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[411]

On the same field fell Major James Harvey Dingle, of South Carolina. He was a true Christian soldier. His colonel said of him: “He was one of the bravest men I ever saw. He did not know what fear was. He was killed near me, and I took the flag from his hand as he was dying; he died without a groan, and looked as if he was sleeping. He was blessed by the men and officers, and was a kind, courteous, efficient and accomplished officer; his loss to the Legion (Hampton) is great. His name will be cherished by the sons of Carolina so long as the good, patriotic and brave are appreciated.”

Such cases were not isolated ones in the Southern armies; there were hundreds, yea, thousands, of such earnest, faithful, godly men, who endured hardships, poured out their blood, and died in peace amid the rage and carnage of the battle. The dying words of our Christian soldiers, their messages of love, whispered, amid the roar of cannon and the rattle of musketry, in the ear of some comrade who bent over them and gave a cooling draught from his canteen, would fill volumes if they could be collected. It is only by fragments, however, that we can gather up their precious sentences that sparkle with a heavenly light in the midst of the gloomy horrors of war. Many of the best and purest were left scattered over the wide, blood-soaked fields, and languished and died away from home and friends in hospitals and prisons; and not until the coming of their comrades who survived and returned home did their friends and families receive the sweet messages of love that were laid like healing balm on their bleeding hearts.

Never were stronger proofs given of the sustaining and comforting power of religion than during this terrible war, which stripped our homes of loved ones, our land of plenty, our hearts of joy, and left us nothing to fall back upon in our sufferings and humiliation but the promises of God, who poured out His Spirit so richly upon our soldiers in all the hardships of the march and in all the unutterable anguish that followed our great battles.

Rev. Wm. M. Crumley, of Georgia, whose labors in connection with the ‘Georgia Relief Association’ were so widely useful and so warmly appreciated, published during the war a tract, entitled, ‘A Soldier's Bible,’ of which I circulated in the camps a great many copies. I am glad to be able to reproduce it here, as I find it preserved in Dr. Bennett's ‘Great Revival.’ It is as follows:

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