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[261] building—others ‘rove’ slabs, some provided ‘ridge poles,’ and ‘weight poles,’—and there were parties to do the hauling, put up the house and undertake ‘the finer work.’ Never since the days of Nehemiah have men had a better ‘mind to work’ on the walls of Zion, and in from two to six days the chapel was finished, and the men were worshipping God in a temple dedicated to his name. These chapels were not, of course, quite equal in architectural design or finish to the splendid edifices of some of our city churches. No frescoed ceilings delighted the eye—no brilliant gas-jets illuminated the house—no lofty spire pointed heavenward—no clear-sounding bell summoned to cushioned seats elegantly attired ladies or fashionably dressed men—and no pealing notes of the grand organ led the music. But rude as they were, the completion of these chapels was hailed with the liveliest manifestations of joy on the part of those who had helped to build them, and each one of them proved, indeed, ‘none other than the house of God and the gate of heaven.’

Rev. W. S. Lacy, of the Forty-Seventh North Carolina, thus writes of an evening service in his chapel:

It was a solemn sight to see one of those earnest, crowded congregations by our feeble light in that rude chapel. We had no brilliant gas-jets, softened by shaded or stained glass. The light was reflected from no polished surface or snowy wall; one or two roughlook-ing specimens of candles (we thought them magnificent) adorned the pulpit, and, perhaps, three others were in the room, subject to the caprices of the wind.

A few torches in the fireplace filled the complement of light, and fully served to render the darkness visible. But there was a sort of spell in the flicker of those lights and the solemn stillness of the vast crowds, and as they would flare the lurid gleam would reveal many an earnest face and brimming eye.

There were forty chapels built along the Rapidan in the winter of 1863-64, and over sixty the next winter along the Richmond and Petersburg lines, notwithstanding the fact that at this last period timber was very scarce and transportation hard to obtain on a large part of the lines, and the men had to bring the lumber at great distances on their shoulders.

In many of these chapels there were circulating libraries and daily prayer-meetings, Sunday-schools, literary societies, Young Men's Christian Association meetings, etc. And many of them

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