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[485] moral character was the only requisite, while the aim of it was religious; fifty-five names were given in the first meeting, to which list were added others continually. We had in all some 16O members. We also instituted noonday prayer-meetings, which were sustained well at first, but other duties interfered and we changed the meetings into night meetings, which were better attended.

The religious interest throughout the regiment at this time was very good, and it was visible in the good deportment and attention to religious and military duties by the men. Removed from this place towards the Rapidan, where the enemy were threatening, on the 14th of September, 1863. Now on the march continually, but the prayer-meetings were kept up as often and as regularly as we could find time throughout our active fall campaign, and a good attendance prevailed.

Went into camp about first of January, 1864, at Frederick's Hall, where nearly all the artillery battalions were encamped, in order to get forage conveniently for the horses, while the main army was encamped near Orange Court House.

Here, from the first, our prayer-meetings were continued regularly, and our association was reorganized and conducted with renewed interest and zeal. We had lost our previous chaplain, Rev. Mr. T. M. Niven, who was compelled to leave the army on account of an asthmatic affection, early in the fall. His place was now, January 14, supplied by the Rev. H. M. White, who continued with us, ministering in the word and oft sharing our duties, till the end of the war; all cheerfully bear testimony to his zeal and efficiency in the Master's cause. He was universally beloved and respected and will ever be most kindly remembered. As we were expecting to remain quiet for some time, the proposition was made in our association that we build a chapel, and the men at once got to work and in a short time, though under great difficulties, we had the pleasure of worshipping God in our new house of worship, which was commodious and pleasant, and which would accommodate nearly 300. And often during this winter were gathered together very many to worship God. The people in the neighborhood supplied us very kindly with candles, and also attended our services on Sabbath and oft on week-days. We invited the ministers of the different denominations to come and preach for us, some of whom came and remained several days preaching to us. These were happy and pleasant days. Yes; the most pleasant I enjoyed while in the army, and this season was blessed to many of our souls. Here we had preaching, Bible-class, meetings of our Christian Association, and prayer-meetings. Many of the men subscribed regularly for the different religious papers; every mess in our company subscribed for some religious paper, and in our company nearly every mess sustained regular evening worship; this was also general in the other companies of the regiment. Committees from the different companies were appointed on the state of religion, who reported from time to time as to the spiritual condition of the men. And oft and over again the active Christians went out by two and three to engage in prayer and seek the Divine aid and blessing in the great work.

And many times two of the young brethren collected the colored servants in the camps, and communicated to them the knowledge of the Divine truth. And here in this rough log-house we had the pleasure of enjoying one of the most solemn communion seasons that was ever allowed us. Quite a number of the people living near joined with us, and we felt truly we were near to God.

We moved, April 16, near Barboursville, and up to May 5, 1864, were enabled to enjoy preaching and prayer-meetings, which we held quite often and which were well attended by the regiment, and the religious impression continued among the men.

The men were always anxious to hear the preaching of the word of God, and a number of times, while near the enemy and expecting orders to move, did we have the word preached to us, while the men gave earnest attention, increased, probably, under the peculiar circumstances in which we were placed.


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