Report for August, 1864.
Our army has been closely confined to the trenches around Atlanta
the entire month, and exposed to a continuous fire of artillery, and frequent picket skirmishes, and a few assaults from the enemy; but notwithstanding the proximity of the foe and the exposed position of our troops, the soldiers seemed very eager for religious services at various points along the lines, and even sat quietly listening to the preaching of the word amid the flying and falling missiles of death, seeming to feel secure while engaged in the worship of God.
I preached three nights in succession to General Roddy
's Division of cavalry.
The command had but one chaplain present for duty, and there are many more professors of piety, but the soldiers seemed very eager to have preaching, and were attentive and serious; twenty-eight came forward for prayer, and there were very favorable indications for an extensive revival of religion among them; but the general was ordered elsewhere, and the meeting closed.
I was treated with much courtesy and kindness by General Roddy
and his officers, who expressed a desire to have the soldiers attend preaching.
An efficient chaplain or missionary might accomplish much good in that excellent division; and the soldiers were very solicitous to secure the services of a zealous, faithful minister.
The first Sabbath in the month I visited General French
's division, of Stewart
's corps, and preached in the morning to Ector
, and Gholson
's Mississippi brigades.
The congregation was large and serious, and sat for an hour upon the ground in the open field, without any protection from the burning sun, and listened gladly to the words spoken, which I trust accomplished some good.
One wounded soldier since testified that he was a changed man from that hour.
All were eager to get papers and Testaments.
I regret much that I had so few of the latter to distribute.
's and Reynolds
' brigades are both without chaplains.
I have preached once since to the latter.
They were having meetings every night.
Five joined the church, and there were a number of penitents and professions of piety.
At 2 P. M. I preached for Sears
' Mississippi brigade.
The interest there was very good; two joined the M. E. Church
at the close of service.
A fine revival has been carried on for some time by their faithful chaplains, and a large number have been converted and joined the Church
during the month.
I was received by Colonel Barry
, commanding brigade, and staff officers, with marked respect.
They attended preaching.
A shower of rain fell before the close of the sermon, but the soldiers only crowded the closer to the preaching place.
Again, at four in the afternoon, I preached for Cockrill
's Missouri brigade, where a fine revival was in progress; above one hundred of those gallant Missourians, far away from their homes, have sought and secured a title to a home in the many mansioned house of our Father in heaven.
Among the number, a noble young officer, of fine intellect, joined the Church
one day, and was killed on the post of duty the day following.
brigade I have preached four times.
Quite an interesting revival; seventy at the altar for prayer.
I received fourteen applications for church membership.
Some very pious and zealous young officers in that command have charge of large Bible classes, and are wielding a fine influence for the cause of Christ
' Mississippi brigade preached once; attentive audience.
Seventyfive men were seeking salvation, and many professed conversion.
I baptized four young soldiers.
's Mississippi brigade has been blessed with a very gracious revival for two or three weeks; over one hundred have joined the Church
I have preached for them once.
, commanding brigade, and other officers, gave me a cordial reception.
I preached one night for Quarles