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North Carolina (North Carolina, United States) (search for this): chapter 8
averaged two sermons a day to congregations of from one to three thousand listeners. I remember that at one and the same time I had the general conduct of four protracted meetings in four brigades (Gordon's Georgia, Hays's Louisiana, Hoke's North Carolina, and Smith's Virginia), and attended a service in each every day; and that on several occasions I baptized two, three and four times (at different points) without changing my clothes. (The plain truth was that I had only one change, and consc stream fourteen veterans who a few months before had fought at Sharpsburg, and were now enlisting under the banner of the Cross. Several times during the revival in Gordon's Georgia Brigade in the autumn of 1863, Rev. T. H. Pritchard, of North Carolina, or Rev. Andrew Broaddus, of Kentucky, who were laboring in this brigade, administered the ordinance of baptism in the Rapidan in full view and easy range of the pickets on the opposite side. Not many of the men were permitted to attend for
Fredericksburg, Va. (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 8
it. But I proposed to take you, kind reader, to some of our meetings. Let us first visit the battered old town of Fredericksburg in the early weeks of 1863. We enter at sundown, just as the regiments of Barksdale's Brigade of heroic Missisippian preached to this vast congregation the very night before Hooker crossed the river, bringing on the battles of Second Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville—that, in my closing appeal, I urged them to accept Christ then and there, because they did not k God's people, or profess their faith in Jesus. There were over 500 professions of conversion in these meetings at Fredericksburg, and the good work extended out into the neighboring brigades, and went graciously on—only temporarily interrupted byd exploded, in the space occupied by that congregation. When the orders for moving came to A. P. Hill's Corps near Fredericksburg in June, 1863, and put the column in motion for Gettysburg, they found Chaplains J. J. Hyman and E. B. Barrett, of Ge
Caroline (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 8
hat 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 o
Sharpsburg (Maryland, United States) (search for this): chapter 8
storic Antietam were lined with an immense crowd of Confederate soldiers. But they came not in battle array—no opposing host confronted them—no cannon belched its hoarse thunder—and the shriek of shell and the whistle of the minnie were unheard. Instead of these, sweet strains of the songs of Zion were wafted on the breeze, and the deepest solemnity pervaded the gathered host as one of the chaplains led down into the historic stream fourteen veterans who a few months before had fought at Sharpsburg, and were now enlisting under the banner of the Cross. Several times during the revival in Gordon's Georgia Brigade in the autumn of 1863, Rev. T. H. Pritchard, of North Carolina, or Rev. Andrew Broaddus, of Kentucky, who were laboring in this brigade, administered the ordinance of baptism in the Rapidan 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<
se for any theology that is newer than the New Testament, and he indulges in no fierce polemics against Christians of other denominations. He is looking in the eyes of heroes of many a battle, and knows that the long roll may beat ere he closes—that these brave fellows may be summoned at once to new fields of carnage—and that he may be delivering then the last message of salvation that some of them may ever hear. I remember that I preached to this vast congregation the very night before Hooker crossed the river, bringing on the battles of Second Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville—that, in my closing appeal, I urged them to accept Christ then and there, because they did not know but that they were hearing their last invitation, and that sure enough we were aroused before day the next morning by the crossing of the enemy, and in the battles which followed, many of these noble fellows were called to the judgment-bar of God. And so, when the preacher stood up before these congregati<
waiting. Come, brother, thrust in your sickle, and, by God's blessing, you shall reap golden sheaves that shall be your rejoicing in time and eternity. We made it a rule to preach at least once every day during this period, and many of us for weeks together averaged two sermons a day to congregations of from one to three thousand listeners. I remember that at one and the same time I had the general conduct of four protracted meetings in four brigades (Gordon's Georgia, Hays's Louisiana, Hoke's North Carolina, and Smith's Virginia), and attended a service in each every day; and that on several occasions I baptized two, three and four times (at different points) without changing my clothes. (The plain truth was that I had only one change, and considered myself fortunate in having that.) As illustrating how men would come out to preaching under difficulties, one of the chaplains reported that one Sunday in the early winter of 1863 there came a fall of snow, which he supposed wou
s were called to the judgment-bar of God. And so, when the preacher stood up before these congregations of veterans, his very soul was stirred within him, and he determined to know nothing among them save Jesus Christ and Him crucified. If the personal allusions may be pardoned, I do not believe that Dr. Burrows, Dr. Stiles, Dr. Hoge, Dr. Dabney, Dr. Pryor, Dr. Lacy, Dr. Moore, Dr. Read, Dr. Duncan, Dr. Granberry, Dr. Rosser, Dr. Doggett, Dr. Edwards, Dr. John A. Broadus, Dr. Pritchard, Dr. Wingate, Dr. Andrew Broaddus, Dr. Jeter, Dr. A. B. Brown, or any of the missionaries or chaplains were ever able, before or since, to preach sermons of such power as they were stirred up to preach in the army. If a man had any capacity whatever to preach, it would be developed under circumstances which would have stirred an angel's heart; and if he knew anything about the Gospel at all, he would tell it to these congregations. And so our preacher, whoever he may be, tells the old, old story o
S. S. Lambeth (search for this): chapter 8
ay be cited as an illustration of their eagerness to hear the Gospel. When we went into winter-quarters along the Manassas lines in the winter of 1861-62, a few of the commands had well constructed chapels. I think the first one was built in the Seventeenth Virginia Regiment, of which my old university friend, Rev. John L. Johnson (now the distinguished Professor of English in the University of Mississippi), was chaplain. There was one also in the Tenth Virginia Infantry, of which Rev. S. S. Lambeth, of the Virginia Methodist Conference, was chaplain. In the Thirteenth Virginia Infantry we had a chapel and parsonage under the same roof, and a well-selected circulating library, which proved a great comfort and blessing to the men. Down on the Rappahannock the next winter there were a still larger number of chapels. I remember especially a large and very comfortable one in the Stonewall Brigade, which General Jackson was accustomed to attend, and where I had the privilege of preac
W. S. Lacy (search for this): chapter 8
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<
aplain reads some appropriate Scripture, leads in fervent prayer, and speaks words of earnest counsel, faithful admonition or solemn warning, Something on the soldier's cheek Washes off the stain of powder. Ah! I can recall, even after this lapse of twenty-five years, not a few bright faces who used to join in those precious meetings, who were soon after striking golden harps as they joined the celestial choir. I recollect that we had very large congregations at Winchester, after Banks had been driven across the Potomac, on the call of our Christian leader to the thanksgiving service which he was accustomed to appoint after each victory—that we had a very large gathering at Strasburg, while Ewell's Division was in line of battle to keep back Fremont until all of Jackson's troops could pass the threatened point—and that on that whole campaign I never found the men too weary to assemble promptly for the evening service. Indeed, we accustomed ourselves to make sermons on the
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