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[22] whole State when he at once said, ‘Virginia has now acted, and the boys are right. I say let the flag wave, and, for myself, I propose to fight under it, and to use my influence to induce our students to do the same.’

Accordingly, he raised among the students and a few graduates of the college a company of seventy-two, which they called the ‘Liberty Hall Volunteers,’ the name borne by a company of students from the same institution who did valiant service in the Revolution of 1776. They elected Professor White as their first captain, all of their officers were Christian men, more than half of the rank and file belonged to some evangelical church, and about one-fourth were candidates for the ministry.

Rev. Dr. J. M. P. Atkinson, President of Hampden-Sidney College, organized a company composed of his own students and those of the Union Theological Seminary, and nearly all of this company were professed Christians.

Not a few of our pastors had a large majority, and sometimes all of their male members in the army, and in some cases they commanded companies composed largely of members of their own churches.

I cannot better illustrate the subject of this chapter than by giving from the files of our religious newspapers copious extracts from letters from the camp, or from men in position to see and know the state of things in the army, and among the people during these early days of the war. Some of these extracts illustrate several of my chapters, but I give them as they are.

Rev. Dr. Joseph Walker thus writes from Richmond to the Religious Herald, under date of May 2, 1861:

I have never understood the compatableness of Christianity with war as I see it in the present struggle for Southern independence. Never have I seen or read of greater promptness on the part of Christians, of all denominations, to shoulder the musket in defence of their homes, their families, and all that makes life desirable. I can now comprehend what is meant by the New Testament phrase, “a devout soldier,” for I have seen the men for whom I have preached, with whom I have prayed, and whom I have seen presiding at Baptist associations, fully panoplied for the war. The self-denial of volunteers to serve in this war is unmistakably manifest in the advent among


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