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[571]

Campaign in Middle Tennessee.

The chaplains and other preachers with our corps began a series of meetings at Normandy, on the Chattanooga Railroad.

November 26. Chaplain Wexler and I were assisted by Bro. J. G. Bolton. But in three days we marched to Manchester. There we had services nightly, regardless of the unfavorable weather.

On Sunday night, November 30, after sermon by Bro. Wexler and exhortation by Bro. Tribble, six soldiers knelt for prayer; my twenty-seventh birthday.

December 3. Bro. Bolton preached at night; I followed by exhortation; there were four penitents, and Sergeant-Major E. F. Shropshire, of Thirty-ninth Georgia, Ringgold, Georgia, made a happy profession of faith in Christ. The first public profession of religion I witnessed in the army.

December 4. I preached at night; 7 penitents, 2 conversions.

Captain Brady, Thirty-ninth Georgia, preached the last sermon of the Manchester meetings. Snow on the 5th, and Sunday, 7th, the division was marching to McMinnville. Captain Brady, a most excellent Christian, killed in Georgia, 1864.

From McMinnville we marched to Woodberry, thence to Reedyville, where we encamped on Stone's River. Here I met General Joseph E. Johnston for the first time, with whom I was most favorably impressed. Also met General Bushrod Johnson.

Reedyville, Tenn., December 13. Preached at night for Eleventh Tennessee Regiment and Third Georgia Battalion.

Sunday, 14. Preached in the forenoon for Fifty-second Georgia Regiment. Colonel, lieutenant-colonel, and major set the soldiers a good example by attending service. Am much pleased with officers and men of this command. Dined with Rev. Dr. Harpe, a most genial Christian gentleman. Returned to our quarters and preached in the afternoon.

December 15. Visited the Pisgah Hospital. Many sick of the Forty-third Georgia and Forty-sixth Alabama there.

On the 19th the Fourth Tennessee left our division to join Cheatham's. I part with my old regiment with regret.

Sunday, 21. At 10 A. M. preached for the Ninth Georgia Battalion for the first time. A large attendance of officers and privates. God's presence and power manifested in our service. In the afternoon preached for the Eleventh Tennessee Regiment.

December 25. Rev. William Dow Cherry, pastor of Methodist church, McMinnville, preached for Twenty-ninth North Carolina Regiment. He is my only brother. His command was surrendered at Fort Donelson, but he risked his life and escaped imprisonment.

December 27. Our division, General McCown's, marched after midnight this morning for Murfreesboro.

Sunday, 28. We went into line of battle near the city and continued thus till night. No service to-day.

Murfreesboro, Tenn., December 31, 1862. Our division, which is on the extreme left wing, southwest of Murfreesboro, advanced and attacked the enemy at daylight, and drove back Sill's Division for three miles across the Wilkerson Turnpike, and as far as the Nashville Pike. I rode out with Rev. Dr. F. S. Petway. Ector's Texas brigade of our division charged and captured a battery which annoyed us so yesterday. It belonged to Johnson's Federal brigade. I counted 47 Federals and 10 Confederate dead around the battery. The Federals rallied in a cedar glade near the home of Mrs. Burrus. We were exposed to a fearful fire. Never did I see men fall so rapidly. General James E. Rains, of our brigade, fell dead while cheering on our command. His last reported words were, ‘Forward, my brave boys, forward.’ He was a gallant man and had treated me with special courtesy


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