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[112] absenting himself from the post of duty except from necessity, and once, for several weeks, from sickness.

During the battles around Richmond he was, by a mistake of position, for a short time in the hands of the enemy. But he managed, by his coolness and presence of mind, to extricate himself. Speaking of the terrible storm of battle he said, that while beyond conception it was awful, yet a relying trust in God gave him perfect confidence and peace. One of his fellow-officers remarked that the earnestness and sincerity of his ejaculatory prayers upon the battle-field convinced him “that the soul of Colonel Coleman was always fixed upon the one sure hope and source of strength.”

“We were drawn up in line of battle,” says Captain Kirkpatrick, “on the eastern bank of the Chickahominy, with the advancing enemy in front, on a Sabbath morning in April or May, 1862. Captain Coleman approached where I was lying, took from my hands the Bible I had been reading and turning to the Eighty-fourth Psalm read it and commented upon its beautiful verses. I can now recall the earnest, longing tones in which he repeated, ‘How amiable are Thy tabernacles, O Lord of Hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God!’ He drew a parallel between David's condition when he composed that psalm and ours as we had been driven by our enemies, and spoke of the wonderful adaptedness of God's word, when even such circumstances as those around us only the more forcibly impressed its truths and beauties upon the soul. He then went on to speak in glowing words of the sweet privileges of God's house, the solemn assemblies of His saints, their blissful communion with Him in all the ordinances of His worship. The impression made upon me by that reading and those running comments will never be effaced from my memory, and while my soul retains its powers the Eighty-fourth Psalm will be associated in my mind with Lewis Minor Coleman and that beautiful but anxious Sabbath morning.”

He was prevented by severe illness from accompanying the army into Maryland in 1862. Even then his active spirit chafed under the necessary restraint. He requested a brother-officer to send for him if there was any prospect of a battle. In the dead hour of night he heard a rap at the door. “'Tis a message for me,” said he, “and I must go.” Said his wife, “you cannot go; ”

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