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J. William Jones, Christ in the camp, or religion in Lee's army, Chapter 1: religious elements in the army. (search)
had been caught. He told me he was a Christian. . . . . . The following is from the pen of the venerable and beloved Rev. Dr. Robert Ryland, so long president of Richmond College, and is given in full, as illustrating the views and feelings of one of our noblest Christian ministers—one of our most widely known and honored representative Southern men—in writing in the early days of the war to his son, who had enlisted in the Confederate army: A letter to a son in camp. At home, July 17, 1861. My Dear Son. It may have seemed strange to you that a professing Christian father so freely gave you, a Christian son, to enlist in the volunteer service. My reason was that I regarded this as a purely defensive war. Not only did the Southern Confederacy propose to adjust the pending difficulties by peaceful and equitable negotiations, but Virginia used again and again the most earnest and noble efforts to prevent a resort to the sword. These overtures having been proudly spurned,