soldiers were captured and scattered through the North
I must not forget to say that the American Bible Society made liberal donations of their publications, and did it with a Christian courtesy and charity which arose above the passions of the hour, and which our Southern people should gratefully remember, even if they had not continued, after the war, to make grants, amounting to considerably over $100,000, to circulate God's word among the needy of our Southern land.
I find this item in a file of the Religious Herald
‘On an application by Rev. Levi Thorne
, of North Carolina
, approved by Governor Vance
, 100,000 Bibles and Testaments, principally for North Carolina
troops in the Confederate
service, were granted by the American Bible Society, New York, at its meeting in December.
For the South-west 50,000 were granted at the same time.’
If other societies at the North
made any such donations, I am not aware of it, and should be glad to be informed that I may give them due credit.
But with all the copies we could import or print, there was a great scarcity of Bibles and Testaments, and we appealed through the papers for extra copies that might be in the homes of the people or in the Sunday-schools.
Some of the responses to these appeals were very touching.
One lady wrote: ‘This Bible was the property of my dear son H——, who died three years ago; it was given him by his only sister, about the time he was taken sick.
For this reason I have kept it back, but seeing the earnest request in the papers, and as I can no longer read its sacred pages, after dropping a tear at parting with it, I send it for the use of the soldiers.
I had given away long since all I could find about the house, and now send you this, hoping that, with God's blessing, it may save some soul.’
In response to one of my appeals, I received from Miss Chapin
, his aunt, the pocket-Bible which E. Garland Sydnor
(son of our honored brother, Rev. Dr. T. W. Sydnor
) carried in his pocket when he gave his noble young life to ‘the land he loved.’
It was stained with the blood of the patriot-soldier, and his aunt wrote that while she prized it above all price, she could not withhold it from some poor soldier who needed it, and sent it bedewed with her tears and carrying with it her prayers.