yielded, and went into the log-hut which a large mess of soldiers had built for their accommodation; and there I was introduced to Mr. Magnus, of Rome, Georgia, I think. I found him to be a very intelligent and affable gentleman, and intent on making his Gentile guest comfortable that night. His was the most costly as well as the most comfortable bed I ever found in the army. The next morning he conducted me aside, and said he wished to talk to me on the subject of religion. “I believe,” said he, “in the necessity of an atonement. I believe in a Messiah who is to make this atonement. Will this suffice?” I told him that this would not answer; that he must believe in the Messiah already come, even Jesus of Nazareth; and that he must accept the atonement wrought by Him on the cross. “Ah!” he exclaimed; “I was taught from childhood to hate Jesus of Nazareth, and to regard Him as an impostor! It is so hard to rise above such influences! Yet, if Jesus is the Messiah, I wish to know it, that I may believe in Him, and receive the benefit of His death. Have you any special argument that you can give me in proof that Jesus of Nazareth was the true Messiah?” On hearing this, my heart ascended to God for help, and never were arguments furnished to me so readily. I seemed to remove every objection from his mind, and left him in the hands of Infinite Mercy, strongly impressed that the atonement would avail for him not many days hence. Soon after this conversation closed, an order was issued for the battalion to prepare to move at once. I learned afterwards that dear Magnus had received a severe wound from which he would probably die. General Sherman, the commander of the Union forces, now began to manoeuvre his troops with the view of locating General Johnston's lines; and at this time our general issued an order for the chaplains to make no further appointments for preaching. The opening of this ever memorable campaign put an end to the revival spirit, and chaplains from this time to the fall of Atlanta could do little more than administer, individually, to the wants of the sick and wounded. Prominent among the workers known to me were Revs. G. W. Given, S. C. Hearn, W. H. Roberts, and others. The writer meanwhile did what he could in the hospitals and on “Relief Committees,” noting with painful solicitude the fact that the wily Sherman was gradually manoeuvring our forces from every strong position that they had assumed. It appeared to many of General Johnston's most ardent admirers that he should have fought the enemy in detail (as he had opportunity of doing) before they crossed the Ostanaula River, or, at any rate, before they crossed the Etowah. He seemed never to be able to summon the courage to hazard a Waterloo defeat. Possibly this was best, since it may have spared to their families many soldiers who else might have fallen on the field of battle without materially benefiting the cause dear to Southern hearts. Certain it is that my love and unbounded admiration for General Johnston made it difficult for me to see any error in his movements. An incident occurred at Marietta, Georgia, when the two armies were a few miles north-west of this city, which I beg the privilege of relating. A young man was brought to the depot very seriously wounded in the head. He was attended by a faithful old body-servant. The poor negro seemed to be almost heart-broken at the calamity that had befallen his young master. I asked him the young man's name. He said it was “Vincent, from Louisiana.” Looking at the young man, I recognized him as formerly a student in Union University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, when the writer taught in that institution of learning. Being well acquainted with the surgeon in charge, I managed to have the young man's wound dressed with but little delay, and himself assigned to comfortable quarters. Uncle “Sam” —for that was the servant's name—stayed by the young man and waited on him with maternal tenderness. About this time a strange preacher from North Alabama came into town, having
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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