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Chapter 21: winter of 1863-64.

The armies in the field on both sides used the interval of winter to repair their wasted energies for the spring campaign.

The towns held by the Federals, and those besieged by them, continued to feel the heavy hand of war. Charleston had a terrible bombardment on Christmas day, 1863, which makes it a red-letter day in the history of that city. No person who was there can ever forget the scenes.

“ For hours before the eastern sky was streaked with the first gray tints of morning the cold night air was rent by other sounds than the joyous peals from the belfry and the exploding crackers of exhilarated boys. At one o'clock A. M. the enemy opened fire upon the city. Fast and furiously were the shells rained upon the city from five guns-three at Battery Gregg, one at Cummings' Point, and one at the Mortar Battery. The shelling was more severe than upon any former occasion, the enemy generally throwing from three to five shells almost simultaneously. Our batteries promptly and vigorously replied to the fire, but without their usual effect in checking the bombardment, which was steadily maintained by the Yankees during the remainder of the night and all the following morning until about half-past 12 o'clock. Up to that hour no less than 134 shells had been hurled against the city. There was no more firing until about five o'clock in the afternoon, when one more shell was fired. On Sunday morning about three o'clock four shells were thrown in quick succession. There had been no further firing up to a late hour that night. [344] The damage, we are glad to say, bore no proportion to the severity of the bombardment. Several houses were struck, but in most instances the tremendous missiles buried themselves harmlessly in the earth. There were but two casualties: Mr. Wm. McKnighton, aged 83, while standing by his fireside, had his right leg taken off by a shell, another fragment of which crushed the foot of his sister-in-law, Miss Plane. While this heavy bombardment was going on two fires broke out that burned several buildings on Broad and Church streets, the loss being about $150,000.”

The work of the chaplains in winter quarters went on earnestly, and prepared the way for the extraordinary work of grace which blessed the armies in the last year of the war.

From the army at Dalton, Ga., now under command of General Joseph E. Johnston, there came an earnest call for Testaments and Bibles. “A soldier showed me.” says Rev. S. M. Cherry, “a Testament a few days ago that he had brought from his home in Tennessee, and had carried in his side-pocket for over two years. Another solicited a Bible, saying that just before he left Missionary Ridge he found part of an old Bible and read it, and was now desirous of getting the entire volume of inspiration. Often I am approached by the soldiers, who inquire, ‘Parson, is there no chance to get a Bible. I am very anxious to procure a copy, and am willing to pay any price for a pocket-Bible.’ We are unable to supply one-fourth of the demand for the Scriptures; and yet we know there are thousands of Bibles all over the South--that are rarely read by the possessors. Almost every library contains a small pocket-edition that perhaps has not been opened for six months, and many families could collect several that are perhaps lying away, dusty and mildewing, upon the shelves.”

Under calls like this from every portion of the armies the families of the South sent thousands of copies of [345] the word of God to the soldiers. Some of these had a few lines written on the blank pages, saying that “this precious book belonged to a son who had fallen in his country's cause; and, though prized as a dear relic from the battle-field on which he died, it is sent back to give comfort and light to his comrades who still struggle for liberty and right.”

Of his work at Dalton Dr. McFerrin says in a letter to the Southern Christian Advocate:

Since I last wrote to you I have visited some of the hospitals, and preached in several places to citizens and soldiers; to the well and to the sick and wounded. The sermons of the ministers of Christ are greatly appreciated by many. whilst others “care for none of these things.” There is need for a great work of God in the army as well as at home. Soldiers and citizens alike need the revival of God's work.

Now is the time specially for the distribution of religious reading matter in the army. When the soldiers are cut off in a measure from the preaching of the Word, they need books, tracts, and papers. Let them come as freely as possible.

Well, I suppose the Yankee papers have announced my death, and, perhaps, accompanied the announcement with remarks not very friendly. Thank God, Mr. Editor, your humble brother still lives, and is trying to grow wiser and better in these times of war and cruelty. He lives, he trusts, to preach the gospel to the soldier and the citizen, and to minister comfort to the sick, wounded, and dying, Yes, he has had the privilege, and felt it to be his pleasure and duty, to pray for wounded prisoners taken from the enemy's lines. Yankees, wounded and in prospect of death, have thanked him for his pleadings with God in their behalf, and for pointing them to Jesus, the Friend of sinners. Let my enemies North revile, yet, from “my heart of hearts,” I can pray God to have mercy on them and lead them to repentance [346] and salvation. “Bless them which persecute you; bless and curse not.”

We have already referred to the gallant band that General Price led from Missouri, and their deeds of valor at Corinth, Miss., and other places, are well-known to those who can recall the scenes in the Southwest. One of the most faithful laborers in this corps of our army was Rev. Dr. B. T. Kavanaugh, who has kindly sent us the following account of the revival which prevailed in General Price's corps on this side and beyond the Mississippi:

Among those who came out of Missouri with Gen. Price's army were Jno. R. Bennett (your brother), W. M. Patterson, Nathaniel M. Talbott, and myself, besides Bros. Minchell, Harris, Dryden, and McCary. Subsequently we were joined by brother E. M. Marvin (now Bishop) and others.

But little visible effect followed our preaching for the first year or two, while the soldier's life was a novelty; but, after two years hard service, the romance of the soldier's life wore off, and a more sober and serious mood seemed to prevail in our camps.

The first decided revival that occurred under my observation and ministry was in the State of Mississippi, to which State I had followed General Price's army, while we were encamped near Tupelo. Here we kept up nightly meetings for several weeks in our camp, and there were some forty conversions or more. Bros. Bennett, Harris, and myself, held a profitable meeting near Granada, Miss., where we had some conversions; but for a length of time the army was kept in motion so constantly that we had but little opportunity for religious services.

When the army retreated from Big Black into Vicksburg Bros. Bennett, Patterson, and myself, rode together into that devoted city. The regiment to which I was then chaplain had been captured at Big Black, and as I [347] had no duties to perform, I told those brethren that I should make my escape from the city before the enemy's lines were thrown around us, and requested them to join me. Bro. B. refused, saying he should stick to his men; and P. refused to leave 13. alone.

I obtained leave of absence and made my escape by riding all night alone, and found myself outside of Grant's lines the next morning, and went into Selma, Ala., where I spent the summer. I requested Bishop Paine to give me a commission as a missionary to Gen. Price's army, which was then in Arkansas. I obtained it, and left the house of Robert A. Baker, my cousin, in Alabama, on the 15th of September, 1863. I succeeded in making the trip, crossing the Mississippi, just below Bolivar, swimming my horse, and arrived in Gen. Price's camp early in October.

My first work was to organize all the chaplains and missionaries into an Association for mutual aid and cooperation. When we went into camp at Camp Bragg, 30 miles west of Camden, we there commenced our work in earnest. Through the winter of 1863-64 we kept up our meetings in camp, had seats and pulpit prepared, and were successful in having more than one hundred conversions.

After the battles of Mansfield and Pleasant Hill, in Louisiana, our armies returned to Arkansas and made an encampment at a place called Three-Creeks, on the southern line of the State of Arkansas. Here I commenced preaching on the 10th of June, 1864, and continued our meetings until the 10th of September. An extensive revival commenced within a few days after our meeting commenced, and grew in interest-and power to the close. We had preaching, beginning at early candle-light-or rather pine-knot fires on stands around the preaching-place. After about ten o'clock at night, the preaching and other exercises at the stand closed; but this was but the beginning of the night's work. [348]

As soon as dismissed, the young converts gathered in groups of tens and twenties, and went off in companies into the adjoining woods; and taking their friends, penitents seeking religion. with them, they spent the whole night in singing, praying, and praising God. I had lodgings close by the camp at Mrs. Tooke's, a sister of Gen. Buckner, from which, night after night, at all hours, until morning, I could hear the shouts of the new-born souls and the rejoicing of those who were laboring with them for their salvation.

This meeting continued, after this manner, until a large majority of the two brigades were happily converted. Before we had progressed very far, an effort was made by some of the officers to interrupt us by having “roll-call” observed at nine o'clock. I went to Gen. Parsons, who was the Division commander, and requested him to suspend roll-call at night altogether. He said, “Doctor, I will do anything in my power to promote this great reformation; for I assure you that since your meetings commenced I have not had a complaint entered against a single man in my army, and the people in the country have not been disturbed by a single soldier.” Roll-call was suspended.

The people in the country around us became interested in our meetings, and attended them. The remark had been made by many, before our revival meetings commenced, that it was very difficult for a man to be religious in the army; but now it was far more common to hear it said that no one could be very religious unless he belonged to the army.

Like meetings were held in other camps of the same army at some ten, twenty, and thirty miles from us. Bros. Jewell and Winfield, of Camden, were zealously and constantly engaged in the great work in the encampment near their homes, and were very successful.

At Three-Creeks I had the efficient aid of Bros. Talbott, Minchell, and Dryden, from Missouri, and a Baptist [349] chaplain from Arkansas, whose name I do not remember.

To sum up the results of these gracious revivals in the army, we may safely say that at Three-Creeks there were 500 conversions. Under Bros. Winfield and Jewell there were 300. At Camden and Camp Bragg there were 200. Making in all in Arkansas 1,000 souls.

To show the genuineness of this work of grace upon the lives of these converts, we have to remark that after our camp was broken up, and the army was put upon the march to distant fields, wherever we went into camp but for a night our boys held prayer-meetings every night, greatly to the astonishment of the people in the country who were witnesses of their devotion.

After the army was disbanded, in riding through the country in Arkansas and Texas, I met with some of our converts, who had returned to their families and parents, and they were still true to their profession and evinced a decidedly firm Christian character.

The parents of some of those young men have since told me that in place of having the characters and habits of their sons ruined by being in the army they had returned to them as happy Christian men.

We also give the testimony of one of the most pious and devoted chaplains in the Army of Northern Virginia. Rev. P. F. August, who served with the gallant Fifteenth Virginia regiment, Corse's brigade, writes to us:

The 15th Virginia regiment, Corse's brigade, Pickett's division, shared in the blessings of the great revival in the Confederate army. I have the names of about fifty of that regiment who were converted while in the field of service. One of these, J. R. Eddleton, a very young man from Hanover county, was mortally wounded in a skirmish. When borne off the field on a litter he said to his comrades: “Boys, tell my mother how I went” --meaning, Tell her that I fell discharging [350] my duty with my face to the enemy. For twenty-four hours he suffered very much, but met death, not only calmly, but triumphantly. He left an assurance that he was accepted with God, and felt that the blessed Saviour would save him forever. His dying request was that his mother should be written to and informed that he died in the faith. Many who belonged to the 15th regiment are now living, and are active and useful in the Church, who were converted in the army. One particularly I would mention-Captain M. W. Hazlewood-well-known in Richmond as an active, zealous Methodist. He continued in the army to the close of the war, but for more than two years he was very wicked. In 1863 he gave his heart to God, and went to work at once for the great Captain of his salvation. He was instrumental in the army in leading a number of precious souls to Jesus. Since the close of the war he has been a very active member of the Church in Richmond, where as a layman he has been remarkably successful in persuading sinners to seek the Lord.

A large number of the men of that regiment were pious when they entered the army. Their perseverance in serving the Lord proved that they had on the gospel-armor. Many of them lived through the war, and came out of it strong in the faith of God. Others fell on the field of battle instantly killed. They departed covered with the honors of war and with the glory of a saving faith in Christ. Their record below was one of Christian fidelity — on high, no doubt, it was acceptable to God. Among those who deserve to be specially mentioned are the names of Major John Stewart Walker, an upright, conscientious Christian, and one of the purest men I believe that ever died or lived-also Lieutenants Melville C. Willis and Jones Daniels. The last named two were bosom friends, who likewise fell instantly killed. On the same field and about the same time their lives were yielded a sacrifice to the Southern cause. [351] They were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in death they were not separated.

Besides those of the 15th, I have quite a large number of names of soldiers belonging to other regiments in Corse's brigade, who were converted in the army; some of whom I have met since the close of the war, and who assured me that they were still striving to get to heaven. When Christ's jewels gathered from earth shall be displayed to an admiring universe, I doubt not many thousands of precious souls converted in the late Confederate army will shine as stars forever and ever in the firmament of glory.

The earnest purpose of the home Churches to promote the army revival was manifested by the number of ministers sent among the soldiers. We give a list of those who were sent by the Mission Board of the M. E. Church, South:

Revs. Leo. Rosser and J. C. Granbery in the Army of Northern Virginia; J. B. McFerrin, C. W. Miller, W. Mooney, R. P. Ransom, and W. Burr in the Army of Tennessee; J. S. Lane and E. B. Duncan in the Department of Florida; J. J. Wheat and H. J. Harris in Mississippi; W. C. Johnson to General S. D. Lee's corps, North Mississippi; J. J. Hutchinson to army about Mobile; and beyond the Mississippi river, J. C. Keener to Louisiana troops, and B. T. Kavanaugh and E. M. Marvin to Missouri and Arkansas troops.

Besides these, and others probably whose names have escaped us, the Conferences of the M. E. Church, South, emulated other Churches in sending forth laborers into the great harvest.

Rev. Dr. Myers, of the Southern Christian Advocate, in noticing these facts, says:

The Mississippi Conference appointed one missionary and two chaplains to the army; Memphis, one missionary and six chaplains; Alabama, four missionaries and twelve chaplains; Florida, one missionary and two [352] chaplains; Georgia, eight missionaries and eight chaplains; South Carolina, thirteen chaplains; North Carolina, two missionaries and eight chaplains; Virginia, two missionaries and twenty chaplains. Here are nineteen missionaries and seventy-one chaplains from these eight Conferences. Of course, the Conferences beyond our lines furnish a number also; but except in the case of the General Missionaries, sent out by the Parent Board, we can give no guess even as to their numbers.

The Georgia Conference determined, if possible, to furnish one missionary to each Georgia brigade, and at the session of 1863 the work was begun by sending seven ministers:

R. B. Lester to Jackson's brigade, Army of Tennessee; A. M. Thigpen to Colquitt's brigade, near Charleston; J. W. Turner to the troops in and around Savannah, and on the coast below there; G. W. Yarbrough to Wofford's brigade, Gen. Longstreet's army; T. 11. Stewart to Thomas' brigade, and P. 0. Harper to Gordon's brigade, Army of Virginia; and L. B. Payne temporarily to visit the hospitals between Atlanta and Guyton C. R. R. until a brigade is selected for him. Another, T. F. Pierce, is now in the State military service, and will receive his appointment to a brigade when his term expires.

That a faithful minister had his hands full of work in the army may be seen by the following sample report of a missionary:

Dec. 17, 18, and 19.-Services consisted of exhortation, singing, and prayer.

20.-Sunday--Made appointments to preach with three Georgia regiments. Went to them. The weather too cold for service. Visited and prayed with sick.

21.-Very cold day. Visited and prayed with sick men.

22.-Regimental prayer-also visited sick men,

23--Wednesday-Assisted in religious services at [353] Chaplains' meeting; in the afternoon preached in--Georgia, at night in---Georgia regiment.

24.-Exhortation, singing and prayer with regiment.

25.-Visited sick soldiers.

26.-Exhortation, singing, and prayer, with regiment.

27.-Sunday, 10 o'clock-Preached in--Georgia; 3 o'clock held prayer-meeting; and at night closed services for--Georgia, with exhortation.

28.-Went to appointment to preach, but rain prevented meeting. Afterwards held a meeting for exhortation and prayer. Then visited Brigade hospital; talked and prayed with the sick.

29.-Had regimental prayers.

30.-Went to preach for a regiment, but was prevented by its going off on picket duty. Had prayer with - Georgia regiment.

31.-An unfavorable, rainy day. Not likely to have service to-day.

I fear you will consider the number of sermons as too small. The cold weather and rain together have prevented the congregations from assembling on several occasions when I had made appointments for preaching. You will notice I report prayer and exhortation with regiments. I have assembled the troops together for service, and when the weather has been unfavorable to remaining in the open air I have given a short exhortation and have concluded with singing and prayer.

The experiences of soldiers are so full of child-like simplicity that one never tires of reading them.

A soldier converted on the march was met by his chaplain, who knew that he was under conviction, and asked by him if he had given himself to Christ:

Yes, “said the stalwart warrior with a glowing countenance,” I have found him. Why, sir, when we set off on that march I felt such a weight upon my soul that I could scarcely drag myself along, but after a while God [354] heard my prayers, and then the burden was gone and I felt as if marching was no trouble at all.

Good men that work for God faithfully die well even in war, on the field or in the hospital. Captain Thos. 0. Byrd, of the Fourth Mississippi regiment, was a zealous Christian among his comrades. He says, writing to his friends at home:

I have prayers in my tent every night with the boys, and assist others to take up the Cross. I have just had prayers with some wild young men, who are now engaged in singing with much zest and feeling. Oh, what a field is open here! Fare is rough, but gladly would I live thus for life for Christ's sake and the good of man. I have gained a great victory to-day. I believe God will bless this work. I feel his love burn in my heart while I write. I know God will bless my labors if you and Sister----and the children will pray for me.

Again: “I find I lack courage to speak out for the cause of our holy religion more than ever, and you know full well that I have always been more or less lacking in this particular; yet I trust through faith an i prayer to come out safe at last, though it may be as through fire.”

He sickened and died in the army. A kind lady approached him as he was nearing the verge of eternity. Said he:

God bless you, sister; this is the way Jesus went

meaning perhaps alone among enemies. “Tell my wife Farewell-all is right — to meet me in heaven.”

Another Christian, dying in the hospital, wrote to his wife:

I don't want you to be uneasy about me, but do not forget to pray for me. I still have strong confidence in the Lord, and endeavor to put my trust in him in all cases. I hope the Lord may take care of you; and if we should not meet again on earth, may we meet in heaven, where wars and sorrows are forever gone. God helping, we'll meet you there.


The death of Col. Peyton H. Colquitt was that of a true Christian hero. He had served at Norfolk, Va., and as Colonel of the 46th Georgia at Charleston and in Mississippi. On the field of Chickamauga he was in command of a brigade. It was ordered to charge a battery; and while riding up and down the line in front of his men, speaking to them words of encouragement, he was struck in the breast by a ball and fell from his horse.

His friend, Hon. W. F. Samford, wrote a touching memorial of the gallant soldier, from which we extract the following account of his last moments:

He was carried to a shade, and there the chaplain of his regiment, Rev. Thos. Stanley, attended him. I give the account of the closing scene in his words: ‘When I found the Colonel he thought his wound was mortal, and though he had not recovered from the shock he seemed calm and collected. I talked with him very freely on the subject of religion. He constantly expressed a spirit of resignation to the providence of God, and that he had no apprehensions whatever in regard to the future; that he had tried to do his duty, and felt in the last hour that he was accepted of his Saviour. In this hour his faith never wavered-he said he was ’ going to the land of light and peace, where he should meet his many loved ones who had gone before; ‘ and again, ’ Tell my dear wife I go to meet our angel child, and to come to us. ‘ At one time he said: ’ The providence of God is inscrutable, but I submit in hope. ‘ He died without a struggle. It is comfortable to know that all his wants were supplied during his sufferings. He experienced no pain, and was conscious to the last moment. As soon as he was wounded Gen. Forrest sent his surgeon to him; the poor people, who had been bereft of all their worldly substance, went to see him from miles around.’

While the work of grace went on among the soldiers at home, there were thousands of prisoners confined at [356] different points in the Northern States, who felt and rejoiced in the power of God to comfort and save in their helpless and suffering condition. A young wife and mother, whose husband was in prison, wrote to one of the leading papers urging prayer for our captive soldiers, that they might have strength to bear up under their trials, and that God would remove the obstacles to a speedy exchange of prisoners.

Never did men need more the consolations of religion than those who on both sides were held as prisoners of war.

The winter of 1864 was extremely severe. At Cairo, Ill., the mercury, near the last of January, stood at 15 degrees below zero. At St. Louis it was at 25 below zero, and the river was crossed by heavy wagons on the solid ice. At Chicago the guards at Camp Douglass had to be changed every 30 minutes to prevent freezing, but were all frost-bitten in this short time

The Times of that city said of the condition of the prisoners:

The suffering and tortures endured by the prisoners was beyond the power of pen to portray. Unaccustomed to the Northern climate and cold lake and prairie winds, their light Southern garb was a poor protection against the ordinary temperature of the elements. But with the winds maddened into fury, the air filled with freezing snow, they suffered as no people ever suffered before. Through the crevices of their thin board barracks the wind whistled as if in very mockery, bringing the snow in such quantities as to cover the floor and the beds upon which they had to sleep. So desperate was their condition that they were compelled to sleep by reliefs. Dividing off into squads of four, two would retire to their cold berths, covering with the blankets of the four, while the others kept up the fire. Thus in turns of four hours each did these poor mortals attempt to brave the raging of the storm. In many cases the snow [357] had frequently to be shaken from the blankets of the sleepers. With all their ingenuity they could not keep warm, and numbers of them will suffer from the expo. sure of this dreadful storm for all time to come. To add to the horrors of their situation many of them were sick. and the wailing wind and searching cold added fresh terrors to their sufferings.

This is but a sample of what was endured in all the Northern prisons. Can any calamity upon a nation be worse than war?

But let us turn from these sad scenes to a more cheerful picture opening in the far Southwest. Beyond the Mississippi, as Dr. Kavanaugh has already related, his work and that of his co-laborers was greatly blessed of God. In a letter to Bishop Paine, of the M. E. Church, South, he gave a report of the revival and its results in two months:

Gen. Fagan's Arkansas Brigade-Members received into Army church, 209; conversions, 85. Gen. Churchill's Arkansas Brigade-Joined the Army church, 112; converted, 35. Gen. Tappan's Arkansas Brigade-Joined, 245; converted, 40. Gen. Parson's Mississippi Brigade-Joined, 85; converted, 35. Total members Army church, 651; conversions, 195.

The Army church was organized before my arrival; gotten up by Bro. Martin, (now Bishop M. E. Church, South,) aided by others. It has worked well. In Tappan's brigade, the devoted chaplains have built a large log church, 60 by 80 feet, and are determined to keep up their meetings. I dedicate it next Sunday.

I am greatly delighted with my work on this side of the river. I have gone into it with all my energy, and indeed over-did my strength the first round; but as the weather is not so favorable for out-door work this round I shall not be able to preach so often. It is truly delightful to see the work prosper in our hands as it has done for the past two months. [358]

The army here has gone into winter quarters. Every brigade is well-provided with log-huts, and with all that is necessary for their comfort while in camp.

The following is the Constitution of the Army church organized by Bro. Marvin:

Articles of faith and constitution of the church of the army, Trans-Mississippi.

The Christian men in the army, believing that the habitation of God by his Spirit constitutes the Church, agree, for their edification and for the conversion of their fellow-men, to organize the Church of the Army, with the following articles of faith and constitution:

I. We believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be the Word of God, the only rule of faith and obedience.

II. We believe in one God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; the same in substance; equal in power and glory.

III. We believe in the fall in Adam, the redemption by Christ, and the renewing of the Holy Spirit.

IV. We believe in justification by faith alone, and therefore receive and rest upon Christ as our only hope.

V. We believe in the communion of saints, and in the doctrine of eternal rewards and punishments.

The Christian men who have been baptized, adopting these articles of faith and constitution, in each regiment, shall constitute one church; who shall choose ten officers to take the spiritual oversight of the same.

Of the officers so elected the chaplain, or one chosen by themselves for that purpose, shall act as Moderator.

The officers will meet once a month, and oftener if necessary; and in the exercise of discipline will be guided by the direction of Christ. They will keep a record of the names of all the members and the manner in which their ecclesiastical connection with this church is dissolved.


From the Trans-Mississippi let us return to the banks of the Rappahannock and note the revival scenes as we come.

Writing from Kingston, Ga., Feb. 4, Dr. J. B. McFerrin says:

We have a good meeting in progress. It has been going forward since Sunday last. Large crowds, mostly soldiers, are in attendance. Many penitents, some conversions, and a few backsliders reclaimed. Last night five asked for membership in the Church of God. We give the applicants choice of Churches and receive them into various Christian organizations-different divisions, but one grand army.

From Dalton, Feb. 3, Rev. A. D. McVoy sent good tidings:

We have a large Brigade church built, in which we have been holding services for two weeks. About ten days ago we commenced a series of nightly meetings; at first more on the order of prayer-meetings, but the interest began to increase so rapidly that in three nights we found a revival springing up in our midst. Great crowds gather nightly. We find our church too small. Large numbers are seeking the Lord-forty to fifty every night. The word of God and religious services seem to be better appreciated at present than ever before in this brigade. Men's minds appear to dwell more on religion and the soldiers more concerned about their soul's eternal welfare. The meeting is progressing with increasing interest. Eight joined the different Churches-one, the Presbyterian; two, the Baptist; and five, the Methodist Church. Missionary C. W. Miller is preaching for us at present with great success. A number of ladies from the neighborhood attend, making the scene very homelike.

The prospect before us is very encouraging. Wickedness and vice seem restrained. Members of the Churches are becoming revived. The Spirit of the Holy [360] One is present and felt. Good resolutions are being formed by many in every regiment. A number are endeavoring to fulfill their promises made to God upon the eve of and during the late battles. We are expecting and praying for great things.

The work of Rev. L. B. Payne in hospitals in Georgia for one month was 27 sermons, distributed 300 papers, 18,000 pages of tracts, and about 32,000 pages of reading matter in books, which he had procured by soliciting donations. Some have been awakened, others professed conversion.

Rev. J. W. Turner, in and near Savannah, Ga.:

He preached in January 16 sermons, travelled about 400 miles, distributed 177 books, conversed privately with several soldiers on religion, and prayed with 102 soldiers who professed to be seeking Christ.

Rev. A. M. Thigpen labored in Colquitt's brigade near Charleston. In the 23d Georgia, 60 conversions. The meeting was conducted in harmony by Presbyterians, Baptists, and Methodists.

Rev. Geo. W. Yarbrough reported from General Longstreet's army near Russellville, Tenn:

At Petersburg I entered upon my missionary work, having been thrown with a large number of troops on their way to this army; and, having been supplied by the Evangelical Tract Society there with a variety of very interesting religious papers. Dr. Miller, the agent, promised me an abundant supply as soon as transportation could be furnished.

I went through the cars on Saturday, furnished all the troops by way of preparing them for the Sabbath, and was glad to find them not only willing, but eager to read them.

I find that Dr. Stiles' pamphlet on “National Rectitude” is very popular. That army evangelist may look for an abundant harvest when the resurrection trumpet rolls its notes along the battle-fields of this revolution. [361] The faces of these war-worn veterans often brighten at the mention of his name. We hope to see him in our camps again. Heaven bless him in his high employ.

From Gen. Lee's Army Rev. J. M-Stokes, chaplain 3d Georgia, reported to the Southern Christian Advocate.

Zion is flourishing again in this army. There are as many as twenty chapels. We have had a meeting in progress two weeks, and the interest is increasing daily. We have had several conversions, and there were, I reckon, fifty mourners at the altar for prayer last evening. Our chapel seats between 300 and 400, and is full every night unless the weather is very inclement.

Bro. B. T. Lacy, chaplain to Gen. Ewell's corps, visited and preached for us about a week ago. He preached us a most excellent sermon, and gave us much advice and encouragement privately. His visits to the different brigades can but have the most gratifying effect both upon the chaplains and their congregations. I wish we had just such a man to every division to superintend its spiritual matters.

There is a great harvest here, which ought to be reaped at once, and if it should pass this season we fear that much of it will be gathered by the enemy of souls.

Rev. J. 0. A. Cook, chaplain 2d Georgia battalion, Wright's brigade, wrote most cheeringly of the work in the same army:

It would do your heart good to witness our camp-services, to see the immense throng that crowd our rude chapels, to listen to the soul-stirring music as with one voice and one heart they unite in singing the sweet songs of Zion, and to note the deep interest and solemn earnestness with which they listen to the preaching of the Word. I have never seen anything like it. I can but believe that the blessing of God is upon us, and that he is preparing us for a speedy and glorious peace.

Bible-classes and Sabbath Schools have been organized in many of the brigades. The soldiers are taking [362] great interest in them. We organized our Sabbath School a few evenings since, beginning with seventy members. There is, however, a want of Bibles. If every family would furnish one of the several Bibles lying about the house the army would be very well supplied.

The great chieftain Lee looked with the eye of a tender father upon his noble soldiers engaged in this work, and to promote it issued the following order on the observance of the Sabbath:

General order, no. 15:

headquarters A. N. V., Feb. 7, 1864.
I. The attention of the army has already been called to the obligation of a proper observance of the Sabbath, but a sense of its importance, not only as a moral and religious duty, but as contributing to the personal health and well-being of troops, induces the Commanding General to repeat the orders on that subject. He has learned with great pleasure that in many brigades convenient houses of worship have been erected, and earnestly desires that every facility consistent with the requirements of discipline shall be afforded the men to assemble themselves together for the purpose of devotion.

II. To this end he directs that none but duties strictly necessary shall be required to be performed on Sunday, and that all labor, both of men and animals, which it is practicable to postpone, or the immediate performance of which is not essential to the safety, health, or comfort of the army, shall be suspended on that day.

III. Commanding officers will require the usual inspections on Sunday to be held at such times as not to interfere with the attendance of the men on divine service at the customary hour in the morning.

They will also give their attention to the maintenance of order and quiet around the place of worship, and prohibit anything that may tend to disturb or interrupt religious exercises.

R. E. Lee, General.

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