if I only do my duty.
All these privations and perils tend to humble me, and if I can, by their means, more successfully mortify the deeds of the body—if, by their means, I can uproot pride, vanity, covetousness and all their kindred passions—I shall have occasion to thank God that duty called me to be a soldier.’
An officer, of high position and of consistent character, remarked to a minister as they were passing through his command, ‘That man,’ pointing to a noble-looking soldier, ‘was once the worst soldier we had. He is now about the best.
A minister preached for us on one occasion and his sermon was blessed to the conversion of this man. His whole character was revolutionized; and, though months have since passed away, his life has been blameless.
From being a disobedient, worthless fellow, he has become a gentleman, a gallant soldier, and a true Christian.’
relates the following incident of the battle of Bethel
‘Captain John Stewart Walker
, of the company known as the “Virginia life guard,” was ordered by the commanding general
to take his men from the front, where they were doing good service, to the flank to hold in check a heavy force of the enemy supposed to be moving in that direction.
On reaching his new post of danger, Captain Walker
drew up his company and addressed them in a few stirring words.
He reminded them that God had mercifully preserved them in the heat of battle, and that they were now called to face the enemy in greater numbers; that, as Christians and patriots, they should resolve to do their whole duty to their country; then kneeling down, he called upon a minister, who was a private in the ranks, to offer prayer.
When they arose, nearly every eye was suffused with tears, and God was felt to be present.
During that day of battle it is said that three of this company sought and obtained the pardon of their sins.’
Rev. Dr. J. C. Granberry
, then chaplain of the Eleventh Virginia Regiment, thus speaks of Major Carter Harrison
, a brother of Captain Dabney Carr Harrison
(of whom an extended sketch is given in a previous chapter): ‘I shall never cease to remember with admiration one of the earliest victims of this war, Major Carter Harrison
, of the Eleventh Virginia.
He was an earnest servant of Christ
; modest, firm, unostentatious, zealous.
He seized at once the hearts of the regiment by his many virtues, by his courtesy to all and his kind visits to the sick, to whom he ’