The Missouri Synod and the Civil War

as documented in the Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly

and other publications

Sometimes our patrons ask if we have any information on the Missouri Synod and the Civil War. Their reason for asking varies. Some want to know what the Lutheran Church's attitude was concerning the Civil War. Some want to know if the Lutheran Church in general, and the Missouri Synod specifically, was against slavery. Others want to know if we have any records of pastoral reflections on the Civil War.

In an effort to provide patrons with answers to these questions we compiled this list of articles from various issues of the Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly as well as a few others. The articles are arranged chronologically, and the volume and page number has been provided, so if a patron would like a copy of the article they can request it. If patrons have access to EBSCO through ATLAS Plus they can obtain the article through that database.

Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly:

  • 6: 41 ff. “Several Episodes from the Life of the Sainted Pastor F.J. Biltz”
  • 21: 21. “The Old Church at Addison”
  • 24: 105 ff. “The History of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, 1847-1865”
  • 25: 15. “Early Growth and Expansion”
  • 25: 98. “The Life and Work of Henry C. Schwan as Pastor and Missionary”
  • 25: 119. “Did Schwan Do Mission Work in Brazil?”
  • 26: 150 ff. “Seedtime and Harvest”
  • 27: 79. “Passavant and ‘Missouri’”
  • 27: 125. “The Relations of the Missouri Synod with the Buffalo Synod up to 1866”
  • 28: 59. “The Development of Lutheranism in the Pacific Northwest with Specific Reference to the NW District”
  • 31: 65 ff. “The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod During the Early Years of the Civil War”
  • 31: 104 ff. “The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod During the Early Years of the Civil War”
  • 35: 22 f. “Mission Expansion and Outreach in North Wisconsin District”
  • 35: 104. “Director's Triennial Report”
  • 36: 2. “Value of Learning History as a Leisure Activity”
  • 36: 42. “The American Luther League”
  • 36: 67 f. “History of Concordia College, New Orleans”
  • 41: 100. “Eighteen Sixty-Eight - Year of Involvement”
  • 42: 80 f. “C.F.W. Walther to A.F. Hoppe: A Letter”
  • 47: 99 f. “A View of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod: 1866”
  • 54: 115. “The Doederlein Diary: A Sequel”
  • 77:134 f. “Memoirs of Ernst Moritz Buerger: Part Five”
  • 87: 24 ff. “Furnace of Dreams: An Account of Soldiers, Pastors, and Chaplains During the American Civil War (1861-1865)”

Walther’s letters (nt indicates ‘not translated’):

  • May 7, 1861 to T.E. Buenger – Selected Letters of C.F.W. Walther, Roy A. Sueflow, CPH, St. Louis, 1981. p. 148
  • May 10, 1861 to his wife – nt
  • May 21, 1861 to J.M. Buehler – Selected Letters/Sueflow, p. 149-150
  • May 28, 1861 to his wife – nt
  • August 23, 1861 to F. Brunn – nt
  • Undated, Letters of C.F.W. Walther: A Selection, Carl S. Meyer, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1969, p. 104
  • January 1869 to A.C. Preus – nt
  • April 27, 1861 to J.C.W. Lindemann – Letters/Meyer, p. 102-104
  • July 7, 1865 to H.C. Schwan – nt
  • July 13, 1865 to H.C. Schwan – nt
  • September 26, 1865 to W. Sihler – nt
  • February 21, 1864 to J. Walther – nt

Walther’s Sermons:

  • New Year’s Day, 1862, Luke 2:21 – Lutherische Brosamen, Walther, p. 32
  • National Day of Humiliation and Prayer, August 4, 1864 – Epistle Postille, St. Louis: CPH, 1882.

Other Primary Sources:

Der Lutheraner:

  • Volume 18 p.167- Walther’s notice of Richmann joining as a chaplain
  • Volume 18, p. 192 and 199- notification and advertisement for “A Manual of Prayers for Soldiers”, a publication recommended for soldiers or those who knew them.
  • Volume 19, p. 89ff, 97ff, 106ff, 113ff. W. Sihler’s article “Sclaverei im Lichte der heil. Schrift betrachtet“ – Slavery examined in the light of the Holy Scripture.
  • Volume 19, p.112- English version of “A Manual of Prayer for Soldiers” produced and advertised
  • Volume 20, p. 39 – information on Rev. Eirich and his service

Secondary Sources (including Library of Congress Call Number):

  • Boernstein, Henry. Memoirs of a Nobody. Steven Rowan, tr. St. Louis: Missouri Historical Society Press. 1997 [PT1823 .B2 F813 1997]
  • Drevlow, Arthur, ed. C.F.W. Walther: The American Luther. Walther Press, 1887. pp. 20-34. [BX8080 .W3 C2 1987]
  • Heathcote, Charles W. The Lutheran Church and the Civil War. The Lutheran Literary Board, Burlington, IA, 1919. [BX8041 .H43 1919b]
  • Meyer, Carl S. Moving Frontiers. CPH: St. Louis, 1964. pp.234-238 primarily (Walther and other reactions, Richmann diary) also glancing references on pages 206, 224, 242, 344, 350, 376, 195, 253, 303, 315, 247, 214, 221 [BX8061 .M7 M42 1986]
  • Meyer, Carl S. Log Cabin to Luther Tower. CPH: St. Louis, 1965. pp. 20, 39-40, 44, 47, 115, 171, 223. [BV4070 .C66 M4]
  • Nelson, E. Clifford, ed. The Lutherans in North America. Fortress Press, Philadelphia, 1980. pp. 238-247. [BX8041 .L87]
  • Rowan, Steven, tr. Germans for a free Missouri: Translations from the St. Louis radical press, 1857-1862. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1983. [F475 .G3 G47 1983]
  • Suelflow, August. Servant of the Word, the Life and Ministry of C.F.W. Walther. CPH: St. Louis, 2000. p. 114-117, 234-236. [BX8080 .W3 S84 2000]
  • Spitz, Lewis. Life in Two Worlds: Biography of William Sihler. CPH: St. Louis, 1968. pp. 105-115 on civil war and slavery article. BX8080 .S545 S65 1968]
  • Thomas, William L. History of St. Louis, County, Missouri. Volume I. S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., St. Louis, MO. 1911. p. 96-108.
  • Winter, William C. The Civil War in St. Louis, a Guided Tour. Missouri Historical Society Press, St. Louis, 1995 (geographical files). [F474.S257 W56 1994]
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