Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Civil War Oddities #55

While pastor of Plymouth Congregational Church in Brooklyn, the Rev. Dr. Henry Ward Beecher became the nation’s most famous clergyman. An ardent abolitionist, he helped to create conditions that led to the widely used label “Bloody Kansas.”

Hoping to cause the territory to tilt into the antislavery column when it became a state, the clergyman shipped substantial numbers of Sharps rifles to Kansas.

Some weapons seem to have gone to the west in crates that were marked “Beecher’s Bibles.” Hence for a time that name was applied to breech-loaders initially opposed by many Federal military leaders who believed that the use of them would encourage waste of ammunition.