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‘ [295] a question whether the work of God can be carried on in an army.’

I have alluded to the great revival in Barksdale's Mississippi Brigade, stationed in the battered old town of Fredericksburg—a work which, begun not long after the battle of the 13th of December, was interrupted, but not seriously retarded, by the battle of Chancellorsville, and went gloriously on until the line of march was taken for Gettysburg. Indeed that active and bloody campaign only interfered with ‘gathering in the sheaves,’ but did not stop the work, which still went graciously on.

Rev. W. B. Owen (Methodist), chaplain of the Seventeenth Mississippi, had the general conduct of the meetings, and was assisted at different times by Rev. Dr. J. C. Stiles, Rev. Dr. William J. Hoge, Rev. James D. Coulling, Rev. Dr. J. A. Duncan, Rev. Dr. J. L. Burrows, Rev. Dr. A. E. Dickinson, Rev. W. H. Carroll, and others, and the constant help of Rev. J. L. Pettigrew and other earnest workers in the brigade.

Dr. Stiles began his labors there the latter part of February, and not long after wrote as follows:

‘After my arrival we held three meetings a day—a morning and afternoon prayer-meeting and a preaching service at night. We could scarcely ask of delightful religious interest more than we received. Our sanctuary has been crowded—lower floor and gallery. Loud, animated singing always hailed our approach to the house of God; and a closely packed audience of men, amongst whom you might have searched in vain for one white hair, were leaning upon the voice of the preacher, as if God Himself had called them together to hear of life and death eternal. At every call for the anxious, the entire altar, the front six seats of the five blocks of pews surrounding the pulpit, and all the spaces thereabouts ever so closely packed, could scarcely accommodate the supplicants; while daily public conversions gave peculiar interest to the sanctuary services. Of this class we have numbered during the week say some forty or fifty souls. Officers are beginning to bow for prayer, and our house to be too strait for worshippers. The audience, the interest, the converted, the fidelity of the Church, and the expectations of the ministry, are all steadily and most hopefully increasing.’

The above was written by Dr. Stiles a few days after he got there. In later communications he was enabled to speak still more strongly of the progress and results of the great revival.

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