THE INCREDIBLE SCOFIELD
AND HIS BOOK
JOSEPH M. CANFIELD
O Copyright 1988
Joseph M. Canfield
ROSS HOUSE BOOKS
- Beginnings 1
- The Yankee Heritage and How It Came to Michigan 4
- The Start of the Trench Connection” 11
- The War Between the States 15
- Antietam—And All That 20
- In Between 26
- Scofield’s French Connection 33
- In Kansas—Playground of the Secret Six 38
- The Senator and the District Attorney 47
- The District Attorney Resigns 52
- Missing His Day in Court 57
- The Role of ‘lbm McPheeters 65
- The Heir ofthe Plymouth Brethren or RMeet Me in Saint Louis” 74
- The Press and the Minister 79
- A Bill of Divorcement 87
- The Fate of the First Family 92
- Pastor and Benedict 95
- The Doctrinal Statement of a Minister 102
- A Growing Ministry 108
- Peripatetic Pastor 114
- The Balmy Niagara Bible Conference 122
- Into the Mauve Decade 133
- Under the Elm Trees (Massachusetts) 142
- ” Scofield and Mr. Moody 154
- The Dispensational Norm or
«Rightly Dividing the Word of fruth” 166
- Defender of the Faith 171
- Across the Bounding Main 184
- The Road to Oxford 190
- Accepted by Oxford 199
- The Scofield Reference Bible 208
- A ffbuch of Fame 221
- Scofield Postpones the Kingdom and Sinks the Titanic 235
- Prophecy Enters Good Society 249
- A New School and a New Church 258
- A Mix-up in Dates 267
- Taul and Timothy” or The Role of Charles G. Trumbull 281
- Gathered Unto His Fathers 288
- The Perils of Probate 295
- Canonizing a Dispensational Saint 298
- In Conclusion 309
Research for this book started in 1975. By 1980 the manuscript was advanced enough that it became appropriate to look for a publisher. I discovered that despite the popularity of Scofield’s work and the widespread recognition of his role, no one was interested in a study of the man, himself. A number of Evangelical publishing houses refused to even receive the manuscript for the most cursory reading. They claimed that a life of Scofield was not needed. Several firms did look at the manuscript, but returned it without any suggestion for edit, development or anything else.
As a result, in 1984, we decided to issue the first printing in letterpress format. As issued, it did have all the defects of a privately printed work. The response among non-Dispensationalists was so great that five more limited printings were made. Copies have gone all over the world. The response was enthusiastic. Many letters reached me from people who thanked me for making public what was already known about Scofield, but was not admitted by the Dispensationalism (who might well be called Pessimillenarians).
It was ignored by the Dispensational movement, schools, churches and pastors, almost. . . . One exception. Late in November, 1984, Walter Osborn, research librarian at Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, ordered a copy. Walter has been more than helpful to me during my research in the late 1970’s and for this I am truly grateful. For some reason, Walter did not use a standard library purchase order form, but dictated a letter to me. Nor was payment made by a Moody Bible Institute check drawn on a Loop bank. Payment was by a personal check of a person unknown, possibly one of the library staff. The book was sent to Chicago, and I understand it is still in the Moody Library. But I do wonder why some felt that the accounts of Moody Bible Institute were not to show a payment of even a small sum in my favor.
The book continued to be ignored by the Pessimillenarians, until
In May, 1986, I purchased a copy of Dr. Bob Jones’ memoirs, Cornbread and Caviar. Allowing for eschatological differences, I liked many parts of the book and wrote Jones to that effect, mentioning as I wrote my Scofield study (a copy had been purchased by the BJU Library). Jones wrote me on May 19, 1986, thanked me for my letter and my comrnents on Cornbread and Caviar. He also said: el shall have the library send over to me your book on Dr. Scofield and try to read it with as charitable a spirit as you have read Cornbread and Caviar.” Dr. Jones called the library, read, and then things started to happen.
It would appear that Fundamentalism was shaken by the revelations about their RSaint.” One of the BJU faculty, David O. Beale, was at work on a study of Fundamentalism, which did come out under the title, eeln Pursuit of Purity, American Fundamentalism Since 1850.” My Scofield study could not go unnoticed, but Beale’s work was too far along for a major rewrite. So I did receive «notice” in part of a footnote. On Page 46, Beale, in Footnote 6 says, «There is a spiteful and inadequately documented attack on Scofield’s character . . . Canfield attempts to descredit the pretribulation rapture [Sorry, Dave, it already well discredited!], concludes that Scofield possibly was not even a Christian.
Now whatever one might say about my attitude or the tone of my work, Beale’s charge of%nadequate documentation” is completely false. The footnotes, scores of them, at the end of each chapter—show very, very careful documentation, the result of extensive rsearch and a determination to present the truth about my subject. Beale’s Footnote 6 is not the only thing in the work which makes the word NPurity” in the title questionable.
In Cornbread and Caviar, Bob Jones devoted a number of pages to his visit with British writer C. S. Lewis. I felt that that incident made it essential that Jones’ memoirs be included among the Lewisiana in the Marion E. Wade Collection in Wheaton, Illinois. I made such a suggestion to Dr. Lyle Dorsett, curator ofthe collection, who did acquire Jones’ book. I never anticipated that my kindness in recommending Jones’ book to a collection into which it would not otherwise have been placed would be countered with the inaccurate Beale footnote (which may have been written with a libelous intent). Dr. Dorsett, commenting on the incident, said, eel am sure they go after you with a vengeance. Is this Love? What kind of fruit is it?”
Beale appears quite satisfied with his revalue-judgment.” A purchaser of my book took Beale to task for his erroneous footnote. Beale, on October 30, 1986, replied to my Illinois friend, indicating complete approval his utterly incorrect term Rinadequate documentation” and referring to one of the most shoddy pieces of religious journalism which discussed my study as a . . very careful review.”
Knowing his position on matters eschatological, I had, back in 1984, sent a copy of The Incredible Scofield to Rev. Robert L. Sumner, self-styled evangelist and editor of The Biblical Evangelist, a paper then issued from Murfreesboro, ‘Ibnnessee. I did this in the hope of Premillennial reaction. Strangely enough, there was no reaction until after Dr. Bob Jones had read my work. But when it come, it was terrifically Rshoddy.”
On June 3, 1986, Rev. Sumner wrote me, stating that he was going to review my book and asking for biographical material, including eduational background. I gave him the information requested and during the summer we exchanged several letters. Sumner’s tone suggested that he did not believe many of my statements. And always there was the implication that Dispensationalism was the only true Biblical position and that those who were true Christians did not disagree.
Sumner’s view came out in the November, 1986, issue of The Biblical Evangelist. Sumner spread over 20 pages ofhis paper a diatribe which would have received kudos from William Randolph Hearst. In the 20 pages, Sumner never once considered the very abundant documentation which gave me very good legal basis for saying that Scofield was not what he claimed to be. Rather, Sumner took statements of Dispensationalists and Trumbull’s Rchildish” book as verity and then tried to cut me down and impugn my motives. Worse, Sumner plainly stated that my education does not qualify me to write about Scofield.
Rather than wade endlessly through Sumner’s vicious nonsense, I would give but two examples to Dispensational unwillingness to be factual. In my chapter 23, I declare that I consider Scofield’s claim of the right to use the title Doctor and the initials eeD.D.” to be false. I indicated a willingness to withdraw my charge if the Dispensational hierarchy could produce a reference to the event at which the degree had been conferred.
One would expect normal people to check graduation and similar records and demolish me by giving school and place of the conferring of the degree. I would gladly accept such information. That is not the Dispensational way. My challenge has been ignored. I have, instead been blasted for defaming a dead man.
In chapter 35, I question the QFrench medal” which supposedly had been awarded to Scofield, noting that the famous French Academy in Paris had been unable to help me. Again, the normal reaction would have been to ask Mrs. Lawrence Freas (Scofield’s granddaughter), Pastor Ashcraft ofThe Scofield Memorial Church, or someone else who revered Scofield to produce the medal, if it exists. Again, I would gladly retract. Instead my integrity and my Christian commitment are inpugned.
These two illustrations make a mockery of a statement in Dr. Sumner’s letter to me of October 24, 1986: eel sincerely hope that my plain, frank review will undo part of the damage you have done. Although, as I show in quoting reviews of your work, this kind of slander can never to completely undone. Every single one of these reviews, based in misinformation, has eadded’ to what you said and made the matter worse.” Now the two illustrations I have given show that my charges are not «misinformation.” The reviews which Sumner refers to were comments by R. J. Rushdoony, J. R. Boyd (Sudbury, Ontario) and Geoffrey Thomas of Aberystwyth, Wales, all of whom commend my work. Sumner, in concluding his 20 pages, blasted these fine men just as hard as he went after me.
Despite the fact that none of my documentation was disputed, Sumner in a letter of November 13, 1986, insisted that my research had been challenged. Not so! Sumner further felt entirely proud of his throwing dung” at the gentlemenjust named because they also refused to worship at the altar of Scofield.
Sumner refused to allow my views to be presented to his readers. In the same letter he said; eeMy editorial decision not to publish the latter (my reply) has nothing to do with courage; it is strictly a matter of value. There is nothing therein that I have not answered.”
Which is, of course, completely untrue. Sumner was referring to a letter which the editor of Christian News, New Haven, Missouri, was kind enough to publish in which I had replied to Beale’s inaccurate footnote referred to above.
The editor of Christian News did allow me to publish a long and carefully written answer to Sumner. It did result in my receiving orders for my work from quarters which I would never have reached otherwise. Sumner, in his January, 1987, issue, published letters which he had received from Dispensationalist readers who had read his diatribe, but had not «profaned” themselves by seeing what I had written. It would appear that the Dispensationalist view is «Don’t confuse me with the facts, my mind is made up!”
Meantime, many ofmy friends wrote Sumner to protest his utterly unfair treatment of me (written with the apparent approval of Dr. Bob Jones). After a time, Sumner asked my friends to stop writing him (RMy mind is made up!”)
Note should be made ofone other Dispensational reaction. In July, 1986, Rev. George Zeller, assistant pastor of the Middletown Bible Church, Middletown, Connecticut, purchased a copy of The Incredible Scofield. He issued a four-page, very negative review. (It may have been published in some Dispensational periodical such as the IFCA VOICE.) His review at least indicated that, in contrast to Sumner, he really tried to consider some of the issues I had raised. But he, too, assumed that most of my charges against Scofield were falsehoods, and he joined with A. C. Gaebelein, Lewis Sperry Chafer and others in crying about the unfairness of attacking a dead man (who lives through his writings).
Zeller did list charges I made against Scofield and seemed to consider them irrelevant and refused to take them seriously. Then the critique assumes that Dispensationalism has always been a part of Christian teaching and can be found in the Scriptures. This, of course, is utterly untrue and has been disproved in volume after volume.
Both Sumner and Zeller limit their credibility in their belief that Dispensationalism is the only true way to interpret Scripture. Worse, they seem completely convinced that no one can take exception to Dispensationalism except from unworthy motives and with evil intent. Not so!
In the summer of 1976, the British humor magazine PUNCH sent a reporter to Dallas, ‘Ibxas, to look at the state of the church, especially its Fundamentalist variant. In the article which resulted, the writer used the term God-bothering.” This relation suggests that Sumner, Zeller and Beale and other Pessimillenarians are really God-botherers,” not servants of the Most High. Certainly in Rdividing the Word of fruth,” they have eliminated Galations 5:22, 23.
After the exchanges with RChristian” narrow minds and the slander which they generate, I am more than grateful that Dr. R. J. Rushdoony has seen fit to place my work on the list of Ross House Books.
JOSEPH M. CANFIELD
«The Christian Church still awaits a definitive comprehensive study of the entire subject of the second advent of Christ as it is revealed in the New including a careful investigation of the history of interpretation and the influence of this profound truth in the creeds and literature of the church, and in the lives of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.” [EMPHASIS ADDED]
So said the late Dr. Wilbur M. Smith in his column In The Study in Moody Monthly, March 1957. Such a study has not appeared, and the voluminous literature on the subject generally concerns itself with interpretation, not with the history of the interpretation, its newness or its traditions. Another area is almost completely overlooked—the lives of prophetic teachers and thinkers. The cult leaders, William Miller and Joseph Smith, have been examined and dissected, but we know virtually nothing about men whose teaching has been held to be in the Protestant mainstream.
The libraries of Evangelical schools have more than a shelf on D. L. Moody, and one can learn ofCalvin, Luther, Wesley, Whitfield, Robert Murray McCheyne and even J. Gresham Machen. J. N. Darby’s writings are always found on the shelf, but we really do not know the man himself.
One would expect a shelf, or a roomful, of studies on Cyrus Ingerson Scofield, but that expectation has not been realized. A Christian radio station has for years run a series, Stories of Great Christians, but a check shows that the life of C. I. Scofield has never been featured.
Only one book has been written about one of the most popular men in Evangelical history. That book is: The Life Story ofC. I. Scofield, by Charles G. Trumbull (Oxford University Press, New York, 1920). Referred to in the present work as Rfrumbull”, it proved an important source of material. In 1960, a then maste?s student at Southern Methodist University, completed a thesis: A Biographical Sketch of C. I. Scofield: A Thesis Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School of Southern Methodist University in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Master of Arts with a Major in History, by William A. BeVier (B.A., Drury College, 1950) May 1960. «BeVier” (as it is referred to here) has not been published. It is found in the libraries of some Evangelical schools and has important details of Scofield’s life.
In 1942-43, Arno C. Gaebelein wrote a series of articles for Moody Monthly, The Story of the Scofield Reference Bible.” Gaebelein included certain biographical notes not published elsewhere. (The articles were
later issued as a pamphlet by Gaebelein’s publishing house, Our Hope.) This is referred to as QGaebelein”.
Those three items represent the only prepared sources for material on Evangelical Dispensationalism’s most popular figure. Is it any wonder that as a partial response to Wilbur Smith’s challenge, an investigation was undertaken into the life of Cyrus Ingerson Scofield?
“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die.”
photograph taken late in his life shows a heavy-jowled man with a white moustache and a full head ofwhite hair. His name, Scofield, identifies the most widely circulated commentary-Bible in Christendom. In Dallas, ‘Ibxas, a church is honored to bear his name in its title.
Writing about him in the summer of 1919, Charles G. Trumbull, a leading religious editor and author, noted this facet of Cyrus Ingerson Scofield:
Dr. Scofield loves all nature—not only men and women and children, but the whole created world, still so beautiful in spite of what Satan and sinners have done to mar God’s work. l
A famous preacher-orator of the South, George W. Truett, made this comment:
Every one felt that he was a prince of true men. And what a friend he was. A man who would have friends must show himself friendly. Along with these qualities he was kindly, full of good will and cheer which radiated from him as the light from the sun. When with him you knew you were in the presence of one who knew what he believed. Christ was real to him.2
Speaking of his teaching, a layman said of Scofield:
He had every mark of a true Christian. He studied and comprehended the Bible in a way possessed by few men and passed on his prophetic knowledge in such a simple form that he who runs may read. 3
It is that prophetic teaching which made his major work, The Scofield Reference Bible significant. Speaking of that Book’s impact, a recent commentator said:
The various millennial currents were most effectively solidified in The Scofield Reference Bible. The significance of the Scofield Bible cannot be overestimated.4
And, as the layman noted, the millennial currents were solidified in a simple form. The prophetic teaching is what we today remember Cyrus Ingerson Scofield for. As another author has said: . in the calendar of Fundamentalist saints no name is better known or more revered “5
2 THE INCREDIBLE SCOFIELD AND HIS BOOK
That depiction, spread around the world in religious advertisements, articles and books, is about all the Christian community knows of the man behind the honored name.
Late in life, Scofield recalled a boyhood along the Raisin River in Michigan. The Scofield farm, where he spent that boyhood, was only in its first years as cleared land. The surviving trees of the primeval forest were yielding to the demand for lumber and to satisfy the insatiable appetite for more land.
Around Clinton, Michigan, the felled trees became lumber in a sawmill, run by the boy’s grandfather, Thomas Goodrich, and his father, Elias Scofield. The current of the Raisin River turned a mill wheel which powered the sawmill. The water flowed on into the Detroit River, through Lake Erie, over Niagara Falls reaching the sea via the St. Lawrence River.
Lenawee County (where Clinton is located) was part of the ROId Northwest”—that territory taken from the British by George Rogers Clark and organized by the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. But it had not been easy to make the taking from England” stick in the Raisin River country. The British held Detroit right up to the War of 1812.
The Indians remained loyal to England. During August 1812, there were two encounters between poorly led American troops and the Indians along the Raisin River. Both encounters ended in ignominious retreat for the Americans, with dead and wounded left to the Indians and British. The end of the War in 1815 left the settlers in the area destitute. The Indians, without support of the British, raided and killed. It took several years for ‘Ibrritorial Governor Cass to bring order into the ffbrritory of Michigan. But even the Indian threat did not deter land hungry settlers. They started pouring in even before the Indian menace ended.
In 1823, a group from Jefferson County, New York, acquired land in the Raisin River Valley near the town of ‘Ibcumseh. One of that group was Thomas Goodrich, maternal grandfather of C. I. Scofield.
Goodrich went back to Jefferson County in 1824 to move his family to the new lands. They were ten days sailing across Lake Ontario; then crossed the country to Buffalo with their teams. At Buffalo, they boarded a schooner which was to prove unseaworthy. It took eleven days to cross Lake Erie to Monroe, Michigan. The first Goodrich family home was an abandoned cabin near rlbcumseh.
Demand for lumber was high and the supply seemed limitless as the land had to be cleared, so Thomas Goodrich erected a sawmill along the Raisin River above Tecumseh. In the 1820’s, the country was still frontier, rough frontier. The Indians were still around. From a family history comes this experience of Scofield’s Grandmother Goodrich:
One day when he was absent an Indian came to his house, and seizing his daughter Deborah, dragged her out and tried to make her drink some whiskey. Her mother followed, and the Indian asked her to drink also. Pretending to do so, the Indian released the daughter and they both escaped to the house and barricaded the door, while the younger children sought safety in the garret. The Indian tried to break down the door, but failing, began to split it with an ax, and the mother and daughter retreated to the garret, pulled the ladder up after them, and guarded the opening with clubs. Finding himself defeated, the Indian started for the house of Ira Goodrich, who with his wife and children were all sick. Deborah ran three miles to the mill where her father was at work, and gave the alarm, and he and others ran to the rescue.6
Things did settle down. On April 21, 1831, Goodrich ‘m•ote to his daughter, Abigail Goodrich Scofield, and son-in-law, Elias Scofield, who were still living in the town ofIÆRay in upstate New York, not far from Watertown. One part of the letter is of special interest here:
. . . Surely when I left Jefferson County I expected you to make us a visit before this time if not to have settled here. Our country continues to settle rapidly we have 3 sawmills in this town and we can hardly supply the demand for lumber there is a thriving village begun 2 miles above us up the River on the Ohio Turnpike. No country furnishes better encouragement for carpenters and joiners than this I belief you could find constant employment for each if you were here 7
1b encourage the younger couple, Thomas urged: e%Sell and come here and leave that frightful climate.”8 Winters in Jefferson County, New York, are severe, far worse than in southeastern Michigan.
Two years later, in 1833, Elias and Abigail Scofield, with two children, left eeThe North Country” and moved to Lenawee County, Michigan.
CHAPTER 1 NOTES
- Charles G. frumbull, The Life Story of C. I. Scofield, Oxford University Press, New York, 1920, p. 125.
- fribute of Dr. George W. fruett, spoken at a Memorial Service for C. I. Scofield, in Dallas, ffbxas, on Sunday, November 27, 1921, as reported in The Dallas Morning News, Monday, Nov. 28„ 1921, p. 7
- Statement of George W. Dealey at the same service, reported as indicated.
- Dwight Wilson, Armageddon Now!, Baker Book House, 1977, p. 15.
- Ernest R. Sandeen, The Roots of Fundamentalism, British and American Millenarianism, 1800-1900, University of Chicago Press, 1970, p. 222.
- From The Goodrich Family” a family history. Supplied by Mr. Richard B. Krammerer of Gettysburg, Pa., grandson of Laura Scofield Eames, sister of C. I. Scofield. The incident is reported on page 374.
- The original letter is in the possession of Richard B. Krammerer.
The Yankee Heritage
“Look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged.”
n October 8, 1837, Elias and Abigail Scofield accepted the deed to a tract of land in the ‘Ibwns of Clinton and Newberg, Lenawee County, Michigan. They were part of a wave of Yankees and Yankee culture which spread out from New England, finally spending itself on the shore of the Pacific.
For the Scofield line, it had started in 1639 when Daniel Scofield appeared in Connecticut. According to family tradition as related by C. I. Scofield, Daniel had come from Lancashire, England. 1
By the time of Scofield’s grandfather, the family had made its first move—a short one—in a westerly direction. Elisha Scofield was born March 20, 1765, in Bedford, Westchester County, New York (Westchester County adjoins Connecticut).
Elisha served in the Revolutionary War. In 1781 he enlisted in Capt. Richard Sackett’s Company. He re-enlisted in 1782 and served as Corporal.2 On April 24, 1785, Elisha, now a citizen of the new republic, married Abigail Ingerson (the first Abigail Scofield).
A list prepared in June 1790 by the First Congregational Church ofGreenfield, New York, in Saratoga County, shows Elisha as a member. The second family move was in a northerly direction. The Scofields stayed in the “Ibwn ofGreenfield for about 20 years. All of their fourteen children, both those born in Bedford and those born in Greenfield, were baptized in the Greenfield Church.
Sometime prior to 1812, the Elisha Scofields moved to LeRay, Jefferson County, New York, just north of Watertown. The region is known as «The North Country,” and as its name suggests, it is subject to severe winters and very heavy snowfalls shared with adjoining Canadian territory.
In 1848, Elisha Scofield, Sr., then 76, was listed as living with his son, Elisha, Jr. (not Elias). He died September 6, 1859, in the ‘Ibv,m of “Ibresa also in Jefferson County. Burial was in the Evans Mills Cemetery near Watertown.
Our sources indicate that Cyrus’ father, Elias, was the eighth child of Elisha and Abigail Ingerson Scofield. Elias was born June 19, 1798, in Greenfield and baptized on the 5th of August in the First Congregational Church.
In Jefferson County, the Scofields became acquainted with the Goodrich family; Thomas, Catharine and children. The Goodriches were settled in CRThe North Country” by the turn of the century. On February 5, 1823, Elias Scofield married Abigail Goodrich (the second Abigail Scofield). Abigail was born on November 17, 1802. The couple were to become the parents of Cyrus Ingerson Scofield and six other children.3
Their first child, Emeline Eliza Scofield was born February 12, 1826. She may well have had a great influence on Cyrus. The second Scofield child, also a daughter, Harriet Marion, born February 23, 1828, was the last child born in New York state.
Elias Scofield had become adept at wood-working trades and later reported his occupation as mill-wright to the United States Census. There were undoubtedly more letters from Thomas Goodrich in Michigan than the 1831 one quoted. The western pull was strong, and, in 1833, Elias, Abigail and the two girls left New York State for Michigan. Elias appears to have gone to work with his father-in-law at the mill as soon as the family arrived in Clinton. A third child, Laura Marie Scofield, was born November 3, 1833. Victor Scofield, the first son, born November 7, 1835, lived just over two years. He died November 23, 1837.
On the frontier, death spared neither young nor old. Thomas Goodrich died April 25, 1836, after barely twelve years on his new lands in the nWest.” When Thomas Goodrich acquired his land on the Raisin River, it was in the old Michigan ffbrritory organized under the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. It was Gov. Lewis Cass who hammered out the Ibrritory of Michigan and organized a government. By 1835, the “Ibrritory of Michigan was ready to seek statehood. But a dispute with Ohio over a strip of land between the present %ledo, Ohio, and Monroe, Michigan, and points just to the West, held up admission until the dispute was settled. Admission was finally achieved on January 26, 1837.
During 1837, Elias Scofield decided to obtain his own land. The Goodrich lands had passed to the younger Thomas Goodrich (Abigail’s brother); thus it was that on October 8, 1837, Thomas Jr. and his wife Betsy Goodrich conveyed to Scofield title to a plot of land in the “Ibwns of Clinton and Newberg, Lenawee County, Michigan.
A second son, Oscar, was born to the Scofields on April 30, 1838. He also had a short life, dying on June 17, 1840. The fourth and last daughter, Victorine Ophelia Scofield was born on March 15, 1841.
Elias Scofield was dividing his time between woodworking and cultivating his plot of ground. He continued to participate in the lumbering and the working of the sawmill. In the light of the evidence of these trades, it is quite remarkable that in the eulogy written for C. I. Scofield at the time of his death, Luther Rees (a long-time associate of Rev. Scofield) said that Elias was an officer in the regular Army, stationed near Detroit.4
It has not been possible to locate any Army facility in or near Lenawee County. The National Archives has not located any record of military service for Elias Scofield, and in the 1840’s Clinton would hardly be considered near Detroit.5
The last child of Elias and Abigail Scofield, Cyrus Ingerson Scofield, was born August 19, 1843. Abigail failed to recover from the effects of delivering Cyrus. She must have spent the late summer and early fall in 1843 in a lingering state of illness for she did not die until November 15, 1843.
Elias was left with a motherless babe and four daughters, ages 17, 15, 8 and 3. Emeline probably took charge of the household, and it is likely that the Goodriches and other neighbors helped out until Elias remarried.
Scofield was to relate this story of his boyhood to Charles G. Trumbull when Trumbull was writing his sketches:
One day, when a little chap six or eight years old, he felt that his many sisters were shamefully neglecting him; so his sisters called him—and a little friend decided to run away from home.
They traveled all day, and at nightfall they encountered some woodchoppers who hospitably asked them to spend the night before their great log fire. The following morning, somehow, the youngsters did not go farther, but retraced their steps, dirty-faced and homesick. Their stomachs had a sense of need, too; so they decided to stop at a farm-house and ask for something to eat. This they did at several farmhouses, but could not get up courage to ask for more than a drink of water, hoping each time that there might be an accompanying cookie. Nothing but water came their way.
Finally the two little runaways reached home. No special welcome awaited them, for the sisters had decided that they would act as though nothing unusual had happened. The son ofthe family was quite nonplussed, having expected an enthusiastic welcome.
The boy’s father took him on his lap and gave him an extra tight hug, much to the boy’s delight. And years afterward the father told him that he had not slept a wink that night when his «wandering boy” was not under the home roof with him.6
Not long after the erunaway” incident, Elias brought a stepmother into the home. He married Rebecca Fidela Passeus. Remarkably, Scofield the preacher never mentioned a stepmother.
Most of the genealogical data utilized in this chapter came from records of Congregational chruches in New York State. 7 The Yankees who went West sometimes took their churches with them. The Congregational meeting house, familiar at home, did at times reappear in the newer settlements.
The Elias Scofields must have made a change in churches. In later years, C. I. Scofield was to say that his parents were «nominal Epis-
copalians.” It will be noted that his sisters were Episcopal communicants throughout their lives.
The search for additional Scofield details included surviving records of the two Episcopal parishes closest to the Scofield farm. Some records of St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church, Clinton, and St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, ffbcumseh, are in the Bentley Historical Collection of the University of Michigan Library, Ann Arbor. (St. Patrick’s parish was merged into St. Peter’s in 1844.) Those surviving records do not show the name Scofield in the entire period between Elias’ arrival in Michigan in 1833 and the Civil War.8 Note that in the period we are considering there were births, marriages and deaths, all of which would have been recorded for faithful communicants. frumbull’s use of the term «nominal” is probably accurate.
When C. I. Scofield related the story of his boyhood to Charles G. Trumbull, he said that he had been influenced by a cultured Episcopal rector who was a graduate ofRugby and Oxford in England.9 The names of rectors who served parishes in Lenawee County in the early 19th century were checked. The list had only one who was born across the Atlantic, the Rev. William Lyster.
The Assistant Archivist of the Archives and Historical Collection of the Episcopal Church History Society (Austin, “Ikxas) read the story as related by frumbull. She pointed out that William Lyster was born in Ireland, graduated from Trinity College, Dublin, and pursued a theological course at the University of Edinburgh. He was ordained in England. Her comment was that the Trumbull story was cea little scrambled” 10
Lyster’s connection with young Scofield, if Lyster was the one mentioned by Trumbull, was rather limited. Records show that Lyster was rector at ‘Ibcumseh only in the 1830’s, before Scofield was born. During Scofield’s boyhood, Lyster had charges at Cambridge Junction, Michigan; Christ Church, Detroit; and ‘frinity Church, Monroe, Michigan. He was also a traveling missionary visiting Episcopal churches in Southern Michigan. It is possible that in the latter role he may at times have spent a night in the Scofield residence in Clinton. The contact with young Scofield would have been brief.
In considering the cultural climate which shaped young Scofield, the Episcopal influence may have been the least significant. Scofield’s parents had come to maturity in a part of the United States which was stirred by social and religious ferment of remarkable intensity.
The 1831 letter of Thomas Goodrich gives a hint of the way in which some of the fervor touched a family:
. You must write immediately after receiving this & let us know everything about Jefferson County and how anti Masonry this town has been called the Masonic ‘Ibwn But the 4th day of April we tried the test &
elected the anti Masonic ticket throughout to the mortification of 30 or 40 Brethren of the Mistic Tie We cable tanned the whole with their eyes open. 11
The center of the Anti-Masonic Movement was along the Erie Canal in New York State. Goodrich’s letter gives us a hint that it was more active in RRThe North Country” than we had previously been aware of. Rev. Jedidiah Morse’s revelation of the role of Masonic Lodges in the French Revolution and the disappearance of William Morgan, the exposer of Masonic secrets, were all fresh in people’s minds. Goodrich, identified as a strict Baptist, would not have been enthusiastic about the various ewild-Fires” spreading through what is referred to as the Burned-over District.”
The Anti-Masonic furor was but one of many excitements which kept people in Upstate New York so concerned about particular issues that they lost sight of the true vision of America as well as the vision of a Church friumphant.
Whitney R. Cross related the Upstate New York situation to the movement West:
Much ofthe isolation, optimism, crudity, superstition, and credulity characteristic of a young section thus remained during the second quarter of the century. If these were the primary causes of isms, however, western New York should have been much less eburned” than other territories farther west, instead of itself earning the designation, “Burned-over District.” In fact, this region during the era of its renowned enthusiasms progressed rapidly from its pioneering characteristics toward new ones of an eastern stamp. The survivals of earlier manners have some part in explaining its habits ofmind, but the newer traits seem more important.
Westward migration continued through this area for many years. Some Yankees during the thirties went directly to Michigan or Illinois, but others stopped here to buy out earlier settlers who moved on in turn. Still others had stopped earlier in eastern New York and now moved on within the state. The transients headed for more distant parts were ordinarily the restless, the less educated and propertied, the more optimistic folk, who preferred a rough frontier to the adjustments which civilization required. Ambition for material success when inadequately satisfied in New York drove them on; so they probably ahd less religious inclination that did the persons they left behind, who had achieved a degree of worldly position and could well look to their eternal welfare. 12
Obviously, we do not know enough about the Goodrichs and the Scofields to make direct application, but this description does establish that there was instability in the social climate in which young Cyrus was molded.
The movement to Michigan had some distinctives which, in molding young Scofield, a lad from a motherless home, may account, for the man of later years. this we must add the fact that the Scofields were in a new religious milieu running counter to the family conditioning of generations past.
Kevin Phillips, a political commentator, writing in 1968 noted:
“1b a degree little appreciated by most Americans, the cultural patterns of the Northeast and the coastal South traveled due west across the preCivil War Mississippi Valley so that the county-by-county partisanship of, say, Indiana, can be largely explained in terms of Yankee, Middle Atlantic or Southern settlement. A number of pre-Civil War travelers and observers discussed this phenomenon, and one ofthe best descriptions is that written in 1834 by a contemporary emigration counselor named Baird: ethe emigration to the Valley of the Mississippi seems to have gone in columns, moving from the East almost due West, from the respective state. . . . From New England, the emigrant column advanced through New York, peopling the middle and western parts of that state in its progress; but still continuing, it reached the northern part of Ohio, then Indiana and finally Illinois. A part of the same column . . . is diverging into Michigan 13
Baird, quoted by Phillips, continues:
The above mentioned fact furnished a better key than any other that I know of, to furnish a correct knowledge of the diversity of customs and manners which prevail in the Valley of the Mississippi. 14
Phillips’ point is that the farther north the stream of migration, the more politically liberal it was. The source of this pattern was the Unitarian takeover of church and state in Massachusetts. This is plainly set out in Ernest Gordon’s book The Leaven of The Sadducees. 14
The cultural influences which marked the areas where the Scofield family lived, migrated and settled, were subject to influences which make us have some reserve about Trumbull’s claim in the opening of his story about the spiritual depth of the parents. 15
CHAPTER 2 NOTES
- frumbull, op. cit., p. 14.
- Genealogical data for this period of the Scofield family was supplied by Mrs. Ruth Scofield Kennedy ofBirmingham, Michigan. Mrs. Kennedy is connected with another branch ofthe Scofield clan but developed information on Cyrus’ ancestors in connection with her own research. The Kammerers of Gettysburg, Pennyslvania, provided additional information.
- Data from Mrs. Kennedy and the Krammerers.
- The Central American Bulletin, Dallas, ‘Ibx., Sept. 15, 1921, p. 118.
- Letter to the author from the National Archives, Oct. 12, 1976.
- frumbull, op. cit., p. 5.
- Congregational data accumulated by Mrs. Kennedy.
- The records are preserved in the University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library, Michigan Historical Collection, Ann Arbor, Michigan. The material was checked for the author by Mary Jo Pugh, Reference Archivist.
- frumbull, op. cit., p. 2.
- Letter from the Episcopal Church Historical Society, Apr. 10, 1978.
- Letter copied from the original by the Kammerers of Gettysburg, Pa.
- Whitney R. Cross, The Burned-Over District, Harpers, 1950, p. 113 ff.
- Kevin Phillips, The Emerging Republican Majority, Arlington House, New Rochelle, N.Y., 1968. Phillips’ analysis of events up to the time of his writing is excellent, especially in pinpointing the role and political complexion of «Limousine Liberals”. His role as a political prophet was devastated by the Wonderful Folks who gave us Watergate. Phillips quoted R. Baird, View ofthe Valley of the Mississippi, Philadelphia, 1834, pp. 100-101.
- E. Gordon, The Leaven of the Sadducees, Bible Institute Colportage Association, Chicago, 1926, p. 1.
- frumbull, op. cit., p. 3.
The Start of the Q French Connection”
“For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth and friends above,
For all gentle thoughts and mild,
Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn ofgrateful praise.”
Folliott S. Pierpont
wedding was celebrated in Clinton, Michigan, on March 19, 1850. Emeline Eliza Scofield was married to Sylvester Vilray Papin of St. Louis, Missouri. Probably, the ceremony was performed by the Episcopal rector; we cannot be sure, because the parish records are incomplete.
The bridegroom came from one of the prominent French families in St. Louis. The Choteau Clan to which he belonged had played an important part in the fur trade in the West. The original Trench Connection” had reached St. Louis from Canada in the years before the American Revolution. By the middle of the 19th century, the clan was firmly in control ofthe world’s mqjor fur market. 1 ffhey had protected their interests by securing land grants from the governments which had exercised nominal sovereignty over the lands west of the Mississippi. After several generations they had successfully blended their French Catholic background with the 19th century Middle Western culture.
Sylvester Papin, born in 1820, originally planned on an Army career. He applied for a commission to West Point; it arrived while he was prostrate with an illness which lasted 14 months, so it had to be declined. On his recovery he became a student of law. By 1847, he was a clerk in the city recorde?s office.2
The Choteau clan was so prominent in the history of St. Louis that much data on the family has been preserved. But the various sources are silent as to when and where Emeline and Sylvester met. Journey’s in the 1840’s were not easy. Sylvester’s post as a city employee would not require traveling on business, especially to a backwoods corner of Michigan. Unwed girls were less likely to leave home than they are today. The most likely explanation is that after Rebecca came into the Scofield home, Emeline in some way reached St. Louis and met Sylvester.
The relationship between Emeline and Cyrus was extremely important during several crucial periods in Cyrus’ life. But except for
statistics, little appears to have survived about the oldest Scofield girl. We do not know her as a person. More knowledge of Emeline’s personality might help clear up some details in our study and help round out the picture of Cyrus.
After the wedding the couple settled in St. Louis. They lived in a home on Pine Street between 12th and 13th Streets.3 By the time the 1851 City Directory for St. Louis came out, Sylvester had been appointed to the post of city register, heading the Department in his office in City Hall.4 A son, Sylvester Vilray Papin Il, was born in 1859. But back to Michigan.
By the early 1850’s, the Scofield homestead in the ‘Ibwn of Newburg had emerged from the pioneer wilderness. Father Elias was involved in working both the sawmill and his land. The house was managed by stepmother Rebecca, helped by three growing girls—virtually young ladies.
Cyrus was at an age where he could handle a lot of chores, that is, if he could work them in between school, hunting and fishing. In an earlier work on Scofield, it is reported that in the evenings the boy Cyrus liked to read in front of the open fire (no doubt only after lessons and chores were finished). The story was that he avidly devoured historical works and even tried to work out a chart system to show world history.5
Of course he did his reading in front of the fire. There was no other place in a country farmhouse. In 1939, Dr. Wilbur M. Smith related this comment by Scofield about his boyhood reading:
I gave much of my earlier life to the study of the two greatest of merely human writers, Homer and Shakespeare, and while my understanding undoubtedly profited by that study and I found keen and intellectual delight in it, these books held no rebuke for my sins, no new power to lift me above them.6
This was much more typical of mid-19th century America than the sophisticates have been willing to admit. A reference of Dr. Cornelius Weygandt about finding a copy of Don Quixote at an auction of a farm in Pennsylvania is appropriate:
another bit of evidence to the great mass rolling up everywhere throughout our country to prove that ethe States” a hundred years ago were far more cultivated than most of us have realized. 7
In the mid-1850’s, there appeared in Clinton one William Henry Eames, a native of Auburn, New York, trained in dentistry. 8 He started a practice to fill the needs of Lenawee County. He even filled a personal need. Laura Scofield became the object of his affections, and she reciprocated.
A double wedding was held in Clinton on February 4, 1855. There was no regular rector in charge of St. Patrick’s at the time, so we do
THE START OF THE TRENCH CONNECTION” 13
not know who officiated.9 Harriet Marion Scofield married Franklin Eastbrook, and Laura Marie Scofield married William Harrison Eames. Harriet lived but a little over a year after her marriage, passing away on February 28, 1856.
William Eames was touched with that American desire to move on, but instead of going West, he went South. He must have felt that more filling opportunities awaited him in ffbnnessee. On July 15, 1858, he purchased property on Main Street in Lebanon, Wilson County, about 30 miles east of Nashville.10 Despite assertions in the Dispensational community to the contrary, the Eames, William and Laura, were the only part of the Scofield family connection to establish a home in ‘Ibnnessee. ll
In 1859, Rebecca Scofield died leaving Elias a widower for a second time. Rebecca’s will filed for probate at Adrian, Michigan, in November includes bequests to Victorine and Cyrus Scofield. L2 Cyrus’ failure to mention a stepmother seems a bit of ingratitude.
The 1860 Census shows Elias Scofield living in the Village of “Ibcumseh, married again, this time to 32-year-old Elizabeth, a native of Vermont. 13 Cyrus, in a letter written in 1862, confirms his father’s continued residence in Michigan. Elias remained in Michigan until his death in 1870.
Victorine Scofield was enumerated in the 1860 Census in Wilson County, mnessee, living with Laura and William. 14 By April 1861, when Sumter was fired upon, Cyrus was Nvisiting his sister in mnesse.”16 He never returned to Michigan.
Today Lenawee County remembers as its most famous native son, not Rev. C. I. Scofield, but comedian Danny Thomas.
CHAPTER 3 NOTES
- Encyclopedia of the History ofSt. Louis, by Hyde & Connard, 1889 in the collection of The Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis.
- Data supplied by The Missouri Historical Society from City Directories in their collection.
- frumbull, op. cit. p. Iff
- The Spirit and Method ofBible Study, Addresses by Ihe Rev. C. I. Scofield, D.D., and ‘Ihe Rev. Wilbur M. Smith, D.D., Silver Anniversary Momento of rlhe Philadelphia School of the Bible, October 1, 1939, p. 34.
- Cornelius Weygandt, The Dutch Country, D. Appleton-Century Co., New York, 1939, p. 97. The Dutch Country is one of twelve books by Weygandt (Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania) describing the culture, laree, penates, flora and fauna of that America which was finally extinguished by World War Il.
- Information supplied by Richard Kammerer.
- Information on the state of the charge at St. Patrick’s from the Bentley Historical Collection, Ann Arbor (supra).
- Copy of Deed supplied by Registrar of Deeds, Wilson County, Lebanon, Tbnnessee.
- frumbull, op. cit., p. 6, which conflicts with page 7.
- Copy of will from Register of Wills, Lenawee County, Adrian, Michigan.
- United States Census for Michigan, 1860, Lenawee County, p. 117.
- United States Census for 1860, Wilson County, District No. 10, p. 175.
- Quoted from a letter considered in Chapter 4.
The War Between the States
“To every thing there is a season, and to a time to every purpose under heaven … a time of war, a time ofpeace.”
Ecclesiastes 3:1 and 8b
1n his days as pastor and Bible teacher, Scofield was to make much of ‘Ibnnessee «roots.” Those roots would have had to be put down during his stay with Laura and William in Wilson County. Historian Donald Davidson describes life in the region just. before the start of The War Between The States:
Middle mnessee extended from its irregular eastern boundary to the “Ibnnessee River on the west, and included the mountainous Cumberland plateau, the oak barrens of the Highland Rim, and the rich bluegrass basin which was the chief seat of its diversified and highly prosperous agriculture. On the north it had easy commercial access to Louisville and Cincinnati; on the south it linked with North Alabama, and through the gateway of Chattanooga, with Georgia and the Deep South. In Middle Tennessee were more plantations, and yet not many large plantations. The small farmer flourished along with the planter. Like the Bluegrass ofKentucky, the region represented a westward extension of the Virginia tradition, in which the planter set the tone of society and was willing to live up to his responsibilities. Yet he did not make any too absurd pretensions to aristocracy. The rough-and-tumble tradition of Old Hickory and the negligible distance between planter and farmer forbade that. Middle “Ibnnessee was decidedly proslavery, and had some secessionist tendencies, but it liked the Whig program too. l
Scofield’s exposure to that way of life was limited. It could never have influenced him as Trumbull suggests.2 The few months he was there could never have countered the cultural molding to which he had exposed in Michigan.
In the material sent by Scofield to Marquis Publishing Company for inclusion in RWho’s Who in America” in 1912, he claimed that he was preparing privately for entrance to university when the war broke out.3 For this there is no confirmation. In relating his story to Trumbull, Scofield said that the war closed the schools.
The commitment to war in early 1861 disrupted life in Wilson County. Eventually it led to actual destruction. William Eames’ practice of dentistry was destroyed.
Meanwhile, Cyrus, being somewhat at loose ends, followed a pattern noted throughout history; he decided to enlist in the Army. He
was 17, going on 18. He was described as tall, athletic, looking older than his chronological years.4 At the start of the War, the Confederacy set a minimum age of 21 for military service. This did not bother Scofield. It did not faze hundreds, possibly thousands of others. Giving his age as 21, Scofield enlisted on May 20, 1861, in the 7th Regiment of mnessee Infantry. He was assigned to Company H, along with other men from Wilson County.5 This assignment is the only bit of evidence so far located which might support his claim to residence in Wilson County, ‘Ibnnessee.
The fact that mnessee was organizing troops and accepting enlistments as early as May 1861, is evidence of popular support for resistance to the North. Tennessee did not adopt its Ordinance of Secession until July 2, 1861. 6
The story of the 7th Tennessee was included in Tennessee in the Civil War, Part 1. Portions are reproduced here with the permission of the mnessee State Archives and Library, Nashville:
The regiment was organized at Camp frousdale, Sumner County, where it was mustered into Confederate service in July, 1861. On July 15 it entrained for Virginia, reaching Staunton, Virginia, on July 25, 1861. Along with the 1st (Maney’s) and the 14th Tennessee Infantry Regiments it formed what was known throughout the war as the Ibnnessee Brigade, Army of Northern Virginia, under Brigadier General Samuel R. Anderson. The 7th and 14th ‘Ibnnessee were together from the original formation of the brigade until the surrender at Appomattox.
After a stop of several weeks at Big Springs, Virginia, the brigade participated in the unsuccessful Cheat Mountain Campaign in West Virginia.
After the return to Big Springs, they were ordered to join Brigadier General John B. Floyd near Raleigh Courthouse, from there moved to Major General Thomas J. Jackson at Winchester in December, 1861. Here Shumakefs Battery was attached to the brigade. With Jackson, on January 4, 1862, they participated in the expedition to Bath, Virginia, to destroy the railroad bridge near that point.
On February 9, 1862, Maney’s 1st was ordered to Tennessee, and the 7th and 14th along with the 3rd Arkansas Infantry were placed in a brigade commanded by Major General Theophilus H. Holmes, commander of the Aquia District. On February 24, 1862 the 7th and 14th were ordered to Manassas to join General Joseph H. Johnston’s Army. On March 8, 1862 narney’s 1st Confederate joined the 7th and 14th Regiments to form Anderson’s Brigade at Evansport (now Quantico), Virginia. These three mnessee Regiments remained in the same brigade throughout the war, being the only mnessee Regiments to spend their entire term of service in the Virignia Theater.7
On April 8, 1862, Private Scofield was detached from Company H and entered as a patient in the Chimborazo Hospital in Richmond, Virginia.8 Records of individual patients and their treatments at this military hospital have not been located. We are not sure of the reason
THE WAR BETWEEN THE STATES
for his admission. Since it is a matter of record that disease killed more men on both sides of the war than were killed in battle, it is probable that he had taken ill. Further, no mention of a war wound ever appears in the narrations. Scofield returned to duty May 1, 1862.
Whatever bodily ills there were that called for treatment, we must note that his spiritual needs were given little thought. Yet, Chimborazo Hospital had a ministry that was caring for the spiritual needs of the patients right at the time Scofield was there.
In his book RThe Great Revival in The Confederate Army” William W. Bennett tells of fruitful ministry in that place, and at the time of Scofield’s confinement.9 Bennett quotes a Rev. Joseph P. Martin: “We have lately had sixteen conversions. . . .”10 This in early 1862, the time of our present concern. Rev. Dr. Ryland reported (as noted by Bennett):
I have conversed with, addressed, and prayed for many hundreds of invalid soldiers during the month and given each a tract, or a religious newspaper, or a New and have received from all great respect, and from many the most tender expressions of gratitude. U
Scofield appears to have been unaware of such activity and was at that time unmoved by things spiritual. He returned to duty in time to join his company in the Battle of Seven Pines. The Tennessee archivist reports:
In May, 1862, Colonel Hatton was promoted to Brigadier General and given command of the brigade. Lieutenant Colonel Goodner was promoted to colonel; Major John K. Howard to lieutenant colonel; and Captain John A. Fite to major. At the Battle of Seven Pines, May 31, 1862, General James J. Archer assumed command of the brigade.
The brigade was placed in MAjor General Ambrose P. Hill’s Division, and in June, 1862, consisted of the 5th Alabama Battalion, 19th Georgia Regiment, 1st, 7th and 14th ‘Ibnnessee Regiments, and Braxton’s Battery. As such it was in the engagements at Mechanicsville and Gaines’ Mill June 26—27, where the 7th suffered 72 casualties, and had every field officer either killed or wounded. Here Lieutenant Colonel John K. Howard was killed. 12
On July 8, 1862, Private Scofield sent the following letter to the Confederate Secretary of War, George H. Randolph (grandson of Thomas Jefferson). The transcription is from the original in the National Archives, Washington, D.C.: 18
Hon. Geo. H. Randolph.
Desiring to obtain an exemption from the Conscription Act and an order discharging me from the service of the Confederate States I would respectfully call your attention to the following statement of my reasons and motives.
I am a native of the State of Michigan and my Father still resides there. I am a minor and at the time I entered the service of the South I
was visiting a sister in ‘Ibnnessee and joined the Seventh mnessee as a volunteer in May ’61. I have never voted in the Confererate States nor in any manner exercised the rights of citizenship. My reasons for wishing discharge are that my health never good is broken by exposure and fatigue in the recent series of engagements with the Enemy before Richmond and I have fought in three battles for the South and have no intention of deserting her cause but after a short time to enter Guerilla service in East ‘Ibnn.
Hoping my reasons and motives merit a favorable reply I have the honor to be
Respectfully Your obdt Servt Cyrus I. Scofield Co. H 7th Ibnn Regt.
The letter is especially interesting because it invalidates the claim made by Trumbull that the family as a whole had located in Wilson County, ‘Ibnnessee. 14 It specifically declares that Elias was still living in Michigan, most likely in ‘Ibcumseh, as noted in the 1860 Census.
The letter was received in Richmond on July 9, 1862, and the wheels of bureaucracy started to spin some red tape, along with actual decision making, of which more anon.
The 7th ‘Ibnnessee was part of a movement which did not stop for red tape. The archivist notes:
In August, 1862, Hill’s Division was ordered to join Major General T. J. Jackson’s Corps, and was in the Battle of Cedar Run on August 9, where the regiment suffered 34 casualties; of Manassas Junction, August 26; and of Manassas Plaines, August 28. At Second Manassas, the regiment was commanded by Major S. G. Shepard. 15
After Second Manassas (or the Second Battle of Bull Run, as it was called by the federals) the path of the 7th ‘Ibnnessee led to actions more spectacular than any previously experienced.
CHAPTER 4 NOTES
- Donald Davidson, The Tennessee, Frontier to Secession, Rivers of America Series, Rinehart & co., New York, 1946, P. 296.
- frumbull, op. cit., p. 7.
- Who’s Who in America”, Vol. 7, 1912, Marquis Publishing Co., Chicago.
- frumbull, op. cit., p. 8.
- Company Records in ffbnnessee State Archives.
- Dates of the Secession Ordinance are a matter of record. Specific source: Scott’s Specialized United States Postage Stamp Catalog, Confederate Section.
- Tennesseans in the Civil War, Part 1, Civil War Centennial Commission, Nashville, 1964, p. 188-190.
- Confederate Archives, Chap. 6, File 21, p. 40 and File 64, p. 41.
- W. Bennett, The Great Reviz.ul in the Confederate Armies, 1976, reprint by Sprinkle Publications, Harrisonburg, Va.
- Bennett, op. cit., p. 80.
- Bennett, op. cit., p. 152.
- Tennesseans in the Civil War, p. 189.
THE WAR BETWEEN THE STATES
- Original in the National Archives, Washington, D.C.
- frumbull, op. cit., p. 9
- Tennesseans in the Civil War, p. 189.
Antietam—And All That!
“Thou therefore endure hardness as a good soldier ofJesus Chris?’
y the end of August 1862, General Robert E. Lee was ready to invade the North. The 7th Tennessee, by then in Major General Ambrose P. Hill’s Division and attached once again to Major General
- J. (Stonewall) Jackson’s Corps, was one of the regiments in Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia.l
In Richmond, the bureaucracy, besides spinning out red tape, had taken action on Scofield’s letter of July 8, 1862. At the end of August, word reached Company H of the 7th Ibnnessee that an «alien,” a resident ofMichigan, was in their midst. Release of Private Scofield was ordered. A note to that effect was entered in Regimental Records on August 30, 1872.2 The discharge did not take place immediately. It must have seemed the height of folly to release an effective soldier in the face of a major engagement. This was especially true since the Army of Northern Virginia was having difficulty keeping a full compliment of men.
On September 5, 1862, Jackson’s Corps, including the 7th IEnnessee and Private Scofield, crossed the Potomac at White’s Ford, a few miles beyond Leesburg, Virginia and camped on the Maryland side. On the 9th, Lee ordered Jackson to envelop Harper’s Ferry from the Virginia side.
The movement of the troops is descriped by John Greenleaf Whittier, an excellent poet who served the Bostonian elite. He wrote:
Up from the meadows rich with corn Clear in the cool September morn,
The clustered spires of Frederick stand Green-walled by the hills of Maryland.
Round about the orchards sweep,
Apple and peach tree fruited deep.
Fair as the garden of the Lord
To the eyes of the famished rebel horde,
On that pleasant morn of early fall
When Lee marched over the mountain wall.
Over the mountain winding down,
Horse and foot into Frederick town. . . .3
The poem goes on to describe, as Whittier understood it, the march of the troops, including the 7th rlbnnessee, Company H, and Private Scofield. But Whittier made central to his poem an incident which did not occur as the troops marched up Patrick Street. Whittier claimed that an American (Union) Flag displayed by one Barbara Frietchie was shot offits staff. It was allegedly recovered by Barbara who berated Jackson. Jackson in turn, supposedly ordered the flag respected by his troops. The poem was for years taught to every schoolchild outside the South. 4 Despite the wide circulation of the Frietchie story in his day, we do not find Scofield mentioning it, for it never happened. Fact is that Mrs. Frietchie was not even in Frederick on the day Jackson marched through. A Mrs. Mary S. Quantrell did display a flag, but neither Jackson nor his men took any notice of it, and Mrs. Quantrell never met a Bostonian poet.
The troops passed through Frederick and camped within a mile of Boonsboro. Late in the day, they had a brush with a squadron of Federal Calvary. Next morning (the 11th) the troops moved to Williamsport. Here they reforded the Potomac. A. P. Hill took the direct turnpike while Jackson took a side road to approach Martinsburg from the west. As Jackson and Hill approached, the Federals left Martinsburg and crowded into the blind alley which was Harper’s Ferry.
On the morning ofthe 12th, the Confederates entered Martinsburg, Virginia (new West Virginia). Jackson was greeted with enthusiasm and secured the sympathies of the residents. Stonewall was not deflected from his purpose by the blandishments of Martinsburg society. He departed late the same day in the direction of Harper’s Ferry. On the 13th, Bolivar Heights was invested and the town of Harper’s Ferry surrendered.
Late on the 14th, A. P. Hill gained a foothold on the enemy’s left and placed some artillery at the base of Loudon Heights on the right bank of the Shenandoah River. Scofield was reported to have been an orderly. No doubt he was extremely busy during this action. The investiture was successful. On Monday, Harpe?s Ferry surrendered. Jackson left Hill in charge at the Ferry. He headed toward Sharpsburg to reinforce Lee who was facing McClellan at Antietam Creek.
It was not until the morning of the 17th that A. P. Hill was able to get away from Harper’s Ferry with three brigades and 2,500 men. Meanwhile General Ambrose Burnside, with a corps of 14,000 men, had been waiting to make an advance. Around 1 0’clock he crossed the bridge which now bears his name. By 3 0’clock he was ready to advance against the feeble line of Confederates opposing the Union hordes.
- P. Hill had been marching his men over the 17 miles from Harper’s Ferry, Private Scofield among them. They had started the day by wading across the Potomac. By the time they neared Antietam
22 THE INCREDIBLE SCOFIELD AND HIS BOOK
Creek, they were tired and footsore. Just as Burnside’s advance began to roll, Hill, picturesque in his red battle shirt, appeared with 2,500
Hill was always strongest at the critical moment. Advanced with his battle flags, his line moved forward. General D. P. Jones with a brigade of 2,500 men had been bearing the brunt of Burnside’s push. As Hill’s men advanced, Jones and his troops rallied. In the din of musketry and artillery on both flanks, the Federals broke over the field. Hill without waiting for other brigades, met the blue line and stayed it. The blue hesitated and by hesitating were lost. Burnside was driven back to the Antietam and under the shelter of his heavy guns. As the day ended it was evident that Hill again had struck with the hand of Mars.5
With the conclusion of the battle, a deathly silence descended on the scene. Both sides were too exhausted to do more than hunt four wounded and dying. Lee had no choice but to return to Virginia. On the 19th, he led his troops across the Potomac at Boteler’s Ford (Shepherdstown).
As Lincoln often painfully noted, the Federals usually made no attempt to pursue the Confederates after a major engagement. And most modern histories so report this battle, However, Antietam was different. Fritz-John Porter’s Corps had been held back and on the 19th were fresh and rested. Someone, possibly someone outranking McClellan, sent Porter after the retreating Confederates. Late on the 19th he reached the Potomac at Botele?s Ford and engaged General Pendleton who was covering Lee’s rear.
Pendleton lost some artillery to Porter’s men. Seeing his danger, he sent word to Lee and Lee dispatched A. P. Hill to support Pendleton. With Hill were the remains of the 7th ‘Ibnnessee. The Confederates had the advantage of position. Rushing down the slope on the Virignia side, they forced the Federals into the River at the Ford and scored a victory over Porter, ending the threat to Lee’s movement.
Shepherdstown (Boteler’s Ford) was the last engagement in which Scofield was involved. But he never mentioned it.6 The 7th Tbnnessee had gone into Maryland with effectives numbering less than 100. Of that number, over 30 were killed or wounded at Sharpsburg. The remains of the regiment, after Shepherdstown, made its way back to Martinsburg to rest and recuperate.
Settled at Martinsburg, on the 26th of September, the Regiment took care of some %usiness.” Lt. Andrew Allison issued a certificate of discharge to Pvt. C. I. Scofield of Company H. The certificate noted that Scofield was under age, not a citizen of the Confederacy, but an alien friend. It also noted that his enlistment had been but for one year. 7
Scofield was given a mileage allowance for his return to Tennessee. The certificate of discharge is the last entry located in the Confederate records regarding Cyrus Ingerson Scofield.
In later years when Scofield had become well known as a Bible teacher, he allowed to circulate a story that he was decorated for bravery at Antietam.7 flypically, Trumbull says, RThe Cross of Honor was awarded to him for bravery at Antietam.”8 Note first that Antietam was not a Confederate term. The Confederates referred to the engagements of the war by the name of the nearest town, in this case Sharpsburg. The use of the name of the watercourse was a Federal practice. Thus if the statement had been correct it would have said: eeThe Cross of Honor was awarded to him for bravery at Sharpsburg.”
Then the statement creates the image of a commander or even Jeff Davis, the President, calling together a group of brave soldiers and presenting to them medals for acts during the battle. This did not happen.
The simple fact is that, except for one instance which took place some time after Scofield left the Confedereate service, the Confederacy gave no decorations for bravery.9 Luxuries like decorations were something that the hard-pressed Confederacy could hardly afford. Actually, reports ofthe battle at Antietam Creek make no mention of decorations being given by either side as a result of the action in September 1862. qypical is the very recent study, The Landscape Turned Red, The Battle ofAntietam, by Stephen W. Sears (1983) which, while relating the battle in detail, omits reference to any decoration.
Note also that the Cross of Honor was not an award of the Confederate government. After The United Daughters of the Confederacy (the women’s group) was organized and functioning, it decided to give recognition to those who had served the South honorably during fte War Between The States.10 It was not until 1900, 38 years after Sharpsburg, that the UDC started going through the records to seek out veterans or their survivors in order to present the Crosses.
The official description of the award as supplied by the UDC is:
The Cross of Honor dated 1861-1865. Foreground: A Crusader Cross in bold relief, each bound to the other by the Battle Flag of the Confederacy and linked by the entwined monogram, UDC, to ribbon. It is attached to a laurel leaf as a special mark of valor for those who distinguished themselves in feats of courage. The color of the ribbon signifies the war in which recipient served. The Bronze dolphin or star indicate Overseas Service. Motto: Tortes Creantur Fortibus’ßThe brave beget the brave’. Crosses of Military Service are the most prized awards bestowed by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Guard it safely, wear it proudly. It represents your Confederate Heritage and your patriotism and service to your Country in time of war. ll
While it is evident that the UDC wanted to reward the brave fight of the men in Grey, it was not quite a decoration in the manner usually
24 THE INCREDIBLE SCOFIELD AND HIS BOOK
described in Scofield biographical comments. And note that the apparent discrepancy arose in the period when Scofield, a noted Bible teacher, was preparing to start work on the Scofield Notes for which he was to become world famous.
Scofield’s spiritual apathy at Sharpsburg-Antietam contrasts sharply with incidents reported by Bennett. Bennett gives us a report of Rev. W. J. Mills, Chaplain of the Florida Regiment:
A young man said to me after the battle (Sharpsburg): etWhen I was going through the battle, I put my trust in God, and he has brought me through untouched, and I am grateful to Him.” And the tears stood in his eyes as he spoke. He was an uncoverted man when he went into the fight. Last night at preaching, while referring to the incidents of the battle and how God preserved them, many tears fell, and many countenances spoke louder than words undying gratitude to the God of all grace. 12
CHAPTER 5 NOTES
- Tennesseans in the Civil War, p. 189.
- The note was placed on the Discharge Certificate.
- eBarbara Frietchie,” by John Greenleaf Whittier, in WhittieHs Poems, Tickner and Fields, Boston.
- In an article of July 21, 1886, in the Philadelphia Times, the story of Barbara Frietchie was completely exploded by reporter George Seilheimer. When faced with the evidence produced by Seilheimer, Whittier refused to withdraw the poem, but insisted on its credibility. Note that in the poem, Whittier was quite hard on Stonewall Jackson, pert of the Bostonian effort to downgrade the Confederacy and all those associated with it.
- The story of the troop movements (and that of Barbara Frietchie) was based on material in North to Antietam, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, Vol. Il, Thomas Yoseloof, New York, 1936. Also, The War Without Grant, by col. Robert R. McCormick, Wheelwright, New York, 1950, Chap. IX. Also the works of the Civil War by Carl Sandburg and Bruce Caton.
- Shepherdstown (Boteler’s Ford), the last action in which we have any assurance Scofield was involved, is the emystery engagement” of the war. It may have been ordered directly from Washington to produce a eereal victory” to justify Lincoln’s issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Since it was in no way a success, it has been passed over, virtually unnoticed by historians until recently. That the mature Scofield failed to mention it could be one of the indications that Scofield was quite well aware of what CThe Establishment” wanted.
- For example: A. C. Gaebelein, The Story of The Scofield Bible, Moody Monthly, October 1942, p. 1928, later in book form by Our Hope, New York; Frank Gaebelein, The Story of the Scofield Reference Bible; BeVier, op, cit., p. 7; Charles Kenney, Rev. C. I. Scofield, DD., Soldier, Lawyer, Pastor, A uthor, The Gospel Herald, 1934; Warren Wiersbe, Insight, Scofield and Ryrie, Moody Monthly, February 1977, Vol. 77, No. 6, p. 125.
- frumbull, op. cit. This was related to frumbull by Scofield but is at variance with fact.
- Harold B. Simpson, Confederate Research Center, Hillsboro, rluas, advised the writer in a letter dated June 1, 1976: «The Cross of Honor to my knowledge was given by the UDC to Confederate veterans. There was no CSA decoration by this designation. In fact, the only Confederate medal struck for valor was the so-called Jefferson Davis medal awarded to Lieut. Dick Dowling and 46 others for the defense of Sabine Pass in September 1863.”
- In a card dated May 28, 1976, Mrs. K. F. Crippen, Office Mgr. The United Daughters of the Confederacy, advised that the first Southern Cross of Honor was bestowed on April 26, 1900, more than 37 years after Sharpsburg-Antietam.
- The description of the decoration is from a circular from the UDC.
- Bennett, op. cit., p. 201.
Behold I shew you a mystery!”
1 Cor. 15:51a
s September 1862 came to a close, 19-year-old Cyrus Scofield was somewhere in Virginia. Discharged from the Confederate Army, at his own request, he had his mustering out pay, in Confederate money, of course. The mileage allowance for return to Tennessee could not be fully used as intended. Nashville and Lebanon were in Federal hands.
‘1b get from Martinsburg to almost anywhere else in the Confederacy, Scofield had to make his way up the Shenandoah Valley and then to Richmond. In Richmond, there was no ceremony awarding a medal for valor in 1862 nor any other occasion before the debacle in 1865.
Actually, from the day the Discharge Certificate was issued at Martinsburg until an event in St. Louis about four years later, not a single definite record of where young Scofield was or what he did has been located. We consider it probable that the desire to become a guerrilla was not fulfilled. Recurring bouts of illness, prevailing event into the 20th Century, suggest that his health never did really recover (as he had hoped in his letter to Secretary Randolph). l It is unlikely that during the war years he was strong enough for a guerrilla role. East ‘Ibnnessee was a hot-bed of pro-Union sentiment inside the Confederacy. It would have been suicide for a Confederate guerrilla to be operating with papers indicating Union citizenship. And we have no stories describing how the hand of Providence operated to protect a guerrilla in East Tennessee so that the Scofield Bible might be given to the world in years to come. A term as guerrilla should have provided a quiver full of such instances.
Stories did circulate that Scofield served in the Army of Northern Virginia until the end of the war. For instance, BeVier refers to sources, all really secondary, which declare that Scofield’s military service lasted until 1865.2 The references are in material written before Trumbull, but based either on interviews with Scofield or on stories circulated during his ministry. frumbull, while repeating the story of service throughout the war, introduces, possibly inadvertently, a note which may support the blank in official records. On page 8 of his book, he wrote, Before he was nineteen young Scofield had been under fire in eighteen battles and major engagements.”3 Scofield had become 19 while
in the Army was in Virginia preparing to enter Maryland, just after Second Manassas. The «eighteen” engagements conforms to the record of the 7th ffbnnessee. That frumbull mentions no action after Antietam (he should have called it %Sharpsburg”) seem to confirm that there was no further military service by Scofield after the discharge of September 26, 1862.
Scofield does not really help to clear waters which at that point are quite muddied. In 1904 he addressed a gathering of Confederate veterans in Dallas.4 We know of the address only in the form of sermon notes.5 There is a reference to his first glimpse of Gen. Stonewall Jackson. All personal references are to the days prior to Sharpsburg. The few references to the later days ofthe war are to matters of general knowledge which could have been picked up from books or periodicals. On the second page of his notes, we find:
Since Gustavus Adolphus Cromwell no army so many converted men Northern Virginia 63—64.
This refers to an aspect of the war conventiently left out of official and establishment histories. A revival of almost unprecedented proportions took place in The Army of Northern Virginia in 1863 and 1864. The sermon notes are correct—there had been nothing like it since the early days of Cromwell’s command. But Scofield’s reference to the Confederate Revival could have been picked up second hand, rather than by being observed first hand by him, even as a scoffer.
Mention has been made of The Great Revival in the Confederate Armies, by William W. Bennett.6 Originally issued in 1877, this could have been the source of Scofield’s comment on the revival. It would have been required reading for any cleric who wanted to keep up a
Probably the Scofield of 1863 was neither receptive to nor touched by the Confederate Revival, especially in light of his lifestyle in the 1870’s. He admitted that prior to his conversion in 1870 he was ignorant of things Christian. In the war years, he was either hardened against the Gospel to an intense degree or else was on some adventure that kept him away from the blessing.
Bennett notes, in a chapter headed enutumn of 1862″ (a date immediately after Scofield’s discharge):
The revival, at this period of the war, was undoubtedly greater and more glorious in the army in Virginia than in any other portion of the Confederacy
Even the impending collapse of the Confederacy in 1865 failed to cut off blessing. Bennett again is our authority:
Up to January 1865, it was estimated that nearly one hundred and fifty thousand soldiers had been converted during the progress of the war, and it was believed that fully one-third of all soldiers in the field were praying men and members of some branch of the Christian Church.8
None of this appears to have touched young Scofield, supporting our contention that he was not directly exposed.
BeVier assumed that Scofield’s service did continue, but in some regiment whose record-keeping was incomplete.9 However, Col. Harold B. Simpson of the Confederate Research Center in Hillsboro, advised the writer that up to December, 1864, records of The Army of Northern Virginia were substantially accurate. This is where Scofield claimed to be serving, yet his name is not listed in any Army of Northern Virginia records after September 1862. It is probable that the claim of service right up to the time of surrender at Appomattox lacks factual support.
However, consider Scofield’s status if he stayed in the Confederacy and was not in the military. His papers identified him as a citizen of the Union, an ealien friend.” At the start of the war, the Confederacy issued an order that:
Every male alien of fourteen years or over was ordered to leave the Confederacy within forty days, suffer expulsion, or be treated as a prisoner of war. If he returned, he was to be treated as a spy. The law defined as aliens all citizens ofthe United States who acknowledged Federal authority or declared alliegance to it. 10
On the basis of his Discharge Certificate, Scofield could have been in trouble. False papers may have come from somewhere.
At one point in his story, frumbull relates as a &Confederate reminiscence” a story involving Scofield and Senator Roscoe Conkling (R-N.Y.) at a formal dinner in Washington. ll But Conkling did not become a senator until 1867. (The Conkling incident will be considered in later chapters). The unsatisfactory reporting by Trumbull at this point may indicate an effort to cover a hint that slipped out that Scofield was crossing Union lines, in and out of Washington during the war.
If Scofield was 12 miles from Appomattox (as he told Trumbull) on April 9, 1865, his role would not have been one that required a uniform of faded, frayed butternut. 12 Scofield was undoubtedly an accomplished story teller. He may have regaled Trumbull with a plethora of stories about the war, entirely factual. There may have been a number of crossings into Washington between September 1862 and April 1865. If so, he would have been carrying false papers and could have been in a role that frumbull feared would not have enhanced the Dispensational image. In the interest of eimage-building,” the Conkling story was slipped into the edited narrative, but it got in out of chronological order.
While we really do not know where Cyrus was and what he was doing, we do have some idea of how the war affected some other members of the family. As Grant moved south, there was a northward movement into St. Louis and other border cities. From the story of St. Louisan James B. Eads, we learn of the situation in St. Louis:
Even more distressing were the homeless, wandering refugees who trickled incessantly into town from the invaded southern territory, sent north by the Union generals because they had become era serious impediment to military movements.” They landed from boats, herding together at the wharves; they came in wagons and hastily fashioned carts, they plodded afoot, their worldly goods in bundles slung over their shoulders, babies in the arms of stumbling women. Nothing, it seemed to James Eads, had ever pulled at his sympathy like this human flotsam. It had been streaming here for months. «The greatness of their numbers appalled us, one St. Louisan wrote of the refugees.”18
The burden of providing for them had, at first, been thrown by the War Department upon local southern sympathizers, but James Eads had protested against this, reminding the military authorities that the war as «an accursed contest between brothers.” He had put a check for a thousand dollars in his letter to start a fund for the homeless. After that, a Sanitary Commission had been organized to provide refugee care. This care was meager enough, funds were always running out, and the tragedy ofthe haggard newcomers weighed upon the heart ofthe tired boatbuilder as he went his rounds in quest of money or credit. 14
In the more progressive, socially minded 20th Century, this sort of thing has become so commonplace that it hardly causes raised eyebrows. 15 That it could happen in the United States in the mid-19th Century indicates how far the American Dream had already been prostituted. Much of the responsibility for this may be placed on <The Secret Six” and their aims. 16
Among the refugees were the William Eames family and Victorine Scofield. Still extant is the pass issued by the Federals to give the Eames safe passage northward. Whatever hardships were endured between Lebanon, Tennessee, and St. Louis, there were relatives in St. Louis who could help William, Laura, the children and Victorine. Sylvester and Emeline Papin may have put the refugees up temporarily and assisted in getting them settled.
William Eames opened an office for the practice of dentistry in 1863. The evacuation had not been without tragedy for the Eames. Their third child, James, died on March 15, 1863, only 17 months old. Childhood ailments could have been aggravated by the hardships of the trek north from Tennessee. The day that little James passed away, Laura Scofield Eames was confined. On the 14th she had given birth to their fourth child, Harriet Loretta Eames, who lived until 1944. Victorine Scofield was married on July 23, 1863 to Thomas B. Annan. Thus the effects of the evacuation were sloughed off with the passage of time, and St. Louis became the focal point of family interest.
The shooting of President Lincoln on April 14, 1865, undoubtedly on someone’s orders, was a dramatic announcement that the war was ended and the country embarking on a new phase of existence. 17 Otto J. Scott says of the end:
A half-million dead and a million crippled was a heavy price, but the people paid even more. The South was in ruins and the relations between the races disrupted beyond words, while the voice of The Liberator, Garrison, said the anti-slavery cause was won. 18
The end of a war usually means that the men who fought and survived turn their thoughts toward home. But, for young Scofield, where was home? Despite has later claims of roots in and loyalty for “Ibnnessee, he had no real ties left there, nor would conditions in Wilson County have been attractive. Historian Donald Davidson has described the area in 1865:
By the end of the war ffbnnessee property, by one reliable estimate, was reduced fifty per cent in taxable value. But such an estimate was hardly a measure of the damage. Physical establishments of every kind, in country, town and city, had suffered even where they had escaped gunfire or the torch. Homes had undergone the abuses of military residence or had deteriorated from vacancy or lack of repairs. School buildings, colleges, churches, courthouses, asylums had been wrecked or damaged by their appropriation for use as barracks and hospitals. Often they had been the center of hot fighting. Railroads were patched up, worn-out remainders except where they had been maintained by the Federal army for its own purposes. Turnpikes were battered, and highway bridges were gone. Mills and factories had been burned, or essential parts of their machinery had been destroyed or carried off. Fences had largely gone to make campfires or hasty breastworks. 19
Not the place for a young man with ambitions.
Lenawee County may have seemed something of a backwater. Elias’ residence, with a stepmother closer in age to Cyrus than to Elias, could have meant a most uncomfortable situation.
The presence of three sisters and their husbands in St. Louis, one husband having roots as deep as the city itself, made Cyrus’ choice easier. It was evident that in St. Louis there were connections that would help Cyrus get started on his way in the world.
It was in St. Louis that the first definite date in Scofield’s life after Martinsburg, four years earlier, was entered in official records. That date was September 21, 1866.
CHAPTER 6 NOTES
- The letter is referred to in Chapter 4.
- William A. BeVier, A Biographical Sketch of C. I. Scofield, p. 7. BeVier here cites The Congregational Year-book Statistics for 1921, Eleanore W. Nichols, Ed., The Jordan and More Press, Boston, p. 482: «Scofield served as a private, Company H, 7th ffbnnessee Infantry in the Army of Northern Virginia under General Lee; was decorated with the Confederate Cross of Honor.” This citation correctly relates the facts of record, but in a manner which gives an impression quite at variance with fact for the casual reader. Wpically, Scofield was no closer to Lee during his Service than most Gl’s were to Eisenhower during World War Il.
BeVier also notes that L. D. Hill wrote in 1901: nScofield fought in the 7th “Ibnnessee Regiment in all of the great battles of this great fighting body (including Gettysburg), and served throughout the war.” (L. D. Hill and Philip Lindsley, A History of Great Dallas and Vicinity, 2 vols., The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, 1909, p. 282.) The assertion by Hill and Lindsley is contrary to fact. Scofield was not in the 7th mnessee after September 1862.
BeVier cites Frank Gaebelein as saying that Scofield «served throughout the Civil War with distinction, being awarded the Confederate Cross of Honor.” (Frank Gaebelein, The Story of the Scofield Reference Bible, Oxford University Press, 1959, p. 7.) Actually, the Gaebeleins, father and son, can be shown to be quite careless in recording facts about the man who introduced the systems so important to their beliefs and ministries.
Note that BeVie?s sources here all secondary sources, depending largely on Scofield himself. ‘They are not confirmed by data in official record sources. BeVier himself may not be entirely sure. He concluded this part of his theses with: n . . . and it may be frumbull’s account, which Scofield approved and which was published during his lifetime is accurate.” (BeVier, op. cit., p. 8.) Although BeVier is not quite convinced, he assumed that frumbull was a reliable source and accepts the line approved by the Dispensational Establishment, a line which conflicts with official records.
- frumbull, op. cit., p. 8.
- The date of the gathering has not been established and the full text does not appear to have been published.
- Notes of this talk are among Scofield sermon notes in the Moodyiana Collection, Moody Bible Institute, Chicago. Material donated by the Rev. Wendell P. Loveless.
- Chapter 4. The book was reissued in 1976 by Sprinkle Publications, Harrisonburg, Virginia.
- Bennett, op. cit., p. 211. 8. Bennett, op. cit., p. 8,9.
- BeVier, op. cit., p. 8.
9a. Letter from Col. Harold B. Simpson to the writer, June 1, 1976.
- Quoted from Judah P. Benjamin by S. I. Neiman, Bobbs Merrill, Indianapolis, 1963, P. 113.
- frumbull, op. cit., p. 128.
- frumbull on pages 8 and 9, places Scofield 12 miles from Appomattox, but does not indicate which side of the lines he was on.
- Anderson, Galusha, The Story of a Border City During the Civil War, Boston, 1908, as quoted by Florence Dorsey in work referred to in Road to the Sea, The Story of James B. Eads, Rinehart and Company, New York, 1947.
- Dorsey, op. cit., p. 82.
- qypically, the displacement of Germans from the areas ceded to Poland in 1945. See Nemesis at Potsdam, by Alfred M. de Zayas, Routledge and Keegan Paul, London, 1977.
- «The Secret Six” were Rev. Theodore Parker, ‘Ihomas Wentworth Higginson, George Luther Stearns, Frank Benjamin Sanborn, Samuel Gridley Howe and Gerrit Smith. Except for Smith who was an upstate New York man, they were respectable e proper” Bostonians whose money made it possible for them to, by propaganda and hired assassins, push the issue of abolition of slavery to a breaking point without regard for consequences or effect, merely to impose their own wills on others. The story is
told in The Secret Six, John Brown and the Abolionist Movement, by Otto J. Scott, Times Books, New York, 1979. The Secret Six were at various times aided morally and actually by Senator Charles Sumner, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. John Brown of Ossawattomie and Hape?s Ferry was their best known tool. Some of their henchmen were in a few years to nurture the fledgling Scofield in politics in Kansas.
- Both Louis Weichmann who was involved directly in the assassination drama and Chicago chemist-historian Otto Eisenschmil who has done definitive research on the assassination, place major blame on Lincoln’s Secretary of War, Edwin M. Stanton, but offer no hint of Stanton’s possible encouragement by others. Samuel Carter Ill notes in Yankee Magazine, Feburary 1976, a meeting early in 1865 between Samuel Gridley Howe (one of The Secret Six) and John Wilkes Booth. That may have been only because of Howe’s interest in the theatre. But since Howe had firm ideas about the social value of assassination for political gain and also flexible moral values, we cannot be sure of the innocence of the meeting.
- Otto J. Scott, op. cit., p. 320. In concluding his story, Scott says of The Secret Six, “They were, of course, fools. Their rejection of the accumulated wisdom of the human race led them to repeat ancient follies and to inspire others down grisly paths toward goals they considered noble. Their tactics were closely watched from Europe, and later emulated.” eeAs to the movement they spawned, its rhetoric is lofty and its methods base, but—despite noisy triumphs—its destiny is doomed by its dead fruit.”
- The Tennessee, Vol. Il, Civil War to TVA, by Donald Davidson, “The Rivers of America Series”, Rinehart & Co., New York, 1948 p. 108.
Scofield’s French Connection
“There are three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not: … and the way of a man with a maid.” Prov.
Tn 1865, the year Cyrus located there, St. Louis was the world’s center .Lfor the fur trade. John Jacob Astor had returned the trade to the French families who had dominated the activity in the days when St. Louis was under the Fleur-de-lis. l Scofield’s connection with a branch of the Choteau Clan, of fur trade fame, gave him an entry into a way of life far different from the old frontier conditions of Lenawee County or the leisurely pattern of pre-War Wilson County.
Since much of the fur was used by fashionable Parisian furriers, ties with France were extremely close. Both fashions and ideas current along the Seine reached St. Louis with amazing rapidity. (This was the Paris of the latter days of Napoleon Ill and Eugenie.) Scofield, moving in a group which tried to keep abreast of developments in Paris, soon learned French. He is reputed to have retained proficiency in that language to the end of his life. The possibility must not be overlooked that radical ideas, not readily acceptable to Napoleon Ill, could have been safely exported to St. Louis along with fasion designs. 2
When Scofield reached St. Louis, his brother-in-law, Sylvester Papin, was president of the St. Louis Board of Assessors.3 Thus, he had connections which could open many doors for his younger brother-inlaw. He chose to place Cyrus in his own office where he could direct the course of Cyrus’s training for a career in the law. Cyrus was thus given a great advantage in his start in the law, but we must consider it a case of pure, simple nepotism.
In view of later events, Sylvester may have felt that Cyrus as a lawyer would be of value to the Papin-Choteau Clan in legal matters connected with their many business activities.
With the tide of westward migration pushing the frontier toward the setting sun, it was becoming evident that the fur trade would not be a permanent source of either current income or lasting wealth. The interest of the Choteau Clan and its branches was shifting toward capitalizing on the lands to which they had been given vague titles long before the American flag flew over CCThe Great American Desert.”l
If the hint in Trumbull reflects actuality,4 that Confederate Scofield was in Washington during the days when Grant was moving south,5
he would have had contacts at a very high level. Since Washington had to be considered in turning French and Spanish land grants into merchantable American land titles, Scofield may have had potential usefulness to the clan beyond what he himself imagined.
It should be noted that in the 1860’s, none of the eeLearned Professions,” law included, were the «closed shops” they are today. So while Scofield could be earning at least a nominal wage for tasks performed around the assessors office, he started to become familiar with the law, especially regarding land grants, titles, deeds and conveyances. In frumbull, we note:
In order to get together money for his legal education, he started in at once as a clerk in an office for the examination of land titles—a line closely related to the law. . . . After less than two years’ work in this office, his devotion to this technical branch resulted in his appointment as chiefclerk, being chosen from among the considerable number ofyoung men in the office.6
Since most lawyers, especially away from the Seaboard, obtained their education in practice, not classroom, we hold that Scofield (and Sylvester) never contemplated law school. Trumbull was writing and thinking in terms of the 20th Century, and without deprecating Scofield’s diligence at his work, it is only realistic to see the hand of Sylvester in the promotion.
frumbull, on the same page of his work, implies that Scofield’s further apprenticeship was served in the office of a practicing law firm, a point not confirmed by available records. It is also suggested that Scofield with great nobility declined an offer of financial assistance from Sylvester.
Sylvester and Emeline were living on Dillon Street near Hickory. No doubt Cyrus had a room there when he first arrived from the war and other related endeavors.
The «open shop” attitude which prevailed in those days made it possible for Scofield to engage in legal matters quite soon. Case 0 3887 of the Circuit Court ofSt. Louis County, December rlErm, 1866, included the name of Cyrus I. Scofield in the action of William H. Powers to recover the sum of $1,600 for goods and merchandise delivered to Owen Clary and Company. 7 This is the first note of a legal career that was to burn out rather quickly, like a spent rocket.
Scofield’s life was not all work. In the typically French society, there were dinners, dances, parties. It wasn’t long before he met Leontine Cerré, youngest daugher of widowed Helene LeBreau Cerré. The Cerré’s were one of the prominent French families and part of the eclan.” Besides the widow and Leontime, the household at 139 S. Fourth Street included son Henry and another daughter, Sara-Helene. 8
Leontine’s grandfather, Jean Gabriel Cerré was born in Montreal, August 12, 1734. By 1755 he was established at Kaskaskia (Little Paris
in the Wilderness) in what is now Illinois. In 1764, he married Catharine Giard, of a family established in Kaskaskia since at least 1729. In 1778, Jean Gabriel Cerré had a confrontation with George Rogers Clark. Clark had been told that Cerré was an enemy. However, Clark secured Cerré’s good will. (Later Clark devoted 1/25th of his memoirs to the adventures with Cerré.) While Cerré accepted Clark’s amnesty in 1778, he soon moved to St. Louis outside American jurisdiction and bought, on July 17, 1779, Block 13 of the Village of St. Louis, being the block bounded by the Mississippi River and what are now Main and Vine Streets and Washington Avenue.9
Records indicate that he was a responsible man of affairs during the last years of the French and Spanish regimes. Cerré lived to see the Stars and Stripes fly over St. Louis, dying on the 4th of April 1805. 10 His son, Michael Sylvestre Cerré, Leontine’s father, was born in St. Louis April 17, 1803. He accompanied Col. Bonneville on his exploration of the West and was noted by Washington Irving in his relation of the expedition. On April 10, 1839, he married Marie Helene LeBeau (born January 17, 1819).
Michael Cerré served in the Missouri Legislature, was Clerk of the Circuit Court and at the time of his death was Sheriff of both St. Louis City and County. His obituary, in the St. Louis Daily Evening News of January 5, 1860, gives us a picture of the man:
Mr. Cerré was very generally known to and esteemed by our citizens. He was a native of St. Louis and a member of one of its oldest and most respectable families. He was one of the early fur traders here, and among the first of those who visited New Mexico for the purpose of trade. He could relate many interesting incidents of his experience of life on the plains and in the mountains at that day, when the region which he roamed through had scarcely yet felt the pressure of the foot of the white man. For some years past he has been retired from regular business, devoting his attention to the care of his property, and occasionally serving in offices to which the partiality of his fellow citizens had called him. He was a person of active temperament and habits. His disposition was kindly and his manners frank and cordial. All those who were brought in near and friendly relations to him felt a warm attachment for him. It is not often that a community loses from its midst one who[se loss] is more regretted. l–l
Leontine Cerré, born October 27, 1847, was evidently quite taken by the dashing young Tbnnessean from Michigan named Scofield. His Army discharge of four years earlier, given the following description: eefive feet eleven inches high florid complexion hazel eyes.”12 There was probably little noticeable change by 1866. The romance between Cyrus and Leontine developed into an engagement, then marriage. The nuptuals were solemnized on September 21, 1866, before a justice of the peace. A civil marriage ceremony was probably required since Scofield as a non-Catholic could not be a party to a full nuptual mass in conformity with the strict Catholic standards of the day. Being a non-Catholic was apparently no bar to Scofield’s acceptance by the clan. The lack of religious ceremony seemed to bother no one at the time. 13
Cyrus and Leontine first lived at the northeast corner of 7th and Pine Streets in St. Louis. 14 But the couple may not have been any more settled than modern young executive couples. Their first child, Abigail Leontine “Ibrese Scofield, was born July 13, 1867, in St. Joseph, all the way across the State of Missouri.
Since Victorian ladies rarely did much, if any, traveling while pregnant, it seems probable that the couple were located in St. Joseph at the time. The first name of the little girl honored Cyrus’ mother, the second, his wife. She was to use Abigail and be more familiarly known as Abbie.
Abigail was baptized July 28, 1867, in St. Joseph’s Cathedral, St. Joseph, Missouri. The godfather was Sylvester, Cyrus’ brother-in-law; the godmother was Sara-Helene, Leontime’s sister.
By the time the next child arrived in October 1869, the Scofields were back in St. Louis, but involved in relocating to Atchison, Kansas. Marie Helene was baptized October 17th in St. Therese de Avilla Church, St. Louis. William Henry Eames and Valentin Butterfield were sponsors.
Eames and his wife, the former Laura Scofield, had endured displacement during The War Between The States. They were never mentioned by Scofield in relating the story of his life. Dr. Eames became a prominent dentist in St. Louis and taught for many years at the Missouri Dental College. The Eames occupied “Selma” a noted mansion overlooking the Mississippi. One of their children, Col. William Eames, became a prominent architect. 15
The move of the Scofield household to Atchison was completed shortly after the christening of Marie Helene.
CHAPTER 7 NOTES
- N. Feltskog in his 1960 Edition of The Oregon Trail by Francis Parkman (University of Wisconsin Press) on page 490 (footnote to p. 76) notes a substantial decline in the fur trade after 1846. John Jacob Astor, in the face of the fashion-induced decline, had gotten out of the fur trade, turning it back to Scofield’s in-laws and the other members of eeThe Clan.” In the 20 years from the time of Parkman’s adventure to the time Scofield arrived in St. Louis, the fur trade, while still profitable to the Clan, had further declined. Hence the interest of the in-laws in turning from fur trading to dealing in lands.
- Timothy Papin, Sylveste?s brother, five years younger, had studied medicine in Paris and returned to St. Louis to practice. The probability of continued connections with persons living along the Seine is most likely. Others no doubt kept up close contacts beyond invoicing and letters of credit.
- Louis City Directory, 1865.
- frumbull, op. cit., p. 128.
- Grant Moves South,” by Bruce Caton. Study of Grant and his campaigns in Virginia.
- frumbull, op. cit., p. 10—11.
- From Records of the Court.
- From St. Louis Directories ofthe period. Checked by Mrs. Arthur W. Felt, Researcher, Missouri Historical Society, letter to the writer, February 3, 1978.
- Unpublished manuscript on the Cerré family. Copies in Missouri Historical Society and personal files of John H. Mize, Jr., Atchison, Kansas.
- BeVier, op. cit., Note 16. Also Washington Irving, The Adventures ofCaptain Bonneville, New York, 1937.
- Louis Daily Evening News, 5 January 1860, as quoted in the Cerré manuscript.
- Discharge Certificate.
- Marriage Certificate
- Louis City Directory 1868.
- Information from the files of the Missouri Historical Society. See Chapters 3 and 5.
In Kansas-—Playground of the Secret Six
“We looked for peace, and there is no good; and for the time of healing and behold trouble!”
mo fully understand the environment in which Scofield practiced law and engaged in politics, the reader properly should read The Secret Six by Otto J. Scott. l This work, already referred to, shows how the very legitimate desire to end chattel slavery was misdirected by six wealthy men (who had given up Christian faith), misdirected into a bloody conflict which divided the nation and upset beyond repair relations between the races.
The story is relevant to the life of Scofield because eThe Secret Six” selected Kansas (a territory in the 1850’s) as the place to push their aims and try their ideas. The result: Kansas became known as «Bleeding Kansas”.
The Secret Six, themselves remained safe in Boston, Mass. Henchmen and followers were used for the bloody deeds. The minions of The Secret Six remained dominant in Republican politics in Kansas until almost the end of the century. Cyrus Ingerson Scofield was personally intimate with those eminions” who had cut a swath of destruction and who continued to hold the ideals which originated in Boston. Otto Scott told the writer that he was doubtful whether anyone who had been in politics in Kansas in that period could ever have become a genuine Bible teacher.
As Kansas settled down after Appomattox, squatters moved in unoccupied lands. Squatters were a problem that almost all holders of extensive land-grants in the West had to contend with. Knowing How common the squatter problem was, Scofield, in relating his role in the Regis Loisel land case (the case involving the Papin family interests), described it in terms of squatters and their ejection from lands illegally occupied.2 (That case is the only proceeding we positively know Scofield handled after his admission to the bar).
was the story he told Luther Rees, sometimes pastor, securities salesman and Scofield’s associate in the pastorate. Rees must have been a good listener. In his memorial piece at the time of Scofield’s death, as related in The Central American Bulletin, the story he told
IN KANSAS-—PLAYGROUND OF THE SECRET SIX
seems unlikely, even inaccurate.3 As quoted from the Establishment poet John Greenleaf Whittier’s RThe Story of the Kansas Emigrants”:
RThey cross the prairies as of old
The Pilgrims crossed the Sea,
‘1b make the West as they the East,
The Homestead of the free.”4
Scofield is alleged to have replied with a rhyme which is probably the cleverest in all of his writing, but an evident parody of Whittier:
CCThey crossed the prairies in a band
To try to steal some railroad land!”
But before discussing the trial in terms of official data, the Scofield family must be relocated from St. Louis to Atchison, Kansas.
Sometime after mid-1869, Scofield reached Atchison. Here develops a problem in date-setting. (That problem will arise again and again both in this story and in the spread of Scofield’s teaching.) As noted in Chapter 7, daughter Marie-Helene was born October 4, 1869, in St. Louis and baptized October 17.5 Before the end of 1869, Scofield has spent some time in a Kansas law office (that of John J. Ingalls) to qualify for admission to the bar (but only that of the lower courts) in the State of Kansas.
The most likely explanation is that, since Leontine’s pregnancy was well advanced by the time the decision to go to Atchison was made, she did not travel until after the baby was born. Thus Cyrus would have gone ahead, located a residence and started making legal and social connections. Leontine, Abigail and the new baby with the rest of the household followed late in October or in November.
Cyrus found a residence in Atchison on the south side of Kansas Avenue between 9th and 10th Streets.6 The United States Census for 1870 in addition to the four Scofields, shows Henry Cerré, Leontine’s brother, 19 years old, and Catharine McGuire, a white female, age 36, a native of Ireland; occupation, servant. Also in the household was Mary Brice, a negro female, age 10, born in Missouri; occupation, also servant. 7
Now a household of this size could not operate and be maintained on the earnings of a tyro, fledgling lawyer. Either Leontine’s dowry was remarkably income-producing, Scofield was drawing on anticipated land sale commissions, or else the Loisel-Papin interests were supporting the entire menage in anticipation of the land case settlement and the resulting sales.
Scofield had been empowered by the Loisel interests to engage the best legal counsel available. His selection, John J. Ingalls, was a reasonably successful transplanted New Englander, exactly the type that the Loisel interests would use without ever fully admitting him
40 THE INCREDIBLE SCOFIELD AND HIS BOOK
to the innermost circles. Born December 29, 1833, in Middleton, Massachusetts, Ingalls was a graduate of Williams College, Class of 1855, and no doubt well permeated with Sadducean Leaven. 8 He came to Kansas in 1858, to serve The Secret Six and helped tip the balance in Kansas permanently in favor of Boston and all that meant.
Ingalls, true to his New England heritage, had been active in territorial politics. He became a state senator in 1861 after statehood. His advance in politics assures us that he was aware of the bloodshed in Kansas sponsored from Boston, and he must have accommodated to the morals which this implied. During The War Between The States, he was judge-advocate of the Kansas Militia. After the war, he edited the Atchison newspaper, Freedom’s Champion, along with his law practice.
Scofield was most likely sponsored for admission to the bar by Ingalls. Since the Regis Loisel case (as the Papin family matter was referred to) was not to be heard immediately, Scofield entered into some sort of law partnership with Ingalls. Of course, as a qualified lawyer, his value to the family in the land case was enhanced.
As lawyers often do, Scofield went into politics. His position aligned with that of his partner Ingalls. In 1871, Scofield was elected as representative to the Lower House of the Kansas Legislature from the 4th District (Atchison).9 The term of office at that time was one year. Commenting on Scofield’s election, the Atchison Patriot, which had opposed him, said:
Mr. Scofield is a gentleman of fine address and a scholar and we have no doubt he will reflect credit upon this city in the legislative halls. 10
Scofield was assigned to the Committee on the Judiciary and became its chairman. The Kansas Daily Commonwealth (Topeka) commented on February 9, 1872:
- I. Scofield, the chairman, although a young man and inexperienced in the halls oflegislation, has proved himselfwell qualified for the position. 11
During 1872, the land case came up for hearing in the Second District Court, the court sitting in Nemaha County under Judge Hubbard. The genesis of the Loisel Lands case was a grant of land made March 25, 1800, by Don Carlos De Hault De Lassus, Spanish lieutenant government of Upper Louisiana to Regis Loisel, a eefur trader” and a resident of St. Louis (then in Spanish territory). Regis Loisel was the grandfather of Sylvester Papin, Emeline Scofield’s late husband (he died in 1870). 12
Loisel died October 2, 1804, leaving his property, including the rights to lands in the grant to his daughters, Clementine Loisel and Josephine Loisel. Beginning with the execution of the bequests in Loisel’s
IN KANSAS—PLAYGROUND OF THE SECRET SIX
will, portions of the grant were sold, transferred to descendents, legitimate and illegitimate, executors and others. The intermarriages among individuals who became parties to the case are so involved that one is reminded of the folk song CCI’m My Own Grandpaw!”
In 1858, Congress confirmed the Spanish grant to kfRegis Loisel, or his legal representatives.” That any bill, especially one of a private nature, relating to Kansas could get through Congress in 1958 suggests that the Clan had connections of the best order, far beyond what one might expect from fur traders, even ones with CCFrench Connections.” The Regis Loisel case was simply to determine, out of the welter of sales, transfers, marriages and bequeathals, who actually were the RRlegal representatives.” Squatters, if involved at all, appear to be inconsequential to the main court action.
Since some of the land in the original scope of the Spanish grant had been occupied by persons who had secured valid titles, the surveyor general ofthe United States, on September 6, 1866, certified the location of 38,111.16 acres of land, equivalent to the original grants. The lands were located in Nemaha, Marshall, Jackson, Pottawatomie and Marion Counties, Kansas. Brown County, mentioned by BeVier does not appear in the settlement. 13
The action, entitled Munford vs. Papin was not to evict squatters. The folks from St. Louis, including Cyrus and Leontine, were defendants, not plaintiffs. Nor were the plaintiffs squatters in any usually accepted sense of the term. Some of the Munfords had married into the Loisel Clan giving them status as claimants just as valid as that of Scofield. Additional land rights had been purchased from the estates of childless deceased members of the Clan. Morrison Munford himself was connected with the Kansas City (Mo.) Times. 14
The decision, rendered May 24, 1872, was not a one-sided victory for the people represented by Scofield. Judge Hubbard ordered equal apportionment of the costs of the trial between plaintiffs and defendants.
With the decision given, thousands of acres of land in counties of Northern Kansas were made available for settlement and develoment. A booklet, relating the history of the case and describing the lands, noted that most of the tracts were available for sale from Morrison Munford in Kansas City, Missouri. 15 The remaining plots could be secured from either Scofield in Atchison or from Theophile Papin, one of Sylvester’s surviving brothers, in St. Louis. 16
At this time, Scofield in addition to serving in the Legislature, ran a law office which was also a (Cland-office.” Whether he did a elandoffice business” from his establishment is a bit difficult to determine without examination of the dates of original transfer of particular tracts, tract by tract.
In June 1872, Scofield’s first son, Guy Sylvester, was born. Little
Guy was destined to a short life, dying December 23, 1874. 17