Living in the Land of Cotton
John William Jones
1887, Christ In The Camp Or Religion In Lee’s Army, cover.
Richard Lee Montgomery
Clement Anselm Evans
1899, Confederate Military History, Volume 1, p. 247.
Clement Anselm Evans who served as a Confederate Brigadier General and Editor of the twelve volume series entitled Confederate Military History, makes a powerful statement: “If the act of secession cannot be justified the Southern people will be stigmatized as a brave and rash people deluded by bad men who attempted in an illegal and wicked manner to overthrow the Union.”1
Dr. John William Jones was a Chaplain in the Thirteenth Virginia Infantry and made this great statement: “We believe that God is with us, not only to own and bless His word to the salvation of men, but that His blessing rests upon our cause and attends our armies. It is a high privilege and great satisfaction to preach to soldiers to whom God has given such signal victories. The moral influence of a just and righteous cause is a happy introduction to, and a good preparation for the holier cause of religion. The objects for which our soldiers are fighting possess incalculable power in controlling the naturally demoralizing influence of war. We are thankful to God for the large number of Christian officers who command our armies and aid us in our work. The presence of so many pious men in the ranks gives us a Church in almost every regiment to begin with.” 2
Out of these two statements comes the two fold purpose for “Living in the Land of Cotton.”
First: To give evidence that there was justification and rights for secession and the existence of the Confederate States of America by the use of primary sources.
Second: To demonstrate that the culture of the Confederacy had a moral stability built on the Christian faith using primary sources.
We have been taught too long that the war was all about slavery and that the Southern people could only be seen as an immoral people.
In 1861 President Lincoln gave his reasons for the war: “I can't let them go. Where then shall we get our revenue?”3 This was never a viewpoint that I was taught growing up in the South (Corpus Christi, Texas). It was primarily about the slavery issue and how Lincoln was a model leader. So it is my aim and goal to show a clearer historical narrative of truth through the use of primary books, journals, and newspapers.
1 Clement A. Evans, Confederate Military History, Volume 1 (Atlanta: Confederate Publishing Company, 1899), 4.
2 J. William Jones, Christ In the Camp or Religion In Lee’s Army (Richmond: B. F. Johnson & Company, 1887), 235.
3 Frank H. Alfriend, The Life of Jefferson Davis (Cincinnati: Caxton Publishing House, 1868), 201.