A holy baptism of fire and blood : the Bible and the American Civil War / James P. Byrd
Book | Oxford University Press | 2021

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376 pages ; 25 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages [311]-360) and index.
"His terrible swift sword" -- "The stone which the builders rejected" -- "The Red Sea of war" -- "This second war I consider equally as holy as the first" -- "A covenant of death" -- "Trust in Providence and keep your powder dry" -- "A holy baptism of fire and blood" -- "Welcome to the ransomed" -- "Without shedding of blood is no remission" -- "The sword of the lord" -- "We cannot escape history" -- "Of one blood all nations" -- "These dead have not died in vain" -- "Cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood" -- "Woe to that man by whom the offense cometh" -- "Baptized in the blood of their president" -- Epilogue. "Pyrotechnics of providence."
"In his Second Inaugural Address, Abraham Lincoln said both North and South "read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other." Lincoln quoted several biblical texts in this address - which, according to Frederick Douglass, "sounded more like a sermon than a state paper." The Bible, as Lincoln's famous speech illustrated, saturated the Civil War. In this book, James Byrd offers the most thorough analysis yet of how Americans enlisted scripture to fight the Civil War. As Byrd reveals in this insightful narrative, no book was more important to the Civil War than the Bible. From Massachusetts to Mississippi and beyond, the Bible was the nation's most read and most respected book. It brought to mind sacred history and sacrifice. It presented a drama of salvation and damnation, of providence and judgement. It was also a book of war. Americans cited the Bible in addressing many wartime issues, including slavery, secession, patriotism, federal versus state authority, white supremacy, and violence. In scripture, both Union and Confederate soldiers found inspiration for dying and killing like never before in the nation's history. With approximately 750,000 fatalities, the Civil War was the deadliest of the nation's wars. Americans fought the Civil War with Bibles in hand, with both sides calling the war just and sacred. This is a book about how Americans enlisted the Bible in the nation's most bloody, and arguably most biblically-saturated war"-- Provided by publisher.
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Online version: Byrd, James P., 1965- Holy baptism of fire and blood New York, NY : Oxford University Press, [2020] 9780190902810 (DLC) 2020028350
9780190902797 (hardcover)
0190902795 (hardcover)
9780190902810 electronic publication
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