Tabernacles in the Wilderness: The US Christian Commission on the Civil War Battlefront

Rachel Williams (University of Hull)
Event date
Event time
12:30 - 13:30
Rothermere American Institute
1a South Parks Road
Venue details

Downstairs seminar room

Event type
Lectures and seminars
Event cost
Disabled access?
Booking required
Not required

In her new book, Tabernacles in the Wilderness, Rachel Williams discusses the work of the United States Christian Commission (USCC), a civilian relief agency established by northern evangelical Protestants to minister to Union troops during the American Civil War. USCC workers saw in the Civil War not only a wrathful judgment from God for the sins of the nation but an unparalleled opportunity to save the souls of US citizens and perfect the nation. Thus, the workers set about proselytizing and distributing material aid to Union soldiers with undaunted and righteous zeal. Whether handing out religious literature, leading prayer meetings, preaching sermons, mending uniforms, or drawing up tailored diets for sick men, USCC workers improvised and enacted a holistic lived theology that emphasized the link between the body and soul.