I remember those precious meetings, held by day and by night, with that noble army of patriots. In the camp, in the hospital, in the bomb-proof, along the line of toilsome march, I mingled freely with them, and, as best I could, preached to them the Gospel of the grace of God. It is my most cherished hope that the labors of our chaplains, than whom, in my judgment, there was not a body of ministers in the land more worthy of all praise, were largely productive of lasting, nay, eternal good. The last great day alone will develop the full amount of good which, through the mercy of God, that noble body of men were enabled to accomplish. It is with mournful pleasure that in the seclusion of a quiet country charge I revert to those scenes of thrilling interest and excitement, not to say peril, through which you and I and the whole corps of field-chaplains passed with the brave and veteran Army of Northern Virginia. May the Lord grant you entire success in your noble enterprise and abundantly bless you in all the work of your hands. Your unworthy Brother in Christ,
From Rev. R. W. Cridlin, Baptist, chaplain Thirty-eighth Virginia.
Chesterfield, March 22, 1867.Dear Brother Jones: Before going into details, allow me to state that I was appointed chaplain of the Thirty-eighth Virginia Infantry June 9, 1863, and remained with it to the surrender. （1.) I know very little about the early history of my regiment. We had a history of our regiment (and also one of our brigade) written, but have heard nothing of it since the close of the war. This regiment was composed of men from Pittsylvania, Halifax and Mecklenburg counties, Virginia. It started from Danville in the spring of 1861, under the command of Colonel E. C. Edmunds. It was connected with several brigades. When I joined it, it was attached to Armistead's Brigade, Pickett's Division, First Corps, and it continued in this position to the surrender, under different commanders. General Armistead was killed at Gettysburg. Our next general was Barton; then George H. Steuart, of Maryland, who remained with it till the surrender. I knew very little about the other regiments—viz., Ninth, Fourteenth, Fifty-third and Fifty-seventh. The Rev. Mr. Crocker, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, was at one time chaplain of the Fourteenth; Rev. Mr. Joiner, Methodist Episcopal Church, chaplain of the Fifty-seventh; Rev. W. S. Penick of the Fifty-third, afterwards Brother P. H. Fontaine; Rev. J. W. Walkup, of Rockbridge county, Virginia, was chaplain of the Ninth, afterwards Rev. George W. Easter, of the Episcopal Church. The Rev. Mr. Cosby, now of Petersburg, Virginia (Episcopal), was the first chaplain of the Thirty-eighth Regiment. He remained a short while. Then a Rev. Mr. Colton, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, was appointed, who remained two or three months. I am unable to state how many sermons I preached or prayer-meetings held, Bible-classes conducted, tracts distributed. I have no record and I can't trust my memory. We had a flourishing Brigade Young Men's Christian Association, and when in camp had our Sabbathschools and Bible-classes. I know I distributed thousands of tracts, and I have reason to believe much good was done. Just here allow me to relate a little incident illustrating the good effects of tracts. While carrying around these little messengers of love, I entered a tent and found two young men engaged in a game of cards. At first they seemed ashamed, then they braced up their failing courage (if courage it was) and continued the game. I kindly asked “ if I could take a hand.” Waiting for my turn, I first threw down “ Evils of Gaming;” then “Mother's parting words to her soldier boy.” I found that the game was mine. At the sight of the word “mother,” the tears rolled down their cheeks as they both exclaimed: “Parson, I will never play cards again!”