every hour that the Lord had prepared such blessed testimony for his dear mother to rest upon in her bereavement. His brother Joseph, who nursed him, received his benedictions, his prayers and his good counsel to meet him in heaven; and he and I informed the afflicted mother of her oldest son's triumphant death. How wonderful are God's ways! Very little faith have I in deathbed repentances; but verily do I believe this was a genuine case of conversion in immediate prospect of death, and an answer, though long deferred, to the faithful prayers of affection. On September 27, there seeming no further absolute need of my remaining at the hospital, and not being able to communicate with my old command, I asked and obtained from the surgeon in charge orders to report to the War Department. I reached Richmond the night of the day on which Fort Harrison fell, found all excitement, and after some difficulty obtained a pass out of the city to a friend near town. Next day I visited the War Department, found notice of its close, and instructions to all officers to report to General Barton. About noon an order was issued exempting ministers and chaplains from service in the trenches; but as danger was imminent, I went out and remained there (promoted to the high dignity of lieutenant) for nearly a week. Reporting to the Secretary of War at the end of that time, I was advised of the dismemberment of my old command, or rather its consolidation, and given orders to report for duty to Major-General J. B. Gordon in the Valley, which I accordingly did. I overtook the Army of the Valley near New Market, reported to General Gordon, whom I had never seen before, and received from him a temporary assignment to Terry's Brigade, of which my old regiment—now reduced to almost nothing— was a constituent part. In a few days Major R. W. Hunter, assistant adjutahtgen-eral to Gordon, bore me a message from the general asking how I would like to make his Headquarters my home and his division my field of labor. Sunday, 22d of October, General Gordon attended my preaching in Terry's Brigade, and invited me to his quarters next day. On the 24th he assigned me to his division, which was now composed of Terry's, Evans's and the Louisiana Brigades. Brothers See, Booker, Gilmore and Williams were in Terry's Brigade; Brother Smith, of the Sixtieth Georgia, in Evans's; and in the Louisiana Brigade there was no chaplain—not even a priest. My labors were therefore directed principally to the last named brigade, to the pioneer corps and the guard-house of the division, which furnished me a considerable measure of work, if some of it was not very interesting. General Gordon gave as a reason for having me with him a sense of temptation to forget the claims of religion upon his own heart in the midst of pressing cares. Nothing worthy of special note occurred during the fall. Religion seemed rather cold under the temptations and distractions of the active campaigns through which the army had passed, a large proportion of the most pious men had been killed or wounded, and the morale of the army in the Valley under the discouraging defeats of that memorable campaign had deteriorated. In the remnant of my old regiment, when I rejoined the army, only two professing Christians could be found, and one of these was slain immediately afterwards at Cedar Creek. Yet there was also some encouragement. But drunkenness was fearfully prevalent all through the army; so much so that our Chaplains' Association appointed a committee (of which I was one) to memorialize General Early on the subject, which resulted in an order from him prohibiting the liquor traffic. If anything noteworthy occurred during the summer, Brother See can give it to you, for he remained faithfully with his command on foot all that summer. Near the last of November General Gordon received orders to take his own and Pegram's Division to the vicinity of Petersburg. For some time after reaching the lines on Hatcher's Run we were shifting about, skirmishing and fighting, and nothing could be done towards building chapels till late in the winter. In that time I obtained a furlough. Visiting the Louisiana Brigade, I remarked to them that I was sure they would build a theatre as usual, and as timber was very scarce, and
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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