took strong Calvinistic grounds on special Providence, and told the men that they need not dodge in the battle, since every shot and shell, and bullet, sped on its way under the guidance of a special Providence, and hit just where and just whom the loving Father, who watches the fall of the sparrow, and numbers the hairs on the heads of his saints, should direct. A distinguished officer told me that during the battle of Malvern Hill he had occasion to report to General Jackson, and after hunting for some time found him and his staff under one of the heaviest fireshe had ever experienced. Soon Jackson directed those about him to dismount and shelter themselves, and Dr. Dabney found a place behind a large and very thick oak gate post, where he sat bolt upright with his back against the post. Just then there came up Major Hugh Nelson, of Ewell's staff — a gallant gentleman and a devout churchman, who had heard Dr. Dabney's sermon, and whose theological views did not fully indorse its doctrine — and, taking in the situation at a glance, rode direct for the gate post of “Stonewall's” Chief of Staff, and giving him the military salute coolly said: “Dr. Dabney, every shot, and shell, and bullet is directedby the God of battles, and you must pardon me for expressing my surprise that you should want to put a gate post between you and special Providence.” The good Doctor at once retorted: “No! Major, you misunderstand the doctrine I teach. And the truth is, that I regard this gate post as a special Providence, under present circumstances.” Just before the opening of the battle two preachers who had come to see after friends in the army, ventured up to our front lines without realizing that they were liable to be under a heavy fire. But when the cannonade opened they discovered that they had duties in the rear, and started back in a brisk walk, which was finally quickened to a run through a wheat field, as the hurtling shells burst all around them. One of them was a very small man, and the other quite large, and as they retreated through the troops some wag of a fellow raised the cry, “Run little preacher — the big preacher'll catch you,” and the rest at once caught up the refrain and sang it to an old negro melody as long as they were in hearing--
Run little preacher,But, perhaps, the grimmest joke of the occasion was the one which General Lee got off at the expense of General Magruder--as gallant a gentleman as ever drew sabre, and one whose courtly manners won
The big preacher'll catch you.