THE TENNESSEE BAPTIST paper, published by J.R. Graves, had stopped its printing because of the occupation of Federal troops in Nashville. On March 26, 1862, the FLORENCE GAZETTE newspaper printed an article by Brother Graves, explaining what had happened. It reads as follows:
TO THE PATRON[S] OF THE TENNESSEE BAPTIST
So sudden and unexpected was the fall of Nashville that I had no time to issue a paper or even a slip, to apprise my subscribers of my fate or purpose.
I left Edgefield (now a part of Nashville), the place of my residence, early on the Monday morning previous to the destruction of the bridges, and it becoming impossible to obtain conveyance by either railroad leading south, made the journey to Huntsville, with my family, in my family carriage, from whence I reached this place, the residence of my father-in-law.
Owing to the sudden evacuation of Nashville, it was impossible to remove any part of the office, books, types or presses, and consequently the paper will remain suspended for the present, and doubtless until the city is retaken.
My business destroyed, my home in the possession of the enemy, and myself a refugee, I feel it my duty to offer my services to my country in this hour of her eminent peril. I have been urged by several prominent citizens of my own State to raise a regiment, battalion or legion of true and tried men willing to bear a pile to thrust the vandal foe from our hearth stones. - Believing it to be a most formidable weapon in the hands of men determined to be free. I am willing by both word and deed to encourage our people to seize it with promptness and rush to the conflict.
Tis Caesar's right, in a crisis like this to call to the field every man able to bear arms, nor has Christ absolved his ministers from this tribute to Caesar. So soon as it is ascertained that President Davis will accept a regiment, battalion, or even a company of Lancers, for service in the West, I shall offer my services to assist in raising it, to lead on [or?] to follow it upon the field.
I have said this much to appraise [sic] my patrons through out the South that I did not "passively submit" in the fall of Nashville, and have by no means despaired of the Confederacy. It is not our power to be free if we only prove ourselves worthy of freedom.
Editor of the TENNESSEE BAPTIST
Magnolia, Mississippi, Feb. 12. 1862
P.S. - Will the Southern press confer a favor that will be appreciated by copying this card, as my patrons are in every Southern State.
[This document is from the History and Archives of the American Baptist Association, "Articles of Interest." The title is added; formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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