W. H. S. Baylor
was in command of the old Stonewall Brigade, of which he was made brigadier general the very day he was killed.
Sending for his friend, Captain Hugh White
, he said to him: “I know the men are very much wearied out by the battle of to-day, and that they need all of the rest they can get to fit them for the impending struggle of to-morrow; but I cannot consent that we shall seek our repose until we have had a brief season of worship, to thank God for the victory of to-day, and to beseech His continued protection and blessing during this terrible conflict.”
The men were quietly notified that there would be a short prayer-meeting, and nearly the whole of the brigade, and a number from other commands, assembled at the appointed place.
The service was led by Rev. A. C. Hopkins
, of the Second Virginia Infantry-one of those faithful chaplains who was always at the post of duty, even though it should be the post of danger.
Captain Hugh White
entered into the meeting with the intelligent zeal of the experienced Christian
joined in with the fervor of one who had but recently felt the preciousness of a new-born faith in Christ
, and it was a solemn and impressive scene to all. In the great battle which followed, the next day, Colonel Baylor
, with the flag of the “Stonewall
” Brigade in his hands, and the shout of victory on his lips, fell, leading a splendid charge, and gave his noble life to the cause he loved so well.
Hard by, and about the same moment, Captain White
was shot down, while behaving with most conspicuous gallantry; and these two young men had exchanged the service of earth for golden harps, and fadeless crowns of victory.
I remember that on the comparatively quiet Sabbath with which we were blessed at Cold Harbor, in June, 1864, I preached four times to large and deeply solemn congregations.
The service at sundown was especially impressive.
Fully three thousand men gathered on the very ground over which had been made the grand Confederate charge which swept the field at Cold Harbor and Gaines' Mill
, on the memorable 27th of June, 1862.
It was a beautiful Sabbath eve, and all nature seemed to invite to peace and repose; but the long lines of stacked muskets gleaming in the rays of the setting sun, the tattered battle-flags rippling in the evening breeze, the scattering fire of the picket line in front, the occasional belching of the artillery on the flanks, and the very countenances of those powder-begrimed veterans of an hundred fights, all spoke of victories in the past, and terrible conflicts yet to come.
The whole scene was inspiring, and as I gazed into those eager, upturned faces, and saw that