‘I would be glad if you will supply the regiment to which I am attached with the Scriptures, as I see by the papers that you are engaged in the work of distribution among the soldiers.
We prefer Testaments, as they would be much easier for soldiers to carry in their knapsacks.
I have made this application to you because of finding that all our men have not Bibles or Testaments, and I consider a soldier poorly equipped without one or the other
gives the following concerning the battle of Shiloh
The instances of heroic valor in the battle of Shiloh
A chaplain, Rev. I. T. Tichenor
, of the Seventeenth Alabama Regiment, in a letter to Governor Watts
, of that State, who at one time commanded the regiment, says:
“During this engagement we were under a cross fire on the left wing from three directions.
Under it the boys wavered.
I had been wearied, and was sitting down, but seeing them waver, I sprang to my feet, took off my hat, waved it over my head, walked up and down the line, and, as they say, ‘preached them a sermon.’
I reminded them that it was Sunday.
That at that hour (11 1/2 o'clock) all their home folks were praying for them; that Tom Watts
—excuse the familiar way in which I employed so distinguished a name—had told us he would listen with an eager ear to hear from the Seventeenth; and shouting your name loud over the roar of battle, I called upon them to stand there and die, if need be, for their country.
The effect was evident.
Every man stood to his post, every eye flashed, and every heart beat high with desperate resolve to conquer or die. The regiment lost one-third of the number carried into the field.”
‘Among the Christian
soldiers that fell was Lieutenant-Colonel Holbrook
, of a Kentucky regiment.
He was mortally wounded, and fell at the head of his regiment in a victorious charge.
After the battle, several of his officers came to see him in the hospital.
He was dying fast, but desired to be propped up in bed, and then he talked with them like a Christian soldier: “Gentlemen, in the course of my official duties with you I have had little or no occasion to speak to you upon the subject of religion, but this is a time when, as fellow-men, we may commune frankly together.
And I desire to bear witness to the fact that I am at the present moment deriving all my strength and consolation from the firm reliance which I have upon the blessings of religion.
I know I am not prepared for death, as I ought to have been, and as I hope you may be, but I feel safe in reposing upon the strong arm of God, and trusting to Him for my future happiness.
Before this war is closed, some of you may be brought upon the threshold of the eternal world, as I have been, and my earnest prayer is that the messenger of death may find you waiting.
Throughout my existence, I have found nothing in my experience that has afforded me more substantial happiness than Christianity, and I now, as I lie here conscious that life is waning, desire to bear testimony of a peaceful mind, of a firm faith in the grand scheme of salvation.
Farewell, my comrades, may we all meet in a better world.”
One of the rarest instances of youthful heroism that ever occurred is recorded in connection with this battle.
, whose brief career as a soldier and whose happy death we place here upon permanent record, was worthy of the great name he bore:
‘Some months ago,’ says a writer, Charlie's father raised a company of soldiers, in which he was permitted to drill with the privates, and finally became so expert in the manual of arms that, young as he was, he was chosen the drill-master.
In due time, marching orders were received.
Then the father, consulting the age of his boy, and probably his own paternal feelings, gave him to understand that it was his wish he should remain at home.
To this Charlie strenuously demurred, and plainly told his parent that if he could not go with him he would join another company.
Yielding to his obstinacy, a sort of silent consent was given, and the lad left Memphis
with his comrades.
The regiment to which they belonged was detached to Burnsville
, several miles distant from Corinth
, and here it remained until