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[512] were good Christians, while all believed that there was no officer in the regiment worth more to it than a good chaplain, and no part of their daily duties of so much importance as that of religious services. The men who commanded the regiment for the most part of the time that I was with them, were: Colonel W. H. Forney, Episcopalian; Lieutenant-Colonel Shelley, Methodist inclined; Major Joseph Truss, Baptist; Captain Brewster, of seemingly no fixed denominational preference. There never was a time that any one of these noble spirits would not do any and every thing that I desired to further the interests of public worship, preaching, prayer-meetings, etc. They did not allow anything that they could control to interfere with our hours of worship. And Colonel Shelley, who commanded most of the time (Colonel Forney being a prisoner), often said that the work of the chaplain was essential to the welfare of the regiment, essential to its efficiency, etc. The officers of the brigade, nearly all of them, were similar in conduct and disposition to those of my own regiment. And so I found the officers throughout the army, so far as I had opportunity to test the matter. No one of any rank ever treated me other than respectfully and kindly.

5. There were some very efficient Christians in the brigade. Lieutenant Cumbie, of the Fourteenth Regiment, was a most useful man. He was pious, devoted and active, a very good preacher, a brave soldier and an efficient officer. Privates E. B. Hardie, of the Tenth, and Jacob Nelson, of the same regiment, were both most excellent young men, faithful and zealous in the service of the Lord, and brave soldiers. Both of them were young ministers. These three men were Baptists, and are pastors at home now, and successful. There were many others who were not preachers, that were in every way faithful and true.

6. So far as I have been able to observe, those who professed religion in the army and lived to get home, are as faithful, constant and zealous now, as any other part of the religious community. I am pastor of several of them, and I know many others. Some of them are splendid church-members; but some have made shipwreck of the faith, or never had any faith. Yet I think three-fourths are maintaining a good profession, and proving that they were truly converted.

7. I believe it was generally conclusive that religious men made the best soldiers. And I know that officers frequently expressed themselves as believing thus. Religious soldiers complained less at army regulations, hard service and short rations. They did their duty more generally and more willingly, and I never knew one of them to disgrace himself in battle. Many of them died at their posts. They straggled less on marches, and committed fewer depredations on the rights of citizens.

8. The religious status of this brigade remained firm and decided to the surrender of the army.

Brother Jones, I am aware that this letter is a very poor and indifferent account of the religious standing of my old brigade. Maybe, however, that you can get something out of it. I baptized about two hundred while I was in the army, two years, but nearly half of them were men of other brigades than my own, and converted under the ministry of other men. The Lord bless you in your good work,

Yours fraternally,

From Captain M. M. Jones, united States army.

city of Utica, New York, January 29, 1867.
J. Wm. Jones:
Dear Sir: Being a subscriber to the Richmond Religious Herald, I read your card of the 17th instant, and for some reason hardly describable am disposed to write you. I have a notion that a religious history of your Army Northern Virginia will be a highly interesting and useful book.

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