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‘ [302] while others felt that they were almost in heaven, and could hardly suppress their exultant religious shouts amid the loudest roar and din of the conflict, the slaughter of the cannoneers of their own guns, and the palpable peril of their own lives.’

‘In the Third Georgia Regiment, Army of Northern Virginia, fourteen converted soldiers have joined the Methodist and eleven the Baptist Church. There are still a hundred earnest inquirers for the way of life.’

Rev. Dr. Wm. J. Hoge wrote the Central Presbyterian, so graceful and vivid a description of his visit to the camps about Fredericksburg, that I give it in full, although I have already made a brief quotation from it, as I am unwilling to mar its beauty:

Religion in the army.

As I have no great fondness for letterwriting, I am afraid that when you asked me privately to send you a sketch of my visit to camp I meant to give you the slip. But now that I am publicly challenged in leaded type and editorial columns, what can I do?

Yet what are the terms of the challenge? “A brief and spirited communication.” My dear sir, I compromise. I consent to be “brief,” but to be “ spirited” is more than I dare engage.

By special invitation from an officer in the Second Virginia Regiment, I once before set out to preach to the Stonewall Brigade; but General Jackson was up too early for me. I arrived at noon to learn that he had marched at dawn. So I returned to Charlottesville, and in a few days met in the hospital some to whom I had hoped to preach in camp, while others, alas! had passed forever beyond the reach of any earthly ministry!

In my late visit, it was my high privilege to preach six times to crowds of men eager to hear the Gospel. Five of these sermons were to the Stonewall Brigade; the first, Saturday night. The camp was muddy, the air harsh, the night dark—just the night to chill the preacher with forebodings of empty seats and cheerless services. But as I made my way through the streets of the tented city to the substantial church erected by this enterprising brigade, I was suddenly greeted by a burst of sacred song which lifted my heart. It sounded over the camp like a bell. A prayer-meeting had been appointed for the half hour before public worship, and the house was already full: so full that it was not without difficulty that I made my way to the

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T. J. Jackson (1)
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