Role Of The Clergy During The Civil War

1193 WordsMay 30, 20165 Pages
During the Civil War, a major propagandistic event was held by General Robert E. Lee when he called upon soldiers to convert to Protestant Christianity as a morale booster during the war. The Great Revival helped to galvanize thousands of soldiers into following the Confederate military in 1863. In this manner, the use of Christian ideology was also a major factor in the combination of governmental and cultural propaganda that utilized religion as a form of cultural cohesion during the war. More so, this also occurred in the Union Army s as way to justify the religious motivations for a “just war” as defined in lee’s army, as well as in the North: A “Great Revival” occurred among Robert E. Lee’s forces in the fall of 1863 and winter of 1864. Some 7,000 soldiers were converted. Revivals also swept the Union Army at that time. Sometimes preaching and praying continued 24 hours a day, and chapels couldn’t hold the soldiers who wanted to get inside. The role of the clergy was a major part of Civil war propaganda, but it primarily occurred in the context of Lee’s massive conversion policies that inspired men to join his ranks. More so, the North and the South had built many chapels for soldiers to find salvation and inspiration for fighting the war in military life: “Chapels often were built in soldiers’ quarters. In 1864, the Army of Northern Virginia alone boasted 15 chapels. One chapel built by the Army of the Tennessee seated more than 1,000 people.” In this manner, Lee’s
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