noble old chief (General Lee
) was a Christian, not merely in profession, but in reality, and did everything in his power to promote the moral and spiritual welfare of his army.
The piety of “Stonewall
is as historic as his splendid military achievements, and the influence which he exerted for the religious good of his officers and men can never be fully known in this world.
These noble leaders had at the first the co-operation of such Christian soldiers as Generals D. H. Hill
, T. R. Cobb
, A. H. Colquitt
, J. E. B. Stuart
, W. N. Pendleton
, John B. Gordon
, C. A. Evans
, John Pegram
, and a large number of other general, field, staff, and subordinate officers; and, during the war, Generals Ewell
, R. H. Anderson
, and a number of others made professions of religion.
Of the first four companies from Georgia
, which arrived in Virginia
, three of the captains were earnest Christians, and fifty of one of the companies belonged to one church.
I remember one single regiment which reported over four hundred church members, when it first came into service, and another regiment which contained five ministers of the Gospel — a chaplain, one captain, and three privates.
I have not space to give the details, but I have in my possession the minutes of our Chaplains' Association, my diary carefully kept at the time, files of our religious newspapers, a large number of letters and memoranda from chaplains and army missionaries, and other data, going to show that the world has rarely witnessed such revivals as we had in Lee
's army from the autumn of 1862 to the close of the war. I never expect to address such congregations, or to witness such results, as we daily
had in that army.
I frequently preached to several thousand eager listeners, and I have seen over five hundred inquirers after the way of life present themselves at one time, and have witnessed hundreds of professions of conversion at one service.
I preached one day in Davis
' Mississippi Brigade to a large congregation who assembled in the open air, and sat through the service with apparently the deepest interest, notwithstanding the fact that a drenching rain was falling at the time.
Upon several occasions I saw barefooted men stand in the snow at our service, and one of the chaplains reported that in February, 1864, he preached in the open air to a very large congregation, who stood in snow several inches deep during the entire service, and that he counted in the number fourteen barefooted men. And this eagerness to hear the Gospel was even more manifest during the most active campaigns.
On those famous marches of the Valley
campaign of 1862, which won for our brave fellows the soubriquet
's foot cavalry,” I