be admitted into the Seminary, at the discretion of the Board and Faculty; but all profits arising from their education will be added to the Endowment Fund.

5.      When the immediate object for which this Institution is planted, shall cease to exist, that is to say, when there shall no longer be any female orphans of deceased and disabled soldiers to educate, then the Board will admit upon its bounty, so many indigent female orphans generally as can be sustained by the fund.

6.      Application will be made to the next Legislature of our State for a Charter, to enable the Board to carry the above plan into execution as speedily as possible.

7.      The course of instruction to be pursued in the Institution, will embrace all the branches usually taught in the best Female Seminaries of the State, it being deemed desirable, that as regards education, the poor orphans of our noble soldiers should enjoy equal advantages with the greatest and richest in the land.

8.      Although this Institution will be planted under the auspices of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of this State, it will by no means be sectarian in its character, as the Board of Directors will be composed of members of different denominations, and the pupils will be selected indiscriminately from among the families of deceased and disabled soldiers, without regard to religious creeds.

9.      In order that all may have an opportunity to aid in this benevolent enterprise, our agents, J. D. Scheck, of Guilford, N. C., and Rev. J. H. Mengert of Wilmington, N. C., are hereby authorized to call upon those citizens of our Commonwealth, who are still at their homes and to receive from them in cash or bonds such donations and subscriptions, as their patriotic liberality may prompt them to give.  They are also instructed to procure, if practicable, permission from the proper authorities to visit our soldiers now in camp, or in the field and to receive from them such contributions as they are willing and able to make.  The names of contributors and their residences, or in the case of soldiers, the Regiments and Companies in which they served, will be carefully recorded in a blank book kept for that purpose, and placed in the archives of the Institution.

10.  With a view of keeping this enterprise prominently before the public, and enlisting the sympathies of all classes in its behalf, our agents will from time to time publish the amounts collected, in the principal papers in the State.

And now, Fellow Citizens, we appeal to you, and hope to have your hearty co-operation in this good work.  We are under lasting obligations to the noble defenders of our soil.  When they left their homes, their wives and their children, to arrest the progress of an invading foe on the bloody battlefield, they did so in the sure expectation that, if they should never return to their loved ones, the protecting and fostering care of a grateful country would be extended over them.  By this hope they have been sustained amidst the arduous duties, the many privations, and the great sufferings of a soldier’s life; by it they have been supported in the hour of death.  Patriotism, not to say Christianity, would dictate that in this they should not be disappointed.  The great Founder of Christianity has said: “The Poor ye have always with you,” and in the brief history of our Confederacy we have been forcibly reminded of this momentous truth.  We are all aware of the alarming destitution, to which many of the families of our soldiers have been reduced, without any possible means for intellectual improvement; yet we should all feel that if any indigent children in our State are entitled to receive the highest mental culture, it is the offspring of those who have stood as a wall of fire between us and our enemies.  For them, and for them exclusively, we wish to endow an Institution, in which their wants will be met and in which they will be prepared to occupy respectable positions in society.

Our appeal is directed especially to the ladies.  It has fallen to the lot of their sex to mould the destinies of nations.  Of this fact many striking illustrations are afforded by the past.  And when the history of our present national struggle shall have been written, it will appear to the world, that for our independence as a nation, we are in a great measure indebted to the pure patriotism of our ladies.  To them, therefore, we especially appeal, to come forward and aid us in building up an Institution, in which a destitute portion of their sex shall receive that intellectual and moral training which will enable them to follow their noble example.  Our Confederacy is yet in its infancy.  As its history progresses, we may require other bands of Spartan fathers and sons to be cheered on to deeds of valor by Spartan mothers and daughters.  If we devise means to raise the latter, we shall never lack the former; and our Confederacy will then occupy that lofty position among the nations of the earth, to which it is so justly entitled.



Source: The Greensborough Patriot, September 18, 1862 as found in Confederate Newspaper Project

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From the Raleigh Standard.

Quakers – The Conscription.

The following correspondence, furnished us for publication by Hon. W. T. Dortch, will explain itself.  It will be seen that the War Department has no objection to assigning Quakers who are conscripts to such duties in the service as will not require them to shed blood or deprive their fellowmen of life: —


GOLDSBORO, July 23, 1862.

Dear Sir: — A short time since, I addressed a note to the Secretary of War, asking if persons belonging to the Society of Friends liable to conscription, could be assigned to duty in Hospitals, camps, &c., and received the enclosed letter in reply, which you will please publish for the benefit of those interested.

Yours, &c., Wm. T. Dortch.

W. W. Holden, Esq.,

Raleigh, N. C.




War Department. }

Richmond, July 19, 1862. }

Hon. W. T. Dortch.

Goldsboro, N. C.

Sir: — Your letter of the 14th inst., has been received.  In reply you are respectfully informed that the Department has no objection to assign men belonging to the Society of Friends enrolled in North Carolina, to such duty as is not repugnant to their belief; but it cannot make a General Order to that effect.  The Department will have to act on individual cases.



Sec. Of War

Source: The Greensborough Patriot, July 31, 1862 as found in Confederate Newspaper Project

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Dec. 16th [1861]

        We went to Carmel yesterday, and heard brother Bruton preach from this text “If we confess our sins God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

         We have a new preacher, Brother Pepper, I have heard him, he is an excellent preacher, a pious and devoted Christian. The circuit has been divided, the River is the dividing line, about seven appointments on each circuit, brother Bruton is in charge of one half of this circuit, he will live in Madison, Brother Pepper the other half.

 Source: Mary Jeffreys Bethell Diary, 1853-1873.  #1737-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. http://docsouth.unc.edu/imls/bethell/menu.html

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Sunday December 1st [1861]

I went to church last night with Sister & Buddy. Mr Sherwood preached his first sermon as regular pastor of our church. Mr Sherwood preached this morning. His text was “for I determine to know nothing among you save Jesus Christ.” I came home to dinner. Mr. Sherwood preached from Matthew 18th Chapter from the 5th to 9th verse. I went to the Baptist church to hear Mill Leillias play but she was not there.

Source: Malinda Ray Diary, Anna Sutton Sherman Papers, North Carolina State Archives.  See also David A. Ray Papers, Southern Historical Collection, UNC-Chapel Hill

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Saturday November 30th [1861]

Yesterday was general muster day.  Mr. Alexander McPherson’s child was buried yesterday morning. We all went to church this morning. Mr. John Sherwood was installed as pastor of the Presbyterian church. Mr. James McNeil preached his text was from Romans 1st Chapter and 16th verse.  Rev James C Sinclair read the charge to the pastor & Mr. McDonald the charge to the people.

Source: Malinda Ray Diary, Anna Sutton Sherman Papers, North Carolina State Archives.  See also David A. Ray Papers, Southern Historical Collection, UNC-Chapel Hill

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 “Dr. Deams Upon the Stump” Chicago Tribune, March 12, 1861

 We are sorry to see it stated in a Petersburg paper that the Rev. Dr. Deams, a traveling preacher in the North Carolina Conference, is a candidate for the State Convention, and is now on the stump advocating immediate secession, and the overthrow of our Government.  We shall expect next to hear of his drinking liquor, and becoming too intimate with the wife of some Methodist Brother!

 Sources: Chicago Tribune online at www.Footnote.com; Image of Charles Deems http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/id?1220678; Digitized work of Dr. Deems Christ in You, [1861-1865] http://docsouth.unc.edu/imls/deems/menu.html; Biography of Charles Deems http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Deems

Charles Force Deems

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