The Story of our Health Message



THE WINTER of 1864-1865 was a dark period for Seventh-day Adventists. For nearly four years the Civil War between the North and the South had been in progress. Regarding it at first as merely an insurrection that would be speedily put down, the president of the United States issued a call for 75,000 men for a brief period of enlistment. As the struggle increased in intensity, call after call was made for additional men. And in December, 1864, President Lincoln issued a summons for another 300,000 men for the army. Any deficiency in the number volunteering was to be made up by a draft on February 5, 1865. SHM 131.1

During the earlier part of the war money was raised by private subscription, and those volunteering for service were granted a bonus from this fund. This helped to stimulate voluntary enlistment so that the draft was resorted to but little. Seventh-day Adventists, from principle, were averse to the bearing of arms, but they cheerfully subscribed to the bonus funds. At first the amount granted to an individual who volunteered was only $25, but as the war progressed, it was increased to as much as $300. At Battle Creek, Michigan, a committee of nine persons was chosen to lead out in the securing of the bonus fund. Two Seventh-day Adventists, Elder James White and J. P. Kellogg, were members of this committee. Battle Creek Journal, October 24, 1862. SHM 131.2