From the Richmond Dispatch, 4/8/1863, p. 2, c. 2
A CARD – It having been publicly stated that the riotous assemblage of females, which last week disturbed our city, was organized at a meeting held in the Belvidere Hill Baptist Church, situated on Oregon Hill, and this statement being calculated to injure this Church in the estimation of both the religious and the order-loving portion of the community, the following fair exposition of facts is deemed proper, if not necessary:
The financial resources of the Church are limited, and therefore a Sexton whose whole time may be employed is attending to the house of worship cannot be engaged, and a brother consents to keep it in order for public worship, while through the day he is obliged to pursue his mechanical avocation. While this brother was away at work his wife (then sick to bed) was applied to for the key, as had been done on former occasions, when a funeral or marriage service was to be performed, and she knowing nothing of the intended meeting, gave the key to the child who had been sent for it.
The crowd next tried to get the Methodist meeting house on Oregon hill, to hold the meeting in, and but for the Sexton being on the spot, and his determined refusal, the probability is that the meeting would have been held there.
So far as is known to this Church not one of the members knew of the meeting being held in our meeting house, and nothing beyond mere rumor of its being held at all until after it was in progress, and no interference then would have availed for the dispersion of the crowd. This must be obvious to all who consider how little the resistance offered by those who had not only houses, but their valuable contents to defend, effected.
Presented on behalf of the Church by order passed at a called Church meeting held April 5th, 1863. W H FONERDEN, PASTOR
J F COTTRELL, Clerk pro tem. [ap 8-1t*]