|Abstract||This dissertation explores the religious world of the pre-war United States South. In particular, it focuses on a specific group from 1847-1850, Baptists living in Charleston, South Carolina, and attempts to locate the presence of both southern nationalism and evangelical providentialism. In order to study this group, effort has been made to examine the main newspaper for Baptists in South Carolina, the Southern Baptist, which was printed weekly in Charleston from 1839-1860. The paper enjoyed a stable circulation during the 1850s and provides a window through which one can explore not only the thoughts and actions of Baptist leaders, but also individual Baptists who chose to receive the paper. In addition to the paper, effort has been made to explore the sermons preached and hymns sung in Charleston throughout the 1850s. The study concludes that in order for historians to properly discuss the post-war marriage of religious rhetoric and Confederate memory and the church's description of the loss as a chastisement from God for the greater glory of the South, one has to also understand that prior to the war, Baptist groups, as well as other evangelicals, made the same arguments concerning various other afflictions from God, including disease, war, and death. This focus on God as an afflicter of people, combined with a staunch southern nationalism that developed in the 1850s, forms the soil from which would eventually grow what Charles Reagan Wilson coined the "religion of the lost cause."