Stone river to the extreme left, I rode to the front, where the dead lie thick among the cedars, in proportion of five Yankees to one Southron.
Here are sights to sicken the bravest hearts—sad lessons for human passion and oppression.
Here is a foot, shot off at the ankle—a fine model for a sculptor.
Here is an officer's hand, severed from the wrist, the glove still upon it, and the sword in its grasp.
Here is an entire brain, perfectly isolated, showing no sign of violence, as if carefully taken from the skull that enclosed it by the hands of a skilful surgeon.
Here is a corpse, sitting upon the ground, with its' back against a tree, in the most natural position of life, holding before its face the photograph likeness of a good-looking old lady, probably the dead man's mother.
Here is a poor fellow, who has crawled into the corner of a fence to read his sister's letter, and expired in the act of its perusal, the precious document still open before him full of affectionate counsel.
Here is a handsome young man, with a placid countenance, lying upon his back, his Bible upon his bosom, and his hands folded over it, as if he had gone to sleep saying his evening prayer.
Many others present the melancholy contrast of scattered cards, obscene pictures, and filthy ballad books—‘miserable comforters’ for a dying hour.
One lies upon his face literally biting the ground, his rigid fingers fastened firmly into the gory sod; and another, with upturned face, open eyes, knit brow, compressed lips, and clenched fists, displays all the desperation of vengeance imprinted on his clay.
Dissevered heads, arms, legs, are scattered everywhere; and the coagulated pools of blood gleam ghastly in the morning sun. It is a fearful sight for Christian eyes!
The scenes on the battle-fields and in hospitals are full of incidents showing the power of divine grace to cheer and support the soul in the dark hour of death.
‘Tell my mother,’ said a dying soldier, ‘that I am lying without hope of recovery.
I have stood before the enemy fighting in a great and glorious cause, and have fallen.
My hope is in Christ
, for whose sake I hope to be saved.
Tell her that she and my brother cannot see me again on earth, but they can meet me in heaven.’
A little before bed-time of his last night he called to his surgeon (Dr. Leverett
), and said: ‘Write to mother, and tell her she must meet me in heaven.
I know I am going there.’
Thus died T. S. Chandler
, of the Sixth South Carolina regiment.
It was now that the signs of that wonderful revival in the army of the West began to appear.
‘I shall never forget,’ says Rev. W. H. Browning
the look of astonishment in the Association of Chaplains in January, 1863, when Brother Winchester, a chaplain and a minister in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, announced a conversion in his command, and stated that he believed we were on the eve of one of the most glorious revivals ever witnessed on the American continent!
His countenance glowed with an unearthly radiance, and while he spoke “our hearts burned within us.”
He urged us to look for it—pray for it—preach for it. A revival in the army!
The thing was incredible.
And yet, while we listened to this man of faith, we could almost hear the shouts of redeemed souls that were being born to God.
We could but catch the zeal of this good man, and went away resolved to work for a revival.
This good man was not permitted to participate in the revival which he so feelingly predicted.
He was soon called to the spirit world, and from his home among the blessed looked down upon the glorious scenes of salvation among the soldiers whom he loved so ardently, and for whom he prayed with a faith strong and unfaltering.
A General Association of Chaplains and Missionaries had been formed in this army in August of this year (1863), but the subsequent movements interfered greatly with its complete organization, and it was not until November following that it was properly reorganized and made really efficient.
Rev. Dr. McDonald, President of Lebanon University, was the President, and Rev. Welborn Mooney, of the Tennessee