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[228] forego domestic joys, and even when a furlough is practicable, forbear to use it, that he may stay at his post and labor for his men. I do not believe public sentiment in the army requires chaplains to “take the sword.” In a battle, the chaplain's place is with his ambulance, and then at the hospitals. But to be thus just in the rear is often to encounter the hottest fire of cannonballs and shells.

The material of his congregation is the best, and his preaching is constantly backed by most solemn providences. Then, as a general thing, except on forced marches, he may preach almost whenever he pleases. He must learn, however, to be “instant out of season.” At ‘Cross Keys’ I felt that a battle was imminent during the day, and preached about half-past 7 o'clock A. M. Soon the distant cannon was heard, and ere I reached “thirdly,” the colonel asked me to close as soon as I could, as he had orders to “fall in.” It was the last message some poor fellows ever heard. Two weeks thereafter we marched nearly all day, and it was not until the setting of the sun that we could gather for praise and prayer.

Last Monday was the hottest and most airless day I ever felt. About 3 P. M. a brother-chaplain said to me, “Go preach for my regiment.” “What! Monday, and such a warm day, too?” “Yes. I will give you a good crowd, and take care of you.” I went. In ten minutes we were gathered. What Richmond pastor has such an advantage? After preaching I was hospitably entertained to supper by the colonel, who kindly asked me to preach for his regiment when I could. En passant, I doubt whether a man is ever truly grateful until he enters the army. Before, he may be thankful in the abstract, but then he learns to be thankful for each hour of slumber, and each individual cracker or cup of water. In conclusion, I think, among the many evils of war, we should not forget such a benefit as this, that it corrects the growing tendency to effeminacy. How desirable, if many of our young preachers in this school shall learn to “endure hardness.” Then they can preach as the pioneers did, and not be concerned what they shall eat, or where they shall sleep; nor need to be coddled by the mothers in Israel, or have eggs and brandy mixed for their throats by the pretty daughters in Israel.

chaplain. camp in Charles city, July 9, 1862.

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