Chapter 13: results of the work and proofs of its genuineness
From the minutes of our Chaplains' Association (now in my possession, by the kind courtesy of the accomplished secretary and chaplain, Rev. L. C. Vass
), the estimate of other chaplains and missionaries in position to know, and a very careful compilation of facts and figures from files of religious newspapers, and hundreds of letters and narratives from chaplains, missionaries, and colporters, I make the following estimate of the number of men in the Army of Northern Virginia who professed faith in Christ
during the four years of its existence.
During the fall
of 1862-63, and spring of 1863, there were at least 1,500 professions.
From August, 1863, to the 1st of January, 1864, at least 5,000 found peace in believing.
From January, 1864, to the opening of the Wilderness
campaign, at least 2,000 more were added to this number.
And from May, 1864, to April, 1865, it is a low estimate to put the number of converts at 4,000.
Add to these figures at least 2,500 who, during the war, found Jesus in the hospitals, at home, or in Northern prisons (for Christ
was in the prisons, and there were some precious revivals at Point Lookout
, Fort Delaware
, Johnson's Island
, and other points), and we have a grand total of at least 15,000 soldiers of Lee
's army who professed faith in Jesus during the four years of the war.
Rev. Dr. Bennett
(‘Great Revival in the Southern Armies
,’ page 413) makes the following estimate of the number of conversions in all of the Confederate armies:
‘Up to January, 1865, it was estimated that nearly one hundred and fifty thousand
soldiers had been converted during the progress of the war, and it was believed that fully one-third of all the soldiers in the field were praying men, and members of some branch of the Christian Church.
A large proportion of the higher officers were men of faith and prayer, and many others, though not professedly ’