“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Yorktown in York County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Shiloh Baptist Church

Civil War Yorktown

Shiloh Baptist Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, November 25, 2015
1. Shiloh Baptist Church Marker
Inscription. Shiloh Baptist Church was started in 1863 by former slave and lay minister, John Carey; and Reverend Jeremiah Asher from Shiloh Baptist Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The church sewed the residents of Slabtown, a community established by the United States army during the Civil War for contrabands (Contraband were enslaved Americans who had fled Confederate controlled areas of the South.) Today, the congregation of Shiloh Baptist Church continues to thrive and provide valuable religious support within the local community.

Jeremiah Asher
Chaplain Jeremiah Asher was the grandson of a slave, but was born free in Connecticut. On the eve of the Civil War, he was a prominent abolitionist and minister of Shiloh Baptist Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. When the federal government began recruiting African Americans for newly formed United States Colored Regiments, Asher wrote President Abraham Lincoln, advocating African Americans should serve as military chaplains to these units. African Americans were prohibited from serving as commissioned officers in their own regiments, which included chaplain positions. However, Lincoln eased the policy, and began allowing some African Americans to serve as regimental chaplains. Though 50 years of age, Asher, with the signed support of every white
Shiloh Baptist Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, November 25, 2015
2. Shiloh Baptist Church Marker
officer in the 6th United States Colored Infantry Regiment, mustered with the unit as chaplain, in December 1863. In addition to ministering to the troops, Asher also, at Yorktown, helped form a new Shiloh Baptist Church in the local contraband community. Jeremiah Asher gave his life for his ideals, being the first African American chaplain to die in military service. He passed away on July 27, 1865 from disease contracted while tending to ill soldiers.

Back with Hardy and Hawkins to Baptist church. Crowded. Patrolled Slabtown. Master Sergeant Christian A. Fleetwood, 4th United States Colored Troops, Diary, March 27, 1864 Courtesy of Library of Congress

The members of Shiloh Baptist Church probably first worshiped in a simple cabin, but by 1866 were meeting in a former Confederate military barracks. Thirty tears after its founding, the congregation constructed a new edifice across the road from the Yorktown National Cemetery. When the church burned four years later, it was rebuilt and in continuous use until 1974 when a new house of worship was constructed about one mile to the west at the intersection of Route 17 and Goosley Road. In 2001, Shiloh Baptist Church reached another historical milestone when Pastor Barbara Lemon was installed as the congregation's minister, becoming the first female African American Baptist minister in the local area.

In 1866-1867, Captain James Miles Moore, of the U.S. Army Quartermaster Department,oversaw the development of the Yorktown National Cemetery. As part of the project, he directed a map of the immediate area be diagrammed. This map shows Shiloh Baptist Church's original location. Map and photo courtesy of the National Archives

James Miles Moore
Erected by Colonial National Historical Park, National Park Servcice.
Location. 37° 13.551′ N, 76° 30.354′ W. Marker is in Yorktown, Virginia, in York County. Marker is on Cook Road (Virginia Route 238) north of Union Road, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Yorktown VA 23690, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Slabtown (here, next to this marker); Yorktown National Cemetery (within shouting distance of this marker); Second Allied Siege Line (within shouting distance of this marker); Surrender at Yorktown (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Shiloh Baptist Church (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Grand French Battery (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named The Grand French Battery (approx. 0.2 miles away); First Allied Siege Line (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Yorktown.
Also see . . .  Yorktown Battlefield - Colonial National Historical Park. National Park Service (Submitted on November 26, 2015.) 
Categories. African AmericansChurches & ReligionWar, US Civil
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 26, 2015, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 197 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 26, 2015, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.
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