4 History of Wake Forest College
the conduct of the government to others. General U. S. Grant,
reporting on a visit to North Carolina and other Southern States, said
that the thinking men did "accept the present situation of affairs in
good faith," but Carl Schurz found "an utter absence of national
feeling." Only dimly in most instances did they realize that with the
emancipation of the slaves a great social revolution had been
inaugurated in the South which was greatly to modify their lives and
the lives of their children and grandchildren. In the first few months
after the Surrender there were few indications of that unparalleled
political activity into which our people were to be quickened by the
reconstruction measures of the federal government.
Wake Forest College did not escape the general devastation of the
time. We have already seen that exercises were suspended in May,
1862, and that the greater part of the endowment was invested in
Confederate States bonds and lost, and that the College Building was
occupied from June, 1864, as a hospital for wounded soldiers, by the
Confederate States Government, which had for further
accommodations added several wooden structures on the Campus. In
the village there had been little change since 1861.
Being on the main highway leading from Raleigh to, Richmond and
the north, Wake Forest was somewhat exposed to the depredations of
stragglers and wanton soldiers. Realizing the danger Professor
Simmons secured from General Schofield, then at Raleigh, a guard
for the homes of the town, who being treated kindly and provided
with a dainty dish or two by Mrs. Simmons performed their duty with
the greatest efficiency until all danger had passed.2
Immediately after the close of the war the College premises were no
longer used as a hospital, and in June, the little church, which for a
year or more had been meeting in the narrow African Chapel resolved
to reoccupy the College Chapel as its usual place of worship .3
―――――――
2 Verbal statement by the daughter of Mrs. Simmons, Mrs. E. W. Timberlake.
3
According to a list made in January, 1865, the Wake Forest Baptist Church
membership at that time was as follows: White males 29, of whom 7 were students;
white females 26; colored males 17; colored females 19; total 91.
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