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[543] Conference, Methodist Episcopal Church, South, was the Secretary. The proceedings of this Association Mr. Browning supposes were lost in the subsequent reverses of the army, and hence we are cut off from most reliable information concerning the progress of the revival.

The seeds of truth were sown by such faithful laborers as Rev. M. B. DeWitt, chaplain of the Eighth Tennessee, Rev. Mr. Weaver, of the Twenty-eighth Tennessee, Rev. Tilmon Page, of the Fifty-second Tennessee, and Rev. W. H. Browning, chaplain of General Marcus Wright's brigade. In other portions of the army, under the preaching of Rev. S. M. Cherry, Rev. Messrs. Petway, Taylor, Henderson, and scores of other devoted and self-sacrificing ministers, the revival influence became deep and powerful.

Rev. L. R. Redding, Methodist, of the Georgia Conference, M. E. Church, South, who labored as a missionary in this army, has furnished us an account of the work in his own and other corps during the winter and spring of 1863–‘64. Beginning his work in General Gist's brigade, and aided by Rev. F. Auld, Rev. A. J. P. De Pass, and other zealous chaplains, he soon witnessed scenes that filled him with the highest joy. The congregations increased daily, and soon a permanent place of worship was established in the rear of the brigade. The soldiers, eager to hear the Word of Life, soon fell to work and built a rude but commodious chapel, and furnished it with pulpit, seats, and lights. It was dedicated in the presence of the general and his staff by Rev. Dr. J. B. McFerrin, who, with his well-known zeal, had devoted himself to the work of an army missionary. An immense congregation attended, and the “word ran and was glorified.” From this time until the army marched away in the spring the revival progressed with increasing power. A Christian Association was formed, which met daily at half-past 8 in the morning, for the purpose of uniting the members of the various Churches, as well as the new converts, in the work of saving souls, of gathering the results of the night meetings, and of hearing the recitals of religious experience. These meetings were marked by great fervor and power. The young believers were organized into private prayermeetings, which met at seven o'clock in the morning. “Sometimes,” says Mr. Redding, “I would quietly unpeg the door and walk in while the young men were engaged in their delightful meetings, and would find the young convert of the previous night leading in prayer, and earnestly invoking God's blessing upon his impenitent comrades.” In the evening, at the close of dress-parade, the drums would beat the Church call on Chapel Hill. It was a glorious sight, just as the setting sun bathed the mountain tops in his ruddy light, to see those toil-worn veterans gathering in companies and marching to the house of the Lord. From all directions, down from the hills, out of the woods, across the valleys, they came, while the gallant Colonel McCullough, of the Sixteenth South Carolina, himself a godly man, leads his men to the place of worship. Then the Twenty-fourth South Carolina falls into line, led by their chaplain, Mr. Auld, and their brave Colonel Capers, son of the deceased Bishop Capers, of the Southern Methodist Church. The benches and the pulpit have to be removed from the house, and a dense multitude of hearers crown the chapel hill. A clear, strong voice starts a familiar old hymn, soon thousands of voices chime in, and the evening air is burdened with a great song of praise. The preacher now enters the stand, a thousand voices are hushed, a thousand hearts are stilled, to hear the word of the Lord. Perhaps the speaker is Rev. William Burr, of Tennessee. As he rises with his theme, his silvery, trumpetlike voice, clear as a bugle note, rings far out over the mass of men, and hundreds sob with emotion as he reasons with them of righteousness, of temperance, and a judgment to come. At the close of the sermon, hundreds bow in penitence and prayer, many are converted; tattoo beats — the men disperse to their cabins, not to sleep, but to pray and sing with their sorrowing comrades; and far into the night the camps are vocal with the songs of Zion and the rejoicings of new-born souls.

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