whole army, and really did not cease until the surrender at Appomattox
On Sunday evening, September 6, 1863, I had an engagement to preach for Brother J. J. D. Renfroe
, chaplain of the Tenth Alabama, in the great revival in Wilcox
's Brigade, camped near the Rapidan
, not far from Orange Court House
As further illustrating the character of our world, I may mention that I preached to a large congregation in my own brigade at 6 o'clock that morning.
At II o'clock I went to the Baptist church at Orange Court House
, and assisted in the ordination of Brother W. G. Curry
, of the Third Alabama Regiment, who had been gallantly serving in the ranks, but who had been appointed chaplain of his regiment, and whose Church had called for his ordination.
In the afternoon I witnessed a most interesting baptismal scene in a creek near the railroad, about a mile and a half north of Orange Court House
, where Dr. Andrew Broaddus
, of Caroline county
(acting for Chaplain Hilary E. Hatcher
, of Mahone
's Brigade, who was sick), and Chaplain Renfroe
baptized eightytwo soldiers belonging to Mahone
's Virginia and Wilcox
's Alabama Brigades.
About five thousand soldiers, from the general to the private, lined the banks.
There was deep solemnity pervading the vast throng, and a more impressive scene is rarely witnessed.
About dusk that evening I went with Brother Renfroe to his place of worship.
The men came from every direction, not only from this, but from all of the neighboring brigades, until, when I got up to preach, the light of the fire-stands
revealed at least 5,000 men seated on the rude logs, or on the ground, and with upturned, eager faces, ready to drink in every word the preacher had to say. My text was: ‘The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin;’ and as I tried to tell in simple, earnest words
The old, old story,
Of Jesus and His love,
I could see in the dim light the intense interest and the starting tear.
At the close of the service, those interested in their souls' salvation and desiring an interest in the prayers of God's people were invited to come and give us their hand, and they continued to press forward until we had counted over 600, of whom about 200 professed conversion.
I remember that, after our service was over, I went by