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[177]

Though there are interesting letters from several gentlemen who are employed at this post, we will give extracts from but one. Rev. Mr. C—— says: “I have been a month laboring in this city, during which I have distributed 41,000 pages of tracts, besides many copies of God's inspired word. I preach frequently (almost daily) in the hospitals or camps. A notice of a few minutes will suffice to bring together a large congregation, and never in my life have I witnessed such earnest, solemn attention to the preached word. Oftentimes I meet with soldiers who tell me that they have become Christians since they entered the army, and not unfrequently I am asked by anxious inquirers what they must do to be saved. The soldiers, almost without exception, have received me with great kindness, and have appeared very thankful for reading matter. ‘Oh, how encouraging to a soldier is a word of sympathy!’ said one of these sick men to me.” We have been enabled to bring out some 10,000 copies of the New Testament, and to publish over 5,000,--000 pages of tracts; and to-day have not less than twelve depositories in the different States and 150 tract distributers at work.


There are about 3,000 in the hospitals of this city, and others are being brought here from more exposed points. It is the purpose of the authorities to establish hospitals at Liberty and Farmville. Several hundred sick soldiers are already in these two towns. The hospitals afford a most inviting field for religious effort. The solemn quiet and the serious reflections which pervade the soul of the sick soldier, who, far away from home and friends, spends so many hours in communing with his own heart, is very conducive to religious improvement. An invalid remarked that during the month he had been in the hospital he had read through the New Testament and the Psalms, though he was not a professor of religion. Last Monday, at an early hour, I walked through the hospital at Staunton, and found not a few of the inmates reading diligently their Bibles. There is, without doubt, considerable religious feeling in the camps. Take the following as one of many facts corroborative of this statement. After several days of long, weary marches, General Jackson's command came into Staunton Sunday and Monday.


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