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Doc. 158. the morals of the Union army.


Chaplain Inskip's letter.

camp Marion, Upton's Hill, Va., Headquarters Fourteenth regiment N. Y. S. M.
To the Army Committee of the N. Y. Y. M. Christian Association:
dear brethren: I write to inform you that a new era has dawned upon us. We can scarcely find words to express our joy and gratitude. The chapel tent you kindly donated to us has already been the means of inconceivable good to us. It is truly wonderful what a decided improvement it has made in our regiment within one week. * * * * *

On Monday night we held a temperance meeting. A large number were present; indeed, many more than our chapel would contain. One of the private soldiers delivered an address of great earnestness, which was listened to with profound attention. He was followed by the chaplain in a few brief remarks. Several were induced to take the pledge. Capt. Mallory, the president of our Regimental Temperance Society, occupied the chair. Our society now numbers about seventy-five members, and we hope to have large accessions soon.

On Tuesday evening we formed a literary and debating society; officers were chosen, various committees appointed, and a highly interesting discussion ensued, which seemed to interest the men very much.

On Wednesday and Thursday evenings we held our prayer meetings. The attendance was excellent, considering that about one-half of the regiment were otherwise engaged. About fifty were present, of whom half were members of some Christian church. Of the others, ten arose to solicit the prayers of the people of God.

On Friday evening we had an amateur concert of miscellaneous music. We were honored [376] on this occasion with the presence of Brigadier-General Keyes and his staff. The pieces sung were in several instances decidedly religious; others were of an amusing character, but all contained some ennobling moral sentiment, which was all the more gratifying because the young men made their own selection. The chaplain presided and made such remarks as seemed just and needful. The object of this concert is to draw the attention of the men from other and pernicious methods of recreation. Night is the time when gambling, one of the most pernicious vices of camp life, is more generally practised. Many engage in this vice as a mere recreation. We propose to furnish them such recreation as will be a blessing to them.

On Saturday evening we have what we call a social meeting. The whole evening is occupied with singing and informal speaking, or rather conversation. The topics are suggested by the chaplain.

On the Sabbath I preached in the morning and evening, and in the afternoon a prayer meeting was held. You will perceive that our tent has been well used. * * *

I hope you will do all you can for the army. Christian beneficence never had a more inviting or a more promising field. God grant that the Church may perceive this. Yours in the Lord,

John S. Inskip, Chaplain.

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