and when Dr. McFerrin
asked him what Church or denomination of Christians, he replied: “The Roman Catholic, sir; I know no better.”
I scarce need add that he was a son of Erin's Isle.
Such was the brotherly love and fraternal friendship existing between the chaplains in the army that in reading my journal now there are many familiar names that I find which recall faces once very dear to me, and yet I cannot remember the denominations of the faithful servants of Christ
Rev. S. S. Taylor
, Thirty-seventh Georgia, with whom I was so long intimately associated, who was killed at Franklin, Tenn.
, December, 1864, was a Primitive Baptist
, a private soldier, yet an humble, devout soldier of Christ
The first winter of the war our brigade did not take interest enough in religious services to prepare a place of worship.
The second winter our heavy battles were in December and January, and we were much on the march in these months and changed our camping places frequently, and we had preaching and prayer-meeting when the weather would permit as often as practical at such places as we thought most suitable.
But at Dalton, Georgia
, rude chapels were built by the soldiers of different brigades.
I remember distinctly, in Brown
's Brigade, Chaplains Chapman
had a very convenient and comfortable house built, large enough to accommodate all who would attend, as they supposed.
But when the great revival began, soon the chapel was so crowded that they enlarged it by taking out the logs on one side, which doubled the seating capacity.
But still the eager hearers could not find room, and the end logs were removed.
But, when roll-call was over of an evening, there would be a rush of the soldiers to get as near as possible to the preachers, and it finally became necessary to remove the logs of the other side, only leaving those at the end by the preaching place remaining.
At Tyner's Station
, near Chattanooga
, the summer of 1863, we had arbors prepared of pine, or black-jack poles, covered with brush, and for lights we had there and at Fairfield
small scaffolds a few feet high and two or three feet across the top, covered with earth and torch-light fires upon them.
But soldiers were not particular about places.
What they preferred were men who would be with them at any time or any place where duty called the soldiers, willing to endure hardship and exposure and their perils, if need be, to preach Christ
Many sermons were preached in the trenches, and soldiers there heard the word which was blessed to their salvation.
Any place where the preacher could stand and the soldiers could sit, stand or recline was suitable for the true worshippers of God in the army who sought to worship the Father
in spirit and in truth.
Rock, stump or moss-covered log would answer the chaplain well enough for pulpit or book-board, and logs or rails were just suited for the soldiers to sit upon or kneel beside in the true worship of God. God was with us in our service, and that was all we asked or desired.
Since writing the above on preaching places
I find by reference to my journal that on Sunday, August 7, 1864, I preached for French
's Division, Ector
's and a part of Gholson
's Brigades in the trenches near Atlanta
, and that a caisson was used for a pulpit, and there was no screen from the burning sun. Preached for Seer
's Brigade in afternoon and heard the experience of soldiers to Chaplain Lattimore
, and saw him and Chaplain
——baptize fifteen soldiers in a pond in which the Federals
threw three shells the day before, none, however during the baptizing.
The badge adopted by the Chaplains' Association of the Army of Tennessee was the Maltese cross, worn on the collar or lappel of their coats.