May the tender Jesus, who said “Weep not” to His own mother in the extremity of her sufferings, say the same to you, dear friend. What need have we to look away from the surroundings of our dear ones' deaths, to forget the battle and the blood, and all the awful circumstances through which they passed into the pure presence of God. Think of it—the exchange of the boom of cannon for ‘the harpers, harping with their harps’ —the shrieks of furious enemies for the hallelujahs of angels— the fierce onset for the “Come, ye blessed of my Father” —the madness of war for the boundless peace of heaven! These were the exchanges your precious boy made when he breathed out his life into the hands of his Saviour. For himself he felt nothing but a holy joy, as our Willie1 did, and if he turned his thoughts to the anguish of his father and mother at his loss, it must have been with the triumphant assurance that the trust in Jesus which they had taught him, and which was strong enough for him to die by, was also strong enough for them to live by. You are an honored mother to have reared such a son for immortality. He did not need long years to fit him for a life with God, and if he has gotten home the soonest, without the toilsome march, you will not think that cause of sorrow, dear friend. If he could lean from the heavenly heights to-day, would he not say something like this: “Precious mother, there is no need of tears for me. I had all the happiness earth can give. I had a sweet, beautiful life with you all, and without the trial of any grief am translated now to the full possession of the bliss of God's redeemed. Rejoice in my joy.”
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Chapter 1 : religious elements in the army.
Chapter 2 : influence of Christian officers.
Chapter 3 : influence of Christian officers—continued.
Chapter 4 : influence of Christian officers—concluded.
Chapter 5 : Bible and colportage work.
Chapter 6 : hospital work.
Chapter 7 : work of the chaplains and missionaries.
Chapter 8 : eagerness of the soldiers to hear the Gospel .
Chapter 9 : State of religion in 1861 - 62 .
Chapter 10 : revivals in the Lower Valley and around Fredericksburg .
Chapter 11 : the great revival along the Rapidan .
Chapter 12 : progress of the work in 1864 - 65 .
Chapter 13 : results of the work and proofs of its genuineness
Appendix: letters from our army workers.
Appendix no. 2 : the work of grace in other armies of the Confederacy .
‘Don't distress yourselves about me, boys; I am not afraid to die,’ he said to his comrades, as they pressed anxiously around him. There spoke the considerate friend—the chivalrous young soldier—the fearless Christian. Of the few remaining hours of his life little is known. Thus much we are permitted to know. His beloved captain, Hugh A. White, was with him on the morning preceding his death. Turning to the surgeon, Willie asked if it was possible for him to survive; he received a negative answer. ‘Could you get a letter to my father?’ he asked of Captain White. Upon being reminded of the difficulty, he acquiesced and said: ‘Then I will deliver my messages to you.’ These undelivered messages are forever sealed up in the bosom of the noble young leader, who fell, instantly killed, a few hours later. Thus let the names of these martyrs in the cause of their country go down to posterity together.
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