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William W. Bennett, A narrative of the great revival which prevailed in the Southern armies during the late Civil War 12 4 Browse Search
J. William Jones, Christ in the camp, or religion in Lee's army 4 0 Browse Search
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J. William Jones, Christ in the camp, or religion in Lee's army, Chapter 13: results of the work and proofs of its genuineness (search)
great trial to part with my family; I seemed to realize that the parting was final; but my country calls, and I cheerfully go forward to death. It was soon after that he went from the carnage of battle to the peaceful home of the blessed. J. W. Mills, chaplain of a Florida regiment, gives a graphic picture of the havoc of war: Many of our regiment fell in the terrible battle of Sharpsburg. We occupied the centre, where the enemy made his fiercest attack, hoping to break our lines in advantages, to pursue, and our gallant lieutenant-colonel, already wounded in the arm, went back and brought them away under a shower of bullets. In the midst of this carnage many a heart turned to the God of battles for refuge and comfort. Mr. Mills again writes: A young man said to me after the battle: When I was going into the battle, I put my trust in God, and He has brought me through untouched, and I am grateful to Him. And the tears stood in his eyes as he spoke. He was an un
e ordered to relieve themselves of everything except what was actually necessary. After marching with the army on foot from Gordonsville to Leesburg, says Rev. J. W. Mills, sleeping on a single blanket, with heaven's blue vault for a covering, suffering hunger and weariness in common with officers and men, I am convinced that tdepressing recollection of former defeat and disaster. The three days struggle ended on Saturday evening in the total route of Pope's army. We again quote from Mr. Mills' graphic letter: On Sunday morning, I rode along the road by which they fled across Bull Run. That must have been a terrific race for dear life, if brokenthe army approached Leesburg, Va., the Federals who occupied that place precipitately fled across the Potomac. They had come over from the point of Rock, says Mr. Mills in his narrative, to arrest some offensive citizens, among them some soldiers. They had gone so far in their cowardly work as to leave some of their victi
me of the Confederate States, for the undying fame you have won for their arms. The valor and endurance of the Southern troops in this campaign are attested by their faithful ministers who labored day and night for their spiritual good. Rev. J. W. Mills, chaplain of a Florida regiment, gives a graphic picture of the havoc of war: Many of our regiment fell in the terrible battle of Sharpsburg. We occupied the centre, where the enemy made his fiercest attack, hoping to break our lines dvantages, to pursue, and our gallant Lieutenant-Colonel, already wounded in the arm, went back and brought them away under a shower of bullets. In the midst of this carnage many a heart turned to the God of battles for refuge and comfort. Mr. Mills again writes: A young man said to me after the battle: When I was going into the battle, I put my trust in God, and he has brought me through untouched, and I am grateful to him. And the tears stood in his eyes as he spoke. He was an un
nding one very forcibly of our camp-meetings at home. I have seen or heard of but little scoffing at religion and religious people in the camps. In this respect I have been very happily disappointed, from what I had been told of camp-life. The most perfect decorum is observed during divine service, and the most perfect respect is manifested for those who serve God. Early in October, while the army lay near Winchester, there were evident signs of a deep awakening among the troops. Rev. J. W. Mills, in a letter to Bishop Pierce, of Georgia, spoke cheeringly of their religious meetings: Since my last, he writes, the great Head of the Church has wonderfully favored us with a gracious revival of his work in the camp among the soldiers. We had preaching every night for nearly a week. There was an average of about twenty-five anxious seekers, who approached when the invitation was given, and kneeled upon the ground near the spot occupied by the chaplain. It was a solemn
ward from the Potomac to the Rappahannock, while the Confederates made a corresponding march through the Valley of Virginia, crossed the Blue Ridge, and placed themselves on the south side of the last named river. We quote from the notes of Rev. J. W. Mills, who fully participated in all the hardships of the army: October 29th.-Orders just received from headquarters to cook two days rations, and be in readiness to march in the morning at an early hour. All is anxiety — no one knows whithnication with home and friends? These are questions of importance to us. I hear men saying: Well, I will go anywhere I am ordered. In this long march many of the soldiers suffered greatly for want of shoes and clothing. Each regiment, says Mr. Mills, has its barefooted squad, who are permitted to pick their way through the rocks as best they can. The feelings of our people in the Valley, as they saw the troops move on with the head of the column filing off towards the mountains, were very