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e. To speak of the merit of those officers and men under Colonel Cary's command is not now my design. Suffice it to say, they all appear to be well fitted for their respective positions. It was my privilege to distribute tracts, which were thankfully received; also, to address the soldiers on the all-important concern of the soul's salvation, for three successive nights. It was truly gratifying to see the extraordinary good order maintained amongst them during religious services. On the second day after my arrival two of the soldiers, young men from Caroline, made an open profession of Christ, and were buried with Christ in baptism by your correspondent in the fair waters leading from the Potomac. Visits from our brethren in the ministry to this portion of our army will be gratifying and no doubt be hailed with pleasure by them. While they need shoes, coats and all the necessaries for bodily comfort, they also need spiritual food. May God pour out His Spirit upon our soldiers,
ld break in all its fury upon us, we worshipped God. A correspondent of the Central Presbyterian expresses the opinion that every Southern Sabbath-school has one living representative at least in this war, and that most schools have many. A minister thus writes to the Religious Herald: Brother Editors: For the encouragement of fathers and other friends of our soldiers, I send you the following for the Herald: My son, a young man of less than twenty years of age, left home early in May with his company of volunteers for the seat of war. When he left he was a stranger to God's forgiving grace, and so far as I know, was not seriously concerned about his condition. I determined to follow him with my prayers, if haply the Lord might have mercy upon him. I asked three beloved brother-ministers to pray for him. I also put the New Testament into his hand, with the request that he would read it carefully and prayerfully. He made no promise, but I felt sure he would comply with my
ad your Bibles, abstain from bad company and bad habits, the lusts of the flesh and the vanities of a wicked world, but who says at the same time by his own conduct and example, Come along, children—taking them, as it were, by the hand— I will lead you down to hell; yes, I was leading them by my own example directly to hell as fast as I possibly could. Oh, the horrible thought of being the means of damning the souls of my children! Conviction seized upon me, and then and there, on the—th of June, I resolved, if God would spare my life, that I would reform my habits of life; or if He would permit me to return home, that I would set a different example before my children. I have prayed that He would, and that I might keep my resolution to the day of my death. I wrote you a letter on the same day, while my eyes were still wet with tears. I asked your prayers in my behalf; I know you have prayed for me. Can God in justice forgive me? I pray He may; I know my children will; may God bl<
September 17th (search for this): chapter 1
upon the Divine succor. These remarks were characteristic. The general is a godly man, and frequently adverts to these matters in conversation with his officers. On the field of Manassas the chaplain of one of his regiments approached him in a dress which he deemed too military for a clergyman. Go back, sir, said he, this is no place for you; take off that sash, retire to the grove and besiege a Throne of Grace! Rev. R. W. Cole writes to The Religious Herald: Caroline County, September 17. Messrs. Editors: It was my privilege to spend some three or four days with the soldiers embracing Colonel Cary's regiment, a short time since, at Marlborough Point. The season was truly gloomy—being rainy—but it seemed not to detract from the energy and cheerfulness of those noble sons who are sacrificing for their country's welfare. To speak of the merit of those officers and men under Colonel Cary's command is not now my design. Suffice it to say, they all appear to be well fitte
ulty and of the whole State when he at once said, Virginia has now acted, and the boys are right. I say let the flag wave, and, for myself, I propose to fight under it, and to use my influence to induce our students to do the same. Accordingly, he raised among the students and a few graduates of the college a company of seventy-two, which they called the Liberty Hall Volunteers, the name borne by a company of students from the same institution who did valiant service in the Revolution of 1776. They elected Professor White as their first captain, all of their officers were Christian men, more than half of the rank and file belonged to some evangelical church, and about one-fourth were candidates for the ministry. Rev. Dr. J. M. P. Atkinson, President of Hampden-Sidney College, organized a company composed of his own students and those of the Union Theological Seminary, and nearly all of this company were professed Christians. Not a few of our pastors had a large majority, an
April, 1861 AD (search for this): chapter 1
ds called the Army of Northern Virginia—the noblest army (I hesitate not calmly to affirm, after the lapse of years) that ever marched under any banner or fought for any cause in all the tide of time. But I do not propose, in this volume, to attempt even a sketch of the military exploits of this noble army of heroes. I revert rather to another and far different scene from the one I have sketched. Over a year has rolled by, and that fair-haired, rosy-cheeked boy, mother's darling, of April, 1861—now a bronzed veteran of the Army of Northern Virginia, who has followed the stars and bars on many a victorious field—returns to his boyhood's home. But he comes not back with light, elastic step and erect carriage as when he marched forth so gayly at his country's call. He is borne on a litter—he has been shot through the lungs, his life-tide is ebbing away, and he has come home to die. On that memorable 27th day of June, 1862, at Cold Harbor, when Stonewall Jackson issued his crisp
April 17th, 1861 AD (search for this): chapter 1
Chapter 1: religious elements in the army. On the memorable 17th day of April, 1861—the day on which the Virginia Convention, in response to Mr. Lincoln's call for seventy-five thousand men to coerce the seceded States, passed its ordinance of secession—there occurred at the little village of Louisa Court House a scene similar to those enacted all over Virginia and the South, which none who witnessed it can ever forget. The Louisa Blues, a volunteer company composed of the best young men of the county, were drilling at noon on the court green, when a telegram from the governor of the State ordered them to be ready to take a train of cars at sundown that evening. Immediately all was bustle and activity—couriers were sent in every direction to notify absentees—and in every household there were busy fingers and anxious hearts preparing those brave men to meet promptly the call of the sovereign power of their native State. I remember one doting mother who wept in secret the te
May 2nd, 1861 AD (search for this): chapter 1
he army, and among the people during these early days of the war. Some of these extracts illustrate several of my chapters, but I give them as they are. Rev. Dr. Joseph Walker thus writes from Richmond to the Religious Herald, under date of May 2, 1861: Messrs. Editors: I have never understood the compatableness of Christianity with war as I see it in the present struggle for Southern independence. Never have I seen or read of greater promptness on the part of Christians, of all denomintances and friends, who have left (I hope only for a brief season) interesting families, whose hospitality I have often enjoyed. May God preserve these patriots, and return them at His good pleasure to their homes. Joseph Walker. Richmond, May 2, 1861. The North Carolina Presbyterian had, about this same date, the following editorial: The ministers of the Gospel of Peace throughout the South seem to be fully alive to the awful issue presented to us by the Northern people, who are
June, 1861 AD (search for this): chapter 1
that he should carry in his knapsack a copy of God's word. All of our evangelical denominations were well represented in the rank and file of our army, and many of our preachers felt it their duty to go to the front, accompanied by the very flower of their young men. Of the first four companies from Georgia to arrive in Virginia, three of the captains were earnest, Christian men, and fifty of one of the companies were members of the same church. A regiment, stationed near Portsmouth in June, 1861, was reported to contain 400 of the same denomination, and another regiment had in its ranks five ministers of the gospel. I well remember that the first time I ever saw the famous old Rockbridge Artillery—on the 4th of July, 1861, when we were drawn up in line of battle at Darksville, in the lower Valley of Virginia, expecting an attack from General Patterson—it contained seven Masters of Arts of the University of Virginia, fortytwo other college graduates, nineteen theological students,
July 4th, 1861 AD (search for this): chapter 1
ed by the very flower of their young men. Of the first four companies from Georgia to arrive in Virginia, three of the captains were earnest, Christian men, and fifty of one of the companies were members of the same church. A regiment, stationed near Portsmouth in June, 1861, was reported to contain 400 of the same denomination, and another regiment had in its ranks five ministers of the gospel. I well remember that the first time I ever saw the famous old Rockbridge Artillery—on the 4th of July, 1861, when we were drawn up in line of battle at Darksville, in the lower Valley of Virginia, expecting an attack from General Patterson—it contained seven Masters of Arts of the University of Virginia, fortytwo other college graduates, nineteen theological students, others (including a son of General R. E. Lee) who were among the noblest young men of the South, and a proportion of Christian men as surprisingly large as it was highly gratifying. When the news of the secession of Virginia
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