in full view and easy range of the pickets on the opposite side.
Not many of the men were permitted to attend for fear of attracting the fire of the enemy.
But General Gordon
himself was always present—his tall form presenting a tempting target to the sharpshooters on the north bank of the river.
To the credit of ‘the men in blue,’ let it be said, however, they never fired at this time upon any of these baptismal parties, but contented themselves with looking on in mute wonder while the solemn ordinance was administered.
Upon two occasions at the same period I baptized in the Rapidan
in full view of the pickets on the other side, and with no apprehension of interruption from them.
On the bloody campaign from the Rapidan
to Cold Harbor in 1864, when the army was constantly in the trenches or on the march, and fought almost daily, Bryan
's Georgia Brigade had a season of comparative repose, while held in reserve, when they had from three to five meetings a day, which resulted in about fifty professions of conversion, most of whom Rev. W. L. Curry
, the efficient chaplain of the Fiftieth Georgia Regiment, baptized in a pond which was exposed to the enemy's fire, and where several men were wounded while the ordinance was being administered.
Major Robert Stiles
, of Richmond
, in an address delivered in 1869 before the Male Orphan Asylum
, related an incident which illustrates the point I am making, and which I will not mar by condensing, but give in his own eloquent words:
‘One of the batteries of our own battalion was composed chiefly of Irishmen from a Southern city—gallant fellows, but wild and reckless.
The captaincy becoming vacant, a backwoods Georgia
preacher, named C——, was sent to command them.
The men, at first half-amused, half-insulted, soon learned to idolize as well as fear their preacher captain, who proved to be, all in all, such a man as one seldom sees, a combination of Praise-God Barebones and Sir Philip Sidney
, with a dash of Hedley Vicars
about him. He had all the stern grit of the Puritan
, with much of the chivalry of the Cavalier, and the zeal of the Apostle.
There was at this time but one other Christian in his battery, a gunner named Allan Moore
, also a backwoods Georgian, and a noble, enthusiastic man and soldier.
The only other living member of Moore
's family was with him, a boy of not more than twelve or thirteen years, and the devotion of the elder brother to ’