SERVICES IN THE SOUTHERN CAMPS
(Transcribed by Dorman Holub)
Howard Henderson, D. D., a forcible writer, very strikingly presents
in an article published in the Western Christian Advocate,
May 25, 1892, the religious services, and by whom conducted,
in the Southern camps during the Civil war; and as some of the
prominent leaders in those services were also commanders of many
of the old soldiers who are now residents of Dallas county, it
may be some of them were participants in many of these religious
services, and some of the boys who "wore the blue,"
now living in Dallas, were among those who stood on the banks
of the Rapidan and joined in the hymns.
"Of drum and trumpet history we have had
a surfeit; but there is a religious chronicle awaiting record.
It told upon the morale, the courage, and constancy of the Southern
army. Many of the generals were clergymen, notably Lieutenant-General
Leonidas Polk, Protestant Episcopal bishop of Louisiana; W. N.
Pendleton, chief of artillery, Episcopalian; Major-General C.
E. Evans, General D. C. Kelley, and Colonels Fountain E. Pitts,
George W. Carter, C. C. Gillespie, F. C. Wilkes, C. Calloway,
Methodist; and majors, captains, lieutenants, and privates of
the various churches. Dr. Dabney, Presbyterian theologue, served
on Stonewall Jackson's staff. General Henry A. Wise said: "The
best soldier of the Captain of Salvation makes the best soldier
in our camps." 1t was an old proverb, The worse the man,
the better the soldier.' My observation is the other way. The
men who feared God were the bravest in fronting men. The men,
too, who love God are the men who love their fellows. At the
cross the blue and gray touch breasts and are brothers.
"Among the chaplains, missionary and commissioned,
were: Enoch Marvin, J. C. Granberry, afterward bishops in the
Methodist Episcopal Church, South, the latter losing an eye in
battle; Drs. Quintard and Beckwith (afterward Episcopal bishops);
Dr. John B. McFerrin, A. L. P. Green, C. W. Miller, C. K. -Marshall,
Hardie Brown, W. W. Bennett, Methodists; Drs. B. T. Lacy, A.
O. Hopkins, Theodorick Pryor, George W. Leyburn, Presbyterians;
and Dr. L. Burrows, the Drs. Broadus, J. C. Hiden, and J. Wm.
Jones, of the Baptist Church. The Catholics, had their representatives:
among them Father Ryan, the poet; Bishop Gallagher, late bishop
of Louisiana, and Dudley, of Kentucky, were officers of the line.
Generals Sterling Price and R. M. Gano (now a resident of Dallas)
were preachers in the Christian church. A large number of the
surgeons were local preachers in the Methodist church. There
was an army church in almost every brigade: at the first many
companies, while full, held weekly prayer meetings. Two-thirds
of the men in the regiment with which I went out were members
of the Church, mostly Baptist and Methodist.
"Among the Generals, Lee, Jackson, Hardee,
Albert Sydney and Joseph E Johnston, Bragg, Polk, Trappier, Manigault,
Evans, Pendleton, Gordon, Colquitt, Vance, Barton, Bee, Garnett,
Price, Stuart, Rhodes, Hampton, Ewell, Longstreet, Kelley, Walker,
Laws, Cobb, and Kirby Smith were devout and openly active in
promoting religion by encouraging tract distribution and Bible
circulation, observing the Sabbath, and furnishing facilities
to the chaplains and missionaries. Many of them had prayers at
their headquarters daily, and Sabbath services. Lee and Jackson
offered prayer publicly. The American Bible Society furnished
a cargo of Bibles, and the vessel sailed past fleets and forts
unchallenged, the white flag at the mast-head giving it passport.
The Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church advanced
$16,000 to the missionaries of the Methodist Episcopal Church,
South, in China.
"During the great revival in Gordon's
Georgia brigade, baptism by immersion was administered in the
Rapidan in open view and easy range of the Federal army. General
Gordon was always present, offering a splendid target to the
Union pickets on the bank, but to the honor of the boys in blue'
they refrained from firing, and stood reverentially looking on
the sacred scene. No danger was apprehended while the ordinance
was being administered. On several occasions the Federal pickets
joined in the hymns.
bravest are the tenderest,
loving are the daring."
the revivals in Lee's army more than 27,000 men are known to
have professed conversion, among them several general officers.
"The famous Rockbridge artillery, on July
4, 1861, contained seven masters of arts of the University of
Virginia, forty-two graduates of other colleges, nineteen theological
students (including R. E. Lee's son), nearly all of whom were
professed Christians. Nearly every company left home after prayers,
and each man carried a Testament in his pocket.
"The Liberty Hall Volunteers, of Washington
college, elected Professor White their captain. All the officers
and more than one-half the privates were Christians, and one-fourth
were candidates for the ministry. Dr. Patterson, president of
Hampden-Sidney, organized a company from his own college and
Union Theological Seminary, nearly all church members.
"During the war, Generals R. H. Anderson,
Baylor, Ewell, Hood, Hardee, Pender, Paxton, Rhodes, Colonel
Lamar, find a multitnde of other officers, were won to Christ.
In July, 1862, General Lee issued a general order as follows:
'Habitually all duties, except those of inspection, will be suspended
during Sunday, to enable the troops to attend religious services.'
He uniformly attended public worship. While his army was crossing
the James in 1861, hurrying to the defense of Petersburg, he
took with him a minister in the woods, and engaged with him in
prayer that God would give him wisdom and grace for the campaign
on which lie was then entering.
"General G. E. B. Stuart, the Prince Rupert
of the South, was a pure, earnest Christian, who lived nobly
and died triumphantly. He asked, when dying, Dr. Peterkin to
sing 'Rock of Ages,' and joined in the song. The hymn concluded,
he said, 'I am resigned; God's will be done,' and then fell asleep.
General Gordon was accustomed to lead prayer-meetings in his
command, and at the revivals made strong appeals to the unconverted.
He would kneel by privates and point them to Christ. General
D. H. Hill was very active in promoting religion. General Polk,
Episcopal bishop of Louisiana, never preached, but frequently
attended the service, and had Sabbath preaching at his camp.
"The churches all of them expended their
energies in sending their ablest ministers to the camps. It was
under such auspices that Drs. Palmer, Quintard, Markham, Granberry,
McFerrin, Green, Broadns, Marvin, Crouch, Miller, Rogers, and
many others served the soldiers. Many served as officers of the
line or staff, some of whom - Kogar,Crouch, Baldwin, Heard, and
others - were killed. Three local pastors, serving as militia,
were killed at the the assault on Selma by General Wilson.
"I preached almost every Sabbath while
in the field and a number of times, while commissioner for the
exchange of prisoners of war, in the military prisons and parole
- camp, and buried many of the boys in blue' with Christian rites.
I also, when within the lines under flag of truce, preached in
Vicksburg, Memphis, and on the Federal fleet. The amenities of
religion scarfed the shoulders of the war-cloud with a baldric
of mercy, and lent to the desolations of brand and battle a beauty
born of heaven.