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[203] with what pangs of remorse must he behold each mound in the soldiers' graveyard.

Richmond, July 22, 1862.
Having spent some time recently in visiting the largest hospitals in several of the States and seen and heard much of the soldiers, I have a pretty good opportunity of ascertaining something of the religious status of the army. It is, beyond doubt, true that many have had their morals ruined by the seductive temptations of the camp. But it is equally true that others have been benefited spiritually, and in many cases savingly converted! The solemn stillness, the suffering of body and spirit, the absence of loved ones and the pleasures of home are well calculated to win the soul to a contemplation of the “rest” which “remaineth.” Said a soldier to me as we were journeying together: “ But for this book (the Bible) I should long since have gone beside myself. When I think of my poor little motherless children far away, sadness and sorrow fill my heart, and in despair I am ready to sink; but at such times I always betake myself to the reading of God's word, and it has never failed to comfort, sustain and even to fill me with joy. But for this, to-day, sir, I would be a raving maniac.”

While going south on the cars with the sick and wounded, I noticed that quite a number would take from their pocket tracts which I had given them, weeks and months before, and with much interest read them again. On taking from my pocket a few packages of tracts, one and another would inquire, “Have you tracts to dispose of?” Then came a captain with $2 and said, “Give me the worth of this in tracts for my men.” Another soldier said, “ I want to help on this work; will you accept this?” handing $1. After while an elderly gentleman handed a $5 bill, saying that he “was delighted to see how eagerly the soldiers had read what was given them.” A soldier took from his pocket several tracts tied up in a roll—said he had read them repeatedly and hoped often to peruse them in days to come. They had been sent to him through the mail by his wife, to whom they were given by a colporter.

Since he had been in the army his wife had sickened and died, and this was one of the last gifts she had sent him. The above illustrates, though but feebly, how vast and inviting is the field now appealing for our sympathy and toil. Untold good may be effected by means so simple, that in the eyes of many

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July 22nd, 1862 AD (1)
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