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The Church in the Confederate States
A History of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Confederate States

By Joseph Blount Cheshire, D.D.
Bishop of North Carolina

New York, London, Bombay and Calcutta: Longmans, Green and Co., 1912.

Chapter I. The Secession of the States; Its Effect upon the Dioceses; The Meeting at Montgomery, July 3, 1861

Chapter II. The Meeting at Columbia, October 16, 1861; The Case of Bishop Polk; The Consecration of Bishop Wilmer; The "General Council" of November 12, 1862.

Chapter III. Church Work in the Army; Some Confederate Chaplains; Religious Reading for the Soldiers; "The Church Intelligencer"; The Confederate Prayer Book

Chapter IV. The Church and the Negro

Chapter V. The Spirit of the Church, and Its Burdens

Chapter VI. Some of the Trials and Tribulations of the Times; Bishop Wilmer's Troubles in 1865

Chapter VII. Peace, and the Reunion of the Dioceses

Appendix. Bishop Atkinson and the Church in the Confederacy


I venture to call the following papers a History, because I believe that they give, with sufficient fullness for the ordinary reader, the story of the Church in the South, from 1861 to 1866, in all matters affecting its general interests as distinguished from local and diocesan details, with some account of its work and inner spirit, as they are related to the peculiar circumstances of the time and the situation.

The first three were written and delivered at the request of the Faculty of the Theological Seminary at Alexandria, as "Reinicker Lectures" for 1910. The others, with one exception, have been delivered at one or other of the Theological Schools at Middletown, Cambridge, Philadelphia, Sewanee, and the General Theological Seminary in New York. They are published substantially as they were delivered, with the addition of a few notes and tables of dates printed separate from the body of the text.

The writer believes that he should not have ventured upon this work but for the invitation of the Alexandria Faculty above referred to. But having become interested in the subject, and finding, from a somewhat extended correspondence with both clergymen and laymen, that so little was remembered or known of the history of the Church in the South during those eventful and trying days, and also being encouraged by many evidences and expressions of interest in the subject, he went on until the most valuable parts of the material gathered grew into the form in which these papers are now given to the press. It has been more by providential leading, if so serious a term may be employed, that these papers have been written and published, than by any premeditated purpose on the part of the writer to obtrude himself upon publisher or readers. As, however, during the forty-six years which have passed since the close of the War between the States, no better hand has undertaken to trace the story here told; it is hoped that this attempt may prove of some interest and value to those who love the Church of our fathers and our forefathers.

It has seemed not inappropriate to add a brief study of the life and character of Bishop Atkinson, who bore so important a relation to the Church in the Confederate States.

Of the deficiencies and inadequacy of the work hardly any one can be so conscious as the writer, who yet ventures to submit it to the public.

J. B. C.

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