at different points in Tennessee, General Bragg retreated into North Georgia, where, a few months later, the terrible battle of Chickamauga was fought. Speaking of this battle, General James A. Garfield said to the writer, about the winter of 1872, as we were en route to California, that the Confederate victory, in the battle of Chickamauga, was most complete, and that, if a vigorous pursuit had been made by the Confederates, the Union army could have easily been captured. He said, also, that he, though only an adjutant-general, checked a portion of the retreating soldiers, which served to arrest the panic, and make it possible to resist their pursuers. General Bragg was severely censured by some for not pressing the pursuit; but what troops, after such a battle, could be expected to pursue even a vanquished foe! Our army having taken position on “Missionary Ridge” and places in line therewith, our faithful chaplains again began their work. Before the revival spirit became general, however, our army was driven from their position, and went into winter-quarters at Dalton, Georgia. Here it was that General Joseph E. Johnston superseded General Bragg in command of the army. Under their new general the soldiers, much discouraged at their defeat at Missionary Ridge, began to take heart again. It was at Dalton that the great revival took place. Chaplains, missionaries, and visiting pastors from the churches seemed intent on preaching the gospel to this entire army; and, no doubt, a large army was here recruited for the service of King Immanuel. With the aid of Rev. W. H. Roberts, of Georgia, Dr. Samuel Henderson, of Alabama, and Brigadier-General M. P. Lowry, of Cleburne's Division, the writer held an interesting meeting in the Baptist house of worship in Dalton. General Lowry preached but once, and from the text: “Behold! I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open unto me, I will come in, and sup with him, and he with me.” The sermon was clear, pointed, strong, and persuasive; and, at its close, many came forward for prayer and instruction. How many were converted that night I do not know; but I believe there were many. An incident occurred during the after part of the meeting that I shall never forget. I think it was at the close of a prayer, when a young man, with face all radiant, arose, and sang what was to me a new song; seemingly forgetful of all around him, and wholly engaged in loving, adoring praise to his present Redeemer. That song echoed and re-echoed in my soul so long, that I believe I could even now sing it. I baptized as a result of this series of meetings, in a creek north of Dalton, a large number of professed believers; of whom one, William Jayne, afterwards became a useful minister of the gospel; and is still laboring, I think, in his native State, Kentucky. The troops encamped in the town were now ordered to the front; and this left us without a congregation. Wishing to find some other troops to whom I might preach before “the opening of the campaign of 1864,” I went some two or three miles south-east of Dalton, where I found a battalion of artillery, commanded by Major Johnston, a kinsman of our commanding general. This command, if I remember correctly, had been almost entirely neglected; having heard few sermons during their whole previous term of service. I preached to them several times, and much interest was manifested by the large crowds that rushed forward for prayer at the close of each sermon. I hope to meet a number from that command in that blessed region where wars will be known no more. An interesting incident occurred at the close of one of our meetings. A soldier informed me that there was a Jew belonging to his command, who desired that I should occupy his bed that night. I excused myself by telling the soldier that I had comfortable lodgings in Major Johnston's tent, and that I could not afford to rob the generous-hearted Jew of his bed. It was insisted, however, that I should accept the offer, as the Jew wished to converse with me on the subject of religion. I
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Chapter 1 : religious elements in the army.
Chapter 2 : influence of Christian officers.
Chapter 3 : influence of Christian officers—continued.
Chapter 4 : influence of Christian officers—concluded.
Chapter 5 : Bible and colportage work.
Chapter 6 : hospital work.
Chapter 7 : work of the chaplains and missionaries.
Chapter 8 : eagerness of the soldiers to hear the Gospel .
Chapter 9 : State of religion in 1861 - 62 .
Chapter 10 : revivals in the Lower Valley and around Fredericksburg .
Chapter 11 : the great revival along the Rapidan .
Chapter 12 : progress of the work in 1864 - 65 .
Chapter 13 : results of the work and proofs of its genuineness
Appendix: letters from our army workers.
Appendix no. 2 : the work of grace in other armies of the Confederacy .
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