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Chapter 10: revivals in the Lower Valley and around Fredericksburg.

Even the brief season of comparative quiet which we enjoyed in the Lower Valley of Virginia, after our return from the first Maryland campaign, developed very decided indications of revivals in a number of the brigades.

So far as I have been able to learn, the first revival of much interest which occurred in the army at this time was in Trimble's Brigade, and especially in the Twelfth and Forty-fourth Georgia Regiments. Rev. A. M. Marshall, who had been a gallant private in the Twelfth Georgia, had been a short time before commissioned chaplain in his regiment, and, like other chaplains promoted from the ranks, proved himself as faithful in the chaplaincy as he had been as a soldier, and as he has been as a pastor since the war.

As soon as the army went into camp, near Bunker Hill, in the Lower Valley of Virginia, Mr. Marshall began a series of special services, which at once developed decided interest. He called Rev. James Nelson, of the Forty-fourth Virginia, and myself to his aid, and was especially fortunate in having Dr. Joseph C. Stiles, who was then preaching in Lawton's Georgia Brigade, to preach for him once every day. Large crowds attended the meetings, numbers presented themselves for prayer, there were a number of professions of conversion, and the work had developed into a revival of increasing power, when it was interrupted by the active campaign which culminated in the great victory of First Fredericksburg.

Dr. Stiles thus wrote of his labors at this time:

At his earnest request, I preached to General Pryor's Brigade last Sabbath. Upon one hour's notice, he marched up 1,500 men, who listened with so much interest to a long sermon that I was not surprised to hear of such a beginning of religious interest in various regiments of the brigade as issued in a half-way promise on my part to fall in with the proposal of the general to [284] preach very early to his soldiers for a succession of nights. In General Lawton's Brigade there is a more decided state of religious excitement. The great body of the soldiers in some of the regiments meet for prayer and exhortation every night, exhibit the deepest solemnity, and present themselves numerously for the prayers of the chaplains and the Church. Quite a number express hope in Christ. In all other portions of Early's Division a similar religious sensibility prevails.

In General Trimble's, and the immediately neighboring brigades, there is in progress, at this hour, one of the most glorious revivals I ever witnessed. Some days ago a young chaplain took a long ride to solicit my co-operation, stating that a promising seriousness had sprung up within their diocese. I have now been with him three days and nights, preaching and laboring constantly with the soldiers when not on drill.

The audiences and the interest have grown to glorious dimensions. It would rejoice you over-deeply to glance for one instant on our night-meeting in the wildwoods, under a full moon, aided by the light of our side-stands. You would behold a mass of men seated on the earth all around you (I was going to say for the space of half an acre), fringed in all its circumference by a line of standing officers and soldiers—two or three deep—all exhibiting the most solemn and respectful earnestness that a Christian assembly ever displayed. An officer said to me, last night, on returning from worship, he never had witnessed such a scene, though a Presbyterian elder; especially such an abiding solemnity and delight in the services as prevented all whisperings in the outskirts, leaving of the congregation, or restless change of position.

I suppose at the close of the service we had about sixty or seventy men and officers come forward and publicly solicit an interest in our prayers, and there may have been as many more who, from the press, could not reach the stand. I have already conversed with quite a number, who seem to give pleasant evidence of return to God, and all things seem to be rapidly developing for the best.

The officers, especially Generals Jackson and Early, have modified military rules for our accommodation. I have just learned that General A. P. Hill's Division enjoys as rich a dispensation of God's Spirit as General Early's. In General Pickett's Division, also, there are said to be revivals of religion.


I give also the closing part of one of my own letters to the Religious Herald, written at this time:

But I have saved the best for the last. There is a very interesting revival in our corps. Soon after the return of our army from Maryland, Brother Marshall, chaplain of the Twelfth Georgia Regiment, assisted by Brother Nelson, of the Fortyfourth Virginia, and other brethren, began a series of meetings which soon became very interesting—the attendance from the entire brigade being very large, and many coming forward for prayer. The Rev. Dr. Stiles came to our aid, and his able sermons and earnest labors were attended with the happiest results. The meetings were providentially brought to a close, and up to that time there had been forty-five professions of conversion and there were still from seventy-five to a hundred inquirers. At the same time, Dr. Stiles was aiding the chaplains in Lawton's Brigade in a very interesting revival. There has also been, under the same efficient labors, an interesting revival in Jackson's old brigade (‘Stonewall’), and in Taliaferro's. A meeting was begun in our brigade (Early's) two weeks ago, and, despite our frequent moves and the bad weather, we are still keeping up the meetings, and the Lord is blessing our efforts. Several have professed conversion, there are a number deeply interested about their souls, the congregations are large and attentive, and the interest is daily increasing.

Brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course in our midst. Our meetings at night present a scene of vivid interest. The large fire-stands (built campmeet-ing style), and the crowd of upturned, anxious faces, with the camp-fires far and near, all combine to form a scene which a master-hand might delight to paint. We were favored the other day by a visit from Brother C. F. Fry, who brought a large supply of Testaments, “ camp-hymns,” and tracts, which were in great demand amongst us. I wish we had a colporter for every brigade in the army. No one who has not seen the eagerness with which our soldiers receive and read these “messengers of love,” can begin to appreciate the noble work in which Brother Dickinson and his band of colporters are engaged, in thus carrying to the soldier's tent and bivouac the printed page that tells of Jesus.

Our soldiers are not heathen (as some seem to suppose), and, [286] despite the varied temptations of camp-life, are usually thankful for a kind word of advice, whether spoken or written.


Captain Thos. J. Kirkpatrick writes, from the Army of the Potomac, to the Central Presbyterian, that within three weeks between forty and fifty members of his company have been hopefully converted, and that out of the whole number in it (115), there is hardly a single man who is not a professor of faith in Jesus, or in some degree an inquirer for the way of life. He states also that ‘some seventeen have been baptized, not into communion with any particular denomination, but with Christ's people.’

The revival alluded to by Captain Kirkpatrick was one of the most powerful enjoyed in the army at this time. The meetings were conducted by Rev. Hugh Roy Scott, an Episcopal clergyman of King George county, who described the work of grace in a tract which was published by the ‘Evangelical Tract Society,’ of Petersburg, and which contains so many details of interest that I insert it in full, as follows:

Camp Nineveh.

By Rev. Hugh Roy Scott.
Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts. Zech. IV. 6.

During the month of October, 1862, it was my privilege to witness one of the most remarkable spiritual awakenings that has ever occurred in this country.

I joined our army near Winchester, just as it returned from Maryland, after the battle of Sharpsburg, for the purpose of spending a few weeks with friends, and to avail myself of an opportunity to preach the Gospel to our soldiers. For four months our brave troops had been marching and fighting. About one dozen terrible battles had been fought, and several hundred miles of wearisome marching, under a burning summer's sun, had been endured. During this period nearly all religious services had been necessarily suspended. But their minds had been most forcibly turned to the subject by the many sad scenes through which they had passed. They had seen field after field strewn with their dead and dying comrades. This, and the uncertainty [287] of the future to themselves, produced a serious, thoughtful frame of mind, which pervaded nearly the whole army. Nearly all seemed disposed to converse on the subject of religion, and freely admitted that it was a matter of the deepest importance.

On the 4th day of October, the reserved artillery, under command of Brigadier-General Pendleton, moved to Camp Nineveh, about twelve miles from Winchester, on the road to Front Royal. Here they halted for four weeks, in one of the most beautiful regions of the State. Besides the natural beauties of the place, it was rendered more attractive to us from the fact of General Muhlenburg, of the Revolutionary War, having officiated as a clergyman in a church in the immediate vicinity.

On the first evening after our arrival here, I held the first of a series of services, that were kept up, when the weather permitted it, every evening during the stay of the army in this region. These services were held after dark, in the open air, around a blazing camp-fire. They commenced always with singing, which quickly attracted a congregation, and were followed by prayer, and a plain, practical sermon, in which the great doctrines of justification by faith, evangelical repentance, and the new birth were set forth in the simplest language. When the sermon closed, after singing and prayer, generally an earnest exhortation was made by Captain K——, a man who, while most efficiently discharging the duties of a soldier of his country, has never forgotten that he is a soldier of Christ.

From the beginning of these services it was evident that God's Spirit was working in many hearts. The men listened with the deepest attention, and seemed very reluctant to leave the ground when the benediction was pronounced-sometimes spending hours in singing hymns, and earnest religious conversation. On one of these occasions Captain K——went to them and said: “What a blessed thing it would be, if all of you who are here present could agree to give yourselves to God from this hour.” And after an earnest exhortation to flee at once to Jesus for righteousness, sanctification and redemption, he asked them what their views were on the great subject; and, to his surprise, six out of seven who were sitting together declared their determination to seek at once an interest in the atoning blood of Jesus.

This was the beginning of the great and glorious work of grace that followed. Every night a deeper and deeper anxiety [288] was manifested. There was little or no excitement, and no extraordinary means to promote deep feeling were resorted to. The Spirit of God went with the preached word and earnest, pointed conversation, and the heads of many of the most hardened sinners were bowed down, as “they became convicted of sin, of righteousness, and of a judgment to come.” A deeper sense of sin, or more childlike faith, I have never seen manifested. Another striking characteristic was the eagerness which was manifested by all for the sincere milk of the word. The Bible was the book to which they continually resorted; and those who had tasted of the love of Christ showed the greatest eagerness to lead others to the same precious fountain.

After the services had been continued for a week, a number of the young converts manifested a desire to dedicate themselves to the Lord in baptism. And, though the weather was inclement, it was thought advisable not to postpone the service, as it then seemed probable that the army would move speedily. The service was one of the most solemn and deeply interesting I ever witnessed. The six soldiers to be baptized stood in a line near the blazing camp-fire, surrounded by a large congregation of attentive and interested spectators. The deep darkness of the night, and slight fall of rain, added much to the solemnity of the occasion.

Among the six soldiers who came forward to enlist under the banner of the great Captain of their salvation there was a great variety of character. The first was a poor, weak man, who had given much trouble to the officers of his company; the next, a man of remarkable bravery, had been one of the most notorious sinners in the company. His evidence of conversion was strikingly clear. His sorrow for sin was very deep, and his faith simple and ardent. Then came forward one who had been regarded as one of the most unpromising men in his company— whose previous life had been anything else than religious. He seemed now to be thoroughly in earnest, and manifested the spirit of a genuine penitent. The next was an amiable and moral young man, who had been long seeking the Saviour. The last two were among the bravest and best men in the army. Having nobly struggled as good soldiers of their country, they came forward to enlist zealously in the service of their Redeemer.

When these six were baptized, a very interesting youth, who [289] had been deeply concerned for several days, expressed a desire to follow their example. He said he felt himself to be a guilty, helpless sinner, but he had given his soul to Jesus to be His forever, and desired at once to enlist as His soldier. Believing him to be a genuine convert, we at once administered to him the ordinance of baptism.

This was an evening never to be forgotten by any who were present. The Holy Spirit was evidently with us, working with power in many hearts; and Jesus was also there, manifesting His power and willingness to save. Besides the little band of seven who put on the Christian armor, there were many hearts moved that evening, and tears flowed from many eyes unused to weeping. From that solemn hour we have reason to believe that a goodly number resolved to spend their lives in the service of their Lord and Saviour.

From this time our services increased in interest, the number of anxious inquirers increased steadily, and many backsliders were led to repentance. When four weeks had passed by, during which time the meetings were kept up every evening, except when interrupted by bad weather, nineteen men had been baptized, thirty-six admitted, for the first time, to the communion of the Lord's Supper, and about sixty had professed a hope in the Lord Jesus.

A few of the most striking cases of awakening are worthy of being specially noticed. Among the first persons awakened was a notorious card-player and swearer. He was one evening standing guard near enough to the camp-fire to hear what passed. Upon hearing an old friend, who had long been his companion in sinful practices, confess a determination to renounce his sins, and seek an interest in the atoning blood of Jesus, he, too, became powerfully convicted. He realized, as never before, that he was a wretched sinner, standing on the verge of an awful hell. He became more and more alarmed, and, at last, became so powerfully excited—to use his own words—he felt as if some one was after him with a bayonet, and soon found himself almost on a run, as he moved backwards and forwards on his beat. After a time he succeeded in driving off his serious feelings, but in a few days they returned with renewed violence, and he found no rest until he laid hold of Jesus. Well do I remember the earnest, happy expression of this man's face as he sat, night after night, by the camp-fire, eagerly devouring the preached word. From [290] the day he found peace in believing he went forth as a genuine missionary. He preached the Gospel in season and out of season; day by day he warned his ungodly companions to flee from the wrath to come. On one occasion he visited a neighboring camp, and earnestly exhorted the men to come to our meetings. As he walked across a field near the camp, he met a man who was swearing in a terrible manner. After gently reproving him, he asked him if he would not attend the evening meetings, and told him that there had been a great visitation of the Spirit in his camp. The mart replied that he did not know that he had any visitation except from the Yankees. “Yes,” says he, “God has poured out his Spirit upon many in my camp, who were hardened in sin, and they are now happy Christians.”

“Are you a Christian, too?” asked the stranger.

“Yes, I was like yourself, going on hardened in sin, and a few evenings since the Lord led me to see and feel my sins, and I now have a hope in Jesus.”

After a short pause, with much feeling he said, “Will you pray for me?”

“Yes, I will pray for you, and all like you, that you be brought to Jesus as I have been. But you must, at the same time, pray for yourself.”

Then they parted. After a few days they met again, and the reader can imagine the joy it gave our young convert to find that his appeal had gone to the heart of a stranger; that he had sought the Saviour, and found peace to his troubled soul.

Another case I will describe, of peculiar interest. An ungodly young man came to our meetings, and became convicted. And, as is too often the case, he earnestly strove to drive off all serious feeling. While all around him attended the services, he staid away, fearing that he might be forced to yield his heart to the movings of the Spirit. One night, when nearly all in his tent had gone to the meeting, a young friend, who had once been a professing Christian, persuaded him to accompany him. They came within hearing distance, and sat down on a pile of hay. During the sermon he became powerfully awakened, and as soon as it closed a cousin of his came and asked me to go to him. I found him in great distress of mind. As soon as he saw me, he clasped my hand, and said: “I have sent for you to know what I must do.” [291]

I replied: “You have nothing to do. Everything has been done for you. If you feel yourself to be a sinner, you may rest assured that the Lord is willing and ready to bless you now.” And without a moment's delay he took hold of Christ, and found peace in believing.

He then, in an earnest tone, said: “Where is W., who brought me here? He is a backslider; go and talk to him.”

The next Sunday was a very stormy day. Not being able to hold a public service, I went from tent to tent, conversing and praying with the men. While in the tent occupied by these two young men, I asked, “Are all in this tent Christian soldiers?” When I asked this question, I observed that young W. seemed depressed, though he said nothing. That night was exceedingly stormy, and fearing that my tent would blow down, I went to a neighboring house. Just before reaching the house I heard some one address me, it being too dark to see distinctly. I turned around, and discovered it was young W. He had followed me from the tent, that he might open his heart to me. He said: “When you asked in my tent to-day, if all were Christian soldiers, and some one replied, ‘All except one,’ I felt that that was not exactly true. I was once a professing Christian, but have recently been very wicked; and, while living an ungodly life, have led my sisters to believe that I was still a Christian. I now feel as never before. I trust I have truly repented of my sins, and believe that I am pardoned.”

I exhorted him to confess all to his family, and to make a fresh consecration of himself to his Saviour. And as I thought of his experience, and that of his friend, I could not but be impressed by the mysterious way in which God works. He had here made use of a backslider to lead a wicked companion to Jesus, and then used the converted man to lead the backslider to repentance.

One other interesting incident, in like manner illustrating God's gracious and mysterious Providence, I will mention. One evening, just before night, a large body of troops marched by our camp. In one of the regiments was a very intelligent young man, from Norfolk, who, not being able, on account of sickness, to keep up with his regiment, stopped at our camp to rest, about the usual hour for service. He listened with the deepest interest to the preached word. I dwelt, in my sermon, on God's mysterious dealings with His people, and endeavored to show His [292] faithfulness in afflicting us, and that He leads all His people “by the right way” into His heavenly kingdom. When the service closed, observing him very thoughtful, I asked him if he was a professing Christian. He said he was not, but trusted he could from that hour give his heart to the Saviour. He said he came to the meeting in a bad humor, being displeased at his regiment moving so rapidly; but he then saw why he had been left behind, and believed he would be able to praise the Lord through eternity for having brought him to our service that evening.

The sixty men who professed a hope in Jesus within these four weeks were from three or four different companies. But the larger portion of them belonged to the company of Captain K——. When this company entered the service, one year before, it was made up, for the most part, of the most wicked men to be met with. The larger portion of the men were grossly addicted to gambling, drinking, and profanity. The captain labored unceasingly to overcome these vices, and continually pressed upon his men the great truths of the Gospel. He had the satisfaction of seeing a steady improvement in the deportment of all, and he was especially gratified to see profanity almost entirely abandoned. And now, after one year of faithful, persevering labor, he was rewarded by this gracious and most abundant outpouring of the Spirit. The seed, which he had diligently sown, now took root, sprang up, and brought forth abundant fruit. Of the eighty odd members of his company present during these services, seventeen were professing Christians when they commenced, fortythree more expressed a hope in Christ before they closed, fourteen were more or less anxious on account of their souls, and not more than six, if so many, were indifferent.

The following extract from a letter I recently received from Captain K——, written about six months after the great awakening, will show how the young communicants in his company have held out:

“The young Christians in my company,” he says, “have held out, I think, with remarkable consistency; only two or three have been otherwise. We have regular preaching, prayermeet-ing, and Bible-class, which are well attended, everything considered. The religious interest, though nothing like it was at Camp Nineveh, still continues.”

‘Does not the experience of this company show what may be expected when the officers of our army strive to promote the [293] moral and spiritual welfare of their men? Would to God we could see all among our soldiers, who profess the name of Christ, laboring as Christian soldiers. Then, doubtless, such scenes as were witnessed at Camp Nineveh would often be repeated, and our armies, instead of being schools of vice, would become most valuable training-schools for the kingdom of Heaven.’

There was every reason to hope that we were on the eve of a general revival throughout Jackson's Corps at this time. The chaplains were aroused to their duty, and Christian soldiers were working and praying as I had not seen them before. General Jackson himself was a frequent attendant at our meetings, and manifested the deepest concern for the salvation of his men, and the liveliest hope that we were about to be blessed with a general revival.

But soon tidings came that Burnside had relieved McClellan and was moving on Fredericksburg—that Lee, with Longstreet's Corps, was hastening to confront him—and that Jackson was needed on the Rappahannock.

The order to move is at once given, and ‘the foot cavalry’ march, with their swinging stride, through the mountains and down through Madison, Orange, Spottsylvania, and Caroline counties, to take their appropriate place on the line of the Rappahannock, and bear their heroic part in the great battle of Fredericksburg on the memorable 13th of December.

We had some precious seasons of worship on that march, and while awaiting the opening of the battle of Fredericksburg, and in laboring among the wounded of the battle, we found a number who had recently found Jesus. But, of course, the active campaign, the battle, and the severe winter weather which was now upon us, seriously hindered regular preaching and out-door service, and it was some time before any of the brigades had chapels, while several changes of camp prevented some of us from having chapels at all this winter. But the revival spirit manifested itself in a number of the brigades during the winter and following spring.

Staunton, Virginia, October 28.
I have for six days been aiding in a protracted meeting at this place. Hundreds of soldiers pass here every day, returning to the army, while quite as many sick are coming in to take the cars. Besides, there are here several large hospitals, well filled. [294] Thus our meetings were well attended by soldiers—the church filled every night. Quite a number asked for prayer, a few of whom found the Saviour; but having to go right on to the army, they were not received into the Church. Never have I known such eagerness to hear and to read the Gospel as is manifested by the convalescent soldiers here. Rev. George B. Taylor and Rev. Mr. Smith are the chaplains at this post. Brother Taylor has recently collected more than $300, with which to buy a circulating library for the hospitals. This is a good move, and deserves the consideration of all chaplains who are stationed at hospitals. Brother C. F. Fry is laboring here, in the employment of our board, and is doing a vast amount of good. We need at least a hundred more to act as colporters in the camps and hospitals. Have we earnest-hearted men who are ready to enter this service, constrained by love to Christ and to souls? I am persuaded that the post of colporter in the army is one worthy of our very best ministers. At least this is the opinion of Rev. Ro. Ryland, who for a year has been giving himself to the work.

A. E. D.

I have recently closed a protracted meeting in my regiment, which resulted in about ten conversions.

F. Mccarthy, Chaplain Seventh Virginia Regiment.

A correspondent of one of our exchanges says: ‘I have never heard tenderer, more fervent or more importunate prayers, than in the tent, or rough bivouac, or in the woods.’

Elder A. B. Campbell, chaplain of the Ninth Georgia Regiment, writes from camp near Orange Court House, Virginia, November 10, to his parents: ‘From the time we left the Peninsula until now, we have never suffered an opportunity to hold meetings to pass unimproved. Many souls have been converted, and Christians in the army have been greatly revived, and many who had fearfully backslidden have been reclaimed. Two of these young men have fallen in battle. As one of them fell at Manassas, he turned his dying eyes to his companions, and said: “Write to mother, and tell all the family to meet me in heaven, for I am going there.” The other was wounded there also, and subsequently died—declaring to the last that he was “willing to depart and be with Christ.” Others of the young converts are with us, battling nobly for the cause of Christ. It is no longer [295] a question whether the work of God can be carried on in an army.’

I have alluded to the great revival in Barksdale's Mississippi Brigade, stationed in the battered old town of Fredericksburg—a work which, begun not long after the battle of the 13th of December, was interrupted, but not seriously retarded, by the battle of Chancellorsville, and went gloriously on until the line of march was taken for Gettysburg. Indeed that active and bloody campaign only interfered with ‘gathering in the sheaves,’ but did not stop the work, which still went graciously on.

Rev. W. B. Owen (Methodist), chaplain of the Seventeenth Mississippi, had the general conduct of the meetings, and was assisted at different times by Rev. Dr. J. C. Stiles, Rev. Dr. William J. Hoge, Rev. James D. Coulling, Rev. Dr. J. A. Duncan, Rev. Dr. J. L. Burrows, Rev. Dr. A. E. Dickinson, Rev. W. H. Carroll, and others, and the constant help of Rev. J. L. Pettigrew and other earnest workers in the brigade.

Dr. Stiles began his labors there the latter part of February, and not long after wrote as follows:

‘After my arrival we held three meetings a day—a morning and afternoon prayer-meeting and a preaching service at night. We could scarcely ask of delightful religious interest more than we received. Our sanctuary has been crowded—lower floor and gallery. Loud, animated singing always hailed our approach to the house of God; and a closely packed audience of men, amongst whom you might have searched in vain for one white hair, were leaning upon the voice of the preacher, as if God Himself had called them together to hear of life and death eternal. At every call for the anxious, the entire altar, the front six seats of the five blocks of pews surrounding the pulpit, and all the spaces thereabouts ever so closely packed, could scarcely accommodate the supplicants; while daily public conversions gave peculiar interest to the sanctuary services. Of this class we have numbered during the week say some forty or fifty souls. Officers are beginning to bow for prayer, and our house to be too strait for worshippers. The audience, the interest, the converted, the fidelity of the Church, and the expectations of the ministry, are all steadily and most hopefully increasing.’

The above was written by Dr. Stiles a few days after he got there. In later communications he was enabled to speak still more strongly of the progress and results of the great revival. [296]

The meetings were first held in the Presbyterian and then in the Methodist church (the Baptist church had been so injured by the bombardment that it could not be used), but these houses were soon overflowed, and the meetings moved to the more spacious Episcopal church, which the rector offered for the purpose.

One present at this time thus writes concerning the gracious work: ‘Last evening there were fully 100 penitents at the altar. [I saw fully 200 one night]. So great is the work, and so interested are the soldiers, that the Methodist Episcopal church has been found inadequate for the accommodation of the congregations, and the Episcopal church having been kindly tendered by its pastor, Rev. Mr. Randolph, who is now here, the services have been removed to that edifice, where meetings are held as often as three times a day. This work is widening and deepening, and ere it closes, it may permeate the whole Army of Northern Virginia, and bring forth fruits in the building up and strengthening in a pure faith and a true Christianity the best army the world ever saw.’

It was my own privilege to go frequently into Fredericksburg (especially when my regiment would be on picket below the town) and to labor in this great revival, and I can endorse fully what has been said of its extent and power.

Rev. W. B. Owen sent the following letter to the Religious Herald:

March 26, 1863.
Messrs. Editors: Will you permit me to inform the readers of your paper and the friends of Jesus that we have a glorious revival in our brigade (Barksdale's)? This is the twenty-first day of the meeting, and the interest is still on the increase. About one hundred have professed faith in Jesus. Dr. J. C. Stiles and Rev. Mr. Coulling have been with us, and Rev. Dr. Burrows is with us at present. Rev. M. D. Anderson, colporter in the army, an employee of Brother A. E. Dickinson, has been with us for several days. In the early part of the meeting he supplied me with a variety of tracts, which I was much in need of, and which I trust have exerted a good influence in this brigade. He also gave me a number of Testaments, which the soldiers truly were glad to obtain. Brother W. H. Carroll, of Selma, Alabama, who is also a colporter in the army, has rendered us good service. The brethren in the brigade have [297] been very faithful. We ask an interest in the prayers of our Christian friends, and earnestly desire that the convicting and converting power of the Holy Spirit may be felt throughout our army.

W. B. Owen, Chaplain Seventeenth Mississippi Regiment.

Rev. Mr. Owen was unquestionably one of the most devoted, laborious and efficient chaplains whom we had in the army, and held a warm place in the hearts of the soldiers.

The following extract from one of my letters written at this time will give my impressions of this great work as I came into personal contact with it:

It was my privilege on last Tuesday to visit Fredericksburg and participate in the exercises of the glorious revival they have been having there for the past month. I went in with the hope of meeting with Dr. Burrows, who had been preaching there for the past week, but he had just left that morning, and the brethren pressed me into service to preach for them that night. I have never preached under more impressive circumstances. The Episcopal church—capable of seating about twelve hundred— was well filled with attentive listeners; and I felt while speaking that it was, perhaps, the last message of salvation that some of the poor fellows would ever receive. When, at the close of the sermon, Brother Owen, chaplain of the Seventeenth Mississippi, made a few earnest remarks and invited inquirers to come forward, there was a simultaneous move of about seventy-five deeply penitent men. It was a touching scene to see the stern veteran of many a hard-fought field, who would not hesitate to enter the deadly breach or charge the heaviest battery, trembling under the power of Divine truth, and weeping tears of bitter penitence over a misspent life. This was the thirty-first day of the meeting, and up to this time there had been one hundred and twelve public professions of conversion, while there were upwards of a hundred still seeking the way of life. Brother Carroll, of Alabama—missionary of our Domestic Mission Board—has been assisting in the meetings, and has baptized already about twenty-five, while others are awaiting the ordinance. Most of the rest have connected themselves with other denominations. Brother Owen, under whose direction the meetings have been conducted, is a real, whole-souled, working chaplain, and I only wish we had many more such. That night the brigade (Barksdale's) received [298] marching orders, but Brother Owen persisted that ‘the Lord would not let them leave while the interest in the meeting continued so deep.’ The next morning the orders were countermanded, and the meeting is still progressing—claiming the warm sympathies and fervent prayers of all who love to see the progress of the Master's cause. My brigade moved its camp about ten days ago, and as I thereby lost the use of my chapel, and the weather has been too inclement for outdoor exercises, I am endeavoring now to ‘preach the Gospel from house to house’ by holding nightly prayer-meetings, alternating from hut to hut. They are exceedingly pleasant, and are not without fruit.

Rev. Dr. Stiles reports to the Christian Observer that ‘there are revivals of religion, or a state of promising preparation, amongst others, in the following brigades: Barksdale's, Stonewall, Lawton's, Walker's, Paxton's, Hoke's, Cobb's, Jones's, Posey's, Wilcox's and Kershaw's.’

The following letter gives a better account of the condition of things at the time I wrote it than I can give now, and so I insert it in full:

camp near Hamilton's Crossing, April 10, 1863.
Dear Brethren: I have no “stirring news from the seat of war,” but can furnish a few items which will be of interest to the lovers of Zion's prosperity. We have had, since my last, two meetings of the chaplains of our corps, which were even more interesting than the first. The ‘appeal to the Churches’ (written by Rev. B. T. Lacy, as chairman of the committee) was read, cordially approved and adopted, after a few unimportant alterations. A “committee of correspondence,” consisting of two chaplains from each division of the corps, and representing the several denominations, was raised for the purpose of facilitating the introduction of chaplains into the destitute regiments, and the general subject of the scarcity of chaplains was again freely remarked on. It was agreed that each one would aid the committee in the discharge of their duties by every means in his power, and that the appointment of the committee did not at all release individuals from the discharge of their duty in the premises. And it was understood that the object of the committee was not to assume any dictatorial power in the matter, but merely to facilitate the supplying of chaplains for the vacant regiments, by finding suitable men and obtaining their appointments by the [299] colonels. The duty of personal conversation with soldiers on the subject of religion, its difficulties, and how they may be overcome, etc., was another topic of remark; and it was agreed by all that this most potent and much neglected means of usefulness had accomplished a vast amount of good in the army. As to its difficulties it was urged that they may be overcome by a man whose heart burns with the love of Christ and love for the souls of our brave soldiers—that the sentinel's beat, the weary march, the outpost, the battle-field, the bivouac and the hospital, afford ample time and place to press upon our charges the duty of personal religion. The fast-day was mentioned, and it was agreed that by a division of labor we would have services in as many of the regiments as possible, and that, in addition to prayer for the country, we would make the religious condition of our corps a subject of special prayer—that the Lord would grant us a general revival of His work. During this meeting we were highly entertained by remarks from Colonel Faulkner, chief of General Jackson's staff, and Colonel Battle, of the Third Alabama Infantry. It is a most gratifying fact that many of the officers of our corps are earnest Christian men; and it affords me pleasure to say that of those who are not professors of religion I have never met with one who threw obstacles in the way of my work. At General Jackson's Headquarters they have daily prayers and frequent prayer-meetings, attended by the staff, couriers, etc., and when there is no minister present the general is in the habit of conducting the exercises himself. O that this were so at all of our Headquarters!

Our last meeting was opened with a sermon at 11 o'clock by Rev. A. D. Betts, of the Thirtieth North Carolina, our moderator; and a most excellent discourse it was—earnest, fervent and practical. We spent an hour or more very pleasantly in hearing reports of the religious feeling, etc., in the different regiments. Brother Cameron, of Rodes's Alabama Brigade, reported that he was having an interesting revival—twenty had already made public professions of religion, and there were a large number of other inquirers. Brethren Vass and Grandin reported a very interesting state of things in the Stonewall Brigade-they were holding nightly meetings in their brigade chapel, at which there had been about fifty inquirers, twenty-five of whom had joined the different Churches. The interest in the meetings was daily increasing. Brother Smith, of the Sixtieth Georgia Regiment, [300] reported a number of conversions, four received for baptism, and a large number of inquirers. The brethren generally reported unusual interest in their fast-day exercises—immense congregations and the deepest interest manifested. I am persuaded that the day was very generally observed throughout the army—even the negro cooks observed it in my regiment—and its good results are already apparent.

The subject of religious reading for our soldiers next came up, and I wish that the brother who thought colporters of no use could have been present to hear what chaplains think of the matter. By the way, a new name was suggested by some brother for the colporter—that of “spiritual commissary” —and tracts and religious papers were called “ spiritual rations.” Visitation of the sick was discussed—its importance, best methods of accomplishing it, etc.

Arrangements were made to supply the “receiving hospital” of our corps at Guinea's Depot with the labors of a chaplain, by each of us spending alternate weeks there. These meetings are interspersed with devotional exercises, and I am sure that they have been of spiritual benefit to us. And then, they have warmed our sympathies, aroused our zeal, and given a system to our labors, which must result in lasting good. The only wonder is, that we did not begin to hold them long before we did.

It was my privilege to be in Fredericksburg again about a week ago (while my regiment was on picket just below the town) and participate in the glorious meeting in progress there. Up to that time one hundred and ninety had joined the different Churches, a number of others had professed conversion, and the altar was still crowded with penitents. I like the way they do there in reference to young converts. Every day or so “the doors of the Church are opened,” and an opportunity given to all to join the Church of their choice by relating their experience and being baptized (if they desire it).

But I must hasten to a close—not, however, before relating a pleasing little incident that occurred in our brigade the other day. Rev. John McGill, the efficient chaplain of the Fifty-second Virginia Regiment, had the misfortune to lose his horse a few weeks ago. The members of his regiment quietly got up a subscription, amounting to four or five hundred dollars, bought him a fine horse a few days since, and had it presented to him by Captain Bumgardiner, in the presence of the regiment. Should [301] not such incidents as this shame the Churches at home? If soldiers can spare from their scanty allowance of $11.00 per month enough to make such a handsome manifestation of their appreciation of a chaplain's services, should not Church members at home, who are coining money out of the war, see to it that at least the small pittance they promise their pastor is promptly paid?


I will only add this further concerning the great revival in Fredericksburg:

I remember that the night before the enemy crossed the river, bringing on the battles of Second Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, I preached to a packed house, and in appealing to the men to accept Christ as their personal Saviour then and there, I said: ‘How know you but that ere to-morrow's sun shall rise the long roll may beat, and this brigade be called to meet the enemy? It may be that some of these brave men are hearing now their last message of salvation.’

A number accepted the invitation and came to confess Christ, or to ask an interest in the prayers of God's people, and after the meeting I went back to the ‘reserve’ of our picket-line just below the town.

Before day the next morning we were aroused by some of the pickets on the line below rushing in to tell us that the enemy had crossed the river. Line of battle was at once formed, and in the battles which followed a number of Barksdale's veterans fell bravely doing their duty. Poor fellows, they had heard their last message of salvation; but it was sweet to believe that many of them were trusting in Christ, and that for them ‘sudden death was only sudden glory.’

There were in this revival in Barksdale's Brigade at least 500 professions of conversion—many of the converts coming from other commands—and the precious influences of the meeting went out all through the army.

Rev. Dr. Stiles, in his report as army missionary to the Board of Missions of the New School Presbyterian Synod, says: ‘So deep and enduring was the religious interest awakened by the Fredericksburg revival, that in an artillery company two souls, probably made anxious by the zealous piety of a comrade who had enjoyed himself abundantly at the Fredericksburg meeting, were converted in the midst of the severest fighting in the late battle; [302] while others felt that they were almost in heaven, and could hardly suppress their exultant religious shouts amid the loudest roar and din of the conflict, the slaughter of the cannoneers of their own guns, and the palpable peril of their own lives.’

‘In the Third Georgia Regiment, Army of Northern Virginia, fourteen converted soldiers have joined the Methodist and eleven the Baptist Church. There are still a hundred earnest inquirers for the way of life.’

Rev. Dr. Wm. J. Hoge wrote the Central Presbyterian, so graceful and vivid a description of his visit to the camps about Fredericksburg, that I give it in full, although I have already made a brief quotation from it, as I am unwilling to mar its beauty:

Religion in the army.

As I have no great fondness for letterwriting, I am afraid that when you asked me privately to send you a sketch of my visit to camp I meant to give you the slip. But now that I am publicly challenged in leaded type and editorial columns, what can I do?

Yet what are the terms of the challenge? “A brief and spirited communication.” My dear sir, I compromise. I consent to be “brief,” but to be “ spirited” is more than I dare engage.

By special invitation from an officer in the Second Virginia Regiment, I once before set out to preach to the Stonewall Brigade; but General Jackson was up too early for me. I arrived at noon to learn that he had marched at dawn. So I returned to Charlottesville, and in a few days met in the hospital some to whom I had hoped to preach in camp, while others, alas! had passed forever beyond the reach of any earthly ministry!

In my late visit, it was my high privilege to preach six times to crowds of men eager to hear the Gospel. Five of these sermons were to the Stonewall Brigade; the first, Saturday night. The camp was muddy, the air harsh, the night dark—just the night to chill the preacher with forebodings of empty seats and cheerless services. But as I made my way through the streets of the tented city to the substantial church erected by this enterprising brigade, I was suddenly greeted by a burst of sacred song which lifted my heart. It sounded over the camp like a bell. A prayer-meeting had been appointed for the half hour before public worship, and the house was already full: so full that it was not without difficulty that I made my way to the [303] pulpit; so full that when General Jackson and General Paxton came to the door, they modestly retired, least they should displace some already within; so full that one of the men aptly compared the close packing to that of “herrings in a barrel.”

One could not sit in that pulpit and meet the concentrated gaze of those men, without deep emotion. I remembered that they were veterans of many a bloody field. The eyes which looked into mine, waiting for the Gospel of peace, had looked as steadfastly into eyes which burned with deadly hate, and upon whatever is terrible in war. The voices which now poured out their strength in singing the songs of “Zion” had shouted in the charge and the victory. I thought of their privations and their perils, of the cause for which they had suffered, of the service they had rendered the country, the Church of God, and whatever I hold personally dear, and what could I do but honor them, love them, and count it all joy to serve them in the Gospel?

I missed, indeed, some faces which would have beamed their welcome upon me; some voices with which, in other days, mine had joined in family worship and “in the great congregation.” But I remembered how they lived, how they fought, how they died—in faith, the blessed faith of Christ; that “all the ends they aimed at were their country's, their God's, and truth's,” and that they are now enrolled in “the noble army of martyrs.” I remembered, too, with just gratification, that their rallying, charging and dying at the very crisis of our fate, at Manassas, contributed not a little towards earning for their brigade its immortal name, “Stonewall.”

While we were singing, one thought frequently came to me: If such meetings were common throughout the army, what a school of sacred music it would be! Surely men thus trained, returning to their homes, would break up that slothful and wicked habit, so prevalent in our Churches, of the men remaining stupidly mute while God's praises are sung.

While preaching to these men, their earnestness of aspect constantly impressed me; the absence of that rather comfortable and well-satisfied air which often pervades our congregations, as if mere custom or prospect of entertainment had assembled us. These men looked as if they had come on business, and a very important business; and the preacher could scarcely do otherwise than feel that he too, had business of moment there!

On Sunday we had three sermons; the third was from the [304] Rev. B. T. Lacy. Although the weather was excessively raw, he had already preached twice that day in the open air to large congregations in another brigade. And here, Mr. Editor, as you have called me out, let me call him out.. I think a fuller and more accurate statement than I could give of the position he now holds and the work he has undertaken would be useful. I will only say that, in my judgment, he has now before him, if the Church gives him her prayers, and God His blessing, the most important field he was ever called to occupy; yea, such a field, that no man, who is free to enter it and whom God has fitted for it, need wish for one wider or more promising.

These nightly meetings were in progress before my arrival, and were to continue after my departure. May the Spirit of grace and power make them a means of unmeasured blessing!

On Wednesday morning I set out in company with the Rev. B. T. Lacy to visit Fredericksburg and its battle-ground. When General Jackson heard of our intention, he added to his many kindnesses that of sending us over on his horses. During part of my stay in camp I had been his guest. I will not do violence to the sacredness of private intercourse by publishing any account of the hours I was permitted to enjoy in his society. But I am sure that it ought not to wound his delicacy that I give utterance once more to the sentiment which fills his soul; his sense of the necessity and power of prayer; prayer in the army; prayer for the army; prayer by the whole country. I am sure it makes him glad and strong to know how many of the best people in the world pray for him without ceasing; and not for him merely, but for the great and just cause for which God has raised him up. I am sure that his whole expectation of success—and that he expects to succeed, who that looks into his firm and hopeful face, who that sees the placid diligence of his daily toils, can for a moment doubt?—his whole expectation of success hangs upon two things which God has joined together, and which no man can safely put asunder: natural means earnestly used, and God's blessing earnestly sought. Fanaticism scorns the use of the natural means, and presumptuously claims the blessing of God. Atheism scoffs at the blessing of God, and presumptuously depends on mere natural means. The profoundest wisdom, which is but another name for the simplest faith, fixes its humble trust in God's promised blessing on the means He Himself has put within our reach. Espousing a [305] righteous cause, it prays for it with strong supplication, and works and fights for it with might and main.

Let it cheer and stimulate every godly woman in our land to know that our beloved general, whom God has so often made victorious, has expressed it as his belief that our great successes are due not more to the prowess of our men on the battle-field, than to the prayers of our women at the mercy-seat.

We found our soldiers at Fredericksburg all alive with religious animation. A rich blessing had been poured upon the zealous labors of the Rev. Mr. Owen, Methodist chaplain in Barksdale's Brigade. The Rev. Dr. Burrows, of the Baptist Church, Richmond, had just arrived, expecting to labor with him for some days. As I was to stay but one night, Dr. Burrows courteously insisted on my preaching. So we had a Presbyterian sermon, introduced by Baptist services, under the direction of a Methodist chaplain, in an Episcopal church! Was not that a beautiful solution of the vexed problem of Christian union?

The large edifice was crowded with soldiers. They filled the chancel, and covered the pulpit stairs. After the sermon, some fifty or sixty of them, I should think, came forward with soldierly promptness, at the invitation of the chaplain, for conversation and prayer. An inquiry-meeting is held for them every morning. At that time it had been attended by about one hundred persons.

There are several incidents connected with our visit to Fredericksburg on which I would like to dwell, if time served. We spent hours in riding over its great battle-field and through its melancholy streets. We stood at the spot made memorable by the fall of General Thomas R. R. Cobb—lawyer, statesman, author, orator, gentleman, Christian and Presbyterian elder. He was struck by a shell from the heights beyond the river. A few hundred yards from the tree by which he fell stands the house in which his mother was born. As she looked out of those windows, in the days of her girlhood, over this fatal field, she knew not what a tragical interest it was one day to have for her.

In the evening, while pausing in my walk to enjoy an admirable military band attached to Barksdale's noble Mississippi Brigade, I was introduced to the general. He said his men were never more comfortable, never in such health, and never so eager for the fray as now.

A little before sunset I ascended the spire of the Episcopal [306] church, which still gapes with many an honorable wound received as the tempest of shells swept over it. There I had a fine view of the Federal camp, the dress parade, the hills whitened as far as the eye could reach by their tents, the heights malignant with cannon menacing yet more wrath to this quiet old town, lately so rich in happy homes and pleasant citizens, in social refinement and elegant hospitality.

But from these suggestive topics I must turn away. If any are disposed to charge me with having already forgotten my pledge to be “brief,” I must remind them that this is wholly a relative term, having no prescribed limits, and therefore, fairly subject to “private interpretation.”

I have not now space to give details of revivals reported at this period in Anderson's Brigade of Hood's Division, in the Eighth Georgia Regiment, the Sixtieth Georgia Regiment, of Gordon's Brigade, the Twenty-first South Carolina Regiment, the Thirteenth Mississippi Regiment, the Twenty-eighth North Carolina Regiment, the Third Alabama Regiment, the Stonewall Brigade, J. M. Jones's Virginia Brigade, Kershaw's Brigade, Early's Brigade, Chimborazo and Camp Winder Hospitals, in Richmond, Harris's Mississippi Brigade, Wilcox's Alabama Brigade, Doles's Georgia Brigade, Thirteenth Alabama Regiment, Twenty-sixth Alabama, Wright's Georgia Brigade, and other commands.

One of the most powerful revivals at this period was in Thomas's Georgia Brigade, which began about the 1st of February, 1863, under the labors of Rev. J. J. Hyman, chaplain of the Forty-ninth Georgia Regiment, who preached from four to six times every day (to meet the demands of the scattered regiments of his brigade), and was about to break down, when Rev. E. B. Barrett came to his help and was soon after commissioned chaplain of the Forty-fifth Georgia Regiment. There were a large number of professions of conversion; Brother Hyman (and Brother Barrett, after he came) administered the ordinance of baptism almost daily, and when orders came for the command to march on the Gettysburg campaign, Brother Hyman was in the water baptizing forty-eight converts. I have told how the work went on, and have described the touching baptismal scene in the Antietam near Hagerstown. [307]

I may say here that Brother Hyman, who was commissioned chaplain on the 1st of May, 1862, after serving for a time as private in the ranks of the Forty-ninth Georgia Regiment, was one of the most faithful and successful men we had, and though laid aside for a time by sickness (brought on by over-work), had the privilege of baptizing 238 soldiers, seeing 500 others profess conversion in connection with his labors, preaching about 500 sermons, besides many exhortations, lectures, etc., and distributing thousands of pages of tracts, and many Bibles and Testaments, and performing much other labor which may not be written here, but ‘whose record is on high.’

Carefully compiled statistics show that, in the fall and winter of 1862-63, and spring of 1863, there were, at the very lowest estimate, at least 1,500 professions of conversion in Lee's army.

I must omit a vast amount of material which I had collected concerning this period, and insert only the following:

Headquarters, Forty-Fourth Virginia Regiment, April 15.
Revivals of religion are contagious. There are times in the history of the Church when God seems to be more willing to give His Holy Spirit to them that ask Him than at others; therefore sinners are commanded to repent, that their sins may be blotted out, “when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” The same gracious Heavenly Father that has owned and revived His work at Fredericksburg, and in other portions of the army, has at last poured out upon us refreshing showers of His grace. Though the meeting is in its infancy, Christians have been mightily revived and strengthened, and sinners savingly converted. The chaplains of this brigade (General Jones's, Paxton's old division) waited on MajorGen-eral Trimble about a week ago, and requested him to suspend the customary two hours battalion drill in the morning, that we might devote the time to religious services, which he did without a moment's hesitation. I may remark here, that our generals usually take great interest in our work, and are willing to do anything to promote our efficiency and the spiritual welfare of our soldiers. I had secured the services of Brother F. L. Kregel, whose kind and courteous manners and able sermons, replete with practical thought and Gospel truth, and delivered with unusual unction and warmth, soon won the confidence and hearts of the noble veterans whom he addressed. Would that we [308] had a good many more such as Brother Kregel, who would spend a portion of their time in visiting the army. I was with our Christian hero, General Jackson, at his Headquarters about two weeks ago, and he urged us to write and secure the services of our ministering brethren in the country during our protracted efforts. I remember turning to a brother-chaplain in company with me; he remarked: “Urge the bishop to come; tell him he can preach to larger congregations here than he can at Ashland.” He is very anxious that Dr. Broadus, of Greenville Seminary, should visit the army during the spring and summer. Oh! cannot the congregations of our ablest men spare them for a short time, and cannot they forego the comforts and luxuries of home, to be instrumental in saving precious, immortal souls, now imperilled in their country's cause? We will welcome you, brethren of the ministry, most cordially, if you will come, while the soldiers will call you blessed. Come, we beseech you, in behalf of our blood-drenched and wailing country, in behalf of the Church militant, and the sad, sick hearts of weeping mothers and surviving sisters, we implore you to come and labor that the souls of our noble defenders may not be sacrificed, if their bodies are, in this stupendous struggle for constitutional freedom and national independence.

The soldiers are anxious to hear preaching. They are not— as some think—impervious to moral impressions. Their moral sensibility is not so stupefied that the Cross of Christ will not convince them, move them, and save them. During the last week twelve young men in my regiment have professed a saving faith in Christ, and are candidates for admission into the different branches of the Christian Church. Most of them have asked for baptism by immersion, and want to join the Baptist Church. Those that wish to join other Churches I have turned over to chaplains representing the several denominations of Christians in the army. There are scores concerned, and anxiously inquiring the way of life. Other regiments in the brigade are also blessed with God's presence. In my next communication I will give a full account of the interesting work of grace going on in this brigade. My tent was besieged the most of last week by men anxiously inquiring, “What must I do to be saved? ” We earnestly ask an interest in the prayers of God's people. The last meeting of the chaplains, which came off yesterday, was one of the most delightful I have ever attended. General Pendleton—who is [309] also the Rev. Dr. Pendleton, of the Episcopal Church—was present. The feeling remarks of this aged Christian hero moved to tears eyes unused to weep; and the tears that glistened in his eyes told that his burning words came from a heart touched with a deep sympathy in this grand work. After transacting a great deal of important business appertaining to our work, the meeting closed by passing a resolution, a solemn act of worship to Almighty God, pledging ourselves to pray for each other and the success of our labors, each day at sunset. The eternal clock, far up in the everlasting belfry of the skies, as it strikes the departure of each successive day, will remind us of our pledge to our brethren and our God. Will not the Christian Church, at this noted and impressive hour—an hour so forcibly reminding us of the ebbing away of life—unite with us in asking God's blessing upon those who are to be the future pillars of Church and State?

James Nelson, Chaplain Forty-fourth Virginia Regiment.

Rev. W. H. Carroll, in an account of a visit to Cobb's Brigade, in the Biblical Recorder, says: ‘A regimental prayermeet-ing was to be held just after “tattoo,” and at the appointed time I started to it, in company with some officers. It was so dark that we could not see the stumps, but after stumbling over a few we reached the place of prayer. A part of the time it was raining and blowing too much for tallow candles, but we found a large crowd assembled—some sitting, others standing. In the thick darkness, that sweet old hymn, “When I can read my title clear,” with the chorus, “Remember, Lord, thy dying groans,” was sung. The services were then continued, and were interesting through out. It was, indeed, a solemn and impressive occasion.’

Richmond, Virginia, May 30, 1863.
I have within a few days received the most cheering accounts from the Army of Northern Virginia. In almost every regiment protracted meetings are in progress, and souls are being born into the kingdom. Last Sabbath, Rev. N. B. Cobb, of North Carolina, baptized five in Ransom's Brigade, Rev. Mr. Betts two, and the chaplain of the Fourteenth North Carolina five. The meetings in this brigade are becoming more and more interesting every day, and Brother Cobb informs me that “quite a number [310] have been converted since last Sabbath.” In Wright's Brigade, a great work of grace is going on. Last Thursday, Brethren Hyman and Marshall, chaplains of the Twelfth and Forty-ninth Georgia Regiments, baptized twenty-six. The chaplain of the Fortieth Virginia reports thirty penitents in Heth's Brigade. Brother Barrett, chaplain Forty-fifth Georgia, Thomas's Brigade, reports from fifty to one hundred who are seeking the Saviour. Since the battle of Chancellorsville, he has received seven for church-membership. In the Twelfth South Carolina, twenty-five are reported as having made their peace with God. A quartermaster in Armistead's Brigade writes me that a good work has commenced there, and that nothing is so much needed as men to preach Jesus. A Baptist minister from Pickett's Division says that in “every brigade in that division protracted meetings are being held, and a solemn and deep religious influence pervades many hearts.” Rev. Bernard Phillips, our colporter at Winder Hospital, informs me that a “precious revival is being enjoyed at that post. Two were received for baptism last night.” Brother Phillips is assisting in a protracted meeting, at which many are crying to God for mercy. The cry is for the Gospel. In some of these protracted meetings, the voice of a minister has scarcely been heard. Will not fifty of our pastors throw themselves, for a few months, into this great work? “Send us tracts, colporters, and evangelists.” Will not the Churches give with a munificent liberality, of their possessions, that the board may meet these pressing demands?

A. E. Dickinson, Superintendent, etc.

Dear Brethren: Our brigade has just moved, and suspended the protracted meeting which I told you in my last Dr. Pryor had commenced, in conjunction with the regimental chaplains. There have been about twenty-five conversions, and the meeting closed with about the same number of mourners at the anxious seat. We did not experience such blessings as have descended in other parts of the army, but have abundant reason for gratitude, and to thank God and take courage. About thirteen of these conversions were in my regiment.

F. McCarthy, Chaplain Seventh Virginia Infantry.

The chaplain of the Second Georgia Battalion, Army of [311] Northern Virginia, writes, to the Southern Christian Advocate: ‘The late battles and the recent glorious victory have tended greatly to effect a moral reformation in the army. Many of the soldiers in the hour of danger formed good resolutions, which I am happy to state, they have not forgotten in this time of comparative safety. We have been having some delightful refreshings from the Lord. The glorious work is going on throughout the entire brigade.’

Chaplain J. M. Cline states, in North Carolina Christian Advocate, that his regiment, the Fifty-second North Carolina, has been experiencing ‘the most glorious revival of religion he ever witnessed.’ Up to the date of his letter, June 5, thirty-four had been converted.

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