Chapter 2: influence of Christian officers.
No army, with whose history I am acquainted, at least, was ever blessed with so large a proportion of high officers who were earnest Christian men, as the Army of Northern Virginia.
We had at first such specimens of the Christian
soldier as R. E. Lee
, Stonewall Jackson
, D. H. Hill
, T. R. Cobb
, A. H. Colquitt
, Kirby Smith
, J. E. B. Stuart
, W. N. Pendleton
, John B. Gordon
, C. A. Evans
, A. M. Scales
, ‘Willie’ Pegram
, Lewis Minor Coleman
, Thos. H. Carter
, Carter Braxton
, Charles S. Venable
, and a host of others too numerous to mention.
And during the war Generals Ewell
, R. H. Anderson
, W. H. S. Baylor
, Colonel Lamar
, and a number of others of our best officers professed faith in Christ
Nor was the example of these noble men merely negative
— many of them were active
workers for the Master
, and did not hesitate, upon all proper occasions, to ‘stand up for Jesus.’
Our Christian President
, Jefferson Davis
, was always outspoken on the side of evangelical religion, and manifested the deepest interest in all efforts for the spiritual good of the soldiers.
His fast-day and thanksgiving-day proclamations were not only beautiful specimens of the chaste style and classic English for which this great man is remarkable, but they also breathed a spirit of humble, devout piety, which did not fail to have its influence on the armies of the Confederacy
He said to Rev. A. E. Dickinson
, who was then superintendent of the Virginia
Baptist Colportage Board, which resolved in June, 1861, to send to labor in the army its band of nearly one hundred trained colporters: ‘I most cordially sympathize with this movement.
We have but little to hope for, if we do not realize our dependence upon heaven's blessing and seek the guidance of God's truth.’
In his message under date of April 29, 1861, President Davis