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 conscripts from different section of the country, has had no man charged with stealing and no deserter since the war began— a fact due to his instruction that ‘pressing’ is stealing, and ‘running blockade’ equivalent to desertion; while, because of his discountenance of the vices of gambling, drunkenness and profanity, not one plays cards or ever gets intoxicated, and only two swear and they very seldom. When not on duty they spend their time in prayer-meetings, in singing and innocent amusements; and a large majority have become church-members.
How the memories of those days crowd upon me, as I sit in my quiet study twenty-three years after those stirring scenes. Those bright days before the opening of the campaign, when our camps were vocal with God's praises and hundreds of our brave boys were turning to the Lord—those days of constant battle, carnage, death, when Lee withstood Grant's overwhelming force from the Wilderness to Cold Harbor, and from Cold Harbor to Petersburg, and left hors de combat more of ‘General Grant's people’ than he himself had—those long, weary days in forty miles of entrenchments, when the ‘men in gray’ were ‘worn away by attrition,’ and ‘the thin line was stretched until it broke’—and amid it all the precious seasons of worship, the realization of the presence and blessing of Jesus, and the assurance that God's Spirit was ever present in His convicting, converting, sanctifying power. I try to forget the ‘bitter memories of a stormy past,’ but the hallowed associations that cluster around ‘Christ in the camp,’ on the march, in the bivouac, on the battle-field, in the trenches, in the hospital, in life, in death— these linger forever, ‘a sweet savor’ in my memory. God be praised for what our eyes saw, our ears heard, and our hearts felt of His presence and power during that memorable campaign of 1864-65.
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