in the regiment was distressingly small; the prevailing religious sentiment was Episcopal. Besides the field-officers, and adjutant, who was Presbyterian, I could find but three officers, commissioned or non-commissioned, who belonged to any Church. One of these was a captain, and one was lieutenant, both Episcopal, and one a sergeant (Baptist). There were some communicants, of course, among the men of the regiment, whose strength was something upwards of four hundred, I think. One thing soon struck me; there seemed to be no affiliation among chaplains. It was more than three months after my attachment to the brigade before I met one of its chaplains, and then almost as per force a non-professing colonel called one up, and introduced us, saying emphatically, “ If you don't know each other, you should.” I commenced with the determination of sharing the sufferings, marches and perils of those for whose good 1 labored. This soon discovered itself to be the proper course; for mingling with men under all conditions gave me soon their friendship and pointed my preaching; while opportunities for extending acquaintance beyond my own command were gained and improved. An illustration of this occurred at the battle of Malvern Hill, when the colonel and lieutenant-colonel of another regiment came to mine (saying they knew they would find me) to get me to go and minister to one of their command who was badly wounded, although they had a chaplain. The campaign below Richmond was very fatiguing; marching all day in the hot sun and up all night caring for the wounded, with our faithful surgeons, I became exhausted. Attempting to preach in the hot shade of some pines as all lay in line of battle under the gunboats at Harrison's Landing, I fainted, but continued with the troops till our return to vicinity of Mechanicsville, when I obtained a sickleave for ten days. During these the corps moved back to the vicinity of Gordonsville, and the other chaplains instituted some daily public services. On my return I held frequent services; but was greatly discouraged by the loss at Cold Harbor of our colonel and major. At this point Rev. Mr. Tebbs (Methodist) joined the Fourth Regiment as chaplain; but camp was soon broken up for the fall campaign. There was no general religious interest in the brigade, and I felt discouraged. We had not more than begun to realize the magnitude or opportunity of our work. The great Second Manassas battle came. It was joined on Thursday evening, when many of our noblest men fell, killed or wounded. Among the mortally wounded was my own loved Colonel Botts, who had become to me almost as a brother. After spending Thursday night sleeplessly in ministering to sick, and that anxious Friday which none will forget, August 29, I repaired to the regiment for some rest Friday night. Colonel Baylor, of the Fifth, now commanding brigade, exhausted by fatigue and care, was stretched on the ground near a tree, and I threw myself upon the earth near another, and was falling to sleep. But the colonel called and inquired if I felt too tired to conduct a prayer-meeting—said that he felt desirous of expressing his gratitude to God for sparing his life, and he wished the brigade to join him in their behalf. Two nights before he had requested the chaplains to summon their regiments to worship, during a brief halt; and, notwithstanding all this, he was not a member of the Church. Of course I acceded to this touching appeal; I could not be too weary for such a service. Notice was given, and many poor fellows left their cooking to unite in the solemn service. Poague's and Carpenter's Batteries, who hitherto belonged to the brigade, were largely represented. Captain Hugh A. White, of the Fourth, and others led in prayer at my request, and a most solemn meeting we all enjoyed — for the last time it proved to many. The next evening's sun set upon the corpses of the two noble and generous men, Baylor and White, as
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Chapter 1 : religious elements in the army.
Chapter 2 : influence of Christian officers.
Chapter 3 : influence of Christian officers—continued.
Chapter 4 : influence of Christian officers—concluded.
Chapter 5 : Bible and colportage work.
Chapter 6 : hospital work.
Chapter 7 : work of the chaplains and missionaries.
Chapter 8 : eagerness of the soldiers to hear the Gospel .
Chapter 9 : State of religion in 1861 - 62 .
Chapter 10 : revivals in the Lower Valley and around Fredericksburg .
Chapter 11 : the great revival along the Rapidan .
Chapter 12 : progress of the work in 1864 - 65 .
Chapter 13 : results of the work and proofs of its genuineness
Appendix: letters from our army workers.
Appendix no. 2 : the work of grace in other armies of the Confederacy .
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