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[545]

An officer of the Fifth Georgia Regiment, stationed at Bridgeport, Tennessee, sent back home his appeal:

‘Our regiment now numbers about 650, and these men have not heard a sermon in five months. What a thought! Who is to blame? The men? I think not. The officers? No. Who then? The ministry or the Christians at home. I have done all in my power to secure the services of some minister to preach for us, but have, so far, entirely failed. Our regiment is composed mostly of young men, many of them, at home, members of the Church—Christians; and shall it be said that any of these have backslidden or have died, and are forever lost, for the want of proper counsel? God forbid.’

Dr. Bennett thus continues his narrative of the great revival in the summer of 1863:

Charleston, South Carolina, was a point of great interest during the whole period of the war, and the fiery temper of the men who opened the fearful drama might be supposed to be unfavorable to the progress of the revival. But it was not so. Among the soldiers that lay for many weary months on the bare sands of the barren islands, and on the borders of the lagoons around that city, the work of grace went steadily forward. Christian Associations were formed, religious books, tracts, and papers were distributed, and earnest sermons preached, which resulted inmost blessed scenes. In the Forty-sixth Georgia such an organization was formed, and the soldiers who united in it said: “Our object is to make it a depository for the names of members of the Church, that they may be known as such, and that thereby we may be the better enabled to watch over each other for good; that each may feel that he has something to do in teaching sinners the way of life; and that by a godly walk and pious conversation he ought to honor his profession and glorify the God of his salvation.” One hundred and eighty-four Christian soldiers gave their names to the Association. Of this regiment, Rev. T. C. Stanley was then the chaplain, Lieutenant N. B. Binion was President of the Association, and W. J. Brown, Secretary. These men came out not only to fight, to suffer, to die for their country, but to work for God and the truth in the midst of all the evils and corruptions of the camp.’

The signs from other portions of the army in the West and Southwest were equally cheering. Along the lines in East Tennessee the revival began to spread with great power. Rev. W. B. Norris, writing from Loudon, Tennessee, says:

‘During the month (April) there has been a deep religious interest among the soldiers here. We have had a series of meetings for about two weeks, which, we hope, resulted in much good. The church in which we met was always crowded to the utmost, and there were always many seekers for the way of eternal life.’

In the Fifty-ninth Tennessee Regiment there was a glorious work. Rev. S. Strick, the chaplain, says:

‘God is at work among our men. Many are earnestly seeking the pardon of their sins—some have been converted. Our nightly prayer-meetings are well attended by anxious listeners, and my tent is crowded daily by deeply penitent souls. Never have I known such a state of religious feeling in our army as at this time. God's Spirit is moving the hearts of our soldiers.’

Rev. Messrs. McFerrin, Petway, and Ransom, of the M. E. Church, South, went to the help of General Bragg's army; Messrs. Thweat and Harrington, of the same Church, to the army in Mississippi; while Bishop Pierce, Dr. A. L. P. Green, and Rev. J. E. Evans went to General Lee's army in Virginia. Rev. Dr. Kavanaugh was sent to the army of General Price, and Rev. Mr. Marvin (now Bishop) was directed by Bishop Pierce to take position as missionary with ally army corps west of the Mississippi. The work of these ministers, with that of other zealous men from sister Churches, gave a great impulse to the revival. In Colonel Colquitt's Forty-sixth Georgia Regiment, camped near Vernon, Mississippi, the work was

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