As the Civil War broke out, a group of German immigrants began building their new church. Little did they know that in 1864, three years after the building was completed, wounded soldiers would lay dying in the place of worship. Doctor Seymour Carpenter, Major, US Army, established several makeshift hospitals in the town of Pilot Knob in preparation of the day of battle.
The entire Arcadia Valley shook with cannon and gun fire on Sept. 26 and 27, 1864, as Gen. Sterling Price’s Confederate army hammered at Ironton and Fort Davidson. By the time the fighting ceased on the 27th, more than 1100 soldiers lay dead or wounded. After rebel fire began peppering St. Mary’s and the schoolhouse, Dr. Carpenter commandeered Immanuel Lutheran Church as the main hospital and several local houses to tend to the wounded. Since he was placed in charge of the telegraph, he apparently hid the books in his new headquarters, Immanuel, where one telegraph book was found after the war.
On September 27, 1864, despite the good doctor’s efforts, there were more wounded soldiers than his staff could handle or his hospitals house. Since that day, the church has barely changed and remains a beautiful example of a small town 1860s church right down to having the original pastoral robes.
On the National Register of Historic Places, this building still contains the original hand hew wooden pews, the original pipe organ, and the sonorous bell, still in use today. (in Pilot Knob)