St. Philips Vestry Minutes

It may be recollected that it was our pleasure and duty to be permitted to assemble ourselves in our sanctuary on the Sunday of July 12th for our usual devotions and humble praise and thanksgiving. But on the succeeding day July 13th 1863 anarchy and confusion took the place of law and order and for several days pillage, arson, murder reigned supreme in our midst. Men, women, and children having seemingly, suddenly become transformed into the vilest and savagest of fiends. During the reign of this state of affairs, at a late hour Tuesday night July 14th 1863 the police authorities took possession of our parish to quarter military who had been summoned hither to bring order over chaos, restore law and maintain the peace of the city. Thus our parish has been in their possession since the above mentioned date until Friday noon July 31st 1863. In consequence of such occupation our church has been greatly defaced and damaged and left in an untenable condition requiring thorough renovation. In view of such being the state of our parish this especial meeting is called that we might take such measures as deemed necessary to confer with the proper authorities so as to have our parish put in a restored condition in every respect as soon as possible so that we and our fellow parishioners may once again through God’s providence be permitted to draw near and assemble in our old, accustomed, beloved, and familiar spots in united prayer, to mingle our voices in praise and thanksgiving to “God our refuge”; for that we may have been permitted to live, and pass through this fiery ordeal unscathed, while so many, many! Have been rent and torn, bruised and maimed; and not a few suddenly deprived of life. Cruelly and mercifully sent to the borders of that region from when no traveler has ever yet returned.

From: St. Philip’s Vestry Minutes. August 4, 1863