‘Plague take them fellows.
I 'spect they'll spile my grease yet before they stop their foolishness.’
Soon after, the major looked at his watch and proposed that we should go into one of the ‘bomb-proofs’ and join in the noonday prayer-meeting.
I am afraid that some other feeling besides a devotional spirit prompted me to acquiesce at once.
But when we went in we found the large ‘bomb-proof’ filled with devout worshippers, and it proved one of the most tender, precious meetings I ever attended.
If I mistake not Rev. John W. Ryland
(then orderly sergeant of the King
and Queen Company) led the singing, and they sang, with tender pathos which touched every heart, some of those old songs which dear old ‘Uncle Sam Ryland
’ used to sing, and which were fragrant with hallowed memories of ‘Bruington
(I wonder if ‘Uncle Sam’ is not now singing, with Richard Hugh Bagby
and other loved ones, some of those same old songs, for surely they were sweet enough for even the heavenly choir.)
I might write columns about those services in the trenches, but I can find space now for only one other incident.
In the summer of 1864 I preached a good deal in Wright
's Georgia Brigade, where we had a precious revival, and a large number of professions of conversion.
The brigade was stationed at a point where the opposing lines were some distance apart, and I used to stand on a plat of grass in front of the trenches while the men would gather close around me, or sit on the parapet before me. One night, with a full moon shedding its light upon us, we had an unusually large congregation and a service of more than ordinary interest and power.
A large number came forward for prayer, there were a number of professions of faith in Christ
, and at the close of the service I received nine for baptism, and had just announced that I would administer the ordinance in a pond near by at 9 o'clock the next morning, when the ‘long roll’ beat, the brigade formed at once, and in a few minutes were on the march to one of the series of bloody battles which we had that summer.
Several days later the brigade returned to its quarters, and I went back to resume my meetings, and look up my candidates for baptism.
I found, alas!
that out of the nine received three had been killed, two were wounded and one was a prisoner, so that there were only three left for me to baptize.
The alacrity with which the men went to work to build chapels