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A Visitation of GodNorthern Civilians Interpret the Civil War$
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Sean A. Scott

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195395990

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195395990.001.0001

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“Christian Patriotism” in Flush

“Christian Patriotism” in Flush

Political Preaching, Antiwar Dissent, and Summer Thanksgiving

(p.97) 4 “Christian Patriotism” in Flush
A Visitation of God

Sean A. Scott

Oxford University Press

After the war's second summer, the northern home front showed signs of unrest. Draft resistance, highly divisive state elections, and fears of Copperhead uprisings demonstrated the strength of antiwar dissent. The churches viewed all such opposition as traitorous and took every opportunity to alienate members who criticized the Lincoln administration. While pacifist groups such as Quakers and Mennonites objected to the war on religious grounds, the mainstream Protestant denominations continued their vocal support of the military contest in sermons delivered on fast days as well as regular Sunday services. After the key victories of Gettysburg and Vicksburg in the summer of 1863, the nation thanked God for his assistance and blessings. On several occasions, Abraham Lincoln authored documents with far greater theological profundity than the scores of addresses delivered by northern ministers. By the conclusion of the war's second year, a religious interpretation of the conflict flourished.

Keywords:   conscription, Copperheads, Knights of the Golden Circle, pacifism, fast day sermons, Thanksgiving Day sermons, Abraham Lincoln, John Hunt Morgan

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