Caring for soldiers and freedmen

United States Christian Commission

The U.S. Christian Commission, organized during a meeting of the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) in 1861, was created "to promote the spiritual and temporal welfare" of soldiers and sailors of the Union and Confederacy. Its activities included the publication of hymns and prayers, organizing devotional meetings in camps, and aiding and supporting chaplains.

Edward Parmlee Smith (1827-1876), Congregational minister in Massachusetts, served as field secretary of the USSC.

George H. Stuart (1816-1890), Philadelphia businessman and elder at the First Reformed Presbyterian Church, was chairman of the USCC and headed the executive committee of the Philadelphia Branch.

Prolific author and pastor of Presbyterian churches in Pennsylvania and Illinois, Rev. James Russell Miller (1840-1912) served the USCC as a field agent in the Army of the Potomac and Army of the Cumberland.

  • Edward Parmlee Smith

    Edward P. Smith, Incidents of the U.S. Christian Commission. (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co., 1869).

  • GH Stuart

    (George H. Stuart, undated.)

  • James Russell Miller

    (J.R. Miller, undated.)

  • USCC Headquarters
  • Left:
    "Headquarters in the field," ca. 1864. J.R. Miller at USCC headquarters. John T. Faris, The Life of Dr. J.R. Miller: "Jesus and I Are Friends." (Philadelphia: Presbyterian Board of Publication, 1912).

    Right:
    J.R. Miller's notebook kept while serving as field agent for the USCC. (J.R. Miller Papers, 1863.)

  • Miller Notebook