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[137] great privilege. It is a pleasing subject of thought to me, especially on the Sabbath, that father, two brothers and a cousin are all preaching the gospel. I do not forget to pray for you. May I soon be permitted to join the number, and give my energies to the same good work.

He was ever considerate, in a remarkable degree, of his mother's comfort. One of his chief sources of anxiety at the approach of a battle was that she might be prepared for her sad share in its results. He would write to her beforehand to prepare her for it. On the eve of one of the most desperate of the eight battles in which he bore an active part, he wrote her a letter full of the tenderest filial love, and expressive of the strongest faith. He concludes this letter in these words: “Mother, don't be anxious about me. I have a sweet assurance that my soul is safe; and as to my body, that is only dust.”

And then, when the battle was over his first effort was to find time to communicate the intelligence of his safety to all at home; and a form of expression he used on such occasions was this, “May the anxious heart of my devoted mother now be comforted.” Truly his was the heart, and the tongue, and the life, of a devoted son.

The mother of a young man belonging to the army called at the Lexington parsonage to inform her pastor that her son seemed much interested about his soul, and, indeed, she hoped he was a Christian and would embrace the first opportunity to connect himself with the Church; and then, weeping as she spoke, added: “Your son Hugh has been very kind and faithful to him. As he did not belong to his company, and as he could not easily see him, he wrote to him; and soon after he went over to his camp, and asked him to walk with him. They went together into a grove, a considerable distance from the camp; and, after conversing fully with him, he proposed that they should unite in prayer; then, kneeling at the root of a tree, he prayed for the soul of my son, and now I hope he is a Christian.”

This is but a specimen of his active work for Christ.

In the last letter he ever penned, dated ‘Banks of the Rappahanock, August 24, 1862,’ and addressed to his father, he said:

This has been very little like the Sabbath. With spirits saddened by hunger and fretted by the constant roar of artillery, we have been kept in an uncomfortable frame of mind. The


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