in old White Oak church.
From the regiments and batteries around about, a large concourse of auditors would be gathered in the evening and on Sunday.
These occasions furnished an opportunity for vocal exercises, elocutionary and musical, by the soldiers of the Sixth Corps, the results showing that this command could furnish a delegation which would possess a wide range of talent.
There were, moreover, among the evangelists, some young men whose presence and whose evident adaptation to the work of their mission, conjoined to undoubted good moral character, doubtless made them efficient agents for good.
One of these gentlemen was one evening descanting in a popular way upon the Commandents, when a rattle-brained fellow passing the door, bawled out, ‘Go to hell!’
The self-possessed exhorter, abashed neither by the shout nor the sensation which it created in the audience, quickly made of the incident a text, upon which he preached a brief sermon on profanity, relating at the outset the now threadbare yarn about Beecher
's ‘'T is a d—d hot day.’
Colporteurs and exhorters, and even revivalists, were plentiful in the camps in the winter of 1861 and 1862; and the humorous traditions of that period have among their leaves an account of a jealous or zealous colonel, whose emulation being excited by a revivalist's representation that seven men in a neighboring regiment had been baptized, cried to a sergeant to detail fifteen men to be baptized, adding that he did not propose to be outdone by Colonel
Sutlers were also numerous, even as crows and buzzards.
Occasionally one's team, loaded with goods, would by mistake drive into our company street, and our commander would hasten it to the right about; the sutler would palaver, hinting at favors; the captain would silence him, saying, ‘We live upon rations here, not favors!’
Christmas was enjoyed here with something like old-time festivity, and a bill of fare quite in the appropriate line of holiday feasts was arranged and discussed.
One week later the army and the nation were thrilled by the advent of the ‘Emancipation Proclamation
Every contraband who might be waiting upon an officer's mess, or cleaning an officer's horse, every colored servant, every African
mule-driver, on the morning of the 1st of January, 1863, became at once as