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INCIDENTS 



UNITED STATES 



CHRISTIAN COMMISSION 



15 Y 

REV. EDWARD P. SMITH 

FIKI.D SECRETARY OF THR COMMISSION 




PHILADELPHIA 
J. B. LIPPINCOTT & CO. 

1 8 6 ( J 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1868, by 

HOKAIiO GATES JONES, 
Secretary of the Trustees of the U. S. Christian Commission, 

In the Clerk s Office of the District Court of the United States, tor the Eastern 
District of Pennsylvania. 



LIPPINOOTT S PRE 

P H I L A D K LP II I A . 



TO THE 



CHKISTIAN SOLDIEES AND SAILOES 



OF THE 



WHO, BY TOIL AND PIETY UNDER ARMS, IN LOYALTY TO COUNTRY 

AND TO CHRIST, ENDING OFTEN IN CHEERFUL 

DEATH, HAVE FURNISHED THE 

INCIDENTS 



WHICH ARE HERE GROUPED TOGETHER-IN JUST PRAISE OF THE 
SURVIVING AND IN LOVING MEMORY OF THE DEAD, 



THIS BOOK 



GRATEFULLY INSCRIBED. 



ADVERTISEMENT. 



By the vote of the U". S. Christian Commission, at 
its final meeting, five residuary Trustees -were appointed, 
through whom the -profits accruing from the sale of this 
book are to be expended for "the spiritual and temporal 
benefit of those -who are, have been, or may be, soldiers or 
sailors in the service of the United States" 



INTRODUCTORY STATEMENT. 



THIS volume has its origin in the peculiarity of the war in the 
United States against rebellion not of the forces arrayed against 
each other, or of movements executed, or of victories wrought ; 
but of the forces of Christianity developed and exemplified 
amid the carnage of battle and the more perilous tests of hos 
pital and camp. 

These religious forces were not begotten of the Christian 
Commission ; they came with the army from the Christian homes 
of its citizen soldiery. The Commission was, rather, born of 
them. Certainly it began because of their existence and need of 
help, and became, at once, their helper and recorder. 

The officers of the Commission felt that the five thousand 
Delegates, a majority of them ministers of the Gospel, who had 
gone to the field laden with good cheer and tokens of love for 
the soldiers, and had thus been enabled to come into the closest 
sympathy with them, and to bring back to the fireside fresh, 
truthful pictures of camp-life, must have witnessed scenes of 
faith and heroism, of conversion to the new life and dedication to 
Christ, and in chapel-tents and fever-wards and on bloody fields 



6 INTRODUCTORY STATEMENT. 

have heard manly testimony for truth and taken messages from 
the lips of death, such as would make a record that ought not 
to be lost to the Eepublic or to the Christian Church, nor left 
in unwritten fragments to degenerate into army traditions. 
They, accordingly, not only provided for the permanent record 
of the Christian Commission, in its organization and work, by 
the Home Secretary, Rev. Lemuel Moss, but also instructed the 
Field Secretary " to prepare a volume of such Incidents as may 
be regarded by him as fully authentic, and the most valuable of 
those which have occurred during the work of the Commission." 

Entire absorption by the secretary, thus instructed, in another 
labor growing out of the war, and unexpected difficulties in 
gathering and authenticating so many Incidents, have occasioned 
a much longer delay than was anticipated in the preparation of 
the volume. 

For most of the Incidents names of the authors are given ; and 
persons thus named, unless mentioned as belonging to some other 
relief organization, or as in the army for some other purpose, are 
Delegates of the Christian Commission. 

Where an Incident is credited to a Delegate who is not named, 
the name of the person receiving it from the Delegate is given. 

The few Incidents taken from the religious press generally 
bear the names of their authors. In the exceptions to this, the 
character of the periodical in which they originally appeared is 
offered in evidence of their authenticity. 

The five hundred and more Incidents here gathered have been 
preferred out of over ten thousand that were in hand, on the 
principle of the largest variety of character in their subjects and 
of time and place in their occurrence. 



INTRODUCTORY STATEMENT. 7 

No such collection of stories can be made without the peril of 
sameness, even to satiety ; and the more perfect each sketch may 
be in itself the greater the peril. A relief has been attempted 
by marshalling the Incidents along the line of army operations 
in both place and time. Thus an Incident recorded for a given 
day becomes a part of the army history of that day an illus 
tration in the case of one man of what may have been transpir 
ing with hundreds of others ; and thus it receives an historical 
and topographical interest which may help carry the reader with 
less weariness towards the end. 

The briefest possible sketch of army movements and results 
of great battles is all that could be allowed for such an historical 
line. The materials of this sketch, or skeleton record, and often 
the words in which it runs, have been freely taken from Mr. 
Greeley s " American Conflict/ 

In the Incidents furnished out of the author s own army ex 
perience it has seemed best, for securing authenticity with sim 
plicity in the form of statement, that he should use the third 
person and speak of himself very much as of others. 

Whatever excellence this book may possess is fairly to be 
credited to its friends, as follows : 

To the Delegates and members of the Commission, who have 
responded so kindly and heartily to requests for Incidents occur 
ring under their own observation ; to the watchful care of the 
Committee of Publication, who have counselled at every chapter ; 
especially, to Charles Demond, Esq., of Boston, who has patiently 
and with great profit to these pages read them all in proof; and, 
more than all, to Eev. John Irving Forbes, who, by his long 
and intimate connection with the work of the Christian Com- 



8 INTRODUCTORY STATEMENT. 

mission at the Philadelphia office, was eminently fitted for a 
helper. In personal interviews with many Delegates in different 
parts of the country, he has taken from their lips not a few of 
the gems of this collection, and by his patience and skill and 
industry, amid other duties, has wrought most of the mechanical 
and intellectual labor of putting the volume to press. 

When strong men are to be aroused to action, or youth are to 
be incited to deeds of valor and virtue, no portion of human 
history is more frequently used than words quoted out of the 
smoke of battle and from the lips of men dying for a principle. 
Most of the Incidents here gathered relate to memorable scenes, 
in which men, if ever, say and do what is worthy of mention 
and imitation. It is fondly hoped that they may be not without 
good to all who read them, and of special service to those who 
are to help and teach others to be truly noble. 

EDWARD P. SMITH. 

ROOMS OF AMERICAN MISSIONARY ASSOCIATION, 
New York, Oct., 1868. 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 

PAGE 

THE EASTERN ARMIES: UNTIL THE RETREAT FROM THE PENINSULA: APRIL, 

1861 JULY, 1862 13 

CHAPTER II. 

THE EASTERN ARMIES: FROM POPE S BATTLES UNTIL HOOKER TAKES COM 
MAND: JULY, 1862JANUARY, 1863 35 

CHAPTER III. 

THE WESTERN ARMIES: UNTIL AFTER THE STONE RIVER BATTLES: APRIL, 

1861 JANUARY, 1863 58 

CHAPTER IV. 

THE WESTERN ARMIES: FROM AFTER THE STONE RIVER BATTLES UNTIL THE 

SURRENDER OF VICKSBURG: JANUARY, 1863 JULY, 1863 91 

CHAPTER V. 

THE EASTERN ARMIES: FROM THE BEGINNING OF 1863 UNTIL LEE S SECOND 

INVASION: JANUARY, 1863 JUNE, 1863 125 

CHAPTER YI. 

THE EASTERN ARMIES: GETTYSBURG: JULY, 1863 159 

CHAPTER VII. 

THE EASTERN ARMIES: FROM GETTYSBURG UNTIL GRANT S ADVANCE ON RICH 
MOND: JULY, 1863 MAY, 1864 190 

CHAPTER VIII. 

THE WESTERN ARMIES: THE CAMPAIGNS IN TENNESSEE AND GEORGIA: JULY, 

1863 DECEMBER, 1863 215 

CHAPTER IX. 

THE EASTERN ARMIES : GENERAL GRANT S ADVANCE ON RICHMOND : MAY AND 

JUNE, 1864 244 



10 CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER X. 

THE WESTERN ARMIES: FROM THE BEGINNING OF 1864 TO THE FALL 
ATLANTA: JANUARY, 1864 SEPTEMBER, 1864 



CHAPTER XI. 

THE EASTERN ARMIES: FROM THE INVESTMENT OF PETERSBURG UNTIL THE 

CLOSE OF THE WAR: JUNE, 1864 APRIL, 1865 296 

CHAPTER XII. 

THE EASTERN ARMIES: FROM THE INVESTMENT OF PETERSBURG UNTIL THE 

CLOSE OF THE WAR: JUNE, 1864 APRIL, 1865 (CONTINUED) 322 

CHAPTER XIII. 

THE EASTERN ARMIES: FROM THE INVESTMENT OF PETERSBURG UNTIL THE 

CLOSE OF THE WAR: JUNE, 1864 APRIL, 1865 (CONCLUDED) 351 

CHAPTER XIV. 

THE EASTERN ARMIES: OPERATIONS NEAR WASHINGTON AND HARPER S FERRY: 

JUNE, 1864 JUNE, 1865 372 

CHAPTER XV. 

THE PRISONERS IN THE SOUTH : WITH NOTICES OF THOSE WHO RETURNED TO 

ANNAPOLIS 395 

CHAPTER XVI. 

THE WESTERN ARMIES: FROM THE FALL OF ATLANTA TO THE CLOSE OF COM 
MISSION WORK; WITH SOME NOTICES OF HOSPITAL AND OTHER WORK 
BEFORE ATLANTA FELL: JUNE, 1864 SEPTEMBER, 1865 414 

CHAPTER XVII. 

THE WESTERN ARMIES: WORK ALONG AND NEAR THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER: 

JULY, 1863 DECEMBER, 1865 441 

CHAPTER XVIII. 

ALONG THE COAST: 18611865 465 

CHAPTER XIX. 

THE HOME SIDE 477 

INDEX.... 



ILLUSTRATIONS. 



UPRISING OF THE PEOPLE (STEEL PLATE) FRONTISPIECE. 

THE WAR BEGUN (STEEL PLATE) FRONTISPIECE. 

PAGE 

NOT ENEMIES 37 

GIVING UP THE BUSINESS 70 

"GET THE SHIP BY, BOYS" 124 

"THE HUMISTON CHILDREN" 175 

"ALMOST UP" 233 

DYING IN GEORGIA 291 

THE LAST LETTER 294 

"THAT S WORTH A HUNDRED DOLLARS" 310 

QUESTIONING GENERAL GRANT 359 

NEWS IN LIBBY PRISON 396 

CRUTCH EXCHANGE 419 

" SONGS FOR SIGHING" 432 

"I CANNOT COME NOW I WILL NOT" . 463 




CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 

THE EASTERN ARMIES. 

UNTIL THE RETREAT FROM THE PENINSULA. 
April 1861 July 1862. 

No attempt has been made to give a representative 
record of Incidents before the Commission began its 
active work. A very few such accounts are inserted, 
here and in the chapters introducing the labors in other 
parts of the army, but they will only serve to show 
that the necessities, before and after the origin of the 
Commission, were the same. 

The Fulton Street Prayer Meeting in New York was 
the centre of a deep Christian interest for the soldiers. 
It, with the numerous meetings like it throughout the 
land, had some influence in leading men to feel the need 
of an agency such as the Commission. The Sunday- 
School Times of June 29, 1861, gives the report of a 
story told in that meeting, a few days before. A speaker 
rose and said : 

A drummer-boy went from Brooklyn on shipboard to Portress Mon 
roe. He was a Sunday-school scholar. One evening, overcome with 

13 



14 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

fatigue, he had lain down upon the deck and fallen asleep. The 

dews were falling. The Colonel came along, shook 
TJic Drummer- . . . . .. 

So s Pra er ^ shoulder, told him he would take cold, 

and advised him to go below. As he was getting 
up, his Bible fell out of his pocket. He picked it up, replaced it, 
and went below to prepare himself for bed. When all ready, he 
knelt down many loudly-talking men standing around and put 
ting his hands together in the attitude of prayer, poured out his 
heart silently to God. He heeded not the noise around him. In a 
moment all that noise was hushed : the company, awed by the con 
duct of a boy, reverently stood silent until he had finished. 

After this pleasing account had been given, another in the meeting 
stated that this praying drummer-boy had been killed in a late 
battle. The news had just been received by his father. A thrill of 
tearful sympathy instantly passed through the meeting. A few days 
later, it was stated that the little boy had prayed every day up to 
the time that he was killed. He was also constantly reading his 
Bible, as he could snatch the opportunity. So anxious was he to 
read it, that he was known sometimes to rise in the night to do so. 

Gen. McDowell s army began its advance into Vir 
ginia on Tuesday, July 16, 1861. On the following 
Sunday the first battle of " Bull Run" was fought, and 
the Union forces retreated to Washington. The Sun 
day-School Times of August 24, 1861, gives this account 
of a scene in that battle, related in the Fulton Street 
Meeting : 

A clergyman stated that a soldier told him, that immediately after 
the first fire, in which many were killed and wounded, he heard a 
cry, which could only come from a man on the borders of eternity, 
" God have mercy on my soul." The cry soon be- 
came contagious ; and he himself, though fighting 



with all his might, joined in repeating the words, 
" God have mercy on my soul." The soldier stated that he was not 
a pious man, yet the impression received from that cry on the bat 
tle-field had never left him; and for several nights after his return 



AFTER BULL RUN. 15 

to New York, he had not been able to sleep, but through all the 
silent hours he would hear that continual cry, made as none but the 
dying could make it, " God have mercy on my soul." 

Mrs. E. N. Harris, of Philadelphia, who visited the 
hospitals in Washington, Georgetown and Alexandria, 
immediately after the battle, wrote to Rev. Dr. Taylor, 1 
as follows : 2 

Another, whose benignant, placid expression told of great peace, 
to the remark, " You have been shielded in the day of battle, per 
haps in answer to a mother s prayers," replied 

"Yes, to those of a sainted mother; but especially 

. . Shielded by 

to those of a praying wife, who, in a letter just re- p rayer 

ceived, says, I spent the whole of Sabbath in prayer 
for you, not knowing I was in battle; but her Father and my 
Father knew it. That was enough. I went into the battle with 
prayer, and returned with thanksgiving for a spared life." 

I was about to pass on, when the position of his arm arrested me. 

" You are wounded in the arm ?" 

"Yes." 

"I hope not seriously." 

"Yes, it was amputated at the elbow before I left the field." 

Wholly unprepared for such an announcement, my feelings over 
powered me. He soothingly said 

" It is only my left arm. That is not much to give my country. It 
might have been my life." 

Another, a lovely youth, whose bright, restless eye and flushed 
cheek told of suffering, grasped my hand and gently pulled me to 
wards him ; I knelt beside him and said 

" My dear boy, what can I do for you ? Shall I 

, n , * -r Mother and 

talk to you of Jesus ? A . 

^xTvTvfrvi 

"Oh yes," he said, "I am used to that. I have 



1 Then Pastor of a Reformed Protestant (Dutch) Church in Philadelphia. 
Now Secretary of the American Bible Society. 

2 Annals, U. S. Christian Commission, pp. 90-92. 



16 CHKISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

loved Him, but not near enough, for two years; and now He is going 
to take me home." 

" You are very young. Have you a mother?" 

" Oh yes ;" tears filled his eyes. 

" It must have been a great trial to give you to your country." 

" Yes, it was. When I first mentioned it, she would not hear me ; 
but we both prayed over it, and at last she consented, saying My 
country deserves this sacrifice. I gave you to God at your birth, and 
this is His cause. " 

As I fanned the dear boy, brushing back the hair from his beau 
tiful forehead, he fell into a sleep. When I withdrew my hand, he 
started and exclaimed 

" Oh, I dreamed that was Annie s hand. Won t you put it on my 
head again ?" 

"Who is Annie?" 

" My twin sister. We were seventeen since I left home." 

This dear youth is now with the Saviour. He died from his wounds 
the next day. 

Gen. McClellan was called from Western Virginia to 
Washington, immediately after the battle of Bull Run ; 
the command in his department devolving on Gen. Rose- 
crans. In September, there was some severe skirmishing 
at Cheat Mountain. The New York Advocate and Jour 
nal relates an incident of that battle: 

A soldier, the night before the battle, received a letter from his 
mother which he opened and began to read. He had proceeded but 
a few lines, when scalding tears bedewed it, and prevented his read 
ing further ; he handed it to a comrade and requested 



L tter him t0 



own heart melted by the tender appeals of that 
mother to her boy to come to Christ. The last words of the letter 
were, "O my son! my son! will you not take your mother s Saviour 
for your Saviour ?" 

He went into the battle and was killed. In the morning, as they 



THE FIEST DELEGATES. 17 

gathered the dead, he was found with one hand firmly grasping that 
letter baptized now in his own heart s blood, as well as his tears. 

The members of the Commission, shortly after its 
organization in November, 1861, visited Washington, to 
survey the yet scarcely attempted work. 

Passing near Fort Albany, 1 then occupied by the 14th Mass., one 
of the company asked a soldier 

" Have you any praying men in the regiment?" 

Going Dovm 
" Oh yes, a great many, he answered. t jj 

" And do you ever meet for prayer ?" 

" Every day." 

" Where do you meet ?" 

" Just come here." 

The party went inside the new and beautiful fort which the regi 
ment had been building. 

" I can see no place for prayer," said one. 

" Look down there," said the soldier, raising a trap door as he 
spoke. 

" What is down there?" for it was like looking into darkness itself. 

" That s the bomb-proof, and down there is the place where we 
hold our daily prayer meetings." 

" That s going down to get up, isn t it ?" was the questioner s 
reply. 

The army defending Washington lay inactive during 
the autumn and winter. In April, 1862, it began the 
advance upon Richmond by the way of the Peninsula. 
A month s delay before Yorktown gave opportunity for 
several skirmishes ; sickness set in ; and by the time the 
army moved from Yorktown, there was a call upon the 
Christian benevolence and patriotism of the North, 
which could not be longer refused ; very shortly after 
wards, the long-delayed messengers of the Commission 

1 About a mile from Long Bridge, in Virginia. 
2 



18 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

came. Unknown as the organization was, it met at first 
with but a doubtful reception. Ilev. Geo. J. Mingins, 1 
one of the first seven Delegates sent out from Philadel 
phia to Fortress Monroe and Yorktown, in May, 1862, 
gives a graphic account of the advent at Old Point 
Comfort : 2 

I remember my introduction to the Medical Director at Fortress 
Monroe. We had then no printed commission. In Baltimore, we 
had had hard work to obtain a pass to the Fortress; and the moment 

The Advent at we set foot on land there, we were marched, like a 
Old Point Com- file of Indians, to the Provost-Marshal s office, and 
made to take the oath of allegiance, before they 
would permit us to open our mouths. I remember, after we 
had taken the oath, we found we could not go anywhere, but were 
bumping up against a sentry at almost every corner, and were 
asked, every hundred or thousand yards, for our passes. Well, 
we went back to the Provost-Marshal and told him 

" We can t go anywhere." 

And he replied, " I know it." 

We said, " We wanted to see the Medical Director, and tried to 
get into the Fortress and couldn t." 

" I know it." 

" But, sir, can t you give us a pass by which we may obtain an 
interview with the Director ?" 

" Who are you ?" he asked. 

" We are Delegates of the United States Christian Commission." 

And he said, " What s that ?" 

I doubt whether you could find a squad of soldiers to-day who 
would need to ask that question. But at last he gave us a pass, and 
we went into the Fortress. We felt very strange, but finally ob 
tained an interview with the Director. We stood in his office. In 
a brusque manner he looked up and said 



1 Then Pastor of (O. S.) Presbyterian Church, Huntingdon Valley, Pa. Now 
the Superintendent of City Missions in New York. 

2 From a public address. 



THE FIRST DELEGATES. 19 

" Well, gentlemen, what can I do for you ?" 

One of us became spokesman. I did not ; I was afraid ; I had 
had enough " bluffing off" already ; from that day to this I have had 
a wholesome fear of a military man, when sitting in an office, with a 
quill behind his ear instead of a sword in his hand. I can face him 
with a sword, but I can t bear him with a quill. An Episcopalian 
minister stepped forward, and began to tell him that we were Dele 
gates of the Christian Commission. I do not know whether he 
thought that he would astonish the Director but I can testify that 
he did not astonish him. 

"What s that?" was all his answer. 

W^e told him then what it was. He replied^ 

"Gentlemen! Gentlemen! What do you want down here?" 

Then this gentleman gave him a pretty good idea of what we 
wanted. He rose, put down his pen, and said 

" So, gentlemen, you have come down here to see what you can do 
for the sick and wounded ?" 

" Precisely so," I ventured to remark. 

He said, "Aye. Well, who are you, in the first place ?" 

We told him that we were four clergymen and three laymen. 
When we talked of " clergymen," I noticed a smile lurking round 
the corners of his mouth. But he said, "And you want to do some 
thing?" 

We said, "Yes." 

" Then I will give you work in ten minutes. There are three 
hundred sick and wounded men lying on board one of the trans 
ports at the wharf. I want three men to accompany them to 
New York, Philadelphia or Baltimore I don t know where they 
are going ; you will get your orders when you are on board. Will 
you go?" 

Three of us at once volunteered. He said 

" Gentlemen, do you know what you are going to do? You are not 
going to preach, mind. I tell you what I want you as nurses." 

He looked into their eyes, but they never flinched. Two of them 
were " clergymen." When they were gone, he gave us work also. 

" But, mark me, gentlemen," he said, " I want men who will wash 
wounds, who will scrub floors, if necessary, in fact, who will 
perform the duties of a hired nurse, and then, after that, I have 



20 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

no objection at all that you put into practice any higher mission you 
jpay have." 

We separated and went to our work. A few days after, the 
same Director sent for us ; this time there was deference in his 
manner, a kinder tone in his voice. He sent us to the three thou 
sand wounded and sick at Yorktown. When we met him two or 
three weeks afterwards again, we found that the young Christian 
Commission had conquered a way to his heart. 

Thus, the work, in spite of obstacles, was begun and 
prospered. The following bit of Rev. Mr. Mingins 
experience will show how it gained favor with the men 
in the ranks, for whom it was especially intended. The 
scene is at Yorktown ; the subject an Irishman : l 

Well, this was a very tough Irishman I assure you. It was at a 
time when a great many were sick at Yorktown, men who had 
marched and dug and delved, until they were completely broken 

down. A great many of them had no clean shirts 

The Difficult 

Irishman n> & a ^ ar S G su PP*7i anc * was g in g 

through the tent, giving them to the poor fellows. 
I came to this Irishman. 

" My dear friend," said I, " how are you ? You seem to be an 
old man." 

" Shure an I am an ould mon, sir." 

" Well, how came you here in the army, old as you are?" 

"Och, sir, I m not only an ould mon, but an ould sojer too, I d 
have ye know." He had been twenty years in the British service in 
the East Indies, and had fought America s foes in Mexico. 

"Yes, sir" he continued, "I m ould, an I know it, but I m not 
too ould to shoulther a musket, and hit a rap for the ould flag yit." 

"You re a brave fellow," said I, "and I ve brought these things to 
make you comfortable," as I held out to him a shirt and pair of 
drawers. He looked at me. Said he 



1 Taken from an address at the Washington Anniversary of the Commission, 
February 2, 1864. 



YOKKTOWN. 21 

" Is t thim things f 

"Yes, I want to give them to you to wear." 

" Well, I don t want thim." 

" You do want them." 

" Well I don t ;" and he looked at me and then at the goods, and 
said somewhat sharply, as I urged him again, " Niver moind, sir ; I 
don t want thim ; and, I till ye, I won t have thim." 

" Why ?" 

" Shure," said he, " d ye take me for an objic uv charithy ?" 

That was a kind of poser. I looked at him. 

" No, sir," said I, " I do not take you for an object of charity, and 
I don t want you to look on me as a dispenser of charity, for I 
am not." 

" Well, what are ye, thin ?" 

" I am a Delegate of the United States Christian Commission, bear 
ing the thank-offerings of mothers and wives and sisters to you brave 
defenders of the Stars and Stripes." And I thought, surely, after 
such a speech as that, I would get hold of the old fellow s heart. 
But he looked at me and said 

" Any how, I won t have thim." 

I felt really hurt. I did not at all like it. I have told you, he 
was an Irishman, and I happened to be a Scotchman. I was de 
termined not to be conquered. I meant to try further, and when a 
Scotchman means to try a thing, he will come very near doing it. 

I didn t talk any further then, but determined to prove by my 
acts that I had come down to do this old man good. So day after 
day I went about my work, nursing, giving medicines, cleaning up 
the tent, and doing anything and everything I could. 

One day, as I went in, a soldier said Descriptive 

" There s good news to-day, Chaplain." l 

"Ah, what is it?" 

" Paymaster s come." 

" Well that is good news." 

" Yes, but not to me, Chaplain." 

"How is that?" 



1 The soldiers, almost uniformly, styled the Christian Commission Delegates, 
" Chaplains." 



22 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

" I ve not got my descriptive list, and if a fellow s not got that, 
the Paymaster may come and go, and he s none the better off for it." 
" Well, why don t you get it?" 

" I can t write, Chaplain ; I ve got chronic rheumatism." 
" Shall I write for you ?" 
" If you only would, Chaplain." 

I hauled out paper and pencil, asked the number of his regi 
ment, name of his Captain, company, &c., and sent a simple request 
that the descriptive list might be remitted to that point. When I 
had done this, I found a good many who wanted their lists, and I 
went on writing for them until I came to the cot next to the old Irish 
man s. It was occupied by another Irishman. I asked him if he 
had his descriptive list. 

" No." 

"Shall I write to your Captain for it?" 

" Av ye plaze," and I began to write. 

I noticed the old Irishman stretching over, all attention. I 
spoke now and then a word meant for him, though I affected not to 
notice him. After I had written the request, I asked the young 
man if I should read it to him aloud. " Av ye plaze, sir," and I 
read him the simple note. When I had done, the old Irishman 
broke out with 

" Upon me sowl, sir, ye wroite the natest letther for a dishcrip- 
tive list, that I iver heerd in me loife. Shure an a mon wud 
think ye d been a sojer all yur days, ye do wroite so nate a letther." 

I turned round and asked, "Have you got yours?" 

" An I haven t, sir." 

" Do von want it ?" 

"An to be shure I do," said he, flaring up ; " an thot s a quare 
quistyun to ax a man, av he wants his dischriptive list av he 
wants his pay to boy some dillicacies to sind home to the on Id 
woman an the chilther. I do want it, and av ye ll lind us the 
sthroke uv yur pin, Chaplain, ye ll oblige us." 

I sat down and wrote the letter, and when I had done said, 
" Now, boys, give me your letters and I ll have them postpaid and 
sent for you." 

When I returned, sad work awaited me. One of Massachusetts 
sons lay in the tent, dying. I spoke to the dying boy of mother, 



YOKKTOWK. 23 



of Jesus, of home, of heaven. I believe it to be a great character- 

Mother. 



istic of the American heart, that it clings to home 



and mother. I remember passing over a battle-field 
and seeing a man just dying. His mind was wandering. His spirit 
was no longer on that bloody field ; it was at his home far away. A 
smile passed over his face a smile, oh of such sweetness, as looking 
up he said 

"O mother! O mother! I m so glad you have come." 

And it seemed as if she was there by his side. By and bye he 
said again 

" Mother, it s cold, it s cold ; won t you pull the blanket over 
me ?" 

I stooped down and pulled the poor fellow s ragged blanket closer 
to his shivering form. And he smiled again : 

" That will do, mother, that will do !" 

And so, turning over, he passed sweetly into rest, and was borne 
up to the presence of God on the wings of a pious mother s 
prayers. 1 

But to come back to the case in the tent. After I had done all I 
could for the dying man, and had shaken his hand in farewell, I 
turned to leave the tent. Who should meet me at the door but the 
old Irishman ? He looked very queerly. There was 
certainly something the matter with him. He was 
scratching his head, pulling at his beard, and other 
wise acting very strangely ; but I did not take much notice of him, 



1 Kev. E. P. Goodwin, Pastor of the Congregational Church, Columbus, Ohio, 
narrates a story related to him by Inspector Eeed of the U. S. Sanitary Commis 
sion in the Western Department, which beautifully illustrates the law or charac 
teristic of which Rev. Mr. Mingins speaks : " A number of wounded lay out at 
Elizabeth, Ky., literally in the mud, and utterly uncared for. The Sanitary 
Commission sent an agent down, with beds, clothing, &c. Among the neglected 
men was a sick youth, who, while he was being cared for, was entirely uncon 
scious of it. In the morning, when the Surgeon came around, he found the suf 
ferer very much brightened up. He spoke to him pleasantly. The little fellow 
was entirely bewildered. He had looked around, and found clean sheets and 
bedding, and something to read at the head of his cot. By and bye, after rubbing 
his eyes and getting the mist away, he spoke out in a kind of faint whisper : Oh 
yes, I guess I m better. Somehow it seems as if mother had been here. " 



24 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

as I had been so solemnly engaged. He came up to me and clasp 
ing my hands, said 

" Be me sowl, sir, ye re no humbug, anyhow." 

" What do you mean ?" I asked. 

" Oh," said he, " haven t I watched ye ivery day, as ye ve been 
goin through the tint, carin for the byes? An ye ve been loike a 
mother to ivery wan uv thim. Thanks to ye, Chaplain, thanks to 
ye, and may God bliss ye," he repeated, as he again wrung my 
hand. " And," said he, " ye do all this for nothin . The byes ve 
been tillin me about ye." 

" Oh," said I, "that s a mistake." 

" Well, now, how s thot? They ve been tillin me, ye wur a Pris- 
bytharian ministher, an thot ye came away from yere home down 
here, for the love ye had for the byes. But ye don t do it for 
nothin , eh? Who, thin, pays ye the Guvermint?" 

" No. If it had to pay me, it would take a great deal more 
money than it can spare." 

" Well, does the Commission pay ye?" 

" No." 

" Well, thin, av the Guvermint doesn t pay ye, nor the Commis 
sion doesn t, who does pay ye ?" 

I looked the man straight in the eyes and said 

" That honest, hearty grasp of the hand, and that hearty God 
bless you, are ample reward for all that I have done for you. Re 
member, my brave fellow, that you have suffered and sacrificed for 
me, and I couldn t do less for you now." 

He was broken down. He bowed his head and wept, and then 
taking me by the hand again, said, " Shure an av thot s the pay ye 
take, why thin, God bliss yc ! God bliss ye! Ye ll be rich uv the 
coin uv me heart all yere days." And then, after a few minutes 
pause, he added, "An now, Chaplain, av ye lljist give us the shirt an 
the dra rs, I ll wear thim till there s not a thrid uv thim lift." 

Rev. George Bringhurst of Philadelphia, 1 who still 
retains, as a precious memorial of the war, the simple 
papers which designate him the first Delegate of the 

2 Rector of All Saints Prot. Episc. Church, Moyamensing, Philadelphia. 



YORKTOWN. 25 

Commission, narrates the series of incidents which fol 
low, beginning with this first trip to the army : 

In how many instances was the precious Gospel brought to the 
soldiers, in the strains of music set to Psalms and Hymns. In camp 
and hospital, on march and field, the sweet songs of Zion wooed 
many a prodigal back to the Father s loving embrace. 
None possibly were more effectual than that familiar 
hymn, " Rock of Ages." We heard it sung for the first time in the 
army, on the beach at Fortress Monroe, by some Delegates of the 
Christian Commission, just beneath the " Lincoln Gun." Its grateful 
truth, borne by the winds, fell upon the ear of a soldier on the 
parapet ; not only so, but touched his heart, and in time led him to 
build on the " Rock of Ages." 

Again, we heard the same hymn at Yorktown, sung by some of 
the same Delegates. After its singing, as we were returning to our 
quarters, one of the Delegates was overtaken by a soldier, who be 
longed to the " Lost Children." 1 He asked 

"Won t you please tell me how I may be built on the Rock you 
sang about ? I was thinking of it while on guard the other day." 
He told his story in brief: he was from New York City, had received 
his mother s dying blessing. Before she breathed her last, she sang 
this hymn, and said 

" George, my son, I would not feel so badly about your enlisting, 
if you were only built upon that Rock/" 

These sacred memories were revived by the singing of the hymn ; 
and as the Delegate and soldier knelt on the dusty road-side, be 
neath the stars, the wanderer lost his weariness and thirst for sin, in 
the shadow of the " Rock of Ages." 

Mr. Bringhurst continues, for it is better to antici 
pate, than to break the unity of the series : 

Eighteen months after this incident, the same Delegate, going to 
Fortress Monroe, on a boat which had as part of her passengers a 
gay and happy company of the Signal Corps, conversed, sang and 



1 The name of a New York Eegiment, "Enfans Perdus." 



26 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

prayed with them. He related to them the foregoing incidents, sang 
" Rock of Ages," and retired to his state-room. Soon after, a gentle 
tap called him to the door, where he found a tall, graceful Lieuten 
ant, who, with tears streaming down his face, said 

" O sir ! I could not let you go to bed to-night until I had told 
you what you have done. As I sat, with my head leaning against 
a spar, and listened to your words and to that hymn, you brought 
back my dead mother with all her prayers and love. I have been 
a wanderer until this night, and now by God s grace I want to hide 
myself in that Rock of Ages. m 

In Rev. Mr. Bringhurst s experience at Mill Creek 
Hospital, near Fortress Monroe, occurred the two follow 
ing incidents : 

A dying soldier, placed, on account of the awful nature of his 
disease, in a tent far away from his comrades, when asked by me, if 
he was not lonely, replied, with his hand upon his Testament 

"My companion is here; how can I be lonely?" 
Not Lonely. rpl . 

Ine same night he passed away into the country 

wherein there shall be neither sickness nor loneliness any more. 

" I know not, oh ! I know not 

"What social joys are there ; 
What pure, unfading glory ; 

What light beyond compare. 
O Garden free from sorrow ! 

O Plains that fear no strife ! 
O princely Bowers, all blooming ! 

O Realm and Home of life !" 2 

As I was reading the fifteenth chapter of St. Luke s Gospel, audi 
bly, one Sunday afternoon, in a ward of the hospital, I came to the 
words, " I will arise and go to my father." 



1 None who were present will ever forget the tearful solemnity which fell upon 
the company, when these little stories were told by Mr. Bringhurst, in the hotel 
parlor, one evening at Washington, when the Commission was gathered in that 
city, for its last anniversary. 

2 Rev. Dr. Neale s translation of Bernard s " Celestial Countrv." 



WILLIAMSBUKG. 27 

A soldier near me at once cried out. " That s me : 

"That s me." 
that s me." 

Going to his side, I found him very anxious. I pointed him to 
the Father, and very soon he gave his heart to Jesus. 

Two years later, he laid down his life at Fredericksburg. His 
path meanwhile had been like that of the just, "shining more and 
more unto the perfect day." 

The pursuit of the enemy retreating from York town 
was prompt and energetic. On May 4th, the place was 
evacuated. On the next day, Hooker, Kearny and 
Hancock fought the battle of Williamsburg. The Union 
loss was nearly 2000 in killed and wounded. Nearly 
800 Confederates, mostly severely wounded, were left in 
the hastily evacuated defences of Fort Magruder. The 
work of death had begun in earnest. 

Several days after the battle, a soldier came hurriedly to a Chap 
lain s tent, with the message 

" Chaplain, one of our boys is badly wounded, and wants to see 
you right away." 

Following the soldier, writes the Chaplain, I was 

, , , . , , "Thank God for 

taken to a cot on which lay a noble young man. He , ... 

J J such a mother ! 

was pale and blood-stained from a terrible wound 

above the temple. I saw at a glance that he had but a short time to 

live. Taking his hand, I said to him 

" Well, my brother, what can I do for you ?" 

The poor, dying soldier looked up in my face, and placing his 
finger where his hair was stained with blood, said 

"Chaplain, cut a big lock from here for mother, mind, Chap 
lain, for mother /" 

I hesitated to do it. He said 

"Don t be afraid, Chaplain, to disfigure my hair; it s for mother, 
and nobody will come to see me in the dead-house to-morrow." 

I did as he requested me. 

" Now, Chaplain," said the dying man, " I want you to kneel 
down by me and return thanJcs to God." 



28 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

"For what?" I asked. 

" For giving me such a mother. O Chaplain, she is a good mother. 
And thank God that by His grace I am a Christian. Oh, what 
would I do now if I wasn t a Christian ? I know that my Re 
deemer liveth. I know that His finished work has saved me. 
And, Chaplain, thank God for giving me dying grace. He has 
made this dying bed feel soft as downy pillows are. Thank Him 
for the promised home in glory. I ll soon be there where there is 
no war, nor sorrow, nor desolation, nor death where I ll see Jesus, 
and be for ever with the Lord. " 

I knelt by the dying man, and thanked God for the blessings He 
had bestowed upon him the blessings of a good mother, a Christian 
hope, and dying grace. Shortly after the prayer, he said 

" Good-bye, Chaplain ; if you ever see mother, tell her it was all 
well." 1 

Dr. Greene, in an address to a graduating class of 
Berkshire Medical College, Pittsfield, Mass., says : 

Let me relate one incident that occurred while I was upon the 

Peninsula, during the bloody campaign of last summer. At the 

battle of Williamsburg, in the edge of the forest skirting the field, 

a soldier was struck by a bit of shell which severed 

\amef" ^ ie ^ racn ^ a ^ artery. Faint from the profuse hem 

orrhage, he fell, just as a Surgeon was riding rapidly 

past towards the front to get orders for establishing a hospital at a 

certain point. The poor fellow had just strength to raise his bleed 

ing arm and say 

" Doctor, please." The Surgeon dismounted, and rapidly ligated 
the vessel, applied a compress and bandage, and administered a 
cordial. As he turned to go away the man asked 

" Doctor, what is your name ?" 

"No matter," said the Surgeon, and leaping on his horse, dashed 
away. 

" But, Doctor," said the wounded man, " I want to tell my wife and 
children who saved me." 



1 See p. 95. 



TO RICHMOND AND BACK. 29 

The march towards Richmond was a slow one. Rain 
fell frequently ; the roads were horrible ; so that Gen. 
McClellan s headquarters did not reach White House 
until May 16th, nor Cold Harbor until the 22d. The 
first collision between the hostile armies occurred May 
24th, near New Bridge. On the 27th, the battle of Han 
over Court House was fought by Fitz John Porter ; and 
on the last day of the month occurred Fair Oaks, or 
Seven Pines. 

Gen. Lee had now succeeded to the chief command of 
the Confederate forces in Virginia. The month of June 
passed almost to its close, and very little seemed to have 
been done. The sluggish Chickahominy with its miry 
swamp bottom was sending pestilence through the Union 
ranks. The Confederate commander determined to 
strike a decisive blow. The battles of Mechanicsville 
and Games Mills followed each other in quick succes 
sion ; Gen. McClellan decided to retreat. White Oak 
Swamp and Glendale closed the month. The struggle 
of Malvern Hills on July 1st, though resulting in the 
complete repulse of the enemy, was followed by the 
retreat of the Union Army to Harrison s Bar. 

The Delegates of the Commission were as busy as pos 
sible with the limited means at their disposal, through 
out these terrible scenes. Mr. Chas. Demond, 1 of Boston, 
relates the following : 

A Delegate found sixty-five men, sick and wounded, lying on the 
second floor of a barn, just under the roof. The Virginia sun was 
pouring upon the building, but a few feet above their heads, with 



1 One of the original members of the Commission, who throughout the war 
paid personal attention to its extensive and varied interests in New England. 
The extract is from Mr. Demond s Williams College Alumni Address, pp. 24, 25. 



30 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

July heat. They were suffering much. The Dele- 
, " gate gave them some delicacies, and then asked the 

soldier-nurse to wash their hands and feet. 
" I did not enlist to wash men s feet," was the reply. 
" Bring me the water, then, and I will do it." The water was 
brought, and the gentleman washed the heads and hands and feet of 
the sixty-five suffering men. 

Mrs. Harris, who was freely helped from the Com 
mission stores, during this campaign, writing from near 
Savage s Station, June 22d, says : 

Passing a forlorn-looking house, we were told by a sentinel that a 
young officer of a Maine regiment l lay within, very sick. In a cor 
ner, on a stretcher, we found him, an elegant-looking youth, strug 
gling; with the last enemv. His mind wandered, and 
In the Battle , . 

, j. as we approached him, he exclaimed 

"Is it not cruel to keep me here, when my mother 
and sister, whom I have not seen for a year, are in the next room ? 
They might let me go in." 

Once for a moment, he seemed to have a glimpse of his real 
condition. Drawing two rings from his finger, placed there by a 
loving mother and sister, he handed them to an attendant, saying 

" Carry them home." A moment more and he was amid battle 
scenes, calling out, " Deploy to the left." " Keep out of that ambus 
cade." " Now, go, my braves, double quick, and strike for your flag." 
"On, on," and he threw up his arms as if cheering them ; "you ll 
win the day." 

His very last words were about his men. A graduate of Water- 
ville College, some twenty of his company were from the same in 
stitution; this, in a measure, accounted for his deep interest in 
his soldiers. He was an only son; the thought almost choked us, 
as we whispered a few sentences of God s Book into his ear. He 
looked up, smiling thankfully ; but his manner betokened no under 
standing of the sacred words. 



1 Lieut. Col. Wm. S. Heath. 



GAINES MILLS. 31 

Here is a memorial of Games Mills : 

Two wounded brothers were brought to Savage s Station and laid 
at the foot of a tree. When found by a friend, their arms were en 
twined about each other, and they were trying to administer mutual 

comfort. They talked of loved ones at home, of their 

. . J .. . ! ,. , "Poor little 

longings to see mother; then of the service in which j^o& s as i ee 

they had been engaged, and their love of country. 
They prayed for each other, and for their friends far away, and espe 
cially that mother might be comforted. In a little time the younger 
went up home ; the survivor, blind from a shot in the face, knew it 
not, but continued to speak encouraging words to him. No response 
being made, he said in a pleased, gentle way 

" Poor little Hob s asleep." 

In a few minutes more he too slept and awoke with his brother. 

The wounded were conveyed to White House, until 
that place was evacuated. Rev. Chas. H. Corey, 1 a Del 
egate here, writes : 

I assisted in taking a young man on board one of the hospital 
steamers at White House. He was scarcely nineteen years old. I 
saw that he was dying, and watched him breathing his last. As I 
bathed his hands, the soldier reached up his arms, 
threw them round my neck, and drew my face close 
down to his own. There was more of gratitude and affection in the 
simple act than any words could ever have told. All that could be 
known of him was that his name was Watkins. Afterwards, amid 
the din, a low murmur of talk was heard from his dying lips ; but 
the only intelligible words were something about "drill." Poor 
fellow, his drilling on earth was done. The next morning, I saw him 
lying in the dead-house. All unconscious as he may have been, there 
was a strangely true meaning in the soldier s words, if the " upper 
country" be indeed a place of growth and blessed toil. 

The following account was given by the soldier him- 



~astor of Baptist Church, Seabrook, N. H. 



32 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

self to the German Agent of the Commission in the 
Army of the Potomac, some time subsequent to the 
occurrence : 

George Greedy, of Co. C, 3d Pennsylvania Reserves, had received 

a pocket Testament from the ladies of Bucks county, when he took 

his departure from home. It had these inscriptions: Psalm xci. 11 : 

" He shall give His angels charge over thee to keep 

A Testament ^ ^ " ^ Timoth yi 12: Fij?llt the 

saves Life. J *~ . , 

good fight." This Testament he always carried in 

his bosom pocket, In the battle of White Oak Swamp, a minie ball 
passed through his left arm, shattering the bone severely; then, 
through his coat into the Testament, splitting it from Revelation to 
St. John s Gospel, llth chapter; passing out, the ball wounded him 
slightly in the stomach. But for his Testament, he would have been 
killed on the spot. I asked him to give me the book to show to the 
committee of the Commission. He willingly assented, but added 
" I would never sell it, for it saved my life." 

Mr. John Patterson s 1 graphic account of White 
House Christian Commission " Station," in June, just 
before the retirement from the Peninsula, will form a 
fitting close to the chapter : 

We had two tents and a cook-shed ; one tent for sleeping in, the 

other for storage. We were three Delegates of the Commission, 

assisted by a young convalescent soldier, and cooked for by a negro 

boy and woman, w r hose hoe-cakes were our great 

The Cnmmis- so i ace three times a day. We worked in pairs ; two 

sion Station at . ,1 i , i . \i j , , ,-\ 

, ir . , A rr at the hospital, two at the store-tent, and two at the 

White House. 

cook-shed. We tolerated no drones in our bee-hive. 
When the negro boy w r as not employed in chopping wood and carry 
ing water for Dinah, he was regaling himself and a circle of select 
admirers with a genuine Virginia "breakdown ;" and when Dinah had 



1 Of Philadelphia. An earnest and indefatigable Delegate of the Commission, 
from the beginning to the close of its work. The extract is from "Hospital Re 
collections," a series of papers published in the Presbyterian, of Philadelphia. 



WHITE HOUSE. fc 33 

fixed up all the odds and ends about the tents, she began manufac 
turing corn-starch, in huge cauldrons-full, five or six times a day. 
The two store-keepers were kept busy from morning to night by a 
hungry-looking crowd, which we called the "staff brigade," who 
begged for themselves, and their comrades incapable of locomotion. 
Supplies were here dispensed in the shape of shirts, drawers, hand 
kerchiefs, books, papers, combs, soap, pickles, sugar, tea, bread, and 
nearly everything eatable, wearable and usable to be found in a 
regular " Yankee-notion" country store. 

But the two itinerants had the most exacting and delicate duties. 
It was theirs to visit the sick and dying, to bear them little comforts; 
to cheer the despondent ; to soothe the agony of some, the last mo 
ments of others ; to play, as occasion required, the parts of nurse, 
physician and clergyman. Evening brought no rest. The semi-sec 
ular employments of the day gave place to the religious labors of 
the night, and so pleasant and blessed were these, that we longed 
for the evening, when we could meet the eager congregations. 

We began early, and ended late so that more than once we paid 
the penalty of our protracted devotion, in arrest by the night guards, 
whose duty required them to stop all stragglers. But the young 
Delegates were well known and easily recognized, and no authority 
would cage them. Such meetings, too, as we enjoyed, would repay 
one for an occasional arrest, and for the dark and muddy walks by 
which they were reached. 

After a short sermon, studied between our tent and the church, 
came a prayer and inquiry meeting. This was open to all. One 
after another would lead in prayer, testify to a newly-found faith, or 
make an exhortation to his comrades. Some were hoary-headed sin 
ners; others mere boys. Some would flounder painfully as they tried 
to express their feelings, frequently bursting into tears ; while others 
would charm with the simplicity and power of their native elo 
quence. From such men we had no difficulty in securing an effective 
corps of tract distributors. Every morning a number of bronzed 
faces would look in at our tent door, and then, supplied with loads 
of tracts, papers, hymn books, &c., the men betook themselves to the 
different houses and tents, and to the camp of the "Lost Children." 

One day, the quiet was disturbed by the thunder of distant can 
non. Soon after stragglers from the front came in; then a battery 



^ CHKISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

of field artillery which had desolated the path of the advancing 
enemy. Then came the order to break up the hospital as soon as 
possible, which was interpreted to us to mean twelve hours. That 
evening, all who could walk or hobble to our tents were there. We 
distributed our entire remaining stock. Farewell addresses, de 
livered by two of us, were answered by the hearty cheers of our 
audience, and the whole was concluded with a hymn. 

In the middle of July began the retreat from Harri 
son s Landing. The points of embarkation were New 
port News, Fortress Monroe and Yorktown. Gen. 
McClellan reached Acqnia Creek on the 24th. Thus 
ended the unfortunate campaign of the Peninsula. 



CHAPTER II. 

THE EASTERN ARMIES. 

FROM POPE S BATTLES UNTIL HOOKER TAKES COMMAND. 
July 1862 January 1863. 

WHILE McClellan was before Richmond, Major Gen 
eral Pope was assigned to the command of the three 
corps of McDowell, Banks and Sigel. The first inten 
tion had been to advance upon Richmond, while cover 
ing Washington and protecting Maryland ; but the result 
of the Seven Days Battles frustrated this design. To 
secure co-operation between the two armies, Major-Gen 
eral Halleck was called to Washington, as commander- 
in-chief. General Pope s object now was to effect a 
diversion in favor of the army retiring from the Penin 
sula. After some cavalry movements to sever commu 
nication between Richmond and the Shenandoah, Gen. 
Banks, early in August, occupied Culpepper. Pushing 
forward from that place, he was met at Slaughter s or 
Cedar Mountain, on August 9th, by a vastly superior 
force of the enemy under Jackson, and after a desperate 
encounter compelled to retreat with severe loss. On the 
1 8th, Pope withdrew to the north side of the Rappahan- 
nock. Jackson soon after moved into the Shenandoah, 
and then through Thoroughfare Gap into Pope s rear. 
Some blind manoeuvring followed in an attempt to cut 

35 



36 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

off his retreat, which brought on the second battle of 
Bull Run, August 29th. Gainesville and Chantilly were 
fought immediately afterwards. Pope s retreat to Cen 
tre ville began on September 1st. As soon as the army 
had been drawn back within the Washington entrench 
ments, he resigned. The command again devolved on 
Gen. McClellan. 

Rev. Chas. H. Corey, 1 after the evacuation of White 
House, had hastened to Warrenton, and, with several 
others, met there the wounded from Cedar Mountain, 
rendering them signal service. 

During the final retreat he came upon four car-loads of wounded, 

who would have fallen into the enemy s hands, if he had not, with 

such assistance as the wounded could themselves render, rolled the 

four cars with their living freight of mangled men, 

over four miles, to a point where locomotives took 
Delegate. 

them. In doing this he wore his shoes entirely oft, 
and came afterwards into Fairfax C. H. barefoot. 

The scene at Fairfax Station was sorrowful indeed. There were 

literally "acres" of wounded men, many of whom had tasted neither 

food nor drink for one and two days. The Commission had not yet 

learnt how to equip its Delegates. 2 In Washington 

The Wounded ^ couM find n() bucketSj and were obliged to sub- 

at Fairfax Sta- 

stitute butter-tubs. Having no lanterns, as they 

went over the doleful ground after nightfall, one 
hand must serve as candlestick, the other as ministrant. The Dele 
gates filled their "tubs" with coffee, as fast as the "contraband" 
charged with its preparation could distill it, and, candle in hand, went 
from man to man, distributing the refreshing drink with soft crack- 



1 See p. 31. 

2 The outfit of a Delegate, for any point whence he was liable to be called to 
the "front," afterwards consisted of rubber and woolen blankets, haversack, straps, 
canteen, two woolen shirts, blanks, badge and memorandum-book. The Base and 
Field Stations were kept supplied with other articles of service, which were not 
BO easily carried. 




NOT ENEMIES. 



Page 37. 



POPE S BATTLES. 37 

ers, until before the morning dawned all had been served. About 
seven hundred were lifted aboard the box-cars; the helpless carefully 
carried and laid inside on the floor spread with hay; while those who 
could walk were arranged on the car-roofs. So the wounded were 
borne on to Washington. 

Mr. James Grant, of Philadelphia, who labored among 
the men at Fairfax Station, tells this story of a Testa 
ment : 

I was busy removing the bloody garments from a wounded Union 
soldier. In his pocket I found a small book ; taking it out to ascer 
tain his name, I discovered that it was a Testament. On opening it, 
to my surprise, I found the name of a North Caro 
lina soldier. I inquired how he came to have it. He 
told me that he was disabled at Hanover C. H., and YOU" 
lay on the field nearby a severely wounded Rebel, who 
was crying piteously for water. Desirous of relieving the poor fellow s 
thirst, he crawled to a stream, filled his canteen, and returning held 
it to the dying man s lips, while he greedily drained its contents. In 
return, the North Carolinian took out his Testament, and handing it 
to the Union soldier, said 

" I have no way to thank you for this, but to give you the thing I 
love best of all, my precious Testament." 

In an hour afterwards, the grateful sufferer was silent and without 
thirst in death. The " precious Testament" will be an heirloom in 
the family of the Union soldier, a sacred memento of Christian 
love in scenes of hate and carnage. 

Col. James C. Rice, of New York, whose noble Chris 
tian death we shall hereafter be called to chronicle, 1 tells 
this story of his interview with a dying sergeant, in a 
Washington hospital, about ten days after the battle of 
Bull Run : 

As I was passing through the numerous wards, viewing with feel- 



1 See p. 247. 



38 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

ings of sympathy and pride, the mutilated but uncomplaining pat 
riots, two strangers a sister and an aunt of one of the young 
heroes accosted me to ask if I would be so kind as 
The Sergeant 1 a ^ ^^^ by the couch of their re l a tive, while the 

Surgeon re-amputated his limb, an operation on 
which his only chance for life depended. They were both weeping, 
but the wounded soldier, though suffering intensely, smiled as he 
gave me the military salute. I sat down by his couch, and took his 
hand in mine. He told me that he was a Sergeant in the 5th New 
York, Duryea s Zouaves ; that he was wounded late in the action, 
left upon the field, and remained where he fell from Saturday until 
the following Wednesday, "with no food save a few hard crackers left 
in my haversack, and with no water save that which God gave me 
from heaven, in rain and dew, and which I caught in my blanket." 
After a paroxysm of suffering, the Sergeant continued : 
"You know, Colonel, how God always remembers us wounded 
soldiers, with rain, after the battle is over, when our lips are parched 
and our tongues are burning with fever. On Wednesday, I was 
found by a Surgeon, who dressed my wound and sent me in an ambu 
lance to Washington. I arrived there late on Thursday evening, 
my limb was amputated, and I The Sergeant again paused in 
his story, and I begged him not to go on. I noticed that his voice 
became weaker, and his face more pale and deathlike ; a moment 
afterwards, blood began to trickle down upon the floor from the rub 
ber poncho on which he was lying. I at once called the Surgeon. 
He examined the limb, and, after consulting with other Surgeons, 
said it was impossible to save his life ; that re-amputation would be 
useless ; that the soldier was fast sinking from exhaustion, and in all 
probability would not survive the hour. They desired me to make 
known their decision to the aunt and sister. 

With such language as a soldier might command, I informed them 
that the Sergeant must soon rest. Tears filled their eyes, and they 
sobbed bitterly ; but their grief was borne as Christian women alone 
can bear such sorrow for they heard the voice of the "Elder 
Brother" speaking to them, as to Martha : 

" I am the Resurrection and the Life ; he that believeth in Me, 
though he were dead, yet shall he live." 

The sister, wiping away her tears and offering me a small prayer- 



AFTER SECOND BULL RUN. 39 

book, asked if I would tell her brother how soon he must go, and 
read to him " the prayer for the dying." I went again to the couch. 

"Sergeant," said I, "we are going to halt soon we shall not march 
much further to-day." 

"Are we going to halt, Colonel, so early in the day ? Are we going 
into bivouac before night ?" 

" Yes, Sergeant," I replied, " the march is nearly over the bugle- 
call will soon sound the halt. " 

His mind wandered for a moment, but my tears interpreted my 
words. 

"Ah, Colonel," he said, " do you mean that I am so soon to die?" 

" Yes, Sergeant," I said, " you are soon to die." 

" Well, Colonel, I am glad I am going to die I want to rest the 
march has not been so long, but I am weary very weary I want to 
halt I want to be with Christ I want to be with my Saviour." 

I read "the prayer for the dying," most of which he repeated; 
then the sister knelt beside the couch of her brother, and offered up 
to God a prayer full of earnestness, love and faith. The life-blood 
of her dying brother trickled down the bedside and crimsoned her 
dress, while she besought the Father that his robes might be "washed 
and made white in the blood of the Lamb." The prayer was fin 
ished; the Sergeant said "Amen ;" we stood again by the bed-side. 

" Sister aunt do not weep : I am going to Christ ; I am going to 
rest in heaven. Tell my mother, sister, " and the soldier took from 
his finger a ring and kissed it " tell my mother, sister, that this is 
for her, and that I remembered and loved her, dying." 

He took another ring from his hand, kissed it and said 

" Sister, this is for her to whom my heart is pledged ; tell her tell 
her to come to me in heaven." 

" Colonel," said he, turning to me, his face brightening with the 
words, " tell my comrades of the army the noble Army of the Po 
tomac that I died bravely, died for the good old flag." 

His pulse beat feebler and feebler, the blood trickled faster and 
faster, the dew of death came and went, and rippling for a moment 
over the pallid face, at last rested, rested for ever. The Sergeant 
had halted ; his bivouac now is in heaven. 

Chaplain Brown, of Douglas Hospital, Washington, 



40 CHKISTIAX COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

gives an illustration of the power of Christ s presence to 
make the soldier happy amidst pains : 

"Chaplain," said Sergeant Me , "are you the Chaplain of this 

hospital ?" 

" Yes, sir," said I, " and shall be glad to serve you." 

" Oh, I m so glad we have a Chaplain here. I m 

"The Happiest ^ } ia ppi es t ma n you ever saw!" and his whole 
Man You Ever * . . . 

S aw countenance was radiant with joy. 

" How is that ?" I replied. " You have lost a leg, 
and" 

" No matter about my leg," he quickly replied ; " I shall have both 
legs in heaven ; I tell you I m the happiest man you ever saw," and 
bis very heart seemed to leap with gladness. 

" Well, what makes you so happy ?" I inquired. 

" I will tell you," he said. "As we were going into battle, I said to 
myself, this is serious work ; so I prayed God to spare my life and 
pardon my sins ; or if I should be killed, to take me to heaven. 
Presently a shell struck my leg below the knee, and I just lay still 
and prayed. I was left on the battle-field all that night, but I lay 
still and prayed. O Chaplain, that was the happiest night of my life!" 
and again his countenance was lit up with inexpressible joy. 

" How could you be happy under such circumstances ?" I asked 
again. 

" Oh, I just prayed, and Christ seemed to come and stand by my 
side all night, and He comforted me ; I felt sure that my sins were 
all pardoned and washed away in His blood ; and I do tell you, 
Chaplain, that I forgot all about my wounds for the moment : it was 
the happiest night of my life." 

This conversation occurred twelve days after the battle; I said 

"And you feel as happy still ?" 

" Oh, yes, I m the happiest man you ever saw." 

And so indeed it seemed. He lingered several days, happy all the 
while ; then sweetly fell asleep in Jesus. 

Gen. Lee did not follow McClellan into the entrench 
ments surrounding Washington. Joined by D. H. Hill s 
fresh division from Richmond, he put it into his van at 



ANTIETAM. 41 

Leesburg, thence crossed the Potomac and moved on 
Frederick, which was occupied Sept. 6th. McClel- 
lan brought his army hastily to the north of Wash 
ington, and on the 12th, after a brisk skirmish, entered 
Frederick; the main body of the Confederates, two days 
before, having gone west. On the 14th, the battle of 
South Mountain was fought with Longstreet, for the 
possession of Turner s Gap, and the enemy worsted. 
Jackson, meanwhile, recrossing the Potomac, had 
hastened to Harper s Ferry, which was surrendered to 
him, the day after South Mountain, with 12,000 pris 
oners. Gen. Lee took up a strong position along An- 
tietam Creek in front of the village of Sharpsburg, 
and here, on the 17th, the victory of Antietam was 
gained, after one of the bloodiest days of the war. The 
official reports make the loss of killed and wounded 
between 11,000 and 12,000 on each side. On the morrow 
the shattered armies watched each other, and in the 
evening Lee quietly recrossed the Potomac. 

Immediately after South Mountain, several Delegates, 
in charge of four ambulances, well filled with stores, left 
Washington. They reached Antietam in advance of 
other stores. Other Delegates followed, the next day, 
from Philadelphia and Baltimore via Hagerstown and 
Frederick ; and soon, over seventy were at work in the 
hospitals and on the field. Several, at the "Stone 
Bridge," near McClellan s headquarters, were exposed, 
throughout the whole day of the battle, to the fire of 
the enemy s artillery. Rev. Archibald Beatty, 1 one of 
these, writes : 

1 Hector of Cranmer (now Trinity) Prot. Epis. Chapel, Philadelphia. After 
wards Chaplain U. S. A. 



42 CHKISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

After laboring all day among the wounded, amid the roar of can 
non, with shells above and around us, at eleven o clock, completely 
exhausted, I lay down on the ground among the wounded to rest. I 

had just fallen asleep when I was aroused by the re- 
Songs on the . . , . , ,. . ., . n 

-n ,,, ,. 77 quest to visit a dying soldier who desired to see me. 

Battle-field. J 

I went and found him lying in a wagon, evidently 
near his end, and anxious to know the way to Christ. As briefly as 
I could I spoke of Jesus, His death, His love ; and then raised my 
voice in prayer. As soon as that sound went out upon the night air 
over those thousands of wounded men, every moan and groan of the 
sufferers who could hear was hushed ; and in the solemn stillness I 
prayed for him, so soon to met the Judge, and for his comrades about 
us. After the prayer, a lady sang most sweetly : 

" In the Christian s home in glory 
There remains a Land of Eest, 
There my Saviour s gone before me, 
To fulfill my soul s request." 

And then Mrs. Harris stooped down and kissed him. We left him, 
and early in the morning, when we returned, we found a kind friend 
just closing his eyes, his spirit having gone away to be with Him to 
whom the last, grand song of the redeemed shall be raised. 

Mr. James Grant was also one of the Delegates on 
this field during the battle. He gives the following 
account of a life saved : 

While moving around amongst the wounded of Gen. Sedgwick s 

Division, on the night after Antietam, my attention was called by a 

disabled officer to a friend of his, badly wounded in the face, and 

lying out somewhere without a covering. Following 

his directions, and throwing the rays of my lantern 

towards the foot of a wooden fence, I soon discovered the object of my 

search. 

He was a Lieutenant of a Pennsylvania Regiment. 1 The ball had 
entered one side of the cheek and passed out at the other, grazing 



First Lieut. Anthony Morin, Co. D. 90th P. V. Afterwards Captain. 



ANTIETAM. 43 

his tongue, and carrying away several of his teeth. His face was 
horribly swollen, and he could not speak. On asking him if he was 
Lieut. M., of Philadelphia, he assented by a nod of his head. 

It was raining pretty heavily and he was quite wet ; straw was pro 
cured, a bed made, and he was left for the night as comfortable as 
possible. During the next two days, the Surgeons were all so busy, 
that his wound, which had been hurriedly dressed on the field, re 
mained untouched ; yet he showed no signs of impatience. In the 
inflamed, wounded condition of his mouth, nothing could be passed 
down his throat. On the third day, as the Surgeons still had more 
to do than they could manage, we assisted them in washing and re 
dressing wounds, most of which had remained untouched since the 
battle. With some hesitation, I took the Lieutenant s case in hand, 
and, after two hours labor, succeeded in cutting away his whiskers 
and washing the wound pretty thoroughly, both inside and outside 
the mouth. This done, and all the clotted blood and matter cleared 
away, the swelling abated, and he began to articulate a little. A 
day or so afterward, he could swallow liquids ; and being carefully 
washed daily, in less than a week he was able to travel to Phila 
delphia. 

I saAV him next in his own house. Tears of gratitude filled his 
eyes and those of his wife ; and it amply repaid me to be introduced 
to Mrs. M. by the gallant soldier, as " the man who picked me up at 
midnight and dressed my wound, when I had given myself up to die." 

Another of Mr. Grant s reminiscences shows the 
warm, unselfish heart so often belonging to our soldiers, 
and prompting them to so many kindnesses, even sacri 
fices, on behalf of enemies : 

No one who traversed Antietam battle-ground, while the dead lay 
unburied, can ever forget the long, deep road or cut which ran along 
the edge of a corn-field, and formed a natural rifle-pit for the Rebels 
during the fight. The impetuous bravery of the Irish 
Brigade at last dispossessed them, though only after nor j, ? 
very severe loss, the road for half a mile being 
literally covered with dead and wounded. 

The disabled from this vicinity were mainly carried to a farm- 



44 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

house overlooking the bloody ground. We found them suffering and 
destitute. Our own supplies were at once exhausted, the stock of 
clothing being reduced to a single shirt. Looking round to discover 
the most needy, I observed an elderly soldier of a New York regi 
ment, leaning against the barn-door. He was severely wounded in 
the breast, and appeared weak from the loss of blood. He had no 
shirt, but had substituted for it a few blood-soaked, weather-hardened 
fragments of an outer coat. 

" You are the very man I am looking for," said I ; " nobody could 
need this last shirt more than you." 

His reply thrilled me: "I m much obleeged t ye, sir, but, " and 
he pointed to a spot on the hill-side near by, " down yonder there s 
a poor Johnny l far worse off nor I am, an av ye ll plaze t give t 
till me, I ll put it on him by-and-bye." 

I handed him the shirt, and its benevolent errand was soon accom 
plished. 

Rev. Robert J. Parvin 2 had charge of an important 
part of trie Commission s operations at Antietam. The 
following incident occurred in his work : 

Three or four clays after the battle, he sent out Rev. S. W. Thomas 3 
and another Delegate, to search for wounded men who might be lying 
neglected on the field. Walking a long distance over the bloody 

ground, thirst led them to a deserted farm-house for 

The Scouting , TT1 , . , . , 

p arti water. While drinking at the pump, they noticed 

lying in the barn-yard what seemed to them at first 
bundles of rags. Looking closer, they were found to be the bodies 
of two dead soldiers. Near by thirteen living men were discovered, 
all badly wounded. Word was at once sent to Sharpsburg, the 
Commission headquarters, and an ambulance came down with Mr. 
Parvin and other Delegates, bringing a supply of needful things. It 
was a scene not easily forgotten. None of the wounded men could 
move. The Delegates carried out the dead from among the living, 



1 The general soubriquet in the army for a Confederate soldier. 

2 Rector of St Paul s Prot. Episc. Church, Cheltenham, Pa. Now Secretary 
of the P. E. Evangelical Education Society. 

3 Of Philadelphia Conference, Meth. Episc. Church. 



ANTIETAM. 45 

a poor Alabamian, one of whose legs was gone, all the while moan 
ing out in a despairing voice, " Water ! water ! water !" A fire was 
kindled in the barn-yard ; water boiled, and tea made. Every pos 
sible ministry of mercy was performed for the poor men, who were 
nearly all Confederates. Help was procured from a regiment near 
by, and all were moved to a Field Hospital on Michael Miller s farm, 
only three-quarters of a mile away. Had they remained unattended 
one night more, there would have been no survivors. 

The help came from the regiment encamped near, in the following 
manner. A Captain riding by was attracted by the ambulance near 
the barn. Just as he came up, Mr. Parvin was kneeling in the cow- 
yard, praying with the dying Alabamian. The Cap 
tain reined in, uncovered his head, and listened rev- -r, a ^ 

Prince. 

erently to the petition. In answer to a question, the 
dying soldier said 

" Yes, yes, my trust is in the Lord Jesus." 

He moaned it out through grooves of pain ; the whole scene was 
absolutely wretched with filth and mire and pale, pained faces ; yet 
out of the midst of it went up the words of Christian victory: 

" My trust is in Jesus. I m as happy as a prince." 

The Captain, awestruck by the scene, volunteered all the needed 
help, sending ambulances, and afterwards riding over again to see 
the dying man. In a conversation with Mr. Parvin, he confessed 
that he had been more touched by what he had beheld in that barn 
yard, than by all the sermons he had heard in his lifetime. 

Mr. Demond s Williams College Alumni Address 1 
contains this incident : 

After the battle of Antietam, a gentleman 2 passing over the field 
of blood, saw a man washing at a brook ; as he came near he recog 
nized a Doctor of Divinity, the Pastor of one of the largest Churches 
in Philadelphia, and a Delegate. Said he : 

" Doctor, what are you doino-?" A Dwnity- 

. Doctor Washing 

I he Doctor straightened up, and pointing with his shirts 

finger, said 



1 See p. 24. 
Rev. Geo. J. Mingins, a Delegate. 



46 CHEISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

" Over yonder, are six hundred wounded men ; most of them lying 
in the bloody shirts in which they were wounded. Our shirts are 
out, and we shall have none till to-morrow morning ; so I thought I 
would take a few of the worst out here, and wash and dry them in 
the sun. Do you think there is any harm in it ?" 

Said the gentleman : 

" Doctor, I know God has blessed you abundantly, in your work 
in Philadelphia, but I do not think the Master ever looked upon any 
act of your life with more pleasure than upon this." 

" I believe it," said the Doctor, and turned to his washing. 

The prospect of a battle often induced deep solemnity 
in the army. A reminiscence by Rev Geo. J. Mingins 
shows that the retrospect was sometimes very solemn 
also : 

One day we were burying some poor fellows who had fallen in the 
battle, and a soldier was helping us. He told us how he had passed 
through the fierce conflict unharmed : 

" For which," said he, " I thank God." 
Not the Rebels m 
Sad Shooting" Thank the rebels for being such bad marksmen," 

said a man near us. 

The soldier, looking him in the face, replied, "I ain t no Christian, 
God knows ; but after what we passed through, I ought to be a better 
man. You may think as you like; J think God saved me, not the 
rebels bad shooting." 

Hospitals for the Antietam wounded were scattered 
thickly over Western Maryland, the chief one remain 
ing at Sharpsburg. They were visited, as long as they 
lasted, by the Commission Delegates. The Baltimore 
Committee, in whose field of work they lay, was very 
active in its exertions. The impressions made on the 
wounded rebels by the care taken of them were deep 
and lasting. Some learned to look upon the Southern 
sympathizers who visited them as not their truest 
friends. 



ANTIETAM. 47 

In one instance, while members of the Committee were standing 
by, a lady approached a wounded Confederate, who was lying between 
two Union soldiers. One leg of each had been amputated. The 
lady said to her friend 
"Here, soldier, I have brought you some nice 

tlS 

things, and I want you to put them by your side ; 
and don t let these men have any of them." 

" Madam," replied the suffering man, " these men share everything 
they get with me, and if I cannot share what you give me with them, 
I cannot take it." 

Many wounded were taken to Baltimore after the 
battle. Rev. R. Spencer Vinton, Chaplain of McKim s 
Hospital in that city, relates the following incident : 

Sylvester McKinley, of Clarion County, Pennsylvania, was a 
noble-looking youth, of fine figure and intelligent face. He had lost 
his left arm in the battle, and was very much reduced by his suffer 
ings. When brought into the Hospital, he had 
neither coat, vest, nor hat. The Ladies of the North p .,, 
Baltimore Union Relief Association took his case in 
hand, and spared neither means nor labors in his behalf. His con 
dition was critical, and I began at once giving him religious instruc 
tion. I learned that he had been a Sunday-school scholar, and was 
quite familiar with the Bible. He received my assurances of Christ s 
interest in him with joy, and was made happy in the belief that his 
ransomed spirit would reach its rest in heaven. I visited him daily, 
and always found him with his Testament in hand or by his side. I 
prayed with him, and had the strongest assurance of his confidence 
in God. A faithful nurse was ever by his side. 

Near the last, weakened by his sufferings and fainting from ex 
haustion, he asked the nurse to hand him his Testament. He read a 
brief passage, and closing it said in a feeble voice 

" Now, nurse, put it under my head." 

It was placed as he desired, and in a moment he was asleep in 
Jesus. 

One of the most devoted and efficient Delegates of 



48 CHEISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

the Commission was Eev. I. Oliver Sloan. 1 He was 
of the original party which went to Fortress Monroe in 
May, 1862, remaining on the Peninsula until McClel- 
lan s army was withdrawn. Among the first at Antie- 
tam, he continued several months in the Maryland 
hospitals. He writes : 

Burnside was preparing to move on Fredericksburg, and all who 

could possibly go to the front were ordered from the hospitals. I had 

become very much interested in a soldier named Monroe, of Co. H, 

12th Mass. Eegimeut, who had been left behind very 

Christ, the ^^ w ] ien t j ie armv moved after Lee. Before the 
Source of Cour- 
age order came lor all who were well enough to go to the 

front, the Surgeon had permitted Monroe, who was 
sufficiently recovered for such service, to assist me in my hospital 
work. He was only nineteen, but I found him a ready helper, a 
faithful Christian in all his conduct. I was sorry to lose him, and 
especially to have him join his regiment for the duty of an able- 
bodied man. To many of the poor, half-recovered fellows who had 
been left behind after the battle, this order to the front was a very 
death knell, I was not sure how Monroe himself might receive the 
news. His answer was very calm : 

" Why should I be away from my regiment, when the other boys 
are there fighting ? My life is no more valuable than theirs ; and 
besides, God will be with me, and I needn t fear. I shall try to live 
near Christ. He will give me courage." 

Soon after joining his regiment, he wrote to tell me how glad he 
was to be at the post of duty. In the following summer he lost an 
arm at Gettysburg. 

A long " quiet" followed Antietam. It was not until 
October 26th that the army crossed the Potomac. On 
November 7th Gen. McClellan was relieved, and Gen. 
A. E. Burnside assumed command. The army had bv 



Connected with the Fourth (N. S.) Presbytery of Philadelphia. 



FKEDEKICKSBUKG. 49 

this time reached Warrenton. Gen. Burnside promptly 
moved his forces down the Rappahannock to Fredericks- 
burg. Gen. Lee kept opposite to him on the south bank. 
Our army crossed on pontoons, and Dec. 13th, assaulted 
the Rebels in their entrenchments behind Fredericks- 
burg. Our repulse was decisive and the slaughter terri 
ble. The battle was not renewed, and on the night of 
the 15th the entire army was withdrawn north of the 
river. About January 20th, 1863, another movement 
was contemplated, but a storm prevented it, and on the 
28th Gen. Burnside was relieved. Maj. Gen. Joseph 
Hooker next assumed command. 

A large party of " Minute men" 1 went to the front 
after the December battle, under the direction of Rev. 
Alexander Reed. 2 Scenes of distress met them on every 
hand. The wounded were carried in ambulances to 
Falmouth Station, to await transportation to Washing 
ton, via Acquia Creek. The delays at these points of 
transferring from one mode of conveyance to another 
were wearisome and most painful. Just here, the Com 
mission work after this battle came in with most marked 
effect. 

The New York Observer* gives the following incident 
of Fredericksburg, told in the Fulton Street Prayer 
meeting : 

A speaker held up a Testament, stating that it was from the bat 
tle-field. On one of the fly-leaves was this record: "Found on the 



1 " Minute men" were distinguished from the regular Delegates, by the facts of 
their going in emergencies, at very short notice, and for briefer terms of service. 

2 Then Pastor of (O. S.) Presbyterian Church, Parkesburg, Pa. Now of the 
Central Church, Philadelphia. 

3 Of March 19th, 1863. 

4 



50 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

battle-field of Fredericksburg, December 16th, at 2. A. M., while 

covering the evacuation of that place, by P. H. B. 
William Glo- Taken from begide a dead body> There wag eyi _ 

deuce that the book had been read after the owner 
was wounded. It was found lying open. On the fly-leaf in front is 
this inscription : 

"A present to William Glover, from his sister Maggy. Read this 
often." 

It was a beautiful, gilt-edged Testament, clasped, and bearing the 
imprint of the American Bible Society in 1860. 

The speaker said : " I find the Gospels show signs of much read 
ing. I find two leaves turned down, evidently intended to mark 
these passages : And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, 
even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whosoever believeth 
in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved 
the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever 
believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 

" Then I find another leaf turned to point to this passage in St. 
Luke : Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter 
into His glory? 

" Who can estimate the value of this Testament to such a dying 
man ?" 

Surely no earthly arithmetic can calculate it. The 
Bible Society Record narrates a similar incident : 

Among the articles returned from the battle-field with the dead 

body of a young soldier from one of the Connecticut regiments, was 

a Bible, which had been given him by a praying 

Testament^ 1 ^ mother. On examining it a single leaf was found 

turned down and pointing to the following verse : 
" There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sin 
ner that repenteth." 

Revs. Christopher Gushing and F. N. Peloubet, 1 



1 Pastors then respectively of Congregational Churches in N. Brookfield and 
Oakham, Mass. Rev. Mr. Gushing is now a Secretary of the Amer. Cong. Union. 



j AFTER FREDERICKSBURG. 51 

among others, took care of the wounded in Washington, 
as they arrived from JVedericksburg. With all that the 
Government could do, the bitter weather and the im 
mense number of disabled made cases of extreme desti 
tution frequent. Mr. Gushing writes : 

I found a man taking a rough and coarse shoe from his bosom, 
and requesting a comrade to put it on his foot. I inquired what it 
meant, and found that he had no means of warming his cold foot, 
save by heating the shoe in his bosom, and then 
putting it back on his foot. To relieve such suffer- The Cold Shoe. 
ing was indeed a blessed ministry. 

I asked one poor fellow, who had just been removed from the boat, 
why he did not complain. There was rare fortitude 
iti his answer }yj iy not 

" We ve been, sir, where it did no good to com- Complain?" 
plain." 

Sometimes, as we removed the men, we found them wounded in 
such a way as not to require a stretcher, and yet it 

helped them greatly to put their arms around us, or 

. ._. Crutches. 

have ours round them. Ihey said we were the best 

kind of crutches. 

Rev. Mr. Peloubet writes of the same work : 

The soldiers thought they must pay for the little delicacies given 
them. 

" No pay," said I" free as the Gospel." 

" Soldiers don t have much of that kind," they 
answered. 

" Well, I hope you ll like the Gospel as well as these little things." 

"Yes," said some, doubtfully, "the Gospel s good too." But others 
said it earnestly, as if they had felt it deep down on the terrible day. 

As I was giving some soft white bread to the hungry hospital men 
to-day, one of them laughed out. 

" What are you laughing at ?" I asked. 

" Who wouldn t laugh," said he, " to see such 
bread." 



52 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

\ 

It was desirable that Mr. Peloubet and Mr. Gushing 
should go down the river ; but for several days, during 
the changes in front of Fredericksburg, no passes could 
be procured. Mr. Peloubet tells how they got off at 
last and what came of it : 

We had tried " red tape" until we were tired ; and to-day, the 
Captain of a boat returning to Acquia Creek for more wounded, who 
had seen us working on the transports and wharves, invited us on 

board. We did not hesitate a moment. The boat 
The Restless , ,, 

. ht was carrying down a large company ol navvies to 

work for the Government. There were no accom 
modations on the boat for us. We had brought along bread and 
apple-sauce, whereof we eat only bread, keeping the sauce for the 
soldiers. The men on board passed their time in retailing stories 
and jokes. The placard, " Beware of pickpockets," elicited an 
amusing series of comments. 

" It ll take two to pick my pockets," remarked one. 

" What will the second man do ?" asked another. 

" Put something in to be picked," was the rejoinder. 

We took turns in sleeping and watching ; no longer wondering that 
soldiers forget Sunday, for we already doubted about where and 
when we were. 

About half-past two o clock in the morning, the men began to 
wake up, hungry and noisy. We were taking down with us, among 
other stores, two bags of bread, which it required constant vigilance 

to protect. The noise and confusion continued to in- 
Peace after A , , , T , . 

p nner crease. At last 1 proposed some singing, feo we 

began with " Shining Shore," and kept on with 
"Will you go?" "Star-Spangled Banner," "Red, White and Blue," 
"Coronation," &c. After I had read the fourth chapter of 
Second Corinthians, Rev. Mr. Gushing prayed, and made some 
excellent remarks. To our joy and astonishment, during the 
prayer, nearly all rose and uncovered their heads. The foreman, in 
charge of the party, came to us afterwards and told us that he was 
" Head-devil " among the men. I suggested to him that it would be 
better if he were Head-angel. He said he would try to be, and 



WASHINGTON. 53 

asked for some singing books, which, he said, would be of special 
use to the men on Sundays. Nine of them wanted to buy Testa 
ments. After singing a few more melodies we reached Acquia Creek, 
and had no difficulty at the Provost-Marshal s office in procuring 
passes over the Government road to the front. 

Towards the close of the year, the chairman of the 
Commission, in one of his frequent army visits, came to 
Washington. In a public address 1 afterwards, he relates 
an incident of his Delegate s work, near the Capitol : 

I have visited many hospitals and camps, and have distributed 
many of our Commission books ; and I can testify that from the be 
ginning until now I have never met a man who refused them, save 
one, and he was from my own city Philadelphia. 

I do not believe in being conquered. I never give Greater 

. . _ _ Includes the 

up anything that is practicable. But here was a case ^ m 

for me ! The man told me that he was an infidel 

did not believe in my books did not need them. Said he 

" I am from Philadelphia ; I live at such a number, Callowhill 
street ; if you go there you will find out my character, and that I am 
as good a man as you are." 

" I trust a great deal better," said I. 

"Stuart," said a friend to whom I related the incident, "you are 
beaten for once." 

" No," I replied, " I m not done with that man yet." 
I approached him, shortly afterwards, again ; said he 
" What was the book you wanted to give me the other day ?" 
I told him it was a selection from the Scriptures, called Cromwell s 
Bible. 

" Oh," said he, " I don t want your Bible ; I ve no need of it ; I m 
a good enough man without it," and with a motion of supreme in 
difference he turned away his head. 

" My friend," said I, " I m from Philadelphia, too ; I know where 
you live, can find the exact house. On next Sunday evening, if 



A* the Washington Anniversary of the Commission, Feb. 2d, 1864. 



54 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

(rod spares my life, I expect to speak for the Christian Commission 
in the Church of the Epiphany." 

He looked at me inquisitively, " And what are you going to 
say?" 

"I am going to tell the people that I had been distributing tracts 
all day through the hospitals and camps, and that I found but one 
man who refused to take them, and he was from Philadelphia." 

" Well, what more are you going to say ?" the man asked, with a 
steady, apparently defiant, gaze. 

" I ll tell them, I began my distribution in the morning at the 
White House, and the first gentleman to whom I offered one of the 
little books was one Abraham Lincoln ; that he rose from his chair, 
read the title, expressed great pleasure at receiving it, and promised 
to read it ; but that I came to one of his cooks, here in these quarters, 
who was so exceedingly good that he didn t need a copy of God s 
word, and wouldn t have one." 

"Well," said the man, reaching out his hand, "if the President 
can take one, I. suppose I can." 

Rev. H. C. Henries, Chaplain of U. S. Gen. Hos 
pital at Annapolis, had acted as the Commission s Agent 
in Annapolis, and Parole Camp near by, from the time 
its active relief work was begun. His only compensa 
tion was the assistance afforded him by occasional Dele 
gates, who labored under his direction throughout his 
immense parish of disabled men. The Holy Spirit was 
near to bless the work done. Rev. R. J. Parvin, who at 
one time labored thus with Chaplain Henries, communi 
cates this incident : 

One morning, towards the close of July, 1862, Chaplain Henries, 
passing through the rooms of the Hospital at the Navy Yard, placed 
on the vacant bed of a soldier a single-paged tract, entitled, Will you 
It was a copy of the hymn bearing that name. 



"/ will Try to go." T , r 

Its first lines read : 



ANNAPOLIS. 55 

" We re travelling home to heaven above ; 

Will you go ? 
To sing the Saviour s dying love ; 

Will you go ? 

Millions have reached that blessed shore, 
Their trials and labors all are o er, 
But still there s room for millions more : 

Will you go?" 

Other lines of it read : 

" The way to heaven is straight and plain ; 
Will you go ? 
Eepent, believe, be born again ; 

Will you go ? 

The Saviour cries aloud to thee, 
Take up thy cross and follow Me ; 
And thou shalt My salvation see ; 

Will you go?" 

Soon after, the soldier came in and sat down on his bed. He 
picked up the hymn, looked at the title, read a few lines of the invi 
tation, and threw it down. Again he picked it up and read a little, 
then threw it upon the floor. But the invitation he was so 
unwilling to hear had reached him, through this silent messenger 
of the Lord. Playing with the tract for a while with his foot, the 
soldier picked it up for the third time, and now read it carefully 
through. It was thrown down no more. The soldier read and re 
read it, and then holding it a while thoughtfully in his hand, as if 
listening to the solemn voice speaking to him, " Will you go ?" he 
drew a pencil from his pocket, and deliberately traced round the 
margin of the tract, these words 

" By the grace of God, I will try to go. John Waugh, Co. G, 
10th Eegt. P. E. V. C." 

A soldiers prayer meeting was held that night in the Hospital. 
Waugh came, and when opportunity was given, with his wounded 
arm in a sling, and the little tract in his other hand, he told his 
comrades of his conflict with that bit of paper. He read the pro 
mise which he had written on the margin, and asked all to pray that 
he might keep it and never be ashamed of his Saviour, adding 



56 CHEISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

" I m not ashamed of Christ now ; but I am ashamed of myself for 
having been so long ashamed of Him." 

Some months later, on opening my morning paper, I read a brief 
account of "A skirmish yesterday in Virginia. Ten persons killed." 
Glancing over the list of names, I stopped at this one, " John 
AVaugh, Co. G, 10th Regt. P. R." 

It was a comfort to me to lay down my paper, take up the little 
tract, then and now in my possession, and read once more the 
pencilled pledge on its margin, " By the grace of God I will try 
to go." 

Since then, the faithful Chaplain, who laid the printed page upon 
the soldier s cot, has been called from earth ; and there is good reason 
for believing that, now, both Chaplain Henries and Private John 
Waugh know, much better than we, the full import of these other 
lines of that hymn : 

" We re going to walk the plains of light ; 

Will you go ? 
Far, far from death, and curse, and night ; 

Will you go ? 

The crown of life we then shall wear, 
The conqueror s palm we then shall bear, 
And all the joys of heaven share ; 

Will you go?" 

Eev. Geo. Bringlmrst, 1 writing from Annapolis, Octo 
ber 27th, 1862, gives an incident which illustrates the 
power of the cross to quell even the worst human pas 
sions : 

Arriving at Parole Camp, I found a scene of fearful insubordina 
tion, caused by the recklessness of a few inebriated soldiers. Several 
buildings had been fired, others threatened with destruction. Fiend 
ish yells, accompanied with bitter oaths, rent the air. 
b the Cross while ^- companies of the 131st New York and 
three of a Maryland Cavalry Regiment, made des 
perate efforts to restore order. In the midst of the confusion, I as- 



1 See p. 24. 



X 




ANNAPOLIS. 57 



sembled about fifty men around me, and began singing, " Say, broth 
ers, will you meet us ?" Hundreds replied practically, and soon I 
was surrounded by a large audience. After singing, we united in 
prayer, and then with earnestness they listened to my brief address, 
the simple story of Jesus. Order was restored, not by the sword, 
but by the cross, which is " the power of God." 

I was gratified to hear subsequently from the Colonel in command, 
that a quieter night had not been experienced in the camp, although 
it then contained seven thousand six hundred and sixty-two soldiers, 



CHAPTEE III. 

THE WESTERN ARMIES. 

UNTIL AFTER THE STONE RIVER BATTLES. 
April, 1861 January, 1863. 

THE first Delegation to the West, from the central 
office, was to the Cumberland Army, immediately after 
the Stone River battles, December 31st, 1862. Earlier 
in the war, much valuable work was done in the "West 
ern armies, upon every principal battle-field, by the 
various "Army Committees/ 71 organized in Chicago, 
Peoria, St. Louis, &c. 

The war in Missouri was a succession of forced 
marches, toilsome retreats, and desperate battles between 
comparatively small armies. Gens. Fremont and Hunter 
were successively displaced from the chief command, 
and Gen. Halleck, in November, 1861, assumed charge 
of the Department. 

Among the troops campaigning in Missouri was the 
famous "Normal School" regiment, the 33d Illinois. 
Mr. B. F. Jacobs, 2 of Chicago, gives the story of a 



1 These " Army Committees" were appointed by the Young Men s Christian 
Associations of the places named. A particular account of their origin is given 
in the Annals of the U. S. Christian Commission, chap. vi. 

2 The faithful and devoted Secretary of the Chicago Army Committee, and of 
the Northwestern Branch of the Christian Commission, until the close of the 
war. 

58 



MISSOURI. 59 

Friday evening prayer-meeting, held in the First 
Baptist Church of that city, in the Fall of 1861, which 
is connected with the history of the regiment : 

Towards the close of the meeting, an officer rose and said 
" I am a stranger to you, and in this city. My reason for speak 
ing is that I have a trust to execute. Our regiment, the 33d Illi 
nois, in the early part of its campaigns, at a town in Missouri, 
received a box containing a few hymn-books and 



Testaments, some papers, housewives, and other 



soldier comforts. A little ticket within the box in 
formed us that it came from a lady of the First Baptist Church, 
Chicago. So anxious were the men for the hymn-books that on ac 
count of the short supply, they loaned the precious volumes to each 
other, and more than one hundred committed to memory the principal 
hymns, that they might be able to sing readily at the meetings. The 
books penetrated into the hospital. One of my men sent for me to 
visit a dying soldier there. His words were few but full and 
precious : 

" Captain, I am dying : I long to see my wife and children, but I 
know I shall die without that. I ve been trying to think what I 
could send my wife. I have nothing except these books, and taking 
one of the Testaments and hymn books from under his head, he added 
Send these ; and Captain, if you are ever in Chicago, I want you to 
go to the First Baptist Church, and tell the lady who sent those 
hymn books that the 27th hymn has led me to Jesus. I am going 
home to wait for her. " 

The story of the stranger Captain deeply impressed the audience. 
There was a pause in his talk for a moment, when he went on again : 

"Among others in the regiment, there was a little boy, the ser 
vant of one of the Captains, who on account of his known religious 
principles was nicknamed Little Piety. The Chris 
tian soldiers of the regiment organized a prayer 
meeting ; and were holding it one evening in a tent, near the quarters 
of the officer of the day, a very profane man, who hearing the 
singing, started out, exclaiming with an oath, I ll stop that noise. 
As he approached the tent, the fly-door was up ; Little Piety was 
speaking, standing near the cracker-box which served as a desk, so 



60 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

that the light of the only candle in the tent lit up his face. The 
little fellow was telling of his mother s last counsel to him as he went 
away from home : My son, there are a great many men who don t 
love Christ, and who will tempt you to swerve from your fidelity and 
purpose. You may be subjected to trials on account of your faith ; 
but, my son, I want you to promise that whatever else you forget, 
you will not forget your mother s Saviour/ With tears in his eyes 
the little fellow told how he was trying not to forget Him. The sight 
of the boy and the tone of his voice stopped the Captain. He listened 
till the meeting closed, when the leader asked 

" Where shall we hold our next meeting ? 

" Stepping forward out of the darkness, the Captain responded, In 
my tent. 

" That Captain was afterwards converted to Christ, and since that 
time has been one of the most earnest Christians in the regiment." 

The stranger sat down ; and we felt in our prayer meeting, that 
night, our hearts somehow knit closer to the men who had gone out 
from our midst, and that we owed them thenceforth more of prayer 
and more of work. 

During the desultory operations in Missouri, Gen. 
Grant was in command at Cairo. He moved down the 
Mississippi, and, on Nov. 7th, fought the battle of Bel- 
mont, opposite Columbus, the Confederate General Folk s 
headquarters. The Chicago Army Committee sent a 
Delegate 1 to Cairo, to care for the wounded from the 
battle-field. Rev. G. S. F. Savage, District Secretary 
in Chicago of the American Tract Society, was at Cairo 
on a similar errand. He writes : 

A Lieutenant in an Iowa regiment, wounded by a ball in the shoul 
der, was brought into the hospital. At first, it was thought that 
he would recover, but after a few days, he rapidly declined. Just 

before his death a ladv nurse said to him 
" Not a Cloud." aT . 

Lieutenant, you have but a tew moments to live; 



1 Mr. D. L. Moody, of Chicago. 



FOKT HENEY. 61 

if you have any word to send to your wife and little one in Iowa, 

you must speak it very quickly." 

He looked up at her, his face shining like an angel s, and said 
" Tell my wife, that there is not a cloud between me and Jesus." 

The Rebels had constructed in Tennessee, a few miles 
south of the Kentucky line, and within about eleven 
miles of each other, two strong and extensive works, 
Forts Henry and Donelson, controlling respectively the 
passage up the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers. Gen. 
Grant, with the aid of Commodore Foote s powerful flo 
tilla of gunboats, undertook the task of reducing them. 
On Feb. 6th, 1862, Fort Henry fell ; and ten days after 
wards, Fort Donelson, after a brilliant siege and some 
hard fighting. 

Commodore Foote was a decided Christian. A cor 
respondent of the Boston Journal^ writing at this time, 
says of him 

He is not afraid to have all men know that he recognizes his obli 
gation to his Divine Maker. A gentleman remarked to him, on the 
day after the capture of Fort Henry, that ,he was getting nervous, 

and was afraid he did not sleep well. The Commo- 

, . , Commodore 

dore replied- 



" I never slept better in my life than night before 
last, and never prayed more fervently than on yesterday morning; 
but last night I couldn t sleep for thinking of those poor fellows on 
the Essex. " 

The " Essex," it will be remembered, was pierced, during the bom 
bardment of Fort Henry, in an unguarded spot, its boiler penetrated, 
and the vessel instantly filled from stem to stern with burning steam. 
Capt. Porter and forty of his crew were severely scalded. 2 



1 Mr. C. C. Coffin ; better known by his nom de plume, " Carleton." 

2 This incident recalls the Commodore s noble order, " Number Six," which 



62 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

A beautiful little story connected with, the siege, was 
related at a Western Sunday-school convention in 1863: 

A young man was wounded, and left by his comrades, who pressed 
on in the battle. When they returned, they found him resting 
against a tree, dead, with a book open in his hand at this hymn : 

"Nearer, my God, to Thee, 

Nearer to Thee ; 
E en though it be a cross 
Nearer to Thee. That raiseth me ; 

Still all my song shall be, 
Nearer, my God, to Thee, 
Nearer to Thee." 

Mr. B. F. Jacobs was one of the Chicago Army Com 
mittee Delegates to the wounded, after the surrender. 
From him we gather the incidents which follow : 

A week after the surrender, our own men had all been cared for. 



he issued to his fleet; and which, while he commanded, was carefully en 
forced : 

CAIRO, Dec. 17, 1861. 

A strict observance of Sunday, so far as abstaining from all unnecessary work, 
and giving officers and men the opportunity of attending public worship on board, 
will be observed by all persons connected with the flotilla. 

It is the wish of the commander-in-chief that on Sunday the public worship 
of Almighty God may be observed on board of all the vessels composing the flo 
tilla ; and that the respective commanders will, either themselves, or cause other 
persons to, pronounce prayers publicly on Sunday, when as many of the officers 
and men as can be spared from duty may attend the public worship of Almighty 
God. 

Profane swearing being forbidden by the laws for the better government of the 
navy, all officers and men will strictly observe this law ; and every officer who 
uses profane language towards the men, in carrying on duty, will be held amen 
able for such gross violation of law and order. 

Discipline, to be permanent, must be based on moral grounds, and officers must 
in themselves show a good example in morals, order, and patriotism, to secure 
these qualities in the men. 

ANDREW H. FOOTE, Flag Officer, 
Com ding U. S. Naval Forces on the Western Waters. 



FORT DONELSON. 63 

That Sabbath evening we were to start down the river with the last 

of the wounded. Mr. Moody went with me to visit the Rebels, who 

crowded the twenty-three log-house hospitals at 

Dover. In one of them we found almost every inch jr 

of room occupied. In a kitchen corner, on some 

straw, there was an old, gray-haired man. I went up to him, knelt 

down by his side, and asked if I could do anything for him. 

" No," said he ; " you can t." 

" Don t you want anything f is there nothing that might comfort 
you?" 

" Oh yes," was his answer ; " I want to go home. I have a wife 
and six children in Tennessee, and oh, how I want to go home and 
see them !" 

" Well," said I ; " maybe you ll be exchanged." 

He looked up at me with an expression of astonishment. 

"Why," said he, "Til never go home. I m dying; don t you 
know it ?" 

" No, I didn t know it ; but, my friend, if you are dying, are you 
not going home f Don t you know how Christ said He had gone to 
prepare a home for those who loved Him ? Have you never thought 
of that home in heaven ?" 

He gazed at me with an expression of perfect despair. 

" My wife has talked to me about this for thirty-five years ; and 
God knows how I have treated her. I ve rejected every invitation, 
and I m dying here without Christ, without Christ." 

He kept groaning out for a long time, " I can t die : I can t die." 
And with no light to show him the heavenly way, he went alone into 
the darkness of death. 

In another of the huts I found a man lying on the floor, who, as 
I went up to minister to him in his turn, was unable to speak. We 
carried him down to the hospital-boat that was going out, and nursed 
him during the trip. He had been shot through the 
lower jaw, and was too weak to stand. Wounded in jf arc i s ^ ^ 
the first day s fight, he had lain on the field for forty- 
eight hours before he was picked up. In the storm, his back froze 
fast to the ground where he lay, and both his feet were frozen also. 
After we had him on the boat a while, I learned that his name was 
Burgess, and that I had previously known him in Chicago. 



64 CHKISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

At Cairo we put him into a hospital, exacting a promise from one 
of the nurses that he should receive special care. Six months after 
wards the man walked into my store. He was on his way back to 
the army. He stopped to tell us that, under God, he owed his life to 
the care which had been taken of him on the boat ; and that he in 
tended to prove his gratitude to God who had given him back his 
life, by serving Him for evermore. 

That night, as we steamed down the river, I had charge of the 
patients after ten o clock. I found in a state-room a young fellow 
shot through the lungs. I asked him if there was anything he 

wanted. 
Living Waters. ,. T , . -, , . 

" I want a drink, was his answer. 

I went to get him some water out of the Cumberland. He looked 
at it so muddy and impure for a minute, with an expression of 
intense desire and longing : " Oh, for one cupful of water out of my 
father s well." 

I asked him if he had ever heard of the " Living waters." 

He turned towards me a face of joy, as he answered " yes," and 
told me of the inner fountain of refreshment and cleansing. 

We stopped for about half an hour at Paducah, and improved the 

time by distributing books in the hospitals. I gave one young 

soldier, whose appearance interested me, a little volume containing 

Scripture texts arranged for each day in the year. 

y erse Returning again from Fort Donelson, by the same 

route, a week later, I sought out my young friend. 

With a countenance all aglow with joy, he answered my inquiries as 

to his health, by pulling out the little book, and opening it to point 

to a verse near the middle : 

" That little verse has led me to the Saviour ; and I have enjoyed 
Him oh ! how much." 

That was all. Even the verse has gone from my memory ; but 
that soldier s face, with its glance of transfiguration and peace, can 
never pass away. 

Rev. Dr. Robert Patterson, 1 returning from work at 
Fort Donelson, stopped over at Paducah. He relates 



Pastor of Reformed Presbyterian Church, Chicago. 



PADUCAH HOSPITALS. 65 






an incident which is connected with one of the same 
little books : 

In the corner of the room used as a hospital for the Rebels at the 
Campbell House, lay a young boy, John Posey, looking very weak 
and sick. 

" How old are you, John ?" 



Fourteen, sir." Drops" 

for Hations. 
" You have been very ill, I learn. How did you 

feel when you thought you might die ?" 

" I knew the Lord would take care of me." 

" Why so ; do you love the Lord Jesus ?" 

" Yes, sir, indeed I do." 

" How long is it since you became a Christian ?" 

" About two years." 

" How did you manage, John, to retain your love for Christ in the 
camp ?" 

He drew from under his pillow a diminutive volume, somewhat 
over an inch square, called "Dew Drops," issued by the Tract 
Society : 

" Sir," said he, " I lived on that." 

" Carleton" tells the story of Frankie Bragg, who 
died in a Paducah hospital i 1 

He was a brave and noble boy. There were several kind ladies 
takiDg care of the sick. Their presence was like sunshine. Wher 
ever they walked, the eyes of the sufferers followed them. One of 
these ladies thus speaks of little Frankie Bragg : 

" Many will remember him ; the boy of fifteen, 

J cause so Young 

who fought valiantly at Donelson, one of the a nd strong. 
bravest of Birge s sharpshooters, and whose answer 
to my questioning in regard to joining the army was so well worthy 
of record : 

" I joined because I was so young and strong, and because life ivould 
be worth nothing to me unless I offered it for my country. 



1 Days and Nights on the Battle-field, pp. 277-280. 

2 Hospital Incidents, New York Post, Oct. 22d, 1863. 



66 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

I 

" I saw him die. I can never forget the pleading gaze of his violet 

eyes, the brow, from which ringlets of light-brown hair were swept 
by strange fingers, bathed in the death-dew, the desire for some one 

to love him in his last hours. 

Love makes 

Death Easy. ^ - 1 - am S OIU S to die, and there is no one to 

love me/ he said. I didn t think I was going to die 
till now ; but it can t last long. If my sisters were only here ; but I 
have no friends near me now, and it is so hard! 

" Frankie/ I said, I know it is hard to be away from your rela 
tives, but you are not friendless ; I am your friend. Mrs. S. and the 
kind Doctor are your friends, and we will all take care of you. More 
than this, God is your friend, and He is nearer to you now than 
either of us can get. Trust Him, my boy. fie will help you. 

"A faint smile passed over the pale sufferer s features. 

" Oh, do you think He will? he asked. 

" Then, as he held my hands closer, he turned his face more fully 
towards me, and said 

" My mother taught me to pray when I was a very little boy, and 
I never forgot it. I have always said my prayers every day, and 
tried not to be bad. Do you think God heard me always? 

" Yes, most assuredly. Did He not promise in His good book, 
from which your mother taught you, that He would always hear the 
prayers of His children ? Ask, and ye shall receive. Don t you re 
member this? One of the worst things we can do is to doubt God s 
truth. He has promised and He will fulfill. Don t you feel so, 
Frankie? 

"He hesitated a moment, and then answered slowly 

" Yes, I do believe it. I am not afraid to die, but I want some 
body to love me. 

" The old cry for love, the strong yearning for the sympathy of 
kindred hearts. It would not be put down. Frankie, I love you. 
Poor boy, you shall not be left alone. Is not this some comfort to 
you ? 

" Do you love me ? Will you stay with me and not leave me ? 

" I will not leave you. Be comforted. I will stay as long as you 
wish. 

"I kissed the pale forehead, as if it had been that of my own 
child. A glad light flashed over his face. 



CAMP DOUGLAS. 67 

" Oh, kiss me again ; that was given like my sister. Mrs. S., 
won t you kiss me too ? I don t think it will be so hard to die, if 
you will both love me. 

" It did not last long. With his face nestled against mine, and 
his large blue eyes fixed in perfect composure upon me to the last 
moment, he breathed out his life." 

Camp Douglas, near Chicago, became the receptacle 
for the prisoners taken at Fort Donelson. Before we 
return to the operations of Gen. Grant s army, a few 
reminiscences of Kev. Dr. Patterson may be given, of 
the Army Committee work among the Confederates and 
others of this camp : 

Perceiving the hospital flag flying over a cavalry stable in Camp 
Douglas, I directed my steps towards it, and was met at the door by 
one of our Chicago city physicians in charge a volunteer. I asked 
him if the building was used as a hospital. He said 
it was, and told me of his connection with it. He M 
said that a number of the men were in a dangerous 
condition, some of them dying; that no minister had yet called to see 
them. 

The long building was filled with cots, most of which were occu 
pied. In the furthest corner lay a man in the agonies of death. 
His voice was yet unimpaired, though the contracted lips, the pale, 
bloodless face and the glazing eye too plainly told that his hours were 
almost over. He was conscious of his situation, but utterly indiffer 
ent to the friends who stood around him and to anything that might 
be said by mortal man. One only prayer issued from his lips : " God 
have mercy on my soul," uttered with all his dying energy. Fainter 
and fainter the cry became, till his voice ceased in death. 

The solemn phrase and the sad departure of the man s spirit made 
a profound impression upon all in the hospital. As I turned my face 
away towards the other end of the room, a hand was raised from a 
cot away down the row, beckoning me to approach. 
I did so, and seated myself on an adjoining empty "Won t you 

cot to listen to the soldier s request. ^ each me a 

<i o Prayer? 

btranger, said the man, an East Tennessee Con- 



68 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

federate, with feverish energy, " the man that lay on that cot was 
taken out this morning; and I have got the same sickness. I don t 
know how soon my turn may come. I want you to tell me what I 
ought to do." 

I explained to him the way of salvation, as I supposed, with great 
simplicity. He looked me in the face with an earnestness which I 
can never forget, and said 

"Stranger, couldn t you make it very plain to a poor feller that 
never got no schoolin ?" 

His words, jerked out in the energy of his fever, had a strangely 
intense force in them. I tried again, and endeavored to simplify and 
illustrate my instruction, succeeding, I hope, in bringing the atoning 
death of Christ before his mind. I concluded by saying 

" You must pray to God to forgive you your sins for Christ s 
sake." 

" Preacher," said he, " I can t pray. Nobody never taught me 
nothing." 

Said I, "Have you never prayed?" 

His manner grew almost fierce as he ejaculated 

" I tell you I never got no schoolin ;" and then, as if recollecting 
himself, he raised his head and added, " Stranger, couldn t you teach 
me a prayer? and if I said it, maybe the Lord would hear me." 

I replied, " I will teach you a prayer and the Lord \\ill hear you, 
if you say it sincerely." 

I began to recite the 51st Psalm: "Have mercy upon me, O God, 
according to Thy loving-kindness : According unto the multitude 
of Thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me 
thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For 
I acknowledge my transgressions : and my sin is ever before me." 

"Yes," said he, raising his finger, "that s it, that s it, exactly. But, 
stranger," rubbing his hand across his fevered brow, and looking 
at me more piteously than ever out of the pain-encircled eyes 
" stranger, my head s full of the fever, and I can t mind it. If it 
was writ down now, and I was to read it, don t you think the Lord 
would hear me. I could spell it out, preacher, if you think He d 
hear me." 

"It is written down, my poor brother, and I ll get it for you, if 
there s a Bible in this hospital, and God will hear you." 



CAMP DOUGLAS. 69 

I set out to find a Bible, and in that camp, containing hundreds of 
nek and dying men and some thousands of Rebel prisoners, there 
was not an accessible copy of the Word of God ! I returned from 
my unsuccessful search, and told him 

" There is not a Bible I can lay my hands on in camp, but I will 
bring you one to-morrow, if God spares me." 

"Yes; but, stranger," said he, wistfully, "what s to become of a 
poor feller if I should die to night?" 

It was a most serious question. 

After our regular meetings in the Chapel at Camp Douglas were 
dismissed, a little band of Christians were wont to gather on the plat 
form and have a season of conference and prayer. The lights in the 

hall were extinguished at such times one or two 

Out of Dark- 
only being left burning, near the speaker s stand. negs into 



These cast little or no light into the large room, 
which looked then like a great, dark, forsaken cavern. One night, 
as the exercises of one of these supplemental meetings were about 
concluding, a tall, stalwart Sergeant stalked forth from the gloom 
into the uncertain light near us, and in a voice trembling with 
emotion, said 

" Friends, there is something in this religion after all. I wish I 
had it. Will you pray for me that I may become a Christian ?" 

Tears came into his eyes as we knelt down with him and prayed. 

On one occasion a number of Delegates visited Camp Douglas and 
found a party of boys dancing round a fiddler. The visitors pro 
posed a prayer meeting, very much to the disgust of a burly Corporal, 

the leader of the entertainment. However, after 

,. ,, .. . Instrumental 

putting the matter to a vote of the company, in ^ . 

true democratic fashion, it was agreed by a large 
majority that we should have a meeting for a while. We asked the 
fiddler, who was accustomed to dispense the music of the place, to 
assist us in the line of his profession. He replied that he knew 
"nothing serious but John Brown s body lies a-mould ring in the 
grave. " But after tasking his memory somewhat he hunted up 
some other tunes, and quite acceptably led the music of the meeting. 
At its conclusion, the Corporal who had opposed us, mounted a 
box, and alluding to some remarks we had made about card-playing, 
began a little speech which concluded thus 



70 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

" Shying up " Xow all of you fellers what want to give up this 
business, jest do as I do and shy up your cards." 

He put his hand into his pocket as he spoke, pulled out a pack of 
cards and " shied" them right up into the air as high as he could. 
Immediately from all sides a shower went up and came down flutter 
ing into the mud and were trampled under foot. 

At one time we had in our Chicago Army Committee rooms a 
peach-basket full of cards which had been traded off for books. 

" I am with you," said an artillery officer, " in everything to pro 
mote instruction and good morals among the soldiers." 

Intimating the hope that he was a Christian himself, he replied 

"No, I am a Tom Paine infidel, and don t believe 
With us and . ,, ,. . . . ~ -.. . i , /? 

, . , in the divine oriinn ot religion, but 11 your tracts 

Against us. J 

and preaching keep the men from gambling and 
drinking, I will help you ;" and he did render me most efficient 
service. 

The victory at Fort Donelson was followed up by im 
portant successes throughout Kentucky and Tennessee. 
Simultaneously with the fighting at Fort Donelson, Gen. 
Mitchell, with the van of the Army of the Ohio, now 
under Gen. Buell, entered Bowling Green ; Sidney John 
ston, the Confederate commander, retreating towards 
Nashville. On the 24th of February, that city surren 
dered. Gen. Buell s army was afterwards quartered 
around it. Operations for opening up the Mississippi 
were undertaken. Columbus, Island "Number Ten," 
Forts Pillow and Randolph, and the city of Memphis 
fell successively, the last on June 5th. 

In March, meanwhile, Gen. Grant s army began a 
movement up the Tennessee river, which met its first 
resistance, from Johnston s forces, at Pittsburg Land 
ing. A desperate battle followed on Sunday, April 
Cth ; Grant being forced back into a dangerous position. 
A part of Buell s army arrived at night-fall, however ; 




GIVING UP THE BUSINESS. 



e e 70. 



PITTSBURG LANDING. 71 

and on the next day the scale was turned against the 
enemy. Our troops followed the foe to Corinth, Miss. 
which was evacuated on the 29th. 

The history of this battle is especially rich in inci 
dents. Mr. Moody, who went, as usual, from the Chi 
cago Branch, recalls two stories of his service : 

A Surgeon going over the field to bandage bleeding wounds, came 
upon a soldier lying in his blood with his face to the ground. Seeing 
the horrible wound in his side and the death pallor on his face, he 

was passing on to attend to others, when the dying 

.-....., . -Dying with 

man called him with a moan to come just for a mo- Face Upwards 

ment, he wanted to be turned over. The Doctor 
lifting the mangled body as best he could, laid the poor fellow on his 
back. A few moments after, while dressing wounds near by, he 
heard him say 

" This is glory, this is glory !" 

Supposing it was the regret of a dying soldier, correcting, in this 
scene of carnage, his former estimate of the "pomp and circum 
stance of war," the Surgeon put his lips to his ear and asked 

" What is glory, my dear fellow ?" 

" O Doctor, it s glory to die with my face upward !" and moving 
his hand feebly, his forefinger set, as if he would point the heavenly 
way, he made his last earthly sign. 

There was a man on one of the boat-loads of wounded from the 
field, who was very low and in a kind of stupor. He was entirely 
unknown. A little stimulant was poured down his throat, and Mr. 

Moody called him by different names, but could get 

"Even So must 
no response. At last, at the name William, the HebeLiftedu " 

man unclosed his eyes and looked up. Some more 
stimulant was given, when he revived. He was asked if he was a 
Christian. Though replying in the negative, he yet manifested great 
anxiety upon the subject : 

" But I am so great a sinner that I can t be a Christian." 
Mr. Moody told him he would read what Christ said about that. 
So, turning to St. John s third chapter, he read the 14th verse : 
" And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so 



/Z CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

must the Son of Man be lifted up : that whosoever believeth in Him 
should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God so loved the 
world, that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth 
in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." 

" Stop," said the dying man ; " read that over again, will you ?" 

It was read again. 

"Is that there?" 

"Yes," said Mr. Moody; "that s there just as I read it to you." 

" And did Christ say that?" 

" Yes." 

The man began repeating the words, settling back upon his pillow 
as he did so, with a strange, solemn look of peace in his face. He 
took no further notice of what was going on about him, but contin 
ued murmuring the blessed words until Mr. Moody left him. 

The next morning, when the soldier s place was visited, it was found 
empty. Mr. Moody asked if any one knew aught about him during 
the night. A nurse, who had spent the hours with him until he died, 
replied 

"All the time I was with him he was repeating something about 
Moses lifting up a serpent in the wilderness. I asked him if there 
was anything I could do for him, but he only answered what he had 
been muttering all along. Just before he died, about midnight, I 
saw his lips moving, though there was no sound escaping. I thought 
he might have some dying message for home, so I asked him for one. 
But the only answer was the whispered words ; As Moses lifted up 
the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted 
up : that whosoever believeth in Him and so on until his voice died 
away and his lips moved no longer." 

Rev. Dr. Robert Patterson writes : 

A brave and godly Captain in one of our Western regiments told 

one of us his story, as we were removing him to the hospital. He 

was shot through both thighs with a rifle bullet a wound from which 

he could not recover. While lying on the field, he 

Jf ^ M suffered intense agony from thirst. He supported 

his head upon his hand, while the rain from heaven 

was falling around him. In a little time, quite a pool of water 



PITTSBURG LANDING. 73 

collected in the hole made by his elbow. If he could only get to 
that puddle he could quench his thirst. He tried to get into a posi 
tion to suck up a mouthful of muddy water, but was unable to quite 
reach it. Said he, " I never felt such disappointment before, so 
needy, so near, and yet so helpless. By-and-by night fell, and the 
stars shone out clear and beautiful above the dark field; and I began 
to think of the great God, who had given His Sou to die a death of 
agony for me, and that He was up there up above the scene of 
suffering, and above those glorious stars ; and I felt that I was going 
home to meet Him, and praise Him there ; and that I ought to praise 
Him, here in my wounds and in the rain ; and I began to sing with 
my parched lips 

" When I can read my title clear 

To mansions in the skies, 
I bid farewell to every fear, 
And wipe my weeping eyes. 

There was a Christian brother in the brush near me. I could not 
see him, but I could hear him. He took up the strain ; and beyond 
him another and another caught it up, all over the battle-field of 
Shiloh ; and long into the night the echo was resounding, as we made 
the field of battle ring with hymns of praise to God." 1 

It was a solemn place indeed, that interval on Sunday 
night between the two contending armies, which were to 
assail each other on the morrow. Mr. Demond 2 pre- 



1 A Delegate writing in September, 1863, after the Chickamauga battle, says : 
" If anybody thinks that when our men are stricken upon the field, they fill the 
air with cries and groans, till it shivers with such evidence of agony, he greatly 
errs. An arm is shattered, a leg carried away, a bullet pierces the breast, and the 
soldier sinks down silently upon the ground, or creeps away, if he can, without a 
murmur or complaint falls as the sparrow falls, speechlessly; and like that spar 
row, I earnestly believe, falls not without the Father s care. The dying horse 
gives out his fearful utterance of almost human suffering, but the mangled rider 
is dumb. The crash of musketry, the crack of rifles, the roar of guns, the shriek 
of shells, the Rebel whoop, the Federal cheer, with an indescribable undertone 
of grinding, rumbling and splintering, make up the voices of the battle-field." 

2 Address at the Closing Exercises of the Commission at the Capitol. 



/4 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

serves an incident, showing how some men, who lay 
there, realized their position : 

There was a man wounded in the first day s fight. He lay all Sun 
day night in a tent, held by the Kebels, on the ground, in the mud, 
uncared for. During the long and terrible night, amid the rain and 

roar of the artillery, there came vividly back to him 
"God, Country, , 
Mother " a argument of a sermon he had 

heard twenty years before. The next day, when our 
troops succeeded, he was rescued and taken to St. Louis, where he 
was cared for by the members of the Army Committee. The Holy 
Spirit sent home the impression of that night, and the seed, twenty 
years buried, sprang up and brought forth fruit in his conversion. He 
lived six weeks to give testimony to God s goodness, and died in joy 
and hope, his last words being, " My God my country my 
mother !" 

Mr. K. A. Burnell, 1 of Milwaukee, who accompanied 
the lamented Gov. Harvey 2 and others, on a State mis 
sion to look after Wisconsin sufferers, writes : 

The morning before leaving for home, I visited the hospital tent 

of the 14th Wisconsin. As I entered the room, a pale-faced boy 

raised himself on his elbow and gazed eagerly at me. Addressing 

each man as I went along, I came at last to the 

Many Days youth s cot, and offered him my hand. He looked at 

me earnestly and said 
" Don t you know me ?" 
I could not remember him. 
" Why, don t you remember the boy you talked to and prayed with 



1 Afterwards Field Agent of the St. Louis Committee on the Mississippi 
River. 

2 We have not room for an exceedingly interesting reminiscence by Mr. Bur 
nell, an account of the last religious service ever attended by Gov. Harvey, a 
prayer meeting conducted by Mr. Burnell on the boat which bore the Governor s 
party of relief to Shiloh. It was held just about opposite Fort Henry. Gov. 
Harvev was drowned eight davs after in the Tennessee. 



PITTSBUKG LANDING. 75 

at Milton, Wis., some three years ago, one Sabbath morning as you 
were going to a meeting ? Don t you remember finding me by the 
roadside, and how you talked to me about breaking the Sabbath ?" 

The circumstances came back very freshly to my memory as the 
boy recalled them. When I told him that I did remember him, tears 
came into his eyes : 

" From that time to this I have often thought of you and longed 
to see you. The moment you came in that door, I knew you. Oh ! 
how glad I am to see you once more!" 

Gov. Harvey was so much impressed by my account of one of his 
boys, that he went the next day to see the young soldier. It was a 
beautiful meeting between the weak youth, suffering for the flag, and 
the noble Governor who had done so much to vindicate its honor 
and purity. 

" God bless you, young man from Wisconsin ;" was the Governor s 
greeting, as he extended his hand and warmly grasped the soldier s. 
The boy, proud and glad and pale, responded in tears 

u I am glad to see you, Governor." 

We talked about Jesus, and after prayer separated. 

Some two years later, on a cotton plantation opposite Vicksburg, 
after an open-air service, while passing hurriedly away, a soldier 
came hastening after me, calling out ; " Mister, Mister !" I turned 
and met my boy of the Shiloh tent, looking hearty and strong. He 
thanked me again for the " comfortable w r ords" spoken to him two 
years before, and for the reproof addressed to him in Milton. After 
a few earnest words of encouragement w r e again bade each other 
good-bye. 

Again on the Red river I met him, and once or twice still later in 
the war, as he bronzed into a "veteran." And it always did me 
special good to see him, for his words each time showed how faithfully 
he was walking in the upward way. 

Mr. Burnell continues : 

The " City of Memphis" arrived at Mound City, with over 750 
wounded from the battle. Her lower, hurricane and upper decks 
were crowded full. Before sunlight on the morning of April 19th, 
with others, I began unloading the boat. Until seven o clock 



76 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

"Let not your in the evening we were kept busy, carrying the dis- 
Heart be Trow- a l 3 l ec j on litters, assisting those who could walk and 
distributing the men through the various wards of 
hospitals. 

About one hundred men had been comfortably lodged in tents on 
the hurricane deck. In one of these tents were six badly wounded 
men. As I entered, I noticed that one man lay very still. The 
others raised themselves on their elbows and asked eagerly when they 
were going to be taken ashore. The still man never moved. I asked 
his comrades why he was so still. With thoughtful and solemn faces, 
they said 

"He is dead." 

I moved the blanket off his face the men had already kindly 
straightened him out. My heart melted, thinking of loved ones at 
home. For some reason taking hold of his arm to move it, I dis 
covered under it his pocket Testament. It was open. I looked into 
it as it lay, and my eye caught these words of eternal consolation to 
the Christian. 

" Let not your heart be troubled." 

Of course I could not be sure that the soldier had read these words 
last, and yet it was very beautiful to think so. His comrades told 
me how his life had been like a Sabbath psalm and his death like 
the entrance into the Kingdom of God. 

As one by one the dead man s comrades were taken to the hospital, 
they left their earnest injunctions with me to see that he was decently 
and tenderly buried, for his mother s and sisters sake that the beau 
tiful life might end in a beautiful grave. 

Rev. E. P. Goodwin 1 went to Pittsburg Landing, from 
the State of Ohio, on an errand similar to that of Mr. 
Burnell. He says : 

Inspector Eeed, of the Sanitary Commission, told me this story of 
a hospital scene in Nashville a short time after the battle : " Private 
Andrew McGurk, of the llth Illinois Regiment, was dying of typhoid 



Pastor of Congregational Church, Columbus, Ohio. 



PITTSBUEG LANDING. 77 

fever. He lay near a window of the hospital, and 

. . , , . , Al In the Battle 

as he looked out, his eye always caught sight 01 the ^ ^ agt 

flag floating from the dome of the Capitol. His 
regiment had been fearfully cut up at Fort Donelson. And after 
Shiloh, they were almost wholly employed as orderlies and for 
special duty. In his delirium, the poor fellow seemed to get back 
into the fight again. He broke out into a kind of whisper 

" Fought till almost the last man fell. 

"Then catching sight of the ever-waving banner on the dome, he 
articulated with difficulty again 

" Ah ! the old flag ! It waves still. 

" Very soon afterwards he expired." 

Returning from the Landing, two incidents occurred, 
which Rev. Mr. Goodwin records : 

On the boat there was an intelligent German, very low with 
pneumonia ; we worked with him a long time, trying to restore con 
sciousness, but he was too far gone. The question had been raised 
as to who he Avas ? Searching in his pockets, we 
found two or three letters ; one was from his wife, amon the Let- 
in very broken English. It appeared that he had ters. 
been only very recently married. She wrote with 
out any knowledge of his sickness, and gave a simple, touching 
account of the death of their little child : 

" Dear Philip, do come home. If you can t come, I want you to 
write something to put on baby s tombstone." 

Right among the precious letters, was a little tract, like many af 
terwards circulated by the Christian Commission. It had on it the 
soldier s name, Philip Schaub ; and was endorsed, " Presented by 
Chaplain Chidlaw." 

We knew little of the dying man. But the discovery of the few 
pages wrapped up with the letters from home and lying so close to 
his heart, led us to hope that the father had gone to the baby s 
home in the better land. 

A number of the poor fellows we had on board died as we came 
down the river towards Fort Henry. I told Dr. Smith, our Surgeon- 
General, that we ought to pay some special attention to the last sad 



78 CHEISTIAX COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

AT , rites of these. One of them was a German who had 

Nameless Graves. 

left among his memoranda some remarkable expres 

sions of attachment to the country of his adoption. As we ap 
proached the shore, the steamer s head was put to, the bell tolled 
and there, under the long ruins by the bank, close beside which were 
opened the fresh graves, we committed "dust to dust, ashes to ashes." 
The silent company with uncovered heads bowed, while a brief prayer 
was offered and a few last words uttered. It was a simple scene _ 
too simple to attract the notice of the hurrying world, but it was the 
burial of men who had died that we might live, and we could not 
tell, as we cast our last looks upon the silent, nameless graves, how 
many hearts would ache, how many lives be saddened, to hear of 
our mournful work. 

Many of the wounded were brought to Cincinnati af 
ter the battle. Mr. A. E. Chamberlain, 1 of that city, 
visited them often, in the Fourth Street Hospital. Our 
reminiscences of Pittsburg Landing may close with 
his : 

A poor fellow was brought in, whose right arm was almost shot 
into pieces. I found him a very bright Christian. The Surgeon 
told me he must die : " It is no use to take off his arm. It will not 
nim -" So his father was telegraphed. He came 



The Prat er of 

Faith. next morn i n g anc l went in to see his boy. He stood 

up in our daily prayer meeting at noon, with this 
request 

" Brethren, I have great faith in the power of prayer. I have a 
son in Fourth Street Hospital. The Surgeon says he must die. I 
believe if you will pray God to restore him to health, He will do it. 
Will you not pray ?" 

The request struck us as very strange ; but prayer was offered as 
the old man had requested. 

The next day, I went into the hospital. Surgeon Norton met me : 



1 Afterwards the Chairman of the Cincinnati Branch ; and until the close of the 
war, an earnest worker for the soldiers. 



CINCINNATI HOSPITALS. 79 

" Contrary to all our expectations, sir, that young man you are 
interested in is improving." 

He grew better every day. Once afterwards, I found the father 
sitting by his son s cot. Dr. Norton came along. 

" Tell me, Doctor," said I, " how do you account for this ? You 
physicians told me he was going to die ; how do you explain his con 
dition to-day?" 

" Well, sir," replied the Surgeon, " I can only say that I consider 
it a miracle. It is not anything we did." 

" Doctor," said the old man, " I can explain it. God has heard 
the prayers of His people in behalf of this boy." 

The Surgeon passed on in silence. 

A week or so after that, the soldier went home on a furlough, safe 
and sound. 

The cot of one soldier whom I visited was in the upper ward of 
the hospital, at the very end of the room. He was a handsome, 
noble-looking boy. Indeed his appearance quite deceived me, he 

was so like a young man in perfect health. I said 

/ * Coming to Jesus. 

as much to him, when he replied 

" I suppose I do look well, but the physician says I must die. My 
wound is a bad one ; and I am only waiting here for my life to pass 
away." 

"Are you a Christian ?" I asked. 

" No, sir ; but I want to be very much." 

I prayed with him and gave him Newman Hall s little book, Come 
to Jesus. 

II That s just what I want to do, sir." 

" That little book will tell you how to come, I trust ;" and after 
some further conversation I left him. 

Next morning I thought a good deal about him, and finally went 
round to the hospital again. His bed was in such a position that he 
could see me as I came up the stairway, and I found that he was 
anxiously watching for me. 

" I was so afraid you wouldn t come in this morning," was his 
greeting. " The Surgeon says I will probably die during the day; and 
I didn t want to die until I saw you and thanked you for giving me 
that little book. Everything for the future is bright and pleasant 



80 CHKISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

The Surgeon s words were true. He died that day, " Coming to 
Jesus" indeed. 

A month after Pittsburg Landing, I was getting on a train for the 
West at Seneca Falls, N. Y., when a Baptist Deacon of the village, 
whom I well knew, caught sight of me and shouted out that his son 

George was in Fourth St. Hospital, Cincinnati, about 
Thanking God n . ~. . . 

, , -rrr j to die nud not a Christian. As soon as I reached 

JOT rr OUtlCtS 

home the next day I went to see him. His right arm 
had been taken off at the shoulder, and he felt very much dejected. 
I talked with him long and earnestly ; and mentioning the case to 
Rev. Mr. Robinson, a Baptist clergyman of the city, the soldier re 
ceived many visits from that gentleman. He became a Christian, 
Rev. Mr. Robinson told me afterwards. 

I asked him just before he died, whether he did not think it hard 
to die in the hospital. 

" No, sir," was his reply ; " I thank God I ever entered the army, 
because if I had not, I would never have lost this arm ; and if I 
hadn t lost that, I would never have been brought to this hospital ; 
and if not brought here, I would probably never have found Christ." 

Mr. Robinson was bidding him good-bye, when the man thanked 
him earnestly for his care and attention. 

" It will be but a very few days, sir, before we will be together 

again in the New Jerusalem. I shall wait for you 

Not long Parted. J 

there." 

On the next day the soldier was buried. Only a few days had 
passed, when Rev. Mr. Robinson was himself taken down with typhoid 
fever and died. So that the convert had not long to wait for the 
coming of his guide and friend. The soldier s case, his dying words, 
and Rev. Mr. Robinson s sudden decease excited a profound interest 
throughout the city. 

The Deacon s son was the last of a family of seven or eight chil 
dren to find the Saviour. He entered the army from Hillsdale, 
Michigan. 

Gen. Buell left Corinth in June, moving East towards 
Chattanooga. Bragg, the new Confederate commander, 
determined on a bold movement. In the close of August, 



PEEEYVILLE. 81 

crossing the Tennessee a few miles above Chattanooga, 
he hastened northward into Kentucky. Meeting with 
no serious opposition, he soon succeeded in thoroughly 
alarming Louisville and Cincinnati. Buell, leaving 
Nashville as well garrisoned as he could, hastened to 
Louisville, and arrived only a few hours in advance of 
the enemy. Bragg retreated slowly; Buell following 
cautiously until October 8th, when the indecisive battle 
of Perryville was fought. Bragg continued his retreat, 
but moving more rapidly. 

Rev. B. W. Chidlaw 1 was Chaplain of an Ohio regi 
ment engaged in this battle, and afterwards worked un 
tiringly among the wounded. He writes : 

In making my way to the door, passing between two rows of suffer 
ers, in one of the village meeting-houses, where over a hundred of 
the victims of the battle-field were lying, I felt some one pull at 
my coat. I turned round, and a poor fellow said 
"Preacher, are you in a hurry?" 

" No, my friend ; what do you wish ?" 

"Well, I am not like John over there; he is ready to die, and 
knows what is to become of him after death. I am in the dark. I 
am not like him ; tell me, oh tell me, what I must do to be saved ?" 

Poor man ! he had neglected his soul s salvation and the Bible ; 
deep darkness brooded over his awakened mind ; but he was now 
honestly and earnestly inquiring the way to be saved. Blessed priv 
ilege to tell him of Jesus, the sinner s friend, of the salvation of 
the dying thief on the cross, and of that comrade John on his cot, 
who knew the Lord and trusted in Him. The prayer of the publi 
can, " God be merciful to me a sinner," filled his soul, and found 
utterance from his lips, and who can doubt that it reached the ears 



1 Of Cleves, Ohio, the well-known Western Agent of the American Sunday- 
School Union. Later in the war he was connected with the Cincinnati Branch 
of the Commission, as General Agent. 
6 



82 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

of our merciful and faithful High Priest, "Who can have compassion 
on the ignorant and them that are out of the way ?" 

Mr. Chidlaw continues : 

In an old tavern at Lebanon, Ky., used as a hospital for the 
wounded from Perryville, was a brave youth of an Ohio regiment, 
seriously wounded, yet cheerful, patient and happy. "With the bene 
factions of kind friends at home, I was enabled to re- 

A Deserter ... , . , . , , ,. 

Mmtered in e physical wants, adding greatly to his com 

fort while lying on his bed of straw. I found that 
though he had been a Sunday-school scholar, yet he had never pro 
fessed his faith in Christ. He was anxious now to do so ; and such 
was the clearness and fullness of the evidence which he gave me of 
his entire trust in Christ, that I baptized him as he lay among his 
comrades, who looked upon the ceremony with a mixture of awe 
and wonder and silence. After commending this dear brother in 
Christ, and all his companions, to the care and blessing of the God 
of all grace and consolation, I was about to leave the room, when 
another soldier, with a tremulous voice, said to me 

" O brother, I am a deserter." 

" Why no, my friend, you are not a deserter ; where did you lose 
your limb?" 

" It was cut off the night after the battle, and I am willing to fight 
and to die for my country. But three years ago I joined the church 
at home in Indiana, but alas! I wandered from God, I left the ranks, 
and deserted to the enemy. Oh ! how I have sinned against God 
and my own soul ! Kow, I want to re-enlist; will you muster me in?" 

I soon was fully persuaded that the soldier s wish to be again mus 
tered in was from a full and penitent heart. I gave him my hand, 
as he renewed his vows of fidelity, and welcomed him back to the 
Lord s ranks ; bowed down with wonder at His mercy who could 
make even the room of pain in the old Lebanon tavern the very 
House of God and the Gate of Heaven. 

Chaplain J. C. Thomas, afterwards General Reading 
Agent of the Army of the Cumberland, was at this bat 
tle with his regiment, the 83d Illinois. He says : 



PERRYVILLE. 83 

While the battle was in progress, I was at a house, ministering to 
the wounded. A soldier shot through the abdomen lay writhing on 
the floor. Stooping down by him, I asked 

" Do you love the Saviour ?" 

* . "Happy in J&w." 

Ihe lines or agony instantly disappeared and a 

smile of joy lighted up his countenance as he said 

" Oh, yes, and now He does not forsake me." 

The next morning, while passing near, a hand pressed my shoulder; 
I turned, and the soldier s comrade said eagerly 

" You remember the man who lay here in such pain ?" 

"Yes." 

" He is dead." 

" How did he die ?" 

" Happy in Jesus." 

In certain circumstances the simplest words in a 
soldier s mouth became pregnant with the real history 
of a soul : 

One of the wounded at Perryville, when told by the Surgeon that 
he had just five minutes to live, replied 

"This is the best moment of my life. It grows . 1/^jf 7 
brighter and brighter.-" 

And then he went away into the country where light dwells. 



When Buell started north after Bragg, Rosecrans was 
in command in Northern Mississippi and Alabama. 
Battles were fought and the Rebels defeated by him at 
luka and Corinth, in September and October. A few 
days after the last conflict he superseded Buell. The 
army had been much reduced by its hard battles and 
long marches ; the enemy s raids too, were a source of 
continual impediment ; so that a careful work of organi 
zation was now necessary. When this was completed, 
Rosecrans moved forward from Nashville against Bragg, 



84 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

December 26th, 1862. On the last day of the year the 
terrible battles of Stone Elver began. On the first day 
of the New Year the armies watched each other. Or 
the second, the Union forces had the advantage ; and or> 
the night of the third, the enemy evacuated Murfrees- 
boro . Colonel Granville Moody, better known in the 
Army of the Cumberland as the "Fighting Parson," 
relates an interesting piece of the history of the move 
ments which preceded this battle : 

The advance from Nashville began near the close of the week. 

Rain, mud and mist were the order of the day. The enemy s cavalry 

were harassing the front. The march under such difficulties made 

the troops unusually weary. Gen. Rosccrans called 

n <e a 9 l a council of war to ask his generals opinions on 
SK/e of the Old ^ . 

Muster." several matters connected with the movement. The 

question was raised, Shall the army march or rest on 
Sunday ? The decision was doubtful. Some thought that a day 
would be lost thus ; others suggested that the troops needed rest. At 
last, after nearly all had given their opinion, Gen. Crittenden, who 
had been stalking back and forth under the trees during the discus 
sion, was asked for his judgment. Turning round towards the group, 
and pointing his finger solemnly upward towards the wet sky, he 
said earnestly 

" Gentlemen, I don t know how you feel about that, but we are 
going into a battle in a day or two, and I always have thought it 
best to be on the right side of the Old Master. The army can wait," 

That Sunday the soldiers rested. 

At 11 P. M. of the first day of the battle, a party of 
thirty-two Delegates, well equipped and supplied, started 
from Philadelphia for the scene of slaughter. A 
company from the Chicago Army Committee, on the 
same errand, found them at Nashville. This was the 
herald of an organized and precious work, soon to be in- 



STONE EIVEE. 85 

augurated in the Cumberland Army. Rev. A. G. 
McAuley, 1 who headed the Philadelphia deputation, 
relates the following incident : 

At this battle, Captain B. F. Haskett, Co. C, 51st Ohio Vols., was 
mortally wounded. He was carried to an old house near the field, 
which was used as a hospital. The Surgeon saw at once that his 

case was hopeless, and began to ask him his name, 

P mi i -IT i n The Captain s 

regiment, &c. Ihe dying soldier was unable to J ta h 

speak and signed for writing materials. Paper and 
pencil were given him. With a tremulous hand he wrote : 

" Take me to my home in Knox co., Ohio, and there let me be 
buried beside my wife. Let there be a monument erected, and on it 
let it be written : All with me is well : I died in the cause of my 
country a cause second to none, save the cause of my blessed Re 
deemer in whom I trusted in life, and who did not forsake me in 
death. Meet me in heaven. " 

Soon after the Christian soldier expired. 

Sometimes the same blessed peace of God in the heart 
needed no words of the sufferer s own to make it mani 
fest. Again and again, in hospital and on the field, it 
shone into the very eyes of Death, imprinting upon the 
untenanted body some picture of the Everlasting Hope : 

During one of the lulls of the terrible fight, a youthful voice was 
heard calling for aid. Soon it was drowned by the tumult of battle. 
After the fight was over, some soldiers went to look for the sufferer. 
On going through some high bushes, they saw a boy 
of about sixteen sitting up against a tree. As they ,., 
came nearer, they found that both his feet had been 
carried away by a cannon ball. Upon his lap, above the bloody 
stumps, lay his open Bible. His eyes were raised to heaven. A 
look of joy was on his face, while his finger, stiff and cold in death, 
was laid upon this verse of the 23d Psalm : 

"Yea, though I walk through the valley and shadow of death, I 

1 Pastor of the Fifth Eeformed Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia. 



86 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

will fear no evil, for Thou art with me. Thy rod and Thy staff they 
comfort me." l 

Chaplain C. C. McCabe, 2 afterwards a Christian Com 
mission Agent, gives the story of one of the wounded at 
Stone River, who was taken to a hospital in Nashville : 

A wounded hero was lying on the amputating table, under the 

influence of chloroform. They cut off his strong right arm and cast 

it all bleeding upon the pile of human limbs. They then laid him 

gently upon his couch. He awoke from his stupor 

and missed his arm. With his left hand he lifted 
Arm ! 

th? cloth, and there was nothing but the gory 
stump ! 

" Where s my arm T he cried, " get my arm ; I want to see it once 
more." 

They brought it to him. He took hold of the cold, clammy fin 
gers, and looking steadfastly at the poor dead member, thus addressed 
it, with tearful earnestness 

" Good-bye, old arm ! We have been a long time together. We 
must part now. Good-bye, old arm ! You ll never fire another 
carbine nor swing another sabre for the government," and the tears 
rolled down his cheeks. 

Looking round on those standing by, he said 

" Understand, I don t regret its loss. It has been torn from my 
body, that not one State should be torn from this glorious Union." 

Was not the poet speaking for him when he sung t 

" Some things are worthless, some others so good 
That nations that buy them pay only in blood ; 
For Freedom and Union each man owes his part, 
And here I pay my share, all warm from my heart." 

Mr. A. E. Chamberlain met some of the wounded 
from this field in the Cincinnati hospitals. He writes 
of an interview with one of them : 



1 Related by Chaplain Crozier, 37th Indiana Regiment. 

2 Of 121st Ohio. A member of Ohio Conference, M. E. Church. 



CINCINNATI HOSPITALS. 87 

I found a man from Stone River, near the door of Washington 
Park Hospital, just as I was going out. I handed him a little book. 
Without a word, he threw it on the stand by his bed. No soldier 
had ever done the like to me before. I stepped up ^ Backslider 
closer to his cot. There was another little book in 
my hand, The Sinner s Welcome to Come to Christ. I noticed that 
the title immediately caught his eye. I thought I would hold it, 
while I talked with him, so that he could still see it. Not saying 
anything about the way in which he had acted, I told him that I felt 
interested in him and would like to know if he was a Christian. 

" No, and I don t want to be." 

" Can you give me a good reason for not being one ?" 

" No, and I don t care whether I can or not." 

We talked on a little while, his answers being as curt and mono 
syllabic as possible. I found out that he had a wife and three chil 
dren. His wife was a praying woman. Quite suddenly the thought 
came to me, he is a " backslider." I determined to test its truth by 
asking him a decisive question : 

" My dear sir, haven t you been a praying man ?" 

I was entirely unprepared for the shock which at once seemed to 
convulse his whole frame: 

" Yes, sir, I have ; but I have departed further from God than any 
poor sinner ever did." 

He was fairly broken down, and told me how happy he was when 
he had had a family altar : 

" First of all, sir, I forgot to pray to God, myself, in secret. Then 
I threw my Bible away, and now I haven t read in one for 
months." 

I observed that he still kept watching the little book I held in my 
hands, so I gave it to him. 

" Do you suppose Jesus would receive such a backslider as I am ?" 

I told him about the " chief of sinners," and kneeling down, prayed 
with him. He was convalescent then, and was to go, the next morn 
ing, to his regiment. I gave him a Testament with the little books, 
and commending him to the care of the Shepherd who looks after 
His wandering sheep, left him. He gave me his promise, evidently 
one which he meant to keep, to read the Testament often and to be 
continually mindful of secret prayer. 



CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

Missouri had all along been much annoyed by guer 
rillas and "bushwhackers," as well as by more formidable 
movements from Arkansas. In the summer of 1862, 
several new regiments were raised for State defence. 
Among these was the 33d Missouri, a St. Louis regi 
ment, recruited by Clinton B. Fisk 1 of that city. 

While the regiment was organizing at Benton Barracks, Col. Fisk 
. was in the habit of conducting religious meetings with his men in 
the great amphitheatre of the St. Louis fair grounds. These meet 
ings were- of great interest. Thousands of citizens 

Swearing for a . 

Regiment. were re g ularl 7 m attendance to join in the services, 

and some one of the loyal clergymen was present 
each Sabbath to preach. One Sabbath, Eev. Dr. Nelson, of the First 
Presbyterian Church, was preaching earnestly upon the necessity of 
a pure life, exhorting the men to beware of the vices incident to the 
camp, and especially warning them against profanity. The Doctor 
related the incident of the Commodore who, whenever recruits re 
ported to his vessel for duty, was in the habit of entering into an 
agreement with them that he should do all the swearing for that ves 
sel ; and appealed to the thousand Missouri soldiers in Colonel Fisk s 
regiment to enter into a solemn covenant that day with the Colonel 
that he should do all the swearing for the Thirty-third Missouri. 
The regiment rose to their feet as one man and entered into the cov 
enant. It was a grand spectacle. 

For several months no swearing was heard in the regiment. Col. 
Fisk became a Brigadier, and followed Price into Arkansas. But 
one evening 2 as he sat in front of his headquarters at Helena, he 

heard some one down in the bottom-lands near the 
"It had to be . 

done Eight off." river swearill g ni the m st approved Flanders style. 
On taking observation he discovered that the swearer 



1 One of the original members of the Christian Commission, and a most 
active one throughout the Avar. His headquarters were always well stocked 
with the Scriptures, hymn books and religious newspapers. A card was promi 
nently posted up " SWEAR NOT AT ALL. Attention is called to the 3d Com 
mandment, and the 3d Article of War." 

2 February, 1803. 



IN AKKAXSAS. 89 

was a teamster from his own headquarters, a member of his cove 
nanting regiment, and a confidential old friend. He was hauling a 
heavy load of forage from the depot to camp ; his six mules had be 
come rebellious with their overload, had run the wagon against a 
stump and snapped off the pole. The teamster opened his great 
batteries of wrath and profanity against the mules, the wagon, the 
Arkansas mud, the Rebels, and JefF Davis. In the course of an hour 
afterwards, as the teamster was passing headquarters, the General 
called to him and said, " John, did I not hear some one swearing 
most terribly an hour ago down on the bottom ?" 

" I think you did, General." 

" Do you know who it was?" 

" Yes, sir ; it was me, General." 

" Do you not remember the covenant entered into at Benton Bar 
racks, St. Louis, with Rev. Dr. Nelson, that 1 should do all the 
swearing for our old regiment?" 

" To be sure I do, General," said John ; " but then you were not 
there to do it, and it had to be done right off!" 

Gen. Fisk related this story in January, 1865, in the hearing of 
President Lincoln, at the Anniversary Meeting of the Commission, 
in the Hall of the House of Representatives at Washington. The 
President, if one might judge from his demonstra 
tions on the occasion, enjoyed the incident hugely. , , - 
The next morning, Gen. Fisk was waiting in the 
ante-room at the White House to see Mr. Lincoln. A poor old man 
from Tennessee was moving about, among the large number in 
attendance, with a very sorrowful face. Sitting down beside him, the 
General inquired his errand, and learned that he had been waiting 
three or four days to get an audience. On seeing Mr. Lincoln 
probably depended the life of his son, who was under sentence of 
death at Nashville for some military offence. Gen. Fisk wrote his 
case in outline on a card, and sent it in with a special request that 
the President would see the man. In a moment the order came, and 
past Senators, Governors and Generals, waiting impatiently, the old 
man was ushered into the President s presence. He showed Mr. 
Lincoln his papers. He took them and said with great kindness that 
ta would look into them, and give him an answer on the following 



90 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

day. The old man, in an agony of apprehension, looked up into the 
President s sympathetic face, and cried aloud 

" To-morrow may be too late. My son is under sentence of death. 
The decision must be made right off." 

The tall form of Mr. Lincoln bent over the old man in an instant. 
" Come," said he, " wait a bit ; that right off reminds me of a 
story." And then he went on to relate the case of " John Todd," 
which Gen. Fisk had told the evening before. As he told it, the old 
man became interested ; for a moment he forgot his boy and sorrow, 
and President and listener laughed heartily together. 

Mr. Lincoln took up the papers again, and bent over them a sec 
ond to write a few magic words. The old man s eyes were filled with 
tears again when he read them ; but now they were tears of joy, for 
the words had saved the life of his boy. 



CHAPTEE IY. 

THE WESTERN ARMIES. 

FROM AFTER THE STONE RIVER BATTLES UNTIL THE SURRENDER OF 

VICKSBURG. 

January 1863 July 1863. 

THE Army of Gen. Rosecrans remained inactive at 
Murfreesboro until midsummer of 1863. This period 
of comparative quiet afforded a rare opportunity for 
inaugurating more fully the work of the Commission. 
Eev. Edward P. Smith 1 was appointed the General Field 
Agent in the Army of the Cumberland, and entered the 
lines, with several Delegates, early in April. Organi 
zation was at once begun, and the work in the army, 
with Nashville as the centre of operations, became 
thenceforth rich in effort and in fruit. 

The first Delegates carried, along with their other 
stores, some children s gifts and letters to soldiers. The 
history of one of these mementos has been accurately 
traced, and is of peculiar interest : 

A little girl in Philadelphia, about seven years of age, sent, with a 
Testament, to " some sick soldier" in the hospitals at Nashville, the 
following letter : 

PHILADELPHIA, April 17, 1863. 

MY DEAR SOLDIER : I send you a little Testament. I am a little 
girl seven years old. I want to do something for Little Lizzie s 
the soldiers who do so much for us ; so I have saved Letter. 



1 See p. 129. 

91 



92 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

my pocket money to send you this. Although I have never 
seen you, I intend to begin to pray that God will make and keep 
you good. Oh how sorry I am that you have to leave your clear 
mother ! Did she cry when you bade her good-bye ? Don t you 
often think of her at night when you are going to bed ? Do you 
kneel down and say your prayers? If I were you, I wouldn t care 
if the other soldiers did laugh ; God will smile upon you. I am 
sorry, very sorry that you are sick. I wish I could go to nurse 
you. I could bathe your head and read to you. Do you know the 
hymn 

"There is a happy land?" 

I hope you will go to that land when you die. But, remember, I 
will pray that you will get well again. When you are able to sit up, 
I wish you to write to me, and tell me all your troubles. Enclosed 
you will find a postage stamp. I live at - - North Ninth street, 

Philadelphia. Good-bye. 

Your friend, 

LIZZIE SCOTT. 

Mr. Caleb J. Milne, a Delegate from Philadelphia, carried the 
Testament and letter to Nashville. Not knowing how better to ful 
fill Lizzie s trust, Mr. Milne determined, one evening at a prayer 
meeting in the convalescent ward of Hospital No. 8, to give it to the 
first man who should ask for prayers. When the invitation was 
given, the first man upon his feet was a Michigan cavalryman. He 
was in earnest about the great question of salvation, and, at the close 
of the meeting, Mr. Milne, after a few words of counsel, handed him 
the child s package, with what effect the cavalryman s letter, written 
shortly afterwards, will tell : 

NASHVILLE, TEXN, April 24, 1SP.3. 

DEAR SISTER LIZZIE: I received your kind letter from Mr. C. 
J. M. A beautiful present indeed, and I trust that it will be one of 
the means of converting others, as well as the receiver. May God 
bless the giver ! You have done a good work. Continue to pray, 
dear sister, and God will answer you. He says so in His Word. 

My dear mother is in the grave. It is nearly eleven years since 
she died ; but she died happy, and I trust I shall meet her in heaven. 



NASHVILLE. 93 

I will try and pray for myself. I have been in the hospital four 
mouths, but am now nearly well; will be able to join my regiment to 
face the enemy ; and if I should fall on the battle-field, I may have 
the blessed assurance of meeting my Saviour in peace. 

Yes, " there is a happy land." May we meet in that happy land. 
I do not think that my fellow-soldiers will deter me from serving 
my Master. There are many others here that His Spirit is striving 
with. 

I expect to go home to see my dear friends once more. I am very 
thankful that the privilege is granted, and I trust we shall have a 
happy meeting. Dear Lizzie, I must close. May God bless you, is 
my prayer. Write me again. Address, 

Your friend, 

STANLEY NICHOLS, 
Co. F, 4th Mich. Cav., Nashville. 

The Chaplains of the army worked most cordially 
with the Delegates, and, as they were able, undertook 
volunteer labor in the hospitals of Murfreesboro . Chap 
lain Thomas 2 gives the following picture : 

One Sunday, I distributed reading matter throughout the nine hos 
pitals in Murfreesboro . At the close of a short service in " No. 8," 



1 Kev. Thomas Atkinson gives the particulars of a very pleasant interview 
with Stanley Nichols, at No. 8 Hospital, Nashville, about Chickamauga time. 
His regiment had been at New Albany, Ind., and was going forward to the front. 
He stopped at his old hospital over night, to see some former friends. " When I 
saw him first, he was standing late at night beside a cot. A lamp overhead gave 
a feeble light. He was the very picture of everything manly and noble and 
Christian. I stepped forward and asked, Are you Stanley Nichois? Yes, 
sir. Are you a Christian ? Yes, thank God ! Have you the letter you got 
from little Lizzie? Yes, sir, said he, and he went on to tell me of the influ 
ence it had had upon his life." Mr. Atkinson s interview resulted in the publi 
cation, by the American Tract Society of New York, of the original correrpond- 
ence, which excited such deep interest throughout the country. 

Rev. C. S. Armstrong, Chaplain of Nichols regiment, writes us that he ever 
found him, after the receipt of Lizzie s letter, a true Christian soldier, and of 
great service to him in his work among the men. 

52 See p. 82. 



94 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

I glanced along a row of cots to see if there were any bad cases ; 

one face arrested my attention. Approaching, I took 
Ready to Die. ., , , , n , , ,, 1 

a youth s hand, and asked soitly 

" My friend, are you a Christian ?" 

Opening his eyes, and gradually entering into the full meaning of 
my question, he answered 

" Oh, yes ;" then pressing my hand, with increasing earnestness he 
added, " O sir, I m so glad you ve come in here." 

He was quiet a moment; then clasping his hands as though he were 
beholding the " beatific vision," he exclaimed, " Glory to God !" 
His brother, much affected, was at his side. 

Seeing a comrade standing near, the sick man called him to his 
cot. Taking his hand, the soldier looked up into his comrade s face 
and asked most pleadingly 

" Tom, won t you go with us to heaven ?" 

Tom began to melt, but not replying, the dying man urged the 
question with an intense, almost painful solicitude. I was moved to 
tears, and placing my hand gently on Tom s shoulder, said 

" Tom, won t you go with us ?" 

" I will, sir," was the answer which had already found its way to 
his lips. 

I called again in two days ; the young soldier was with Jesus. I 
learned from his brother how they both had escaped from the Con 
federate army, and, after reaching Nashville, had enlisted on the 
Union side. The account given by the survivor of his brother s con 
version was a symbol of his life. Sitting in his tent, a large " Sib- 
ley," one evening, he was unusually thoughtful. The rest were 
playing cards ; there came a lull in the game. He broke the 
silence : 

" Boys, I ve been thinking what kind of a life I ve been leading, 

T J T) an d I m resolved to quit sinning and begin praying, 
to try and lead a Christian life." 

There were no taunts, for all respected him as a faithful soldier 
and kind messmate. He improved every opportunity of talking with 
his comrades, and so judicious and persevering was he, that in a few 
weeks all swearing and card-playing disappeared from the mess. 
Continuing to serve Christ, we have seen what he was at the gates of 
death. 



MUKFKEESBOKO HOSPITALS. 95 

Towards the close of April, Rev. Mr. Smith held a 
Sabbath service in the General Hospital just outside of 
Murfreesboro . He writes of it : 

After service, one of the nurses asked me to go down to Ward E. 
& sick man wanted a Chaplain. Dutton 1 and I went. We found 
him an East Tennessean, prostrate with fever, a tall, athletic man 

)f middle age, evidentlv wholly unused to sickness. 

, . IP i "Thank Him 

I approached him cautiously, saying to myself, this fi rs i 

is one of those cases of religion sought, not so much 
because the man wishes for it, as because he feels that he must 
have it. He would not have God when he was well, and wants 
me to make it up for him in this last sickness. So I began a long 
way off: 

" I am sorry to see you in this trouble." 

He interrupted me 

" I m sick, parson, but I m not troubled ; did the nurse tell you I 
was in trouble?" 

His cheerful tone and sweet smile showed me my mistake ; that 
was a Christian s voice ; and I became as much interested to test his 
faith as I had been before distrustful of his sincerity. 

" You are very sick ?" 

"Yes, and A heap of men are dying in this hospital, but I am not 
troubled ; it s all right, parson." 

" You have a wife ?" 

" Yes." 

"Children?" 

"Six." 

" Do they know at home how you are ?" 

" No, sir," said he, for the first time showing emotion, " and I don t 
know how they are, but I ain t troubled about em. You see, parson, 
when the Rebels run me off, my wife fed me in the bushes. One night 
she came to tell me the Rebels were getting hot after me, and I must 
go directly. We knelt down by a gum tree and prayed together. 
She gave me to God, and I gave her and the children to God ; and 
then made for the Union lines and enlisted. I haven t heard from 



1 Albert I. Dutton, Student of Andover Theological Seminary, Mass. 



96 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

them since ; that was eight months ago. But I am not troubled 
about em. It s all right, parson all right." 

" Why did you send for me ?" I asked. 

" I wanted somebody to pray for me." 

" What shall I pray for ? You don t seem to want anything." 

" Why, parson, can t a man pray without he s in trouble? My 
mind is mighty weak and scattered like, and I wanted somebody to 
come and help me thank God. You can pray for anything else you 
reckon I want, but thank Him first." 

We knelt on the ground by the cot, and with tears and difficult 
utterance prayed with thanksgiving ; the prostrate soldier occasion 
ally breaking in 

" Yes, Lord ; yes, thank God." l 

Two weeks later, Eev. Mr. Smith made use of this 
wonderful instance of Divine help for a Christian disci 
ple. He writes : 

I had been preaching in the fortifications to Capt. Bridge s Battery, 
taking for my subject, Our safety in God s care," as illustrated by 
Peter s deliverance from prison. As I walked out of camp, a bat 
tery man joined me for a talk : 

of Breastwork." " Tliat was a funn y doctrine you preached this 

morning, Chaplain." 

" It is a blessed doctrine," I replied, " and nobody ought to know 
it better than a soldier." 

" I mean to say that it s a strange doctrine, and I don t see how it 
can be true. Don t you think a forty-pounder, striking a fellow fair, 
would kill him, whether he was religious or not ?" 

" Undoubtedly." 

" Do you think if a Christian goes out on a skirmish line, a Rebel 
sharpshooter can t hit him ?" 

" No," said I ; " I think the Christian would be rather more likely 
to be hit than a man who was not a Christian." 

" Don t the Christians take sick and go to hospital ; and don t the 
Chronic 2 carry em off just like anybody else?" 

1 See p. 27. 

2 Tliis was one of the soldiers names for Chronic Diarrhoea ; not unfrequently 
it was called " the Chronicle." 



MURFREESBOEO . 97 

" Very often." 

" Just so," he replied ; " I said to myself while you were going on 
about being always just as safe as Peter was, I ll make the Chaplain 
take part of that back. " 

" But," I replied, " my doctrine is that a minie ball would not hurt, 
not that it would not hit." 

" Well, now, Chaplain, I ve had a little experience of minie balls, 
and I know they hurt." 

" Are you a Christian ?" 

" I wish I was, but I have to confess I m not." 

" Suppose you were a Christian, ready to die ; what would that 
forty-pounder do for you ?" 

" It would take me straight to heaven." 

" Would that hurt you ?" 

"Not much." 

" Neither would the minie balls nor the fever. Now, have you 
made the Chaplain take back his sermon?" 

" Well, but, Chaplain, suppose he should be taken sick, and go to 
the hospital, and not die after all ?" 

Then I told him of my East Tennesseean, who was " all right," 
and only wanted help to " thank God :" and I asked whether the 
fever was hurting him. Before I had finished my story, the battery- 
man was in tears. Grasping my hand at his good-bye, he said 

" You are right, Chaplain ; a man that is a real Christian can t be 
hurt ; the religion in his soul makes the very best kind of a breast 
work." 

The Christian soldiers in the army found it necessary 
to meet together in voluntary societies, for various pur 
poses of mutual edification and encouragement. Rev. 
Mr. Smith recalls his meeting with one of these organi 
zations near Murfreesboro : 

On a Sunday morning in May, I was on my way to fill an appoint 
ment for service with a regiment, when I came upon a group of 
soldiers, sitting on logs in a hollow square, under an oak tree. I 

found it was a Bible-class of the First Michigan 

-T^, . .,!/>( if i T , i The Bible-Class. 

Engineers, with a Corporal lor teacher. I took my^ 

7 



98 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

place as a scholar and went through with the morning s lesson, the 
first chapter of St. James. There were no Commentaries in the 
soldiers knapsacks ; some of them had reference Bibles : the teach 
ings of the hour were from the men s hearts, aided by such knowledge 
as they had stored away in early life. The question of sin, its 
origin and its use, was handled in a true soldier s way, and settled so 
as to be of practical use in his life, if not altogether according to 
theological terminologies and schools. 

After the Bible-class came a meeting of the Christian Association 
of the regiment. Wanting a Chaplain, they had formed themselves 
into a society. The Articles of Faith to which a candidate for ad 
mission must assent were brief and comprehensive, 

TheChurchin includi thege three points . i. Salvation through 
the Woods. . 

an Atoning Saviour ; 2. Belief that this salvation 

had been personally experienced ; and, 3. Proof of that experience, 
on the testimony of the regiment. 

There were several candidates to be admitted this morning. Each 
stood up and gave his religious history. Then followed the proof 
from the regiment. The candidates were passed upon one by one. 
The opinions of comrades as to their fitness or unfitness were most 
freely and faithfully given. Few men enter a church at home under 
such genuine tests. 

Sergeant J. desired to unite with the Association, as he said, not 
for its good, but for his own sake : 

" I am not worthy, brothers ; you know that very well. You know 
my life has not been what it ought to have been as a Christian man. 
But if you can take me and help me, I want to come. I mean to be 

true; if God and my comrades will help me, I shall 

Not Willing to ^ ^^ ^ . f tMnk it win be dangerous to 

go Alone. . , 

receive me, perhaps you had better let me wait and 

try to go alone ; although I have not much hope, unless I have your 
assistance." 

Kemarks were called for and most freely given. Sergeant J. s 
life will not probably pass such a severe ordeal again until the final 
review. Every word was kind as it was true, and every comrade 
closed with the wish that the Sergeant might be tried. He came in 
by a unanimous vote. 

Corporal S. gave a good religious experience. His account made 



MURFREESBORO . 99 

his conversion clear, decided and rather remarkable. His Christian 
hopes were delightful. He spoke with deep emotion and moved me 
to tears. I supposed there would be no discussion 

in his case. But the third-article proof before the 

of Repentance. 

regiment, was called for, and there were found to be 
decided objections to his admission. To the grief of many of his 
Christian comrades, he had persisted in a "gift enterprise," receiving 
chances from a firm in New York, and selling them in the regiment. 
He insisted that it was not unchristian so to do that he gave nearly, 
if not quite, the value of the money received, in addition to the 
chance of a large gain. His comrades, one after another, declared 
that they could not see it in that light, and called on Brother S. to 
renounce his practice. This he did. He was willing to quit it from 
that time forward, especially as it had been forbidden in the army by 
Gen. Rosecrans. 

Now arose the question, Shall the Corporal come in ? One after 
another declared that he ought not only to forsake sin, but to repent 
of it: 

"Say you are sorry for it, Corporal, and we will receive you." 

But the Corporal had taken a position, and could not see the way 
to retreat ; nor could the brotherhood see the way open for his mem 
bership. Accordingly a committee was appointed to labor with him, 
and so wise and faithful was their work, that at the next meeting the 
Corporal came, through repentance and confession, into cordial fellow 
ship with the Association. 

Two soldiers were received who had never united with the church 
at home. They desired baptism by immersion. At the close of the 
afternoon service, we marched to the banks of Stone River, where 
we went down into the water. The comrades of the 
men stood near the side of the stream, singing , -r, .. 

" Am I a soldier of the cross ?" 

It was a strange and beautiful scene. Those scarred veterans on 
the bank, cheering their two comrades who were dedicating them 
selves to God, in the very stream which, a few months before, had 
run red with the blood of their fellow-soldiers and enemies. Just 
above this point, in January, the Confederates had made their 
irost furious charge, and were repulsed by Crittenden. 



100 CHKISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS 

Rev. A. B. Dascomb 1 came to the army as Delegate 
early in May. Mr. D. L. Moody, of Chicago, who 
arrived about the same time, was successful in establish 
ing a daily prayer meeting in the basement of the 
Second Presbyterian Church of Nashville, on May 
10th a meeting of remarkable character, which was 
continued until the work closed in the Summer of 1865. 
Mr. Dascomb gives an account of one of the first fruits 
of this meeting : 

I shall never forget one soldier whom I met in Nashville. His 

name was J. Z . I learned his story from his own lips after his 

conversion. His father was a Presbyterian elder; but the son, from 
his early youth, had been disobedient and wicked. 
j " A little brother, who used to sleep with him, was in 
the habit, every night, of kneeling by the bedside to 
say his simple child s prayers. This so enraged Z that some 
times he had been tempted to kill him. Once only he seems to have 
been convinced of his wickedness ; this was when his sister died. She 
had called her wayward brother to her side, and tearfully prayed him 
to meet her in heaven. He gave the promise, but after her death, 
to escape the memory of her request and his parents entreaties, he 
ran away. He was a boatman on the Ohio for some time after that, 
and plunged into every species of vice practised by the most aban 
doned of these men. 

When the war broke out he enlisted in an Ohio regiment, and 
served at Shiloh, Perryville and Stone River. At the last battle he 
was wounded ; and, unfitted for longer active service, was sent to the 
Barracks, opposite the Nashville Christian Commission rooms, to act 
as cook. Here he was drawn into the daily prayer meeting. The 
words which he heard brought back into vivid relief the thoughts he 
had had on the battle-field after he was wounded, his sister s and his 
parents lessons and love, his child-brother s little prayers. He had 
neglected so many early advantages that he was very ignorant ; but 



1 Pa-stor of Congregational Church, Woodstock, Vt. 



NASHVILLE HOSPITALS. 101 

he knew that there was a Deliverer ; he cried mightily for His pres 
ence. The Lord heard the poor man s prayer, and in that strength 
the soldier renewed the vow made when his sister died. The change 
in his life was immediate and manifest. He attended the prayer 
meetings regularly, and became a kind of volunteer Delegate among 
his fellow-soldiers, carrying to them books and tracts, and praying 
with the sick and dying. 

"I have served Satan diligently," he would say; "that s all past 
now, and can t be helped, God knows ; but I want to serve Christ as 
diligently." 

This was his life-purpose now. He was a lion that had become 
as a lamb. I confess I never before witnessed what was apparently 
so great a triumph of grace. 

Mr. Dascomb gives in another incident a strange and 
vivid picture of the power of that Word that shall not 
return unto God void : 



It was my custom daily while at Nashville to visit Hospital No. 
20. During one of my calls there, I came upon a soldier evidently 
near death. I spoke to him earnestly and repeatedly, but received 
no satisfactory response. I was puzzled, for it was 
impossible to determine whether he was physically p 
insensible, or indifferent to what I was saying. I 
urged him to pray ; still no answer came. Bending down to him, I 
repeated my request, giving him these words of petition : 

" God, be merciful to me a sinner ; Saviour, pity ; Jesus, save 
me." 

There was no reply, and sorrowfully I turned to the next cot, ten 
anted by a bright and glowing Christian, in whose words of faith and 
hope the speechless sufferer near me was forgotten. A low murmur 
of words from his cot recalled him to my mind. In a clear, but 
very faint, struggling voice, the words I had said to him were 
repeated : 

" God, be merciful to me a sinner ; Saviour, pity ; Jesus, save me." 

A. flickering glow glanced for a moment into the stony eyes, and 
wavered over the wan cheeks and lips, then went away for ever. 



102 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

Mr. Thomas Atkinson 1 tells the story of his first ex 
perience as a Delegate in the Nashville hospitals : 

The morning after Mr. Moody and I reached Nashville, we stood 

upon the hotel steps debating whither we should go. Thinking there 

was no time to be lost, we separated and went in different directions, 

he going to Hospital No. 3, and I to No. 8. It 

was my first venture into army work. I scarcely 
Nothing at All. J 

knew what to say or do. Entering the first floor of 
the large ward, I stood irresolute. Surgeons and nurses were moving 
hither and thither. A half doubt came to me whether I could do 
this work which the Lord had put upon me. Suddenly I noticed a 
man observing me attentively from a distant cot ; I turned my eyes 
away from his, and letting them wander about the room a while, 
looked at him again. He was watching me still. Putting up a silent 
prayer to God, I went to him. His name was John Hays. He had 
a wife and five children : 

" You seem to be very low, John." 

" Yes, sir, I am." 

" Are you a Christian ?" 

"No, sir, I m not, but my wife is. And I was just asking the Lord 
this morning, to send me some one to tell me how I could get to be 
like her. When I saw you standing over there, I thought, Maybe 
the Lord has heard me. Maybe this is the man He has sent to 
help me. " 

The soldier s earnestness, my former indecision, the blessed opening 
evident, made me strong in faith : 

" Yes, John, I am the Lord s messenger ; and, moreover, I have 
come to tell you that you are to become a child of Christ." 

" Do you think so, sir? Then thank God for it!" 

I told him of the only way by which he could come to the cross. 
He waited as if I were going to say more, but I only asked him if he 
would accept the offered Atonement. 

" Why, sir," said he, ; I didn t think that was the way. I thought 



1 Of Chicago. Member afterwards of the Wittenberg Synod (Ohio) of the 
Lutheran Church. 



NASHVILLE HOSPITALS. 103 

I had to be sorry a long time, and and ," and here he stopped be 
cause he hardly knew what more to say. 
" Listen," said I 

" Just as I am, without one plea, 

But that Thy blood was shed for me, 
And that Thou bid st me come to Thee, 
O Lamb of God, I come, I come. " 

"And will He save me that way for just nothing at all?" 

"Yes 

" Nothing in my hands I bring, 
Simply to Thy cross I cling ; 
Naked, come to Thee for dress ; 
Helpless, cling to Thee for grace ; 
Vile, I to the fountain fly ; 
Wash me, Saviour, or I die. " 

" I never knew it before, sir. I never knew it was so easy. Thank 
God ! Thank God !" 

There was a nurse standing near by. The soldier turned to him 
and said 

" Nurse, when this gentleman goes away, I want you to write to 
my wife and tell her that I have found out how to trust Jesus. Thank 
God ! Thank God !" 

He never faltered for a moment, during the five days which in 
tervened before his death, in his simple, childlike attachment to 
Christ. 

At last the morning came when his cot was empty. I asked the 
nurse about him. Arrangements had been made by the dying man 
for the prompt transmission of his remains to his home. They were 

already upon the road. Then I discovered that the 

, , . , Sorrow Turned 

nurse had neglected the soldiers request to send a j nto j 

letter. The first intimation to the wife, of her 
husband s decease, would be the arrival of the mournful case which 
contained his body. It was a sad mistake, but could not be reme 
died. I wrote her a letter, giving full particulars of her husband s tri 
umphant departure. The answer was one of very precious interest : 
" O sir, I didn t think there were any earthly words which could 
comfort me as did those in your letter. I am afraid I sinned against 



104 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

God yesterday, as I stood by my husband s grave. I know I had 
hard, rebellious thoughts. No one knew about them but myself and 
God. As the minister said, Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to 
dust, I almost thought I could stand it no longer. It was hard to 
be separated from him thus, and to know so little nothing about 
how he died. When I got back to the house, your letter was lying 
on the table. In it I learned that John had found Jesus, and I cried 
for joy. 

" Children, I said, dry up your tears. Your father is not dead. 
He is alive in Heaven. Thank God! 

" At the grave, the war had seemed to me very cruel and wicked. 
It is all changed now. I shall meet John again ; that is enough. 
Thank God who saved my husband." 

In November, 1862, Gen. Grant, having completed 
his preparations, advanced into Mississippi. In the close 
of December, Gen. Sherman, with 30,000 men trans 
ported down the Mississippi and up the Yazoo in boats, 
made an assault upon Vicksburg, continued for several 
days, but entirely unsuccessful. Arkansas Post on the 
White River was reduced in January, and in the same 
month work was begun on a canal which was intended 
to render Vicksburg useless. March rains paralyzed this 
effort to flank the Mississippi. Various plans were de 
vised to render the reduction of the Eebel stronghold 
easier. All were more or less failures. Grand Gulf, 
below Vicksburg, was reduced early in May, after 
Sherman s victory of Port Gibson. Our army now 
slowly approached Vicksburg from the south-east, and 
on May 18th crossed the Big Black, after the victories 
of Raymond, Jackson and Champion Hills. The grand 
assault on the city, May 22d, taught Grant that it could 
not be stormed. So he sat down to dig his way into it. 
On July 4th the city surrendered. 



HELENA. 105 

General Fisk s 1 command, after one of the fruitless 
expeditions " to climb up some other way" into Vicks- 
burg, was stationed at Helena, Arkansas. The General 
relates an incident which occurred here about February 
1st 1863. 2 

We had been removed for a month from our lines of communica 
tion and had received no letters from home. Of course, when the 
way was re-opened, our first thought was of the mail. I went to the 
post-office tent and received my precious budget from 
home from wife and children, pastor and Sunday- ,. 
school children for I had been reduced from the rank 
of Superintendent of the Sunday- school to become a General in the 
army. I sat down on a log by my tent to peruse the messages of 
love. I had read them through and through, and was about to rise, 
when an old soldier, seated near me on the same log, accosted me 
with 

" Old fellow, I want you to read my letter for me." 

I had nothing on to indicate my rank. I turned and looked at 
the man, and then reached for the letter. It was directed to " John 
Shearer, Helena, Arkansas." The address began at the top of the 
envelope and ran diagonally across to the lower corner. 

" Can t you read it yourself, John ?" 

" No." 

" Then I will, of course ; but why don t you know how to read ? 
The fellows that don t know how to read ought by rights to be found 
only on Jeff Davis side." 

I learned that he had been born in a slave State, though he was an 
Iowa soldier, and that might have helped to excuse him. The letter 
was from John s wife. After speaking of the gathering in of the 
crops, and entering into all the little affairs of home mentioning 
even Susy s new dress, the new boots for Johnny, and the cunningest 
wee bits of socks for the baby the faithful wife began to read John 
a sermon on this wise: 



1 See p. 88. 

2 Told at Anniversary of the Commission, Philadelphia, Jan. 31st, 1865. 



106 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

" John, it was quarterly meeting last Saturday, and the Presiding 
Elder stopped at our house. He told me that a great many men 
who went into the army Christians, came back very wicked ; that 
they learned to swear and gamble and drink. Now, John, I want 
you to remember the promise you made, as you were leaving me and 
the children, that you would be a good man." 

Ah ! the soldier wept as he listened, and when we came to the dear 
name that closed the precious letter, he raised the sleeve of his old 
coat, brushed away the great swelling tears, and said with a full 
heart, " Bully for her !" 

It was the soldier s Amen, eloquent and expressive. 

" Well, have you been a good man, John ?" 

Then came the sad, sad story of drunkenness and gambling and 
profanity, into which John had been led, and the humble confession 
that he had forgotten his vow, but would renew it, and, with God s 
help, try to keep it. 

I then discovered my rank to him, which disconcerted him at first, 
but he soon got over it. I invited him to my tent, and he came to 
all our meetings afterwards. 

Weeks passed by, and the horrors of the grave-digging on the 
Mississippi, where thousands of brave men were laid low in the 
swamps, passed over us, sweeping away six hundred of my own 
men. Low with the fever, one day, I found John Shearer. I re 
ceived his words of faith in the home beyond, his last messages 
to wife and children, and then sang by his side the sweet hymn, 
beginning 

" Jesus can make a dying bed 

Feel soft as downy pillows are." 

The soldier s eyes were soon closed in death. 

Gen. Fisk kept up constant communication with the 
Western Army Committees and with the Central Com 
mission, doing all in his power to promote the value of 
Delegate work in the army. 

The St. Louis Committee sent to Memphis, as their 



MEMPHIS. 107 

first agent, Mr. K. A. Burnell, 1 who, early in the Spring 
of 1863, opened a reading-room in Memphis. He writes: 

Four weeks of February and March I spent with the army before 
Vicksburg. Coming back to Memphis, I had an interesting conver 
sation with an aged soldier. He said 

" I entered the army as a Christian, fully expecting to stand up 
for Jesus. I tried hard ; but with no regular Sunday service, no 
prayer meeting, no closet even for my own prayers, I think I fell 
back instead of advancing. When I found that out 
for certain it was just before the fight of Arkansas -n t 
Post I went to Christ and told Him all about it ; 
and He came back to me, brother, and was with me in the midst of 
that fight. I can never forget it." The old soldier mused a while and 
then went on : " It was peace peace in the midst of the battle. 
Indeed it passed all understanding." 

His countenance glowed as he proceeded : 

"It seemed as if I wanted to go home in the midst of the fight. I 
think I prayed that I might. I felt strong and courageous ; loading 
and firing with the calmness of a man alone in a dense forest. Since 
that fight I ve had no doubts ; and I feel, more and more every day, 
that we boys, to know how to fight best, must know how to love the 
Lord Jesus with all our hearts." 

In one of the Memphis prayer meetings, a man rose and said 

" Two weeks ago I was one of the wickedest men in the army ; 
nothing was too bad for me to do or say ; but now, by the grace of 

God, I can say I am a sinner saved. This morn- 

J The Countersign. 

ing, on guard, I forgot my watchword. I was 

troubled ; but, as I was thinking of it, this thought came to me : I 
have another countersign, Christ, and with that there is no guarded 
line in earth or heaven which I cannot pass. When I had thought 
of that a little while, my other countersign came to mind, and all 
was right." 

The soldiers, as in the instance last described, often 
took the nearest and aptest illustrations of their spiritual 



1 See p. 74. 



108 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

condition from the commonest incidents of their daily 
military life. Mr. Wm. Reynolds, 1 who visited the Army 
of the Mississippi in April and May, held a prayer 
meeting one evening at Milliken s Bend, and writes of it: 

At the close of the meeting, many asked me to pray for them, say 
ing they wished to be Christians for the rest of their lives. As I left 
them, promising to be down on Sunday, I noticed a man following 
me. Stopping me, he began 

cc T j T\ I J. O * O 

1 want a JDis- , T , . , ... ,, 

charge My friend, I want a discharge." 

Supposing he meant a discharge from the army, I 
said I was afraid that would be hard to obtain, as he appeared to be 
recovering. 

" Oh," said he, " that s not what I mean ; I want a discharge from 
the devil s army. I ve been fighting and serving in his ranks for 
twenty-five years, and I m tired and sick of the service. I want to 
leave his ranks and enlist under the banner of the cross, and fight 
for Jesus the balance of my life." 

I told him he could have that discharge by deserting the devil s 
ranks, and coming over to the Lord Jesus. I talked and prayed 
with him, leaving with him some suitable reading. On Sunday, at 
the close of the evening meeting, he told me he had come over and 
was a " Soldier of the Cross." 

Mr. Reynolds visited Helena, where Gen. Fisk s com 
mand was, in April. He gives several reminiscences of 
his work there : 

I visited an Iowa regiment, and was told that no religious service 
had been held in it for over nine months. Gathering the men to 
gether, I told them of salvation through Christ. At the close of the 

meeting, all Christians were requested to remain. 
1 It would Break , , . 
m Heart" Nine tarried. I asked them if they were willing to 

live, in the future as in the past, without any relig- 



1 President of the Army Committee, and later of the Christian Commission 
Branch of Peoria, 111. 



IN ARKANSAS. 109 

ious services whatever, reminding them of the command, " Forsake 
not the assembling of yourselves together." Deep feeling was mani 
fested by the little company, with real penitence for past neglect of 
duty. At the close of my remarks they all resolved that, with God s 
help, they would be more fully consecrated to their Saviour, whom 
for so many months they had "followed afar off." 

In the evening a prayer meeting was held in a deserted plantation 
house near by. At the hour the expected nine appeared, and with 
them two or three hundred fellow-soldiers. As the meeting pro 
gressed, many, unused to weeping, were bathed in tears ; sobs and 
crying were heard in every part of the large congregation. A fine- 
looking officer rose and said 

" Soldiers, you are no doubt surprised at seeing me here this even 
ing, and you will be more surprised when I tell you that I was once 
a Christian, and have now a Christian wife and three children in 
Iowa. Before leaving home, my wife made me promise to maintain 
my Christian character in the army unsullied. But I soon forgot 
that promise. On entering this regiment, I had not moral courage 
enough to tell any one I was a Christian. Ashamed to pray, I soon 
found Christ was ashamed of me. I fell fast into profanity, intem 
perance and gambling. As most of you know, I am now addicted to 
all these vices. Do you think I am happy? Oh, no ; I have been 
miserable. That faithful wife writes me each week a long letter, 
and at the close often says 

" O George, if we are never permitted to meet on earth again, 
how it comforts me to know we shall meet on the other side of Jor 
dan, where there are no wars and no partings. 

" O soldiers, how these letters burn my heart ! How that wife is 
deceived! Many a night I have lain awake, thinking over my fallen 
condition, and then have drowned my thoughts in the morning with 
liquor. The day before yesterday, I received another letter from her, 
in which she said 

" George, in looking over your letters I am surprised you say 
nothing about your religious condition. O George, can it be possible 
you have turned your back upon your Saviour, and that you are no 
longer living as a Christian ? If I thought for a moment you would 
fall in this war, and I should never see you again in this world, and 
that we would never meet in the next, it would break my heart. " 



110 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

The strong man was broken down. After becoming more calm, he 
proceeded again : 

" Now, soldiers, as for me, like the Prodigal Son, I am determined 
to return to my Father. From this time I am determined to stand 
up for Christ as valiantly as for my country." 

His after life proved the strength and sincerity of his purpose. 

A dying man was brought into the Hindman Hospital at Helena 
by two soldiers. As soon as he was set down, he reached out his hand 
to the matron and asked her to shake hands with him : 

" I am goino; home to my mansion on his:h. I 
"Till Pa comes u j i i i T i a 

l ve everybody, but, oh, how 1 love my Saviour. 



He died in a few minutes, with a smile of peace 
upon his countenance. 

On examining his knapsack, we found a very touching letter from 
his wife. It told how she had just received a letter from him enclos 
ing a little book for George, their young son ; how little George had 
put the book into the cupboard, and had said 

" It must stay here till pa comes home." 

I took and cut a lock of his hair, gathered up some trinkets from 
his knapsack and sent them to his wife in Iowa, with the dying words 
of her husband. After my return home I received a letter from her 
in which she told me that she could not express her gratitude for the 
little things I had sent, for the lock of hair, and above all for the 
precious dying words. Her husband had been converted in the 
army, and the assurance she had of meeting him in the world beyond 
was of inexpressible comfort in her bereavement. 

We went down from Helena to Milliken s Bend, on a boat crowded 

to its utmost capacity with soldiers and a wicked set of officers, 

returning to the army. They spent their time in drinking and gam 

bling. Mr. Burnell and I, as we found, were the only 

Christians on the boat. We felt as if somehow we 
War into Africa, 

must plant the cross right in the midst of the scene. 
Immediately after supper, the tables were cleared away and nearly 
all began playing cards. We went into our state-room and knelt 
down to ask God s help, for it seemed to me at least that anything 
we could do was useless. Coming out, we stationed ourselves in the 
centre of the room ; all around us were men intent upon their games, 
cursing bitterly at losses, laughing loudly over success, and relating 



ON THE MISSISSIPPI. Ill 

abominable stories. It seemed the very mouth of hell. I began by 
singing the hymn 

"All hail the power of Jesus name." 

If a thunderbolt had fallen into their midst, the astonishment 
could not have been greater. For a moment every man stopped and 
looked at us in perfect amazement. After singing two verses alone, 
Mr. Burnell stated that we were Delegates of the Christian Commis 
sion on our way to the army at Milliken s Bend for the purpose of 
preaching Christ and ministering to soldiers in distress. He then 
addressed a few earnest words to the officers, reminding them of the 
influence of their example on their commands, how demoralizing it 
sometimes was, and beseeching them to care more for their men s 
eternal welfare. He reminded them how many sons, given to the 
army by devoted Christian mothers, had been ruined through the 
example of wicked officers. For a moment it seemed to make an 
impression, but all were soon again engaged in their gambling games. 
The tide seemed to have rolled back and covered up what we had 
said for ever. 

The service had been so short, that we had little time to notice the 
effects, such as they were. At a table just by where we stood, one 
man attempted thrice during Mr. Burnell s talk to resume the game, 
but he failed. His muttered curses and jeers did not prevail till we 
had finished. One of the men at this table looked at us when we 
began, then dropped his eyes and sat with bowed head even after we 
had concluded ; another rose and left the room. 

In the morning, a gentleman came up to Mr. Burnell, and said 

" You ought to be a General, sir." 

" I know nothing of military affairs," was the reply. 

" Ah, sir," said he, " but you have moral courage. Any man who 
could stand up amidst such iniquity and preach Christ, as you did 
lust night, is a hero. I was a professor of religion before I came 
into the army, but through bad associates and a want of moral cour 
age to meet my fellow-officers as a Christian, I soon fell into profan 
ity, gambling and drunkenness." 

He seemed deeply affected and promised, God helping him, he 
would show his colors thenceforth and stand up for Jesus. 

While at Milliken s Bend, I was holding a meeting in an Indiana 



112 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

regiment. At the close a man came forward and asked me if I had 
been on a certain boat two days before. I told him, yes. He asked 
me if I was one of two who had sung and preached one evening. I 
told him I had helped in such a service. 

" Our First Lieutenant," said he, " has been a very wicked man, 
but he has just returned from a furlough home and seems to be 
entirely different. He says that while he and others were playing 
cards a few nights ago on board the boat, two men came out of their 
state-room, sung a hymn and said some earnest words about the in 
fluence officers had over the morals of their men, and about Jesus. 
He tried to play after they had gone, but it w 7 as no use. Pie lay 
awake all night. It revived the memories of childhood, bringing 
back a mother s admonitions and prayers. He there resolved, God 
being his helper, never to play again, and that his influence in the 
future should be different from what it had been in the past. And 
indeed, sir, so it has been since he came back." 

So God taught me how much might be done even in the midst of 
sin ; and how a little faith is the conqueror of the adversary. 1 

Just after arriving at Milliken s Bend, we held a meeting in an 
Iowa regiment. At the close, a man came up to me and said 

" Stranger, would you like to come to a little prayer meeting, out 

here in the woods ?" 
The Hidden . . 

Prayer Meeting. Certainly," said I. 

It was about nine o clock at night. We went half 



1 Rev. R. Brown, Pastor of First Congregational Church of Oswego, 111., a Del 
egate in the Mississippi field, July, 1864, relates a similar incident which occurred 
as he was returning home. He was on board the steamer T. S. Arthur, with 
Gen. McArthur and staff and the First Kansas Regiment. The boat had been 
fired into from the shore, where Marmadnke had extemporized batteries to impede 
the navigation of the stream. Danger past, the cabin was given up to gambling. 
With much fear and trembling, Rev. Mr. Brown proposed to organize a meeting 
right in the midst of the players. The General consented to preside, and a 
precious service followed. Many Christians on board made themselves known to 
Mr. Brown, and others with earnestness promised to change their course of life. 
"The success of the meeting," he writes, "was a most signal rebuke to our cow 
ardice. For two days we had waited for the devil to give place, and because he 
did not, we were almost willing to smother our convictions of duty and allow 
wickedness to go unrebuked." 



MILLIKEN S BEND. 113 

a mile back of the encampments, and there, under the trees, the 
moonbeams glancing down through the silent leaves, was a band of 
about forty men. As we came up, some one was praying. We 
listened until the fervent "Amen" had sounded throughout the group, 
and then, without any introduction, I stepped forward and began 
addressing them. They were amazed at the unlooked-for appearance 
of a civilian among them, but seemed deeply interested. At the 
close, they came around me to express their gratitude and pleasure. 
Said one 

" Stranger, where did you come from ? did you drop down from 
heaven or from where ?" 

I told them my Delegate s errand, that I had come from their 
Northern homes to tell them they were not forgotten, and to encour 
age them to be soldiers of the cross as they were of the country. 
They appeared much affected. To my inquiry why they were meet 
ing thus out in the woods, they told me that they belonged to regi 
ments of which nearly all, officers as well as men, were opposed to 
Christianity, and had interfered with their worship. They had 
gathered together thus in this secret place of prayer that they might 
come in quiet to Him who hears and answers all human petitions. 

I called upon their commanders, and, getting their assurances that 
these men should be protected afterwards in their common devotional 
exercises, organized a Christian association in each regiment. 

Gen. Fisk, in his address at the Anniversary of the 
American Bible Society, in May, 1866, relates an inci 
dent of this campaign : 

More than 25,000 Bibles and Testaments have been given to 
soldiers and sailors from my own headquarters. I believed in putting 
them beside the Tactics and Army Regulations. Let me tell you a 
little incident connected with the distribution. There 

was a brave soldier from Iowa, Col. Samuel Rice, ((rr e 

JL ctctics, 
a name now honored in the army by the death of 

that Christian soldier, who died at Spottsylvania 1 with his face to the 
foe. Col. Rice commanded a brigade of my division in the Army 



1 See p. 248. 



114 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

of the Mississippi. In the summer of 1863, the War Department 
advised us that a new edition of Army Tactics, prepared by Gen. 
Casey, would soon be issued. We were eager to receive the book, 
and inquiries at headquarters were frequently made after the new 
Tactics. 

One morning I received a package of a thousand Testaments 
printed by the American Bible Society. They were put up at my 
headquarters, in a nice little case, showing the backs with the titles 
in gilt letters. Soon afterwards Col. Rice came in, and seeing books 
in the case, said 

" So the Tactics have come ; I am glad of it." 
" Yes, Colonel," said I, " the Tactics have come." 
" Can I make my requisition for them this morning ?" 
I replied affirmatively. 

" General," said he, " have you read these new Tactics ?" 
" Yes, sir, I have ; I have studied them, and I mean to study 
them morning and evening while I live." 

He made his requisition for "forty-two Casey s Tactics," through 
his Adjutant General. When it was presented, I tied up a package 
of forty-two Testaments and sent them out to his headquarters. His 
officers all gathered round to get the new book. As they opened the 
package, out came the Testaments. Of course, there was a moment 
ary disappointment in the group, but it was the human means of 
leading more than one of them to a saving knowledge of these 
Tactics. 

Col. Rice, for a long time, had been seriously inclined. He had 
been to our meetings and had talked to me on the great subject. He 
began reading the Bible from that very day, earnestly and prayer 
fully. A few months afterwards, while leading his courageous boys 
against the bayonets of General Price, he received a serious wound. 
I visited him as he passed up the Mississippi river to his home to die, 
and found him rejoicing in hope, clinging to the "sure word of 
prophecy" contained in the Blessed Book, and looking forward to the 
time when he should join the great army above. I sat down with 
him, and we sang together 

" Jesus can make a dying bed 
Feel *o?t as downy pillows are, 



SIEGE OF VICKSBUKG. 115 

As on His breast I lean my head, 

And breathe my life out sweetly there." 

A few days ago I received from his Chaplain a long epistle, telling 
me how triumphantly and gloriously this soldier left earth for 
heaven. 

Mr. S. E. Bridgman 1 preserves a story of the opera 
tions of the fleet against Vicksburg, told by Surgeon 
Hopkins, 2 in a letter to his mother : 

You ask for a story, mother ; shall I give you one sad or glad ? 
You remember the sad loss of the Cincinnati late* in May. In the 
afternoon the wounded were brought in. I will give you the story 

of one of them. His name was David Hans. He 

Asleep. 

was a handsome, finely-developed young man of 

twenty-three or twenty-five years. His left leg was shot off just 

above the knee, but left hanging by a few shreds of muscles. 

In this condition he swam ashore, refusing to be assisted. Pale, 
haggard, bloodless, he was brought aboard. Not a murmur, not a 
groan, but such a weary, weary aspect. Presently he said 

" Can you put me to sleep ? I am in great pain." 

" Yes, yes, we will put you to sleep right away." 

His eyes were large, clear and blue, full of an unutterable soul. 
They continued their wonderful silent eloquence noiseless, alternate 
light and shade till the chloroform closed them. 

Another patient was brought in, also severely wounded, making 
the same request 

" Can you put me to sleep ?" 

So I left the first before the amputation was begun, to give relief 
to the second. He was of a different temperament from the other and 
more clamorous, but after a little while I had him very quiet. Then 
I said to the sister 

" Watch him for a few moments ; if he stops breathing, call me ; I 
must see the other man." 



1 Of Northampton, Mass. 

2 U. S. N. Now resident at Newburg, N. Y. 



116 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

I went. The operation was nearly completed. Soon the dressings 
were all applied, and we laid him on a bed. After another amputa 
tion, I went to him again. He was awake, and again in pain: 

" I want to go to sleep ; will you put me to sleep ?" 

poor, pale face ! I see it now. Even the tongue was white. I 
almost wept. Could I hope ? But I could not hesitate what to do. 
That meek " Will you put me to sleep ?" brave, yet bordering on the 
plaintive ; having the slightest possible touch of piteousness, yet so 
quiet and so grand ! He was teaching me the sublimity of unmur 
muring suffering. 

" Yes, yes, we will put you to sleep." 

His eyes opened and closed so wearily, so w r earily ! They were 
wonderful eyes, clear as two perfect stars, and over them the fine 
smooth brow and wavy hair, abundant and beautiful. 

" Will you give me some w r ater ?" 

He drank and lay still again. Presently a little stimulant was 
brought him. He swallowed it indifferently: 

" Will that help me sleep ?" 

" Yes, you will sleep now." 

Previously a small anodyne powder had been given him. Then 
he was quiet for a little. 

1 had a hope for him, but with an awful sense that it had no foun 
dation. Very soon he grew restless, a restlessness hard for w r ords to 
picture, peculiar, and such as I, poor yearling doctor, had already 
learned to dread. The restlessness became extreme. I left him for 
a while, then returned. Will he be asleep ? He is quiet now. 

O beautiful eyes ! beautiful no longer ! It was the soul that gave 
them beauty. Then the soul must be very beautiful. Everything 
is calm now. Is he asleep ? Yes, thank God, asleep now ; and an 
angel will waken him soon. 

The Congregationalist of August 14th, 1863, contained 
a short memoir 1 of Capt. Henry M. Kellogg, Co. C, 33d 
111. Inf., who was killed May 20th, in the charge upon 
the Rebel works. We make a few extracts: 



Prepared by C. A. Richardson, Esq., one of the editors. 



SIEGE OF VICKSBUKG. 117 

He had a strong anticipation of his death, and the event did not 
find him unprepared. Says the Lieutenant-Colonel of his regiment 

" I saw him when he inarched to his death, with a clear presenti 
ment of his fate, calm and resolute. When upon the 

,. , . . f The Soldier s 

ground he pointed to a little eminence in front, p resen ti men t 

saying 

" I shall fall about that spot. 

" Then, as they went forward to the attack, he being in advance 
of his company, waved his sword above his head, calling out to his 
men 

" Follow me to victory or death. " 

He fell within ten feet of the spot he had pointed out, and when 
removed a few minutes after, his sword was held so firmly as to 
require some force in unclasping his hand from the hilt. 

A brief letter, written only four days before he fell, discloses his 
yearnings for the dear objects of his love, and his entire reliance 
upon the Divine will : 

SATURDAY MORNING, 2 O CLOCK. 

MY DARLING AMA AND HARRY : One more word before I en 
gage in a deadly conflict with the enemy. This may be my last 

message to you, God knows and will do right. Our 

, ^ . "My Body is 

heavenly Jb ather has permitted us to spend many y ^ 

happy days together. We shall have more in 
heaven. 

If I fall, Ama, live and be happy for Harry s sake. Remember 
I am not dead, but have only put off the body to take a crown of 
glory. I shall be just as much with you as ever. Try to think so. 
See me not dead but ever at your side. Harry, my precious boy, 
you know not how your father s heart yearns for you ; meet me, my 
boy, in heaven. There we will pluck flowers that never fade. 

I love you both, my treasures God knows how well, but if it is 
best, I can cheerfully die for my country. Ama, let this thought 
console you, when you think of me. I do not dread to die. I do 
not dread to suffer with wounds, for my body is not me, and its pains 
shall not disturb the peace of my soul. I am ready for God s will. 

Good-bye, my Ama and my Harry, my wife and my boy, my father 
and my mother, my brothers and my sisters. Your 

HENRY. 



118 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

Mr. F. G. Ensign 1 about this time was commissioned 
by the St. Louis Committee for the Avork on the Missis 
sippi, with which he was afterwards so long connected. 
He writes : 

In June, \vhen we were trying to get into the rear of Vicksburg, we 
stopped one day by a little spring to get a drink. A soldier came 
down who had a cup in his hand ; he gave it to us to drink from. We 

" I W ll " tnan ked him for his kindness, and asked if he had 
drunk of that water of which the Saviour spoke. 

" No," said he, " I have not." 

" Well, then, you don t love the Saviour. Why can t you begin 
now ?" 

" I ve been thinking of it, sir, a great deal, and know I ought to." 

" Why not decide it now ?" I asked. 

" I don t know," said he ; " I can t." 

" But God thinks you can, and is ready for you now." 

He thought a moment, and then his reply came firm and clear 

" I will." 

Just then some others came to the spring. I gave the soldier a 
little book, and commending him to Christ, we separated. 

After the surrender, I was back at Memphis in the Soldiers Lodge, 
visiting and ministering to all there as I could. I came to an emaci 
ated-looking young man, who seemed to have gone through very much 
suffering. Bending over him, I asked what I should do for him. 
He opened his eyes and throwing his arms round my neck, said 

" Can it be possible this is you ?" 

I did not remember his face, and so I told him : 

"You don t know me? Don t you remember the soldier you met 
on Chickasaw Bayou, near the spring ? Don t you remember a little 
book you gave me ?" 

I said that I did remember the circumstances. 

" Well," said he, " I gave my heart to Jesus. I am not going to 
live long. I am going to die. But I know, when I die I shall go 
up home." 



1 Student in Chicago (Congregational) Theological Seminary. Since the close 
of the war, Western Secretary of the American Christian Commission. 



SIEGE OF VICKSBUKG. 119 

Rev. Edward P. Smith, under instructions from the 
Central Office, left his own field temporarily to visit the 
army before Vicksburg, in June. In connection with 
the Delegates from Peoria, Chicago and St. Louis, an 
earnest work of religious ministration was kept up 
during his stay, and until the surrender of the city. 
Mr. Smith s health gave way however under the cli 
mate. He writes of his sickness and recovery : 

I had been in the army but a few days when I was taken sick 
with the malarial fever, and carried to a division hospital. It was 
my first experience of sickness in camp. I said to myself, when they 

had carried me into the tent and left me alone, with- 

The Bright Side 
out even a sick comrade where Jesus ^ 

"Now you will have an opportunity to try the 
efficacy of the counsels you have so often given to soldiers in like 
circumstances," for many a time, by the cot of a sick soldier longing 
for home, I had said 

"Only trust in Jesus, and He will take care of you here, just as 
well as if you were at home." 

But I found it far easier to preach than to practice. I knew that 
God does all things right and well, but I could not help the feeling 
that a change in my present prospects would be an improvement. 

I passed a sleepless night alone, and without a light. The more 
I tried to settle into the conviction that God would provide, and 
make it good for me, the more I was longing for a change. My the 
ology said, " It is right and well for me to be sick among strangers, if 
God wills ;" and my heart always added, "Yes, but it would be better 
to be sick at home." While I lay thus thinking and tossing on my 
blanket, just at the gray of the dawn in the morning, the fold of my 
tent parted, and a black face peered through. It was "Old Nanny," 
a colored woman who had taken my washing the day before. I could 
hear no one else moving about the hospital; what had sent her there 
nt that hour? Looking tenderly at me, she said 

"Massa, does ye see de bright side, dis mornin ?" 

"No, Nanny," said I, "it isn t so bright as I wish it was." 



120 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

" Well, massa, I allus sees de bright side." 

" You do," said I; " maybe you haven t had much trouble?" 

" Maybe not," she said; and then went on to tell me, in her 
simple, broken way, of her life in Virginia, of the selling of 
her children one by one, of the auction sale of her husband, and then 
of herself. She was alone now in the camp, without having heard 
from one of her kindred for years : 

" Maybe I ain t seen no trouble, massa ?" 

" But, Nanny," said I, " have you seen the bright side all the time ?" 

"Allus, massa, allus." 

"Well, how did you do it?" 

" Dis is de way, massa. When I see de great brack cloud comin 
over " and she waved her dark hand inside the tent, as though one 
might be settling down there ; " an pears like it s comin crushin 
down on me, den I jist whips aroun on de oder side, an I find de 
Lord Jesus dar; an den it s all bright an cl ar. De bright side s 
allus whar Jesus is, massa." 

" Well, Nanny," said I, "if you can do that, I think I ought to?" 

" Pears like ye ought to, massa, an you s a preacher of de Word 
of Jesus." 

She went away. I turned myself on my blanket and said in my 
heart, " The Lord is my Shepherd. It is all right and well. Now, 
come fever or health, come death or life, come burial on the Yazoo 
Bluff or in the churchyard at home, the Lord is my Shepherd. " 

With -this sweet peace of rest, God s care and love became very 
precious to me. I fell asleep. When I woke I was in a perspiration ; 
my fever was broken. " Old Nanny s " faith had made me whole. 

The following incident, illustrating the true manliness 
of a Christian soldier, the power of right early training, 
the constant solicitude of friends at home, and the way 
in which the Commission was, not unfrequently, the 
direct channel of good news, has been preserved by an 
agent of the Commission, who was for a short time on 
duty before Yicksburg : 

The night scenes were sometimes grand indeed ; shells discharged 



SIEGE OF VICKSBUKG. 121 

from the land batteries traced their beautiful, fiery paths high into the 
air above the beleagured city, and meeting there the missiles ascend 
ing on the same errand from Commodore Porter s 
fleet, crossed them in brilliant curves, making the . .!? ^ 

IS jtClQ/lt* 

beholder almost forgetful of the mission on which the 
monsters were sent. On one of these brilliant nights, I came upon a 
regimental prayer meeting, under a bluff within short musket range 
of the enemy s works. Whenever there was a discharge from our 
batteries, the Rebel sharpshooters along their lines would reply by a 
shower of minie balls, which cut the leaves over our heads, and 
occasionally glanced down to the ground at our feet. By order of the 
Brigade commander, to prevent drawing the attention, and perhaps 
the fire of the enemy, the hymns were sung in a low, muffled voice, but 
loud enough to " make melody in our hearts." The meeting was led 
by one of the Captains of the regiment. There was something genu 
ine and manly in the piety of the leader, which seemed to win the 
affection and attention of the soldiers. I was so much struck with it that 
I could not forbear seeking his acquaintance ; and, on invitation, meet 
ing him the next day, we walked over to the Colonel s tent. 

As the custom was, we were courteously offered a drink from the 
ubiquitous bottle. As the single glass passed round the circle, near- 
ing me every moment, I questioned in my own mind what terms I 
should use in declining; but I was yet more interested to see 
what course my Christian Captain would take. When the Colonel 
called upon him, he declined ; was invited again, and again declined ; 
and the third time did it so decidedly, and yet respectfully, as not to 
give offence, nor to be further importuned. I said to him afterwards 

" Captain, do you always do that ?" 

" Yes," said he. 

" Do you mean that you have never taken any intoxicating 
liquor?" 

"Yes, just that." 

" What, not even to correct this Yazoo water ?" 

" Never." 

" You must have belonged to the cold water army in your boyhood ?" 

"Yes; but I learned something better than that; my mother taught 
me this one thing, what is right, is right, and coming to Missis 
sippi don t make any difference. It would not be right for me to 



122 CHKISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

accept an invitation to drink at home ; I don t believe it s right here, 
therefore I don t drink." 

A few weeks afterwards, passing up the Mississippi river, I addressed 
a Sabbath evening congregation. After the service, a lady came to 
inquire about her boy, " foolishly," she said, for it was not likely 
that in an army of 40,000 men I had seen her boy ; but still she 
wanted to ask me if I had met him. She told me of her anxiety for 
his welfare, how she feared that the bad influences of the camp 
would lead him astray. 

" He promised me that he would do well," said she, " and I have 
no reason to think he doesn t do well ; but if I could only see some 
body who could tell me from actual knowledge how he is doing, it 
would be such a relief." 

She told me his name and regiment. I assured her that there was 
hardly ground for all the fear mothers were exercising for their absent 
boys ; that very many soldiers were actually becoming better men, 
growing strong under trial. And then, to illustrate I told her, with 
out mentioning names, of my Captain, of the prayer meeting, and 
of the scene in the Colonel s tent. 

" Oh," said she, " that s beautiful, that s beautiful. His mother 
must be proud of him." 

" Yes," said I, " that she is, and you are the proud mother /" 

I never shall forget the joy that shone in her face, and how she 
sprang across the carpet, and catching my hand in both hers, wet it 
with grateful tears : 

" Is that my boy, is that Will ? It s just like him ; I knew he 
would do so. He always was a good boy ; he told me he always 
would be, and I knew he would." 

Some instances of the heroism and trust of our sol 
diers and sailors before Vicksburg will fitly close this 
chapter : 

In the terrible charge of May 22d, Sergeant Fainter, of the 18th 
Illinois, was mortally wounded. As he lay bleeding to death, he 
called two of his comrades to his side. They took his last message 
home : 



SIEGE OF VICKSBUKG. 123 

" I die in peace ; they must meet me in heaven." Dying Beneath 

He called for the flag ; they brought it. He looked the Stars and 
at the torn banner with all a soldier s love and Stripes. 
devotion : 

" Say to the boys that I am gone ; but tell them never to give up 
the contest until Vicksburg falls." 

His voice grew fainter ; comrades bent over to get his last words ; 
they could only hear a murmured request that the flag should be 
waved over him. Silently and solemnly it swayed above the soldier s 
head until he was at rest. 

Rev. W. C. Van Meter, 1 a Delegate of the Chicago 
Committee, relates the following incident : 

On my way from Vicksburg, I met A. M. Shipman, an Ohio 
volunteer, who was confined for eight months as a hostage in the 
Vicksburg jail, but was released at the surrender. A fellow-prisoner, 
who had been forced into the Rebel army and had 

deserted to ours, was recaptured and shot by the "* am to be 

T j- ,x- x - > Shot/or Defend- 

enemy. He succeeded in getting into Mr. Shipman s ing my Country." 

hands before the execution the following note : 

" Kind friend, if ever you reach our happy lines, have this put in 
the Northern papers, that my father, the Rev. Leonard Marsh, who 
resides in Maine, may know what has become of me, and what I was 
shot for. I am to be shot for defending my country ; I love her and 
am willing to die for her. Tell my parents I am also happy in the 
Lord. My future is bright. I hope to speak to you as I pass out to 
die. JOHN B. MARSH." 

One of the guards said to Mr. Shipman that when young Marsh 
was placed by his coffin and ready to receive the fire of his execu 
tioners, he was told he could speak a word if he desired to. Stepping 
upon his coffin and looking round on that fierce crowd of Union- 
haters, he cried out 

"Three cheers for the Old Flag and the Union /" 

Of course the patriotic sentiment met no response from that audi- 



Of the Howard Mission, New York city. 



124 



CHKISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 



ence. Then, with his hands pinioned behind and his eye lifted as if 
the flag were in view, he shouted forth his own three cheers, 
"Hurrah! hurrah! hurrah!" 

The clear, ringing voice had scarcely died away, when the sharp 
crack of musketry added another name to the long roll of the mar 
tyrs to the dear " Old Flag." 




"GET THE SHIP BY, BOYS." 

The heroes were not in the army alone : 

As Farragut swept up the Mississippi, past the Vicksburg batter 
ies, Lieut. Cummings had a leg shot away by a Rebel ball. Refusing 

to go below, he shouted out to his brave tars 
"Get the Ship , , . , 

^ Bo g " Get the ship by the batteries, get the ship by, 

boys, and they may have the other leg." 




CHAPTER V. 

THE EASTERN ARMIES. 

FROM THE BEGINNING OF 1863 UNTIL LEE S SECOND INVASION. 
January 1863 July 1863. 

AT the beginning of 1863 the Commission had two 
stations in the Army of the Potomac ; one at the village 
of Acquia, the other at the railroad terminus at Fal- 
mouth, opposite Fredericksburg. Burnside s second 
attempt to cross the Rappahannock, frustrated by rain, 
sleet, mud and cold, put thousands of veterans under the 
Surgeon s care in the field hospital at Windmill Point, 
on the Potomac, a few miles below Acquia Creek. A 
station of the Commission was continued here until the 
hospital was suddenly broken up, and the patients re 
moved elsewhere. 

Mr. T. O. Crawford, of Philadelphia, relates two inci 
dents which occurred at this hospital in February and 
March : 

John B. Mitchell, of Mercer, Pa., was dying of typhoid fever. 
His tongue was so parched that he could not speak. I thought a 
lemon might slake his thirst and enable him to converse. Getting 
the Surgeon s consent, I gave him one. The poor 
fellow tried vainly to thank me. When he had Soldier s 



eaten it, he could talk quite easily. I found that 
though he had been a Sabbath-school scholar, he had no sense of the 

125 



126 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

comforting nearness of Christ. Earnestly I told him the story of 
Jesus crucified for him ; of the agony of that hour of the world s 
redemption ; of the dying thief who, even so late, could yet enter 
paradise. My heart yearned for the poor fellow r , looking up at me 
out of his sore need for help. I asked him if he could not adopt 
these words as his prayer : 

" Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom." 

Hope came into the flushed face, as he answered that he could. I 
spent a long time at his side, explaining to him the meaning of 
Christ s atonement and sacrifice. I never had such a listener. At 
last I turned to go away, saying 

" I ll pray for you, my dear brother, that God, for Christ s sake, 
may take you to Himself." 

Pie looked after me imploringly : 

" Don t go ; don t go ; I want to talk more about Jesus." 

I returned to his side and stayed with him some time longer. It 
seemed to comfort him very much, Again, when I tried to leave 
him, he fixed his large, blue eyes on me, exclaiming 

" O sir, don t leave me ! Can t you stay with me longer? Please, 
do stay." 

I told him about others who might need me, as he did. At once 
he was quiet about his wants. Christ s story had taught him already 
the lesson of sacrifice. Telling him I would come again in the 
morning and write his friends, I bade him good-bye my last. 

Early the next day I hastened to the tent. The soldier s place was 
vacant. The nurse told me how he had gone away home : 

"After you left he began praying, and kept on a long time. About 
six o clock he looked around and asked for you. We didn t know 
where you were, or we would have gone for you. Then he asked the 
other boys in the tent to pray for him ; but they were too sick, or 
couldn t. Then he began praying again, and at eight o clock he 
spoke out, so that we could all hear him 

" Amen, it s all right now : I am ready to die. 

" In ten minutes he was dead. I ve been a nurse seventeen months, 
Chaplain, but that was the happiest death I ever saw." 

I was sent for by a Drum Major of the 147th N. Y. Eegt. The 
conversation which followed the meeting was intensely interesting ; 
the soldier opening up to me all the hidden strifes and troubles of his 



WINDMILL POINT HOSPITAL. 127 

heart, and yearning so earnestly for some relief and 

peace. His parents were Christians ; his father, who 

A Victory. 

had been a Deacon, died when he was fifteen. After 
that he had taken no counsel but his own. When twenty-five years 
old, he went into a liquor store, and there became a habitual drunk 
ard. Through all, however, he managed to make money rapidly. 
Warnings of severe sickness were unheeded. Once he told his 
mother-in-law, that if he were to meet God after death, he would 
laugh to think what a jolly life he had led. Soon he became so much 
a slave to rum that he could not do without it. In the Autumn of 
1862, he enlisted, thinking that his accumulations would do him little 
good if the Rebels were victors. He began to try to get along with 
out his stimulant, but became weak almost helpless and so took 
to the canteen again. A Lieutenant came to his tent every morning 
for his "bitters," and the drunkards of the company generally 
regarded him as their leader. On the march to Falmouth, in a 
drunken spree, he injured himself severely, and was compelled to go 
to Windmill Point Hospital. 

Now began a terrible mental conflict. At one time he would 
resolve, after reading, that the Bible was " all trash ;" at another, its 
deep spiritual power would scatter his vain objections, and make him 
almost insane with desire for deliverance either from its judgments 
or his own sins. He feebly strove to stop his drinking habits ; at one 
time he would swear that he would not owe his life to brandy, even if it 
could save him ; again, he would take it when the Surgeon prescribed 
it. At last the meaning of his conflict with himself began to dawn 
upon him. There were more than temptations assailing him there 
was a Tempter. There were more than the words of a book condemn 
ing, yet helping him there was a Deliverer. He saw that the 
Tempter had so environed him with the toils of a habit that these 
must be broken ere he could gain the victory. So he called on the 
unknown Deliverer for help. 

It was at this stage I found him. He was told of Jesus, of the 
" faithful saying," of the agony and bloody sweat, of the cross and 
passion, of the glorious resurrection and ascension. A substitute for 
the brandy which had been prescribed was found, and the poor, 
weak, erring man began to retrace the way of his lost life. Next to 
the Bible, the book which seemed to meet most his inner needs was 



128 CHKISTIAN COMMISSION" INCIDENTS. 

James Anxious Inquirer Directed. Slowly strength returned, and 
the iron bands of habit relaxed. He stood up a new man. He 
spoke earnestly to his former comrades to the Lieutenant who had 
been his boon companion ; and in spite of opposition and ridicule 
proved by every day s life, until the regiment marched to the battle 
field, that he had really found the Deliverer, and how in His assisting 
love there w r as freedom and peace indeed. 

Rev. Hervey D. Ganse, 1 in an address at the organi 
zation of the New York Branch of the Commission, 
tells a story of his experience at Windmill Point Hos 
pital : 

Just after my arrival at Windmill Point, I learned that there was 
present, in a neighboring tent, a mother, who had came from a 
western county of New York to carry home her sick son. He had 

died about twelve hours before her arrival. She had 
th R ^"^ cas * one ^k u P on his features, wasted to a shadow 

by the nature of his disease, and declaring that she 
could not recognize him, had refused to look again. I went with 
others to her tent to offer her sympathy, if not consolation. We 
found her swaying back and forth in her chair, in the peculiar ges 
ture of distracting grief. There were some Christian ladies in the 
company, and they joined their voices in singing tenderly 

" Jesus, lover of my soul." 

But it was easy to see that her heart was sealed against comfort. We 
offered to pray with her, but she had not come to the attitude of 
prayer. She spoke of nothing but her child s sufferings. She was 
sure that he had lacked the most necessary attention. Oh that she 
had been with him ! I strove to console her by appealing to her 
Christian faith. But she turned upon me fiercely and demanded 

" Why did you not give your attention to him ?" 

I explained that I had just arrived, but that others who were pres 
ent had cared for his comfort. At length, in a quieter frame she 



Pastor of Northwest Eeformed Protestant (Dutch) Church, New York city. 



WINDMILL POINT HOSPITAL 129 

kneeled, while we prayed for her. And when we left her she grasped 
my hand, and looking eagerly in my face said 

" Take care of the rest." 

I met her again in Washington, and her last words to me again 
were 

" Take care of the rest." 

Eev. Edward P. Smith, 1 afterwards the General Field 
Agent in the Western Army, had his first experience 
of work among the soldiers in the Potomac Army 
during February and March. From his reminiscences 
we gather the following incidents 

At Belle Plain, passing over from the First Division Hospital, 
where I had spent the night with some dying men, I met a young 
soldier detailed to fatigue duty in the hospital. Giving him some 
reading-matter from my haversack, I asked him 
about his personal salvation. He gave me an inter- ~, . /, 
esting account of his early life and orphanage, of his 
education in the family of a kind Christian man, who had given him 
a home, and of the subsequent death of his foster-father. He told me 
of an only surviving friend, his Sabbath-school teacher, who occasion 
ally had remembered his pupil in the army by a letter. He showed 
me one of these letters, full of kindness and tender solicitude for 
his conversion. I said 

" Then you are not a Christian ?" 

" No, but I wish I was. I have been thinking and talking about 
it so long." 

" Do you know that you can become a Christian to-day ?" 

" You don t mean so soon as that ?" 

" Yes ; I mean that you can begin a new life and a true life, and 
that s a Christian life, to-day. Wouldn t you like to try ?" 

" Yes, I would." 

" Well, just over that hill, near the run, is a place where you will 
be entirely by yourself. Go and kneel down by that tree and tell 



Pastor of Congregational Church, Pepperell, Mass. 



130 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

your Saviour that you want to be a Christian now, and are going 
from this time to try and do His will ; then write to your Sabbath- 
school teacher what you have done, and find a man in your company 
you know to be a Christian. Is there such an one?" 

" Yes," said he, " there is ;" and he told me his name. " He is a 
Christian, I know." 

" Well, find that man to-day ; tell him what you have done, and 
ask him to pray for you. Will you do it? I don t mean, Will you 
thinJc about it? but, Will you do it, and begin now over by the 
tree ?" 

" I will try, sir." 

I was in haste, and bade him good-bye ; but there was something 
in that farewell grasp of the hand, in the manly sincerity with which 
he said, " I will try," that made me feel that the issue was already 
made. 

Three days after, just as I was leaving that army, in a battalion 
drill, I saw my soldier on the extreme left. As the line swung past 
me, I had only time to step alongside and ask, "Did you do it?" and 
to get the answer, quick and firm 
" Yes, sir, I did it." 

During the interesting revival meetings, held at Acquia Creek, in 
an unfinished hospital building, a Michigan soldier stood up one 
evening to give his experience. He had enlisted a year before, leav 
ing Katy, his wife, and a little babe of one year in 
" her arms. Katy had written him regularly and often. 

She was a Christian, and never failed to ask him the 
great question, when he too would be a Christian. He had replied 
to her letters as often as he could, but never said anything about 
becoming a follower of Jesus. 

" Two nights ago," said he, " I got this letter. It has made me a 
Christian, and I want to read it to you." 

He read it as best he could, stopping now and then to wipe his eyes 
and choke back his sobs. The letter announced most tenderly and 
Christianly the death of " Little Henry," told the mother s sorrow 
and hope, and closed saying 

" Now, Henry," that was the father s name, too, " I believe I 
shall not live long, and I expect when I die to go straight to 
our dear little boy, and he will ask me the first thing, Where s papa ? 



ACQUIA CKEEK. 131 

Say, Henry, what shall I tell him ? Won t you go with me to see our 
boy again, that we may have our home together in heaven?" 

" When I got that letter," continued the soldier, " I could not 
speak. I read it twice, and put it in my knapsack, and laid clown to 
sleep. But somehow I couldn t sleep. I kept thinking all the time 
what my little boy would say, Where s papa, where s papa? I got 
up, stirred the fire, read the letter again, and then lay down ; but I 
could not sleep yet. It seemed as if I must see my boy once more. 
I knelt on my blanket and prayed this prayer, O Lord, take me 
to heaven to see Henry ; do let me see Henry once more. I lay 
down again, but couldn t sleep. Then I prayed once more, and while I 
was praying, all at once it came over me, Suppose I should go to 
heaven, Henry wouldn t want to see me. He is an angel now, and I 
am a poor, drinking, swearing, miserable man. He would not know 
his father, and if he did he could not love him. Then I began to 
pray that Jesus would forgive all my sins and make me fit to go to 
heaven. Somehow while I was praying I began to believe and 
to hope.. I laid down on my blanket and dreamed of dying,- and of 
seeing my boy and Katy and my Saviour ; and that s the way I 
became a Christian. It was Katy s letter that did it." 

One stormy March evening the New York troops, who had been 
doing fatigue duty at the Acquia Creek wharf, were relieved by a new 
regiment, which was not yet accustomed to our meetings. We 
adjourned the small gathering at the hospital build 
ing to our own quarters, a little building where the p ^ m 
Delegates lived, slept, wrote and prayed. There were 
some ten or fifteen soldiers present. The leader of the meeting asked 
that each one should say a word out of his own experience. We had 
passed thus round the room ; the Delegates and all the soldiers save 
two had spoken. One of the silent ones rose and, pointing to his 
throat, made signs that he wanted to speak, but could not ; he was 
suffering from acute aphonia. He laid his hands on his breast and 
then upon his lips, signifying a full heart that could find no utter 
ance. Then, as if he could not be satisfied without some word spoken 
for Christ, he motioned to a comrade to stand up beside him, and by 
signs, now of approval, and again of dissent, when his proxy was 
speaking beyond the record, he gave us a very interesting outline of 
a soldier s trials and triumphs in the army. 



132 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

When he sat down, there was but one left in the room who had not 
borne testimony. He was a young man who had come late into the 
meeting. When he saw the eyes of us all fixed upon him, after a 

long pause, he rose with deep emotion : 

"Doubting, I tt ^^ ^ & y strange meeting for me. I came 
Stopped Praying. 

in to bring back a magazine and get some more read 
ing, not knowing that you had a meeting here to-night. I couldn t 
very well go back after I got in, and so I have kept my seat and 
such a meeting as it has been ; such memories as have come to me ! 
I have been living over my life at home while these comrades have been 
telling their stories, and my soldier life, how strange and wicked 
it seems to me to-night ! When I enlisted, I promised myself and 
mother and my Sabbath-school teacher that I would be true to 
my Christian profession. When we went into camp, I found but one 
other Christian in* all my company. He was our Lieutenant. We 
soon became fast friends, talked, prayed and read the Bible together. 
But in the fight of Antietam and the pursuit of Lee, somehow 
we became separated. After we got back on the banks of the 
Rappahannock, one evening at dress parade, I heard the Lieutenant 
swearing fearfully. I spoke right out to him, without remembering 
that he was an officer and I a private : 

" Why, Lieutenant, is that you ? 

" Then he swore at me to hush my impudence and keep my place. 
His oath and angry look stunned me. It seemed as if it could not be 
that that Christian man was swearing, and I began to doubt whether 
I or anybody else was a Christian, and in my doubting I stopped 
praying. Then my doubts grew thick and strong, and it was 
not long before I too began to swear, and if you come over to 
the regiment you will find no man who can curse harder than I. 
But I have done with it now 7 . Brothers, God helping me, I begin 
a Christian life again to-night. 

" This is my story. All of my comrades have asked for prayers. 
There is not one who needs them as much as I. I know you will 
pray for me." 

We saw him frequently after this, before the army moved. He 
always seemed to be holding on to the true way. 

Visiting through the wards of the desolate hospital at Windmill 
Point, I came upon a man, who, without claiming to be a Christian 



WIXDMILL POIXT HOSPITAL. 133 

professed great admiration for the Christian religion, declaring him 
self a patron of Christianity, a fit representative of 

no small class of such patrons. He spoke in glowing The Wi fi s Let ~ 
n, , T-,., , <i n i ter in the Unread 

terms of the Bible, what a source of intellectual 



enjoyment it was to him. He referred to its poetry 
with special enthusiasm. His wife, he said, was an earnest Christian 
woman. I asked him if he would like me to read him a little from 
the Bible. He assented gladly, and saying that he always liked to 
read best from the copy which was his wife s farewell gift, he asked 
me to get it from his knapsack. Opening the book before him, I 
found a letter addressed to himself. He started when he saw the 
handwriting. 

" Why," said he, in some confusion, " that s from my wife." 

He asked me to read it for him. It ivas the parting letter of his 
wife, given him ten months before, and this was its first discovery and 
reading by this patron of his wife s piety, who had left thus her 
loving words to lie so securely between the leaves of the unread 
Bible. 

I found at the same hospital a Massachusetts soldier, once a Sab 
bath scholar, who was in the last stages of disease. He held in his 
pale, thin fingers a letter, written apparently by an aged and trem 
bling hand. I read the address, " My dear Son." /J; 

It looked worn, as if it had been read many times. 
Evidently he had just been over it again, and as he lay back on his 
knapsack pillow there was something inexpressibly solemn and sad 
in his countenance ; added to this, the death shadow was evidently 
stealing upon him. I passed my hand softly over his forehead, part 
ing back the hair from as noble a brow as I have ever seen. He 
looked at me and his eyes filled with tears, a rare occurrence when 
life is just ebbing. It was a stranger s hand, but laid on his head in 
kindness ; perhaps it reminded him of a mother s gentle stroke. 

I said in a low voice, after other conversation 

" You are almost through with this world." 

" Am I ?" said he. 

" Yes, and I hope you are ready for the next." 

" No, I am not, not ready, not ready !" 

" Well, my dear friend, Jesus is all ready, and waiting right here. 
Come now. Shall I pray ?" 



134 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

" Oh no, no ; it is too lute, too late ! I ought to have come long 



And then he told me, as calmly as he could, of the time when he 
was " almost a Christian," and decided to let it pass till another 
winter. 

"That was the time, I might have come then; why didn t I? 
why didn t I?" and pulling the blanket over his face, he sobbed 
aloud. 

I tried to show him Jesus, waiting now to save him ; but he cried 
out 

" Don t talk to me any more it s too late ; I can t bear it !" and 
he motioned me away. 

The next morning, bed No. 8 was empty, and in the military mail- 
bag was a letter, full of sorrow, on its way to a Christian home in 
Massachusetts. The old father was expecting an answer to his last 
letter. This was it. Oh, how that voice, between those sobs from 
under that soldier s blanket, falls upon my ears and rings through 
my soul to this day ! 

"Too late, too late! Why didn t I? why didn t I?" 

As I lifted the blanket from his face and took for that father the 
last look of the manly form on the stretcher, laid out for burial, I 
said to myself 

" I will tell all my young friends, it is not enough to belong to the 
Sunday-school; you must belong to Jesus." 

The following story of the way by which a soldier 
came to Jesus, is from the same pen, and connects itself 
with the narrative of this winter on the Rappahannock : 

A recruiting officer in a country town in Massachusetts in 1861, 

learned that a young man, a farmer s son, was ready to enlist. He 

was about eighteen years of age, of frank, open-hearted and generous 

mind, but, under the teaching and example of his 

Preparing t< fatherj pro f. me an d wicked. None in the village 

school which he attended could equal him in cursing. 

He had no taste for a soldier s life, but his sense of duty led him to 

say that some one in his father s family should go to war, and he 

being the only one who could go, must go. However, when the 



IN A NEW ENGLAND VILLAGE. 135 

recruiting officer came to the door, he told him he was not ready to 
enlist yet, to come again in a few days. The officer came several 
times and was put off, much to his annoyance and to the astonish 
ment of the friends of the young man, whose apparent vacillation 
was entirely opposed to all their former estimate of his downright, 
straightforward character. 

But his conduct had its explanation. The boy had a praying sis 
ter ; from whom, in the midst of all his waywardness, he had been 
receiving unconscious impressions concerning a better life. He after 
wards confessed, in giving his religious experience, that he felt that 
lie could not enlist until he became a Christian, on the ground that 
he was not ready to die, and he would not put himself into peril 
from which he was sure to run, until he was ready. In his own 
words, " I am not a cow T ard, but I can t go to hell, and so I know I 
should run in battle." From this low idea of a Christian life he 
started. 

Not liking to borrow his sister s Bible, he walked four miles to a 
neighboring town after night, and purchased one for himself. He 
began to read with this purpose only, to get ready to enlist by get 
ting ready to die. 

" I began to read the Bible," said he, " as I would any other book, 
at the beginning. It was a very interesting story about the Creation 
and Abraham and Moses and the rest ; but somehow it didn t help 
me to get ready to enlist. I came in due time in my reading to 
the 20th chapter of Exodus. I thought, Now I have it sure. I ve 
got to keep these Commandments, then I can go to war. I gave two 
days to learn them perfectly ; then came the keeping of them. 
There was only one of the ten of whose violation I was very con 
scious. I knew what it was to take God s name in vain, that was 

the sin which I was to overcome. But the more I 

, . -, i T T "Sin Known by 

tried, the more I swore. I never sw r ore so hard in , T 

the Law." 

my life as in that week in which I was trying to keep 
the third Commandment. I tried and tried again. Every morning 
I said to myself, I will not swear to-day, but I never got to break 
fast without it. My great trouble was a vicious, brindled cow, who 
always kicked when she was milked, and put her foot into the pail, 
and then I kicked and cust her, and somehow, I had to do it. 

" It was getting serious. I had told the officer that I would 



136 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

be ready for him the next week without fail, and I could not fool 
with him any more. Then I thought, I will enlist now, and the 
first night in camp I will begin a Christian life, and pray before my 
comrades. This decision reached, I was feeling quite assured ; and 
if the officer had come that day I should have enlisted. Then it 
occurred to me that I had better try the praying business in some 
body s presence before going into camp. My father s hired man used 

to go through my room to enter his own. In the 
Learning to 
p ra evening, just as 1 had dropped upon my knees to try 

praying, the Irishman opened the door. I jumped 
up ashamed, as if I had been caught stealing. Then I thought to 
myself, Scared out of your senses by an Irishman ! a pretty mess 
you d make praying in camp ! So my troubles were only increased ; 
I was swearing every day ; the recruiting officer was coming, some 
thing must be done; I must pray somehow, Irishman or no Irishman. 
I rose in the night and knelt by my bedside ; perspiration started 
from my hands and face ; I clutched the bed-clothes and could only 
articulate, Lord, help help. As I lay down that night there was 
a strange feeling of relief, as if something had really been done. In 
the morning I felt strong for my struggle with Old Brindle. Get 
ting up early, I prayed again, asking God to help me milk that cow 
without swearing. When I sat down my pail, I put both lips between 
my teeth and said to myself, Now, old feller, if you ve any cussin 
to do, you ve got to do it all inside. The cow kicked the pail as 
usual, but I didn t swear that morning; and the next morning it was 
not so hard, and lately Old Brindle has grown quite gentle. 

" From that time I learned to tell God all my troubles, and to ask 
for help. I began to find out that there were a good many things 
besides swearing for me to learn not to do. When the officer next 
came I put down my name. Now I am ready to face anything 
rebels, or death ; I know I shall never run." 

This was the story of a soul struggling into light, told to his pastor 
in what was probably the first serious religious conversation he ever 
held with any one. Afterwards, when he came to unite with the 

church, and told his experience before the committee, 
The Forgive- , . , 

, . the pastor said 

ness oj om*. 

" You have given us a very remarkable experi 
ence, but I have noticed that in it all, you have not once mentioned 



ON THE KAPPA HANCOCK. 137 

the name of Jesus. You say you hope your sins are forgiven, how 
do you know God can forgive sins ?" 

"I don t know," was his answer, "but I have heard if a fellow 
wants to do right, and is sorry he has done wrong, and tells God so, 
God will forgive him anyhow. I believe God has forgiven me; 
but I don t know how He did it." 

" But, haven t you heard about Jesus ?" 

"Yes, I ve heard of Him ; but to tell you the truth I haven t got 
to Him yet in my Bible. I ve only got as far as the Psalms. I was 
thinking the other day I must begin at the other end, and read a 
little about Jesus." 

He united with the church, and the next day went into camp. 

His regiment joined the Army of the Potomac, and spent the 
winter of 1862-3 on the Rappahannock. It was there visited by the 
pastor of the church in which the young man had enrolled himself 
before leaving home. On entering the camp, and 
inquiring for the soldier, a comrade said, " He means ~, 
the happy boy." " He is looking for the whistling 
Christian," said another. 

" Yes," said the pastor, " he is all that." 

And so he was found to be, in his little shelter-tent, on fatigue 
duty, on drill, in daily camp-life, singing, whistling, praying, 
Christian and happy through it all. 

After Chancellorsville, in the Summer of 1863, while his regiment 
was following up Lee through Maryland, weakened by chronic ill 
ness, he fell behind, but would not go to the hospital, though so 
ordered by the Surgeon. Every day he made his march, living on the 

rations which the army scattered in its path, drag- 

i . i . ,. i . i , The March to 

gmg his musket alter him when he was too weak to ~ 

Gettysburg. 

carry it, and inquiring eagerly of every one he met 
how soon there would be a fight. As the prospect of a battle grew 
imminent his strength seemed to revive, and pressing forward he 
actually overtook his comrades and fell into line, as they were coming 
into position at Gettysburg. That day he fought bravely enough and 
long enough to claim a hero s share in the great victory, but before 
the evening came a minie ball struck his right leg. He was treated 
with amputation and re-amputation, and suffered long in hospital, 
lingering close down at death s door. From thence he wrote to his 



138 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

mother that he was never happier in his life, and to his father, who 
had steadily opposed his going to war, " I am not sorry for any 
thing, unless it is for the poor sneaks who stay at home and wait for 
the draft. " 

He survived, and is making an honest living on his wooden leg, 
a most consistent, devoted Christian. When asked one day how he 
was cured of the bad habit of swearing, he replied 

" By the grace of God, and the help of Old Brindle. " 

Mr. John A. Cole, 1 who had already served as Dele 
gate for nearly six months, was early in the year 
appointed General Field Agent of the district compris 
ing the Army of the Potomac, and the hospitals and 
camps of Washington, Maryland and Western Virginia. 
A work of organization was at once vigorously under 
taken. Its first fruit was the plan, successfully carried 
out. of supplying; every regiment in the army with 

1 1 t/ O / O i/ 

Testaments. Delegates and stores in greater abundance 
were asked for and received, and until May 3d, six 
stations were kept in successful operation. Very inter 
esting were some of the scenes of Testament and Bible 
distribution. Eev. E. P. Smith writes : 

I found one regiment in which there were thirty Germans in a 
single company, who had left their homes without the Word of God, 
and who had become hungry for it. A squad of these men promised 

the Chaplain that they would give him their cards 
Cards and Tes- . , * -, m 

tamentg anc * play no more, 11 he would give them lesta- 

ments. 

In another company of this regiment, a single English Testament 
had circulated among thirty soldiers, in five different tents, during 

the entire winter, and it had seldom lain an hour bij 
One Testament 77-7, 7 

, mi . . T. T davLiqlit unused, 
for Thirty Men. y J 

How often on inquiring 



1 Of Medway, Mass. 



AKMY OF POTOMAC STATIONS 139 

" Would you like a Testament?" the answer comes 
" Yes, I would, very much. I lost mine at Antietam, at South 
Mountain, or at Fredericksburg." 

Our prayer meetings are full and solemn. This 



is a serious time with these armed hosts. They know 
from the antecedents of " Fighting Joe," that there is sharp work 
before them; and these warm days and Spring voices are perpetual 
reminders of coming battle, wounds and death. They feel that some 
thing must be done to get ready for these realities, and therefore they 
long for the Bible. 

A Lieutenant related to the Chaplain of the 1st Conn. 
Cavalry an incident which illustrates what these pages 
so often evidence the potency of appeals from home 
upon the soldier s heart : 

A young man in the regiment openly embraced religion, to the 
surprise of all his comrades. One day he happened in my tent, and 
I asked how r his mind was awakened so suddenly. He took out of 
his pocket a letter from his mother : 

" There is something in that letter which affected -r 
me as nothing ever did before." 

The letter said, " We have sent you a box of nice clothes, some 
fine cakes and fruits, and other luxuries and comforts ; and many 
good times we hope you will have, enjoying them and sharing with 
your friends." 

Near the letter s close were these words 

" We are all praying for you, Charlie, that you may be a Christian." 

" That s the sentence," said the grateful boy, the tears gushing from 
his eyes ; " When I was eating the dainties, I thought, Mother 
is praying for me. I know where she goes to pray, and I can 
almost hear the words she says. All the time I was wearing the 
clothes I could not help thinking of the words, We are all praying 
for you, Charlie, that you may be a Christian. How I thank God 
for such a mother ! Her prayer is answered and I am happy." 

A work of revival began at several of the stations of 
the Commission. Earnest prayer meetings, in which the 



140 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

soldiers took the most prominent part, were a main fea 
ture of this, as of every succeeding manifestation of the 
Spirit s power. Rev. Wm. Barrows, 1 in a letter to the 
Boston Recorder, gives a graphic account of one of these 
soldiers meetings : 

A Sibley tent, warmed by an army cooking-stove, lighted by three 
candles and furnished with a long mess-table, was the " upper-room." 
One real chair and several real boxes, chests, etc. furnished seats for 
twenty or more of the soldiers. 

A stranger minister, fresh from home, had the meet- 
Prayer Meeting. 

ing in charge. When a hymn was called for, some 
one began the service with no ado about agreeing on the tune and 
" pitching " it, by striking up the words 

" Nearer, my God, to Thee." 

Then the minister prayed, and before he could turn to his Scripture 
lesson for the morning, they started off with 

" My days are gliding swiftly by," 

singing two stanzas. Then was read the account of the blind beggar 
Bartimeus, and how Jesus healed him, and how he followed the 
Master afterwards. A few words were spoken, showing how poor our 
estate is by nature, sitting by the wayside of life, and how blind we 
are to our own good and God s glory, till we call on Jesus. Then 
somebody began to sing 

" I love to steal a while away," 

and almost all joined, singing but one verse. This was followed by a 
prayer, short and fervent. Then came an exhortation from a weather 
worn soldier of the cross and the government. 

" Jesus, lover of my soul," 

next filled the tent and died away on the hill-side and among the 
pines in which the regiment has so charming a location. 



Pastor of Congregational Church, Reading, Mass. 



A STATION PRAYER MEETING. 141 

Here one rose simply to testify, as he said, that he loved Jesus. 
He did not use five sentences, but it was all testimony. Then came 
a prayer for loved ones at home, the family, the church, the Sabbath- 
school, and prayer meeting ; and so still were all, that you would 
have supposed the praying man to have been alone in the tent. His 
voice trembled somewhat, and if we wiped away a tear or two when 
he said amen, we were not ashamed to be seen doing it, for some 
others did so. Our thoughts went home also ; how could we help 
the tear ? 

And then, as if some of them in the chances of battle might miss 
the earthly home, a verse was sung, beginning 

" Sweet fields beyond the swelling flood." 

Next came a practical talk about following Christ in the army. 
The good ideas were briefly, bluntly put, and full of the love of the 
Lord Jesus. Then a single stanza went swelling out among the pines 
again 

" Come ye that love the Lord." 

An exhortation was now addressed to any who had not enlisted 
under the Captain of our salvation, and it was pressed home by the 
sweet words and familiar air 

" O happy day that fixed my choice !" 

Now one kneels down on the clay floor and prays in the first person 
singular. It was a short, broken prayer, probably by the brother 
who, they said, had lately learned to pray, and in that tent. We have 
all heard such prayers, and none ever affect us so much. An exhorta 
tion followed, by a sailor on the difficulties of being a Christian 
in the army. He showed how they tried to do that at sea, and illus 
trated it by an incident. 

Then came the hymn 

"Thus far the Lord hath led me on." 

The minister here remarked that if we would follow Christ success 
fully, we must keep in the ranks, and own to everybody at proper 
times that Christ is our Captain. Following Him by side marches 
and obscure paths exposes us to the lurking enemy. 



142 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 



the hour was almost gone, and so followed the doxology 
" Praise God from whom all blessings flow." 

and the benediction. 

We thought it worth a trip to the Army of the Potomac to learn 
from the soldiers how to have a good prayer meeting. No one was 
called on to pray or speak and no hymn was given out ; no one said 
he had nothing to say, and then talked long enough to prove it; not one 
excused his inability to " edify." 

The work of distributing the Scriptures to the army 
was the one which, more than any other, introduced the 
Commission to all the men. It was so extensive and 
thorough, and came at such a time, as to command at 
tention, inquiry and boundless gratitude. Kev. E. F. 
Williams 1 gives the following account of this work, on 
Sabbath, April 12th, at Fairfax Court House, where 
three brigades of cavalry and several artillery companies 

O tl J 1 

were stationed : 

Before morning service, of which due notice had been given by 
written " posters" stuck up at the village street-corners and in the 
different camps, we walk out to the grounds of the jail kept by Jack 

son, brother of the murderer of Ellsworth, now used 
Testament Dis- rn 

tribution a S uar( i -house. Iwo or three Rebels, accused 

of having been guerrillas, ask for reading. It is 
granted : 

" Will you give us a Testament ?" 

One is put into their hands, a few words in regard to the necessity 
of trust in Christ are spoken, and we pass on. Outside of the jail 
we meet a man who does not care for our papers, but who would like 
a Testament. His has been wet, the leaves are coming out, the 

7 & 

cover is worthless. He will surely read it. Another lost his at Bull 
Run; another would not have lost his for a hundred dollars, but it 
went with his knapsack on one of his raids. It was his mother s 



1 Then Pastor of Congregational Church, Whitlnsville, Mass. 



AKMY TESTAMENT DISTRIBUTION. 143 

parting gift, one of ours takes its place, though it will not fill it. 
Another had given his Bible to his sister, expecting to die in the 
army, and is glad to get a Testament, which he will read. In this way 
two dozen copies are distributed to the few men around the guard 
house and the Post Commissary s quarters. All these men will 
attend church. They want to know when they can talk with the 
Delegates about home. 

At one of the regimental hospitals visited, there is a man so sick 
with inflammation of the bowels that we do not venture to speak to 
him. After talking, and giving something to each patient, we turn 

to leave. As we go, this sickest man of all motions 

, . m . The Unread 

to his attendant to get a lestament tor him. Ihis Testament 

done, a sign of assent given to the question if he has 
hope in Christ, he becomes quiet again. In this state, with the Tes 
tament under his pillow, he remains till the third or fourth day, 
when his spirit takes its flight home. 

Another scene at Fairfax Station, on April 30th, 
after the arrival of a large box of Testaments, Mr. 
Williams thus describes : 

On inquiry we learn that three or four regiments of Pennsylvania 
troops have not had their share of attention. We load up with read 
ing-matter, and get to the top of a hill, where the men are policing 

and burnino- brush. They run to meet us : 

Eager for God s 
" What have you to sell ?" Wor ^ J 

" Nothing, nothing but Testaments." 

" What do you ask for them ?" 

" Only that you read them." 

" Bully for you !" " Give me one," " and me one," " and me," 
" and me." 

A ring is formed. Hands press forward for the book. The haver 
sack is emptied in less time than it takes to read this account. A 
second, third, fourth load goes in the same way. The men had been 
in so many fights that scarce one of them had a Testament or any 
thing they had brought from home. The regiment contained very 
many Christians ; the privilege of obtaining so much of the Scrip 
tures as a Testament was eagerly embraced. 



144 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

The same day a number of teamsters, some of them belonging to 
regiments stationed at Wolf Run Shoals and Union Mills, and some 
to the 5th Mich. Cavalry at Fairfax Court House, seeing the Tes 
taments, beeped to be allowed to take twenty or more 
The Teamster . ;< ** . J 

T\- f,.-L apiece to the boys. It was a new thing to consti 

tute a dozen swearing teamsters " Bible distributors," 
but it was done ; and their part of the work was faithfully executed. 
In some of the companies, a religious interest was the result. 

Rev. John. O. Barrows, 1 spent a few days of his term 
of service with the 18th Maine Regiment, in camp a 
little above the old village of Falmouth. He writes of 
a visit to a Rhode Island Battery near by : 

I had noticed these artillerymen, as they galloped their horses each 

day, past my tent door to the brook below. So, one afternoon, filling 

my haversack, I paid them a visit. I found them ready to tell me 

much of hard fighting, deep mud, long marches and 

lonely days, but none could tell me of Jesus love. 
for You. J J 

This was very unusual ; never before had I turned 
away from a company of men with so sad a heart. Suddenly some 
one called after me. It was a young soldier, and his first words, 
as he came up a little out of breath, were 

" Do you belong to the Christian Commission ?" 

Almost before I could answer, he went on 

" I saw some of your men at Stoneman s the other day, and I got 
a book of them." 

That was all the introduction ; with trustful simplicity, he began 
to open to me the story of his heart : 

" I was as hard as any of them when I came out, but I had a pray 
ing mother. It most broke her heart when I left home, for she knew 
I was wild and reckless. But she kept praying for me. Every letter 
she sent me, whatever else was said, she always told me that. But I 
didn t trouble myself much about it, till, one day, a letter came to me 
when we were at Poolesville. It wasn t very long, but it took a long time 
to read it, for mother was dead. I could see her after that ; see the 



Pastor of Congregational Church, Northampton, N. II. 



FALMOUTH. 145 

tears on her cheeks, and hear her say the old words, over and over 
again I m praying for you. All through the Peninsula, it was still 
the same ; she was right before my eyes continually. But I didn t give 
in till it came to Fair Oaks. I had worked hard all day at our gun ; 
and when the firing stopped, I sat down on a log by the road, alone. 
They were taking away the dead and wounded near me. I thought how I 
had been preserved ; and then the question came, What has God spared 
me for ? and then another, Had my mother s prayers anything to do 
with it ? They were solemn questions, Chaplain. Across the road 
there was sitting the only Christian in our battery. He saw I was 
thinking seriously ; so he came over and asked me what it was. 
I told him. He was quiet for a little, then he asked me to go with 
him to a still place and pray. I went with him, and, on my knees, 
gave my heart to Jesus ; you don t know how I love Him, Chaplain. 
My friend has been with me ever since ; he s been a great comfort 
when the boys laughed ; and ridicule isn t much anyways, if I can 
keep remembering how my mother s prayers saved me." 

He led me to the friend who had prayed with him at Fair Oaks. 
Their hearts seemed knit together, like the heart of one man. But it 
was indeed " rivers in a dry place, and to a thirsty land streams 
of water," to find another to whom they could tell a little of 
their Christian fellowship. Tears came into their eyes and mine, as 
they told me how it seemed as if I must have come to the army 
especially to meet them, and to hear their story. 

Somehow, as I went back to my tent, my sorrow and sighing had 
fled away. 

Rev. Franklin Tuxbury, 1 writing in April, narrates 
another soldier s history, given at the close of a meeting 
in Washington : 

A Lieutenant-Colonel came to me with his story. He had a Christian 

mother and a praying wife ; though he himself had 

1 i i ,, i i ,, -TT- Unconscious 

been, as he said, " a verv bad man." His narrow 

Influence. 
escapes in battle had awakened him. While going 

into the thickest of the fight at Antietam, he had been appalled by 



1 Congregational Minister, residing in Exeter, N. H. 
10 



146 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

the thought of death without Christ. He had resolved to seek and 
find Him ; but, the hour of danger past, his impressions had 
vanished. At Fredericksburg, in greater danger than ever, his 
feelings of conviction returned. This time they were deepened by 
noticing the peculiar firmness and steadiness of several Christian 
men under fire. Especially was he struck by the noble courage of a 
Corporal, who, after several standard-bearers had been shot down, 
in turn seized the flag-staff, and as he bravely bore it to immediate 
death, calmly said to a comrade 

" If I fall, tell my dear wife that I die with a good hope in Christ, 
and that I am glad to give my life for the country." 

" I cannot forget that," said the Colonel, " and I want to become a 
Christian, for I know there is a reality in religion." 

Near Washington at this time, a work of grace was 
going on at Camp Convalescent. The scenes at some of 
the meetings were thrilling with the emphasis of pathos, 
conviction, repentance and gratitude. No pen can ever 
adequately tell their story. Rev. Geo. J. Mingins 1 
details an account given by a soldier at one of the 
gatherings : 

One evening those who had seen the Commission s work and had 
been benefited by it, were invited to rise and say so. One after 
another delivered his testimony in the straightforward, manly, can 
did style, so much a trait of the soldier. The first 
"Heaven Down . , 

m , . man who got up, said 

my Throat. 

" I hear say, Chaplain, that you are going East to 
Massachusetts. Well, tell them there that a Yankee of the Yankees, 
who never prayed at home, has learned to ask God morning and 
night to * bless the Christian Commission ! " 

He sat down. The next that stood up was a young man, with his 
hand in a sling and his face pale from long-continued illness from a 
wound. He was touched deeply and could hardly speak. At last ho 
said 



1 See p. 18. 



CAMP CONVALESCENT. 147 

" Chaplain, you will know what I think of the Christian Commis- 
-ion when I tell you my simple story. I love it, and there is a, 
dear old mother out in the West who loves it, and I know she prays 
night and morning for God to bless it, because it saved her boy s life. 
After I was wounded, I lay all night on the battle-field. I shall 
never forget that night. Oh, what a long, terrible night it was! 
The stars were out shining brightly, but I could not enjoy them. I 
was dying of thirst. Oh, how I prayed that somebody would come 
near me, that God would send me relief! How my mind went home 
to my dear old mother ! O Chaplain, I thought it was hard to die 
when I knew I might live if I could only get somebody to help me. 
But nobody came near me. I prayed that God would shut out the 
stars and let the sun come once more, bringing light and morning and 
relief. After a while I saw a light glimmering on the field. I won 
dered what it could be. At last I saw the shadow of a man carrying 
a lantern in his hand. By and bye I saw him stoop down, then get 
up, move along a little and stoop down in another place ; and I knew 
he was lifting wounded men up and giving them something to drink. 
Then I began to pray with all my might that he would come near 
me and give me a mouthful of water. I tried to cry out, but could 
not; my tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth. The man came 
nearer and nearer. At one time I thought that he did not see me, 
and was turning off another way. Oh, how my heart was sickening! 
but he came nearer, and I threw my arm about so that he heard 
and came to me. In a moment more he was kneeling by my side and 
pouring what, I thought, was heaven, down my throat! It was cool 
lemonade. The very moment my tongue was loosed, I exclaimed, 
God bless you ! God bless you ! Who are you, sir? He lifted my 
head, and on the lappel of his coat, flashing in the light of the lan 
tern, I saw the badge of the Christian Commission. And I could not 
help it, but cried out, Hurrah, boys ! the Christian Commission has 
come ! We are all right now ! Thank God ! thank God ! the men 
answered back. Ah, Chaplain, the Christian Commission saved my 
life that time, and it has saved many and many a life." And he sat 
down amid a tearful audience. 

Rev. Mr. Mingins began a series of services in June, 
at the camp chapel. About three hundred men attended 



148 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

the first of these, and about five hundred the second. 
On a third evening the chapel was crowded. It could 
not be used afterwards, because entirely too small. The 
meetings were held outside, the nightly attendance 
reaching two thousand and upwards : 

One evening, after a hard day s work, preaching and talking pri 
vately to the men, I retired at a late hour. Some one came to the 
tent door, wanting admittance. I asked who was there. A voice 

replied 

The Lord Ris- ^ ^ ^^ Chaplain ?" 

ing up to Judge. 

I did as requested, and three men stood before me. 

One of them, a young soldier, spoke up and said 

"Chaplain, it s a shame to come at this time of night, but I 
couldn t help telling you how happy I am ; O Chaplain, I ve found 
Jesus." 

I invited them in. The young man spoke again 

" To-night, while sitting by the cook-house door, I heard your voice 
as you were speaking ; I said to a comrade, That fellow has a loud 
voice ; let s go and hear him, and have some fun at the meeting. We 
came to the meeting, Chaplain, to make fun. The first words I heard 
you say were, When the Lord riseth up, what will you do ? when 
God visiteth, what will you answer? These words rang in my heart. 
I couldn t make any fun ; I was thinking all the time of God and 
judgment, and what I should do to answer God for my wickedness. 
When the meeting was over, I was so miserable I did not know what 
to do. I tried to go to the tent ; I tried to come and see you. I was 
afraid to do either. So I went into the woods and began to pray. 
My good old mother long ago taught me what I must do to be 
saved. So I cried like the Publican, and like him was accepted. 
After a while I heard other men praying near me, and found these 
two. Speak to them, Chaplain ; they want Jesus." 

I spoke to them of Jesus ; and before I left the camp they had 
found Him precious. 

Gen. Hooker s arrangements for crossing the Kappa- 
hannock were carried out successfully in the close of 



CHANCELLORSVILLE. 149 

April. On May 1st began the disastrous battle of 
Chancellorsville, ending, on the evening of the 4th, in 
the hasty retreat of our left wing across the Rappahan- 
nock, with heavy loss. On May 6th the entire army 
had fallen back to the old position. Field hospitals for 
the various corps were at once established. They were 
immense and widely scattered, so that new Commission 
stations were called for. These were located at Potomac 
Creek, Howard and Brooks Stations. A relief work of 
great extent and variety was immediately begun. 

Rev. W. H. Eaton 1 gives many interesting reminis 
cences of his hospital work after the battle. He was 
especially struck with the unfaltering courage of the 
men : 

About fifteen hundred of our wounded were left on the battle-field 
over the river. For twelve days or more they had little or no atten 
tion. Their wounds were in many cases dressed but once, and there 
was no shelter from the rain and sun, save such as 

the scattered trees afforded. When brought to the ^ hancell ^^ 

Heroes. 
hospital they were in a pitiable condition. Many 

died very soon after. Others had their wounds filled with loathsome 
worms. 

" I don t expect to live," said a New Hampshire man, who was in 
this condition ; " all I ask is to be kept clean while I do live." 

Rev. John M. Durgan, a Free-will Baptist Minister, who was 
Lieutenant of Co. B, 12th N. H. Kegt., was severely wounded just 
below the heart. On the twelfth day after, he was brought over 
with the rest. It was feared that he would not live to reach the hos 
pital. But when they proposed to take him from the ambulance on 
a stretcher, the brave man utterly refused all assistance, and getting 
out alone walked into the ward to his bed. He is still alive, and 
able to preach the gospel. 

Another, who had lost both legs by amputation, I saw the next 



Pastor of First Baptist Church, Nashua, N. H. 



150 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

day nonchalantly leaning upon one arm, perusing the Philadelphia 
Inquirer. Another had been very severely wounded, but had suc 
ceeded after his fall in crawling in under some trees. 
The Blessed TT . , , 

g , His was a golden testimony 

" Those twelve days were among the happiest of 
my life. I had my Testament with me. All the strength I had was 
devoted to prayer and the reading of the Blessed Book. Oh, never 
before did the Saviour seem so precious, or His Word so sweet. I 
would not part with this little book, which was my light and joy in 
those days of darkness and loneliness, for any earthly consideration." 
Major Whittlesey, of Gen. Howard s staff, told us of a Chaplain 
who had been very attentive to a wounded soldier for several days, 
trying if possible to save his limb. It was decided that the leg must 
be taken off. The soldier was anxious that his Chaplain should be 
present during the operation, but he felt as if he could not bear the 
sight. So, when the suffering man was put upon a stretcher and 
borne to the amputating-table, the Chaplain remained behind. How 
was he surprised and electrified, as he waited sadly for the result, to 
hear the voice of his friend sounding forth from the room of pain, 
singing those precious lines ! 

" How sweet the name of Jesus sounds 
The Sweetest In a believer s ear ! 

Name. It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds, 

And drives awav his fear." 1 



1 Kev. I. 0. Sloan relates an incident very similar to this which occurred in 
his Delegate s experience at one of the hospitals after Antietam. A young Mas 
sachusetts soldier, Charles Warren, had been led by unremitting care and faithful 
admonition to give himself up to Jesus. His leg, it was found, must be am 
putated to save his life. Mr. Sloan, unwilling to witness the scene, turned away 
as they carried the soldier to the operating-table. He had not walked far, 
before he heard Warren s cheerful voice, singing 

" There ll be no more sorrow there ; 
In heaven above, where all is love, 
There ll be no more sorrow there." 

He turned back and found the soldier drowsy from the chloroform administered. 
Thus he remained, for the operation proved useless, until he passed away. 



CHANCELLOESVILLE. 151 

i 

Rev. E. F. Williams tells the story of the death of 
Capt. Isaac R. Bronson, 1 shot in the shoulder on the 3d, 
and who lingered until the 20th : 

Death had no terrors for him, but there was a struggle which only 
u parent s heart can know, when he said 

" Oh, if I could only get inside the old homestead and look on the 

i aces of my little ones and my parents and George 

, T . T , n , i . , Death Swattowed 

and Lottie, 1 should be satisfied. . ^ T . . 

up in Victory. 

I replied, " We shall come pretty soon." 

He answered with a smile as he pointed upward, "Yes, only a little 
further on." 

Shortly before he breathed his last, he said, " Sing me one of the 
songs of Zion." 

His wife who had come, asked, " What shall we sing ? Rock of 
Ages? " 

" Yes, Rock of Ages. " 

That, and " Come sing to me of heaven," were sung. 

Bending over him as he lay with closed eyes, as if for a moment 
asleep, my ear caught the word " Glory," quickly followed by the 
expression in a loud, distinct voice 

" Death is nothing to the glory beyond." 

I asked, "Is death swallowed up in victory ?" The answered words 
came back from the threshold of the heavenly door 

" Death is swallowed up in victory." 

The incident which follows, related by the chairman 
of the Commission, is a strange sequence of events lead 
ing a soldier to Jesus : 

After the battle Private D , of the 68th Penna. Regiment, a type 
setter from Philadelphia, was detailed for service with the Ambu 
lance Corps. Passing over the bloody field covered with all the val 
uable wreck of battle, he saw a little torn book lying 
on the ground. Picking it up unthinkingly, he put jg o jj. 
it into his pocket, and soon forgot that he had it. 

1 Of Co. I, 14th Conn. Eegt. 



152 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

Soon after, as lie was removing a wounded soldier to die stretcher on 
which he was to be carried to the hospital, the man exclaimed 

" Don t move me ; I m dying. My name is Jesse Stevens, of the 
1st Mass. Regiment. I want you to pray for me." 

Private D did not know how to pray, but it suddenly occurred 

to him to look at the little book he had picked up ; to his astonish 
ment he found on the outside page a prayer, entitled "After sudden 
visitation." He at once knelt down, and read in the ear of the dying- 
man the words of the petition : 

" O most gracious Father, we fly unto Thee for mercy in behalf 
of this Thy servant, here lying under the sudden visitation of Thy 
hand. If it be Thy will, preserve his life, that there may be place 
for repentance: but, if Thou hast otherwise appointed, let Thy mercy 
supply to him the want of the usual opportunity for the trimming 
of his lamp. Stir up in him such sorrow for sin and such fervent 
love to Thee, as may in a short time do the work of many days ; that 
among the praises which Thy Saints and Holy Angels shall sing 
to the honor of Thy mercy through eternal ages, it may be to Thy 
unspeakable glory that Thou hast redeemed the soul of this Thy 
servant from eternal death, and made him partaker of the everlast 
ing life, which is through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen." 1 

During the prayer the Confederates had been posting themselves 

in the immediate neighborhood, and D was made a prisoner. 

During his confinement in Libby, the words of the dying man kept 
ringing in his ear, " I am dying ; pray for me." His sins came up 
before him, but he found no peace. Subsequently arriving at Camp 
Distribution, and hearing of a prayer meeting, he resolved to attend 
it. He was one of more than a hundred and twenty, who that even 
ing rose to be prayed for. His anxiety was increased after hearing 
from his wife, who had become a Christian since he had left home, 
and who, in all her letters, was urging him to give his heart to 
Christ. He was not long in following her advice and example. Mr. 
Stuart bore the message of the soldier s decision to his happy wife, 
and still keeps, as a memento of solemn interest, the tattered leaves 
of the torn Prayer Book. 



1 Written by the late Et. Eev. Bishop Potter of the Diocese of Pennsylvania. 
Soldiers Prayer Book, p. 10. 



AFTER CHANCELLORSVILLE. 153 

The work of holding prayer meetings among the men 
was recommenced as soon as possible after the battle. 
Eev. W. H. Eaton gives a graphic account of meetings 
at Potomac Creek Station : 

Our station was on the thoroughfare between the hospitals of the 
3d and 6th Corps, one mile from Potomac Creek. We had three 
large wall-tents, put up in such order as to make but one spacious 

room. On one side we kept our books, papers and 

i ., i . -, Potomac Creek 

hospital stores ; the other was occupied as a parlor 



by day, a chapel in the evening, and a sleeping room 
at night. For our parlor chairs we had rows of planks, five deep, 
resting on empty boxes. These answered in the evening for chapel 
settees, and at night for spring beds. A small tent close by con 
tained our kitchen, in charge of Joseph Jones, of the 84th Penna. 
Vols., detailed for us by Col. Bowman. Joseph was an earnest Chris 
tian. During the previous winter he had been converted at one of 
our stations, and was a decidedly happy man in his post as cook to 
the Christian Commission. 

Our prayer meetings began at early candle-lighting, although some 
of the soldiers used to come in a half hour or so before sunset ; some 
with crutches and others with canes; some with bandages about 
their heads and others with their arms slung, all 
sore and lame from recent wounds, but able to move 
about. They fill up our chapel to the number of one j^ t 
hundred or more. At twilight, one of us takes half- 
a-dozen candles from the box. and, as candlesticks are lacking, we 
put one into a potato prepared for the purpose, and suspended from 
the roof by a wire ; another into a piece of board ; two or three into 
small boxes, filled so as to keep the candles upright. Then the meet 
ing begins. 

How the men turn back to their homes ! 

" When I left home," says one, " my father took me by the hand 
and told me, It would not be half so hard to part with you if I 
knew you were a Christian. I made up my mind to seek Christ 
then, and I think I have found Him." 

Another said, " I once had a hope, but I have gone astray. The 



154 CHKISTIAF COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

dangers of war did not awaken me. I have been in the habit of 
gambling since I was wounded. To-day I got a letter from home 
with the sad news of the death of a dear sister, who was baptized 
on the same day with myself. Ever since I have been in the army, 
she has written to me and has prayed for me, that I might not injure 
Christ s cause. She has gone to heaven now. I mean to forsake my 
sins and to lead a Christian life. Will you not all pray for me?" 

" I was wounded on the field," said another. "As I staggered off 
to the rear, the bullets kept singing past me and burying themselves 
in the ground all about. I expected immediate death. When I got 
beyond the hill," nearly out of danger, I fell on my knees and gave 
thanks to God. And now I mean to be His for ever." 

The two simply-told incidents which follow, occurring 
at different stations at about the same time in the month 
of June, show alike how the soldiers were met and 
touched by little kindnesses, their very lives sometimes 
turned Christward by them. The first is related by 
Rev. Geo. N. Harden, 1 a Delegate at the Acquia Creek 
Station : 

A vigorous-looking soldier came in, asking whether we had any 
little bags with needles, buttons, &c. 

Said he, " I belong to Co. B, 78th N. Y., and lost everything in 

the battle of Chancellorsville. I was lying down 
Near me all that . , ,, . -. ,, , 

I) U I D when a piece 01 shell struck me on the cartilage of the 

nose ; it s all healed now, but twas a close hit. I was 
very near death then, but I thought of God all the time, and prayed 
and trusted Him as never before. A man lying three feet from me 
was killed by the same shell. Oh, I hope I love the Lord. I try to 
serve Him. He seemed near me all that dreadful day." 

I handed him a comfort-bag, saying it was from a little motherless 
boy in my own Sabbath-school 

" And could you let me have one for McClusky, my tent-mate?" 

" Oh yes, with pleasure." 



1 Pastor of Congregational Church, Boxboro , Mass. 



FALMOUTH. 155 

" Well, sir, we ll write to these little boys. It s about all we can 
do in return for their kindness." 

I asked whether McClusky was a Christian : 

" He is leaning that way, since the last battle. I have persuaded 
him to try to be one. He and I go a little way from camp and pray 
together. One of the little books may help him." 

I gave the veteran a book for his comrade, entitled " Come to 
Jemis" with papers for himself. He departed after bestowing upon 
me the warmest, solidest clasp of the hand I had yet received in 
Virginia, with an earnest " God bless you !" 

The second story is from the pen of Rev. Geo. H. 
Morss, 1 who at the time was laboring at the Division 
Hospital of the 2d and 5th Corps, near Falmouth : 

We were visited one morning by an old soldier from Connecticut, 
who was acting as orderly for his Colonel. Our breakfast was ready, 
and we invited him to stay and eat with us. Heat first objected 

because he had not been much accustomed to eat 

. . , , r , . . . , The Soldier s 

with others. However, he did join us at last, and 

seemed to enjoy it exceedingly. He said he had not 

sat down to eat at a table with any one since he had been in 

the service. 

" I have three sons," said he, " in the army. When the third one 
enlisted, I felt that I could not remain alone, but must come myself. 
I have been a very hard man, and much given to swearing," indeed, 
we had to reprove him mildly for it once, as he was talking about it. 

He seemed touched and melted by our kindness. After breakfast 
I told him that we were accustomed to have our devotions then, and 
asked him to remain. He did so. After reading a portion of Scrip 
ture, we sang a hymn. I then offered prayer, commending the 
soldier and his sons to the Lord. He came to me afterwards, 
took me by the hand, and with the tear glistening in his eye, said 

" You are the first man that ever prayed for me in my presence, 
and I thank you for it. I am determined now to live a different life. 



1 Pastor of Congregational Church, Abington, Conn. 



156 CHKISTIAX COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

Old John Perkins shall be a, better John from this time. I 
will never swear again." 

As he left our tent, our hearts rejoiced before God that He 
had made use of our simple acts of kindness to reach the heart of the 
old man. 

The work of quieter Christian effort was soon brought 
to an abrupt close. Lee, strengthened by Long-street s 
Division, called from the siege of Suffolk by the crisis on 
the Eappahannock, early in June concentrated his army 
at Culpepper, preparatory to another invasion of Mary 
land. His troops passed rapidly up the Shenandoah, 
scattering Milroy s army before them. General Swell s 
Corps crossed the Potomac at Williamsport on June 16th, 
only three days after Hooker had started from his lines 
in front of Fredericksburg. It soon became evident that 
the enemy did not intend to assail Washington, but was 
entering Pennsylvania, Hooker crossed the Potomac on 
June 26th. On the 28th he was relieved, and Gen. 
George G. Meade placed in command. 

When Hooker s movement began, the Commission 
stores were safely removed to Washington from the old 
stations. Messengers found the army at Fairfax Court 
House, where a station was already in operation. It did 
not long remain, but a vigorous work was entered on, 
both there and at Fairfax Station, especially among the 
cavalry wounded in the skirmishes and battles, so fre 
quent at this juncture. Field Agent E. F. Williams 
narrates an incident of this crisis, peculiarly character 
istic of an American army : 

In the midst of our work, two soldiers of Co. I, 2d Pennsylvania 
Cavalry, came into our room in the old church at Fairfax C. H., with 
a library of a hundred volumes on their shoulders, which, neatly 



BEFORE GETTYSBURG. 157 

packed in a box, they have carried eighteen months. 
The boys have read it again and again, yet it is still in ^ Front 
good order. Hardly a book has been lost. They 
cannot bear to throw it away ; but they have no means of transport 
ing it now. It was given them while on their way to the front, by 
ladies in Philadelphia. 

Will the Christian Commission take it and get it to Washington ? 
After the present movement is over, perhaps some regiment can be 
found which would like the library. There is not much use in thinking 
we shall see it again. It is the destiny of the cavalry this Summer to 
be pretty busy. Better give the books to a regiment of infantry." 

" And here is my singing book," adds one of the soldiers ; " I have 
carried it ever since I came into the service. I must give it up now. 
Will you take it, and give it to somebody to whom it will do some 
good ? I can t throw it away." 

We receive the gift, mark the box, assure the soldiers that we 
will get the books to Washington, and if possible return them in 
more favorable times. 

Mr. Williams adds other interesting reminiscences of 
this movement. We have only room for the following, 
which occurred at Fairfax C. H. : 

On June 23d, two hundred men, who have been driven in ambu 
lances over the roughest of roads from the skirmish-field all along the 
Blue Ridge, pass our doors for the railroad station. They have four 
miles of terrible " corduroy " before them, and have 
had no food nor drink since they were wounded. f ti w n d d 
They cannot stop now for us to prepare them any 
thing. A Commission Agent rides rapidly to the station, has fires 
kindled, coffee prepared, and bread cut in slices, buttered and spread 
with jelly, water brought, tin cups and sponges made ready, and the 
Delegates prepared to give aid and comfort to the men as they are 
taken from the ambulances and placed upon the cars for Washing 
ton. The work continues all the afternoon and far into the night, for 
the train is delayed. Rebel prisoners are not overlooked. 

"Is this for me?" said one of their Colonels, to whom a cup of 
coffee was handed. 



158 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

" Yes, sir. Will you please drink it ?" 

" Well, this beats me. We don t treat our prisoners 
Coals of Fire 

on the Head. 

11 We make no distinctions," is our only answer. 

The Colonel drinks his coffee and eats his bread in silence, but with 
tears in his eyes and wonder in his heart. 

One man who had been a disbeliever in the Sanitary and Christian 
Commissions, considering them as humbugs, began to change his 
mind somewhat. It was wonderful to see how the logic of events 

graduallv conquered him, until at last he said, with 
The Gospel of 

tears 

Bread and Coffee. 

" That s what I call the gospel. God bless you ! 
I mean to tell them at home to do all they can for you." 



CHAPTEE VI. 

THE EASTERN ARMIES. 

GETTYSBU RG. 
July 1863. 

THE great battle began on the first day of July, Ewell 
and Hill s Corps of the Confederate Army forcing back 
our 1st and llth Corps. The greater part of the second 
day was consumed by each side waiting for its absent 
divisions. The evening s fighting was to the advantage 
of the enemy, though it welded our line together for the 
struggle of the next day. The story of Bound Top, 
the Peach Orchard, and Cemetery and Gulp s Hills is 
too well known to need repetition. The sun of July 3d 
went down upon a decisive Union victory. Gen. Lee 
began his retreat on the following day. Gen. French 
captured and destroyed the bridge over the Potomac at 
Williamsport. It was some time before the enemy could 
rebuild it, but on the 13th this was accomplished, and 
in the night the swollen river was safely crossed. 

Before the battle closed, the Delegates of the Com 
mission were on the ground. At once began the most 
successful and extensive work which had yet been 
attempted, a work rich in incidents of sacrifice, devo 
tion and Christian ministration. A supply station was 
established in the village. Thither stores were pushed 



160 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

forward from the Commission offices and from the whole 
surrounding country. Over three hundred Delegates, 
of all ranks and occupations, were sent as the almoners 
of the gathered bounty. Before they had concluded 
their work, stores to the value of $80,000 had been 
distributed. Too much cannot be said of the kindness 
of the people of Gettysburg to the Delegates, whose 
accommodations at first were very limited. Nor was it 
confined to them ; until the hospitals were withdrawn 
from the neighborhood, the residents w r ere untiring in 
their efforts to alleviate the wants of the w r ounded and 
dying. 

Mr. Enoch K. Miller, a private of Co. F, 108th N. Y. 
Vols., who afterwards became a Chaplain in the army, 1 
relates, in a letter addressed to Rev. R. J. Parvin, 2 
how his life was saved at this battle. We make extracts 
from the letter, and this single relation must stand for 
the many others left untold : 

"It was dark when they laid me under a tree, surrounded by hun 
dreds of my comrades who were wounded and dying, and as my 
Chaplain, Kev. Thomas Grassie, bent over me and asked where my 

trust was placed, the Psalmist s words came involim- 
A Saved Life, 

tarily to my lips : Yea, though I walk through the 
valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with 
me, Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. A minie ball had 
pierced my breast, passing through my left lung and coming out a 
little under my shoulder blade. The Surgeon of our regiment.made 
an examination of my wound, but as I supposed that at that time 
the ball was in me, he only looked at my breast. He gave me a 
sleeping powder, and throwing his rubber blanket over me, left me 
as he supposed, to die. During the next three or four days, without 
a pillow or sufficient covering, my clothes saturated with my own 



Of 25th U. S. C. T. 2 See p. 44. 



BELIEF WORK. * 161 

blood, with no proper food, attended by a faithful comrade, Sergeant 
John O Connell, I lay scarcely daring to hope for life. 

"About noon one day I saw in the distance the silver badge of the 
Christian Commission, and sending my comrade, I soon had its Del 
egate by my side. In that Delegate I recognized Brother Stillson. 1 
He was an old friend, and we had been co-laborers in the Sunday- 
school work before the war commenced. He knew me in an instant, 
and without waiting to waste words, supplied me with a feather pil 
low, the first I had had in a year, a quilt, a draught of wine, some 
nice soft crackers and a cup of warm tea. After offering up an 
earnest prayer by my side, he hastened away to secure some clean 
clothes. He then removed my filthy garments, and in doing that it 
wjis found that the ball had passed through me. 

"After all this had been done, I felt as though I was at home ; for, 
my dear sir, the Delegate of the Commission acts the part of a ten 
der, loving mother, a willing father, an affectionate sister, a sympa 
thizing brother and a beloved pastor. 

" I lay on the field until July 15th, and received everything that 
could enhance my comfort in such a situation. The greatest share 
came from the Christian Commission. For a few days I was cared 
for by a Surgeon connected with your society. Without these com 
forts and necessaries I must have died, but as your agents were on 
the ground to care personally for just such cases as mine, and as a 
great Providence ordered it, I survived." 

The soldier s words of gratitude to the Commission, and to Rev. 
Mr. Parvin, who had written the orders for the stores which relieved 
him, need not be added. 

Mr. Demond 2 relates two stories of relief work per 
formed by Mr. John C. Chamberlain, 3 illustrative of the 
spirit animating the Delegates, and of the good which 
even a very slight service could effect : 

He heard just at nightfall of a hospital, some miles away, tnat 



1 J. B. Stillson, Esq., of Rochester, N. Y. 

* In his address at the last Anniversary of the Commission. 
3 Student of Bangor (Me.) Theological Seminary, and brother of the gallant 
Gen. Chamberlain. 
11 



162 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

had not been visited. Though wearied with the labors of the day, 
he went to it at once on foot. He found the Surgeon in charge sick, the 

assistant overwhelmed with the care of some two 
P ,. , hundred wounded, and no stores or comforts. He 

told the Doctor that there was a station of the Sani 
tary Commission within a mile, and asked why he had not got stores. 
The Doctor said he did not know how to get them. Mr. Chamber 
lain wrote an order on the Sanitary Commission, the Doctor signed 
it, and the Delegate went to the station and found that the Sanitary 
Commission had gone away. What was to be done ? It was late ; 
he was very weary ; it was nearly five miles to Gettysburg, where 
the station of the Christian Commission was, the road was hard, and 
the streams all high and swollen. But the men were suffering, and 
there was no one but him to help. He took the long and lonely 
walk, and very early the next morning the wagon of the Christian 
Commission was at that hospital, laden with stores and comforts for 
the heroic sufferers. 

The same Delegate came one day upon an out-of-doors hospital, 
where the men were lying in the July sun, with no shelter. After 
looking a moment, he took a stone and stick, and arranged the blanket 

of a soldier so as to shield his face. Others caught 

Sun-shades. 

the idea, and soon every one in the hospital was shel 
tered from the burning and torturing blaze of the sun. 

Rev. Geo. Bringhurst 1 tells a little incident of one of 
these slight services : 

One very dark night I met a soldier whose arms had both been 
shot away. He was getting to his tent, and I asked what I could do 
for him. 

" Oh, nothing, Chaplain," said he, cheerfully ; " un- 
,. ,, ^ less you would tie my shoes for me. They have been 

bothering me a good deal." 

I thought, as I stooped down, of the latchet which the Forerunner 
was not worthy to loose, and the little deed became a joy. 



See p. 24. 



KELIEF WORK. 163 

Eev. E. F. Williams 1 tells a story of faith and its 
result : 

Our store-keeper, an Englishman, earnest, hard-working, patriotic, 
and a Christian, was asked one day, when our supply of provisions 
was getting very low, to cut the slices of bread which he gave the 
boys a little thinner. 

" Oh, no," said he, " I can t, the poor fellows are Faith 
so hungry." 

" But our bread will soon be gone." 

" Well, I have faith that the Lord will send us more before we 
are quite out." 

He was allowed to take his own course, though advised to be as 
sparing as possible. The day wore away, and still the crowd of 
hungry soldiers pressed around our doors. The last loaf was taken 
from the shelf. A hundred Delegates were yet to have their supper. 
But there were no crackers, no meat, no bread for them, or for the 
still unfed soldiers, who, weary with wounds and a long, limping 
march from the field hospital, lingered at our rooms for a morsel of 
food, a cup of coffee and a word of direction about the trains for 
Baltimore and Philadelphia. 

Just at the last moment, when our faith was almost exhausted, an 
immense load of provisions stopped before our quarters, and the 
drivers asked for the agents of the Commission : 

" We have brought bread, lint, bandages, jellies and wines ; 
we don t know just who are most needy, but we have confidence 
in you. Will you distribute these things for us ?" 

The stores had come a hundred and three miles. Two ministers, 
German Reformed and Lutheran, were with them. Our thanks can 
better be imagined than told. Never again did we chide the store 
keeper s faith, who knew that the Lord would send just what we 
wanted. Nor did our stock of provisions ever again give out while 
we remained at Gettysburg. 

An incident of noble Christian fortitude and heroism 



1 See p. 142. 



164 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

is related of Chaplain Eastman, son of Kev. Dr. East 
man, Secretary of the American Tract Society: 1 

His horse plunging during the battle, struck him on the knee-pan. 
His leg swelled and stiffened until the pain became almost unen 
durable. When he could no longer stand, he gave his horse to a 
servant and laid himself down on the ground. He 
Chaplain ^ ac ^ ^ ta ^ e a woun( led soldier s place alone that 

night. As he lay suffering and thinking, he heard a 
voice; "O my God!" He thought, Can anybody be swearing in such 
a place as this? He listened again, and a prayer began ; it was from a 
wounded soldier. How can I get at him? was his first impulse. He 
tried to draw up his stiffened limb, but he could not rise. He put 
his arm round a sapling, drew up his well foot, and tried to extend 
the other without bending, that he might walk ; but he fell back in 
the effort, jarred through as if he had been stabbed. He then 
thought, I can roll. And over and over he rolled in pain and blood, 
and by dead bodies, until he fell against the dying man, and there 
he preached Christ and prayed. At length one of the line officers 
came up and said 

" Where s the Chaplain ? One of the staff" officers is dying. 

" Here he is, here he is," cried out the sufferer. 

" Can you come and see a dying officer ?" 

" I cannot move. I had to roll myself to this dying man to talk 
to him." 

" If I detail two men to carry you, can you go ?" 

"Yes." 

They took him gently up and carried him. And that live-long 
night the two men bore him over the field, and laid him down beside 
bleeding, dying men, while he preached Christ and prayed. Lying 
thus on his back, the wounded Chaplain could not even see his audi 
ence, but must look always heavenward into the eyes of the peaceful 
stars, emblems of God s love, which even that day of blood had not 
soiled nor made dim. 

Mr. J. B. Stillson gives a detailed account of the 



i Told by Rev. Jos. T. Duryea, D.D., Pastor of Collegiate Reformed (Dutch) 
Church, New York. 



A GETTYSBURG HERO. 165 

adventures and escapes of John Burns, of Gettysburg, 
who acted as a volunteer soldier through part of the 
battle : 

He was within two months of his seventieth year when he offered 
himself, dressed in the Continental coat, vest and corduroys which he 
had worn in the war of 1812, to Gen. Wister, who commanded what 

was known as the "Iron Brigade." Approaching that 

Old John 
officer, he said 



" General, I fought for my country in 1812, and I 
want to fight for it again to-day." 

The officer looked at him keenly from head to foot, and seeing he 
was in earnest, extended his hand : 

" God bless the old soldier; he shall have a chance." 

Joining the 7th Wisconsin, he performed a brave man s duty until 
the close of the first day s battle, when, after being four times hit, 
he fell into the enemy s hands. His escape with life had been truly 
marvellous. The first ball struck his side, and was turned away from 
his body by the intervention of a pair of old-fashioned spectacles in 
his vest pocket. The second struck a truss worn for an abdominal 
injury, and glanced off, cutting away the flesh from his thigh about 
two inches below the top of the hip-bone. The third ball passed 
through his leg, between the large and small bones, without injuring 
either them or the arteries. The fourth went through the fleshy part 
of the left arm below the elbow, also without breaking bones or rup 
turing arteries. 

He lay on the field during the night, and was removed next morn 
ing, through a neighbor s kindness, to his own house in the town. A 
Rebel officer, accompanied by a soldier, visited him there, and ques 
tioned him closely about the part he had taken in the fight, but 
Burns made no replies. The window of the room looked out towards 
a house at some distance, occupied by Rebel sharpshooters ; the old 
man s bed was within range, and shortly after the officer and soldier 
left, a ball from the house entered his window, and grazing his breast 
buried itself in the partition wall. Only a moment before, the 
wounded man, weary of lying on his side, had turned upon his bed. 
In the former position the minie ball would have passed directly 
through him. 



166 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

The most precious reward to the Delegate was the 
privilege of turning a wandering soul to Jesus. It was 
God s will that this result should be often reached in the 
Gettysburg hospitals. Rev. Mr. Parvin narrates one 
such incident among others : 

I found on the field a Michigan soldier named David Laird, and 
visited him regularly while I was at Gettysburg. One day, after 
writing home at his request, he told me of his early training, of his 

wandering; from it, of his long-ins: to return. We 
David Laird. 

prayed, read and talked together, until at last the 
Spirit took possession of his heart. At first he was very much 
troubled because his wound a serious one received while the regi 
ment was falling back under orders was in the back. I reassured 
him, and explained all the circumstances to his parents in my letter. 
I received answers from each of them, thanking me for my little 
ministries. But the mother s letter to her boy was perfect tender 
ness and love : 

" DAVID, MY DARLING BOY : What can I say to you, my son ! 
my son? Oh, that I could see you! that I could minister to you! I 
think father will probably be with you soon. My dear one, you 
have done what you could to suppress this cruel rebellion. May God 
comfort you ! You are still serving the country so dear to your 
heart. You have been for thirty months an active volunteer ; now 
you are a suffering one. Still there is an army in which you may 
enlist, the army of the Lord. All all are welcome there. You 
will find kind friends who will keep us advised ; and please request 
them to give us all the particulars of your situation. God comfort 
and sustain you, dear one, is your mother s prayer !" 

His father wrote about the wound : 

"As to David s wound in his back, it need give him no uneasiness. 
None who know him will suppose it to be there on account of cow 
ardice." 

The weeks passed on ; the pleasant September days came, but 
David was worse. His father came in time to see him die. When 



THE CHRISTIAN PEACE. 167 

it was all over, I tried to comfort him for his loss, but he put the 
words kindly aside : 

" I don t need any comfort from man, for God has given me so much, 
in seeing the happy death of my boy, that I am perfectly content." 

Prof. M. L. Stoever, 1 of Pennsylvania College, Get 
tysburg, remained in the town throughout the terrible 
days. At much personal risk, he, with other citizens, 
strove to do what he could for the many wounded suffer 
ers. His reminiscences of the battle are exceedingly 
rich and valuable. We present a few, each of which 
illustrates some aspect of the Christian soldier s peace in 
the hour of deepest trial : 

One of the most touching scenes I remember was in attending 
upon a man who became a Christian as he lay wounded in the col 
lege edifice. I read to him the precious promises of God s Word ; 

his ioy seemed unspeakable; his countenance beamed 

J J The Postscript. 

with delight as the hour of his departure drew near. 
While sending to his family his dying messages, he spoke with strong 
confidence of his acceptance of the Saviour s love. After I had 
closed the letter, he said 

" Please add a postscript. Tell mother to urge my brothers to 
serve the Lord." 

His earnestness with regard to this, in the midst of his sufferings, 
was deeply impressive. 

Captain Griffeth, of Gen. Howard s staff, was mortally wounded 
in the battle. Amid army associations and perils, a warm personal 
attachment had grown up between the General and his Adjutant; 
and when the command came to pursue the retreat 
ing foe, the General hastened to take his last fare- the 



well. The door was closed ; words of sympathy were 

necessarily brief, than Christ s own, none were better ; Gen. How 

ard read the fourteenth chapter of St. John 



1 Afterwards a member of the General Commission, and a frequent and effi 
cient Delegate. 



168 CHEISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

" Let not your heart be troubled : ye believe in God, believe also 
in Me. In My Father s house are many mansions ; if it were not 
so, I would have told you ; I go to prepare a place for you. And if 
I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you 
unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." 

Then bowing upon the floor, the General commended his wounded 
friend to the compassionate God and Father of all those who trust in 
Him, and rising from his knees clasped him in one long, fond, weep 
ing embrace. Thus the heroes parted. One to pursue the Rebellion 
to its death ; the other, within a few days, to enter into the rest of 
God. 

In the school-house Prof. Stoever found together two interesting 
<nd intelligent young men, who had just had amputation performed. 
They were Confederates, and both from Lutheran colleges, one from 
Roanoke College, Va., the other from Newberry Col 
lege, S. C. Their teachers had been students in the 
college at Gettysburg, and were well known to the 
Professor. One of them was already a Christian; the other had 
found Christ, he trusted, on that battle-field. 

"Tell my father," said the first, "if you can get a letter to him, 
that I am leaning on the strong arm of Jesus ; He comforts me ; all 
my hope is in Him." 

Said the other, "Write to my mother that I have found the 
Saviour; He is precious to my soul. And say to her, If I meet 
you, mother, no more on earth, I hope to meet you in heaven. " 

Prof. Stoever narrates a striking instance of the way 
in which, through Christ Jesus, all Christians are made 
one : 

The Sabbath after the battle my attention was directed to the 
destitution of a hospital in the Roman Catholic church of Gettys 
burg. On entering the building, filled with wounded and dying, I 
was met by a Roman Catholic lady, well known to 
rl T^ J me as a ooc ^ woman, but a very rigid religionist. 

She said at once 

"Do come and speak to this man. The Surgeon says he will die, 
and he is unconverted." 



THE CHRISTIAN PEACE. 169 

I followed her to the chancel within which he was lying. She 
introduced me as a Protestant, connected with the college, and then 
left him to my attention. I presented to him the only way opened 
for his return to God, and kneeling by his side, prayed with him, 
the first prayer doubtless ever offered by a Protestant in that church, 
and that at the request of one of its members. The man died shortly 
afterwards most peacefully, trusting in Christ and with the hope of 
eternal life. He was the son of a pious mother; although he had 
never made a profession of religion, the early instructions had pre 
pared his mind to lay hold of the cross and to embrace the Saviour. 

Near the altar of the same church, Mr. Stuart, the 
chairman of the Commission, ministered to anothei 
soldier, who was led to find Christ Jesus precious. He 
writes : 

As I was passing, a man near the altar looked up at me imploringly 
and asked, "Ain t you going to stop and talk to me?" I went to 
him and ascertained that his name was Wm. O. Doubleday. His 
wife was a Christian. She had taught each one of 

his children to pray as soon as they could lisp the scene by a 

. , / _ . ,. . Roman Catholic 

words. He had never made a profession of religion ^ ar 

himself, but was not what is called a "wicked man." 

" When I enlisted," said he, " which I did because I considered it 
a disgrace to be drafted, just as I was leaving for the war, my wife 
said, I hope you will come back all right, and a good Christian. 
It touched my heart. We went into the room with the family, and 
there she prayed for me, and then asked me to pray. I tried to 
offer a few broken petitions. My little boy, only thirteen years old, 
then offered a most earnest prayer for me and for our distressed 
country. I don t know where he learned to pray like that, unless it 
was in the Sabbath-school." 

When he learned how I was connected with the Commission, and 
saw the badge, tears came to his eyes. When I spoke to him of 
Jesus, he pressed my hands, and the tears came fast as rain. I 
prayed with him, and then he asked me to bend down and kiss him. 
He died soon after from the effects of an amputation. 

I received a letter from his wife, who came to him before his death. 



170 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

She was very earnest in her expressions of thankfulness, and told 
me with loving sorrow and joy how her husband s peaceful death 
1 ad answered her prayers. 

Mr. Stuart also visited in a private house of the town, 
Lieut. William Henry Walcott 1 of Providence, R. I., 
who told him how he had been supported amidst pains: 

The Lieutenant had heard me through his window, addressing a 
large congregation in the "Diamond" or public square of the town, 
and thinking I was a clergyman, sent for me. His story was as 

follows : 

Chrises Drink (( . f died a h before h , } 

and Mine. J 

since leaving home my little child has died also. I 

took thirty-nine men into the battle in my company; twenty-nine of 
them are either killed or wounded. I fell on Thursday near Round 
Top, on a spot much exposed and alternately lost and won by our 
troops. My own men could not carry me off the field, so I signalled 
to the Colonel by waving my handkerchief, and was sent for. In 
carrying me to a place of safety my wounds and pain were aggra 
vated. I had been lying across two men, one dead and the other 
dying, but was unable to move. The dying man was one of the best 
soldiers in my company. I had often taken the men to church, and 
now amid the din and danger I prayed with him. Very soon he 
was gone. 

"I was carried to the regimental hospital, but they could do 
nothing for me; then to the division hospital, where the wound was 
examined and my foot amputated. On Friday the Rebels shelled 
the hospital. I was % taken away a long distance into the woods; the 
bearers thoughtlessly placed me near the foot of a little hill, so that 
when the rain came on, streams of water poured along the ground 
under the shelter tent which had been pitched over me. On the 
battle-field I thought 1 could not endure my sufferings, but then I 
called to mind what Jesus had endured ; and how that, while I had 
water to drink, He had vinegar and gall offered Him." 

With this constantly recurring reflection, the soldier kept up his 
drooping spirits until relief came. 

1 17th Keg t., U. S. Inf., afterwards Bvt. Major. 



THE CHRISTIAN VICTOR Y. 171 

Rev. Mr. Parvin chronicles the testimony of Captain 
Billings of the 20th Maine Regiment. The story s close 
tells of one of the hardest tasks of the Delegate: 

A Captain was brought into the old barn, where lay sixty-five of 
the worst cases in the Fifth Corps. The brave fellow had some of 
his own men lying on the floor not far from him. He loved them 
with a father s love. As one after another they died 
before his eyes, it worked so upon his mind that he . Captain Bdl- 
became delirious, until it took four or five men to 
hold him. With great difficulty we got him away from his men into 
a room by himself, where he rallied and became a little better. 

Once as I was passing into his tent, the Surgeon came out ; he told 
me that the Captain must die. I entered and took him by the hand. 
His first words were 

"Chaplain, what did the Surgeon say?" 

" Why, Captain, you are in a critical case." 

"I know that, Chaplain, but does he think I can live?" 

" He thinks it hardly possible that you will." 

"Have you heard from my wife, Chaplain, since your message 
yesterday?" 

"No; the telegraph lines are in the hands of the Government, but 
I hope she will be here." 

"Does the Surgeon say I cannot live long, Chaplain?" 

"Yes, but then you are a Christian, Captain." 

" Yes, Chaplain, I have no fears. I left my place in the Sabbath- 
school for my place in the army. My hope is in the Lord Jesus. I 
have tried to serve Him in the army, and He will not forsake me 
now; but I would like to see my wife." 

" Well, Captain, if you have anything to say to her, will you send 
the message by me ?" 

He asked me to give her his haversack, sword and some other little 
things, with a message. Dismissing then all earthly things from his 
mind, he said to me 

" Don t stay any longer with me, Chaplain ; go and help the boys, 
and run in here as you can to read a few words from the Bible." 

Once afterwards he asked me to have his body embalmed and sent 



172 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

home. I promised to do so. He did not even refer to it again, but 
passed away in triumph. 

It was in the morning at eleven o clock that he died. At five in 
the afternoon his body was sent to the embalmers. Late that night, 
as I was busy writing letters from memoranda taken through the 
day, there was a knock at the door. In stepped a man inquiring for 
Captain Billings. What a question for us to meet ! I thought of 
the home link. 

"Who are you?" I asked. 

" I am his brother ; I have his wife with me ! I have kept her up 
all the way with the hope that we would find the Captain in good 
condition. Where is he, sir?" 

"You have not brought the Captain s wife out here to-night?" 
The Corps hospital was four miles from Gettysburg. 

" No, I left her in town until the morning." 

" That was well. The body of your brother was sent to the em 
balmers this afternoon." 

" Oh," said he, " I cannot tell her. I cannot trust myself to try 
to tell her, or even to see her again to-night ;" the poor man broke 
down in his grief, " I have brought her on all the way to Gettys 
burg for this, and now you must you must tell her all." 

And so our duty was to see the bereaved wife, and deliver to her 
the messages and tokens of the dying love of her husband, and to 
speak to her words of comfort in the name of the Lord. 

Rev. W. T. Eva 1 tells the story of two soldiers who 
seemed to have entered into the meaning of the Father s 
promises of eternal care : 

Away in the corner of a shed crowded with wounded, I found a 
dying man. His limbs were already cold and the death-damp was 
upon his brow. Fellow-sufferers were thick enough about him, yet 

he was dying alone. He was still conscious when I 
11 Happy Day!" J . 6 

came to him, not only conscious, but happy in the 

love of God. I can truly say that, nowhere have I witnessed a 
more triumphant peace than his. We prayed by his side, and then 
sang 

1 Pastor of (N. S.) Presbyterian Church, Kensington, Philadelphia. 



THE CHRISTIAN VICTORY. 173 

" Just as I am, without one plea," 
with the chorus 

" Happy day ! happy day ! 
When Jesus washed my sins away." 

As we prayed and sang, the Holy Spirit seemed to come down not 
only upon the dying man, but on all in that dolorous place ; and 
here and there, from among the wounded braves as they lay upon 
the floor, was uttered aloud the earnest cry, " God have mercy on my 
soul !" 

In a barn, lying upon a slab floor, with nothing under him but a 
little wet hay, and with scarce a rag to cover him, I found a middle- 
aged man shot through the body, and so paralyzed by the shock of 
an exploding shell that he was entirely unable to 
move, the most abject picture of utter wretchedness w , J3 
I ever beheld. He was quite sensible however, and 
having done what I could to make him comfortable, I spoke of his 
heroic devotion to the flag, of the love of God and of the Saviour s 
death. A flood of tears welled up in his eyes and rolled down over 
the bronzed face. He was too full to speak ; but it was evident that 
even in that forlorn man I had found not only a true patriot, but 
also a lover of Jesus and a blessed witness to the triumph of the 
grace of God. 

A few short reminiscences by Mr. Parvin tell their 
own story of sacrifice and Christian victory: 

After the battle in the heavy showers, many of the wounded on 
the bank of a brook were in danger of drowning from the rapid rise 
of the water. There were no stretchers, and some of the badly 
wounded could not be carried in the arms of the 
men without great pain. A New Siretcher 

" Lay them on my back," said a Delegate, going into the water on 
his hands and knees, and thus, bent with his face to the ground, he 
conveyed them tenderly out of the reach of danger. 

The store-house was at some distance, and I had but one bottle of 
blackberry cordial left, so I called out 

" Boys, I ve got one bottle of nice cordial here; who wants it?" 



174 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

A brave fellow near me replied, "You ll find 

eep it foi ot h ers not f ar O ff wno need it more than we do, 
Them. 

Chaplain ; keep it for them." 

I can never forget how the heroes greeted me that morning, as I 
passed along a line of shelter tents, which were flooded with the last 

night s rain : 

" We don t r ever mind, Chaplain ; we don t care for our 
"! m ,, soaking, if the Potomac s only full, so that Lee can t 

cross." 

- This was the last message of a Maine soldier, "Charley" his 
comrades called him : 

" Tell mother I received my wound on my twenti- 
A Given Life. ^ birthday> j give my life f or my COU ntry ; if I 

had another, I would give it too." 

A soldier, only seventeen years old, who had rim away from his 

employer in Camclen, N. J., to join a Philadelphia regiment, was 

found on the field with seven bullet holes in his body, and having 

but a little while to live. I knelt down on the 

Our Father: g roun( j k y fa m an( j asked for his mother s name and 

residence : 

" I have no mother. Chaplain." 

" Have you a father?" 

" No." 

"Any brothers or sisters?" 

" No relatives in the world." 

Poor fellow ! he seemed alone indeed. I took his hand in mine : 

" Martin, you ve been at Sunday-school?" 

"Yes, sir." 

" You have forgotten one relative, then." 

He looked at me inquiringly, when I added, pointing upwards 

" Our Father, who art in heaven ; there is a Father and a home 
for you up there." 

Doubtfully at first, then with slowly increasing assurance, the 
precious truth was received. In a broken, childlike way he learned 
to pray to this only relative in earth or heaven. Soon the face grew 
bright and glad, and the answer of the once restless, homeless eyes, 
was one of trusting peace. 

A great favorite among his comrades was M , a soldier from 



THE HUMISTON CHILDREN. 



175 



Massachusetts. After his death his mother wrote me, begging for 
"only one lock of his hair." A comrade of the dead 
soldier went down into the last resting-place, and sev- ^ . 
ering a damp lock, it was sent on its mournful errand 

Perhaps no incident of the war became so widely 
known and excited such deep sympathy as the story of 
the Humiston children. The main facts of the narra 
tive are these : 




"THE HUMISTON CHILDREN." 

(An exact copy of the original picture.) 

Dr. J. Francis Bourns, of Philadelphia, was crossing the moun 
tains on his way to Gettysburg, as a volunteer Surgeon and Delegate 
of the Commission. An accident to his vehicle forced him, with 
three fellow-travellers on the same errand, to halt at 
Graefenberg Springs. Mr. Schriver, the proprietor, 
exhibited to them a beautiful ferrotype of three 
lovely children, which had been found clasped in the hands of a 
soldier dead on the battle-field. The picture was so held that it must 



A Father s 
Last Look. 



176 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

have met his dying gaze. No other memoranda, relics, or even 
equipments were found on the body, so that identification was impos 
sible. Dr. Bourns obtained the ferrotype, with the intention, when 
his Delegate work w r as over, of using it to discover the little father 
less ones. He persevered until all the obstacles in the w r ay of obtain 
ing a salable picture were overcome by some Philadelphia artists; 
and then furnished to the press all he knew of the story, simultane 
ously with the publication of the photograph, since so well known. 
Week after week passed ; still the mystery of the dead soldier was 
unsolved ; inquiries poured in, but there was no identification. Dr. 
Bourns began to despair. A copy of the American Presbyterian, con 
taining a description of the picture, found its way to a little town on 
the Alleghany river, in Western New York. The affecting tale was 
rehearsed through the village for several days, exciting the warmest 
sympathy. A lady carried the paper to a friend who had not heard 
from her husband since the battle. The narrative recalled, with 
dread accuracy, a picture which the wife had sent her husband just 
before Gettysburg. The fact was communicated to Dr. Bourns, who 
sent a copy of the picture in reply. It was the first news that she 
had that her children were fatherless, and she a widow. The name 
of the unknown soldier A\as thus found to be Amos Humiston, Ser 
geant, 154th K Y. S. Vols., of Portville, K Y. The sale of copies 
of the picture was afterwards made the means of great good. 1 

No result of the ministrations after this battle was 
more marked than that manifested in the altered feeling 
among the Rebel prisoners. The Delegates allude to 
this constantly in their reports. We can present but 



1 Dr. Bourns informs us (March 1868), that "The founding of the National 
Orphan Homestead at Gettysburg, is the sequel to the story of the Humiston 
children. About seventy soldiers orphans have been received into the institution, 
and there are many more fatherless little ones who are awaiting its enlargement 
of accommodations." The Ilumiston children are living at the " Homestead" with 
their mother, who is an under-matron. The morning after the children came to 
the institution, it was found that they had gone out quietly and decked their 
father s grave with beautiful flowers. 



AMONG THE CONFEDERATE PRISONERS. 177 

a few of the numerous instances at command. Mr. De- 
mond says i 1 

A Delegate passing around among the wounded, giving sympathy 
and aid, came to an officer from South Carolina. Said he 

" Colonel, can I do anything for you ?" 

"No," was the reply, with stubborn defiance. "Devils" and 

He passed on. By and bye he came round again, " Angels." 
made a similar inquiry, and was again refused. Yet 
he came again the third time. The air had become offensive from 
heat and wounds ; he was putting cologne on the handkerchiefs of 
one and another as he passed : 

"Colonel, let me put some of this on your handkerchief?" 

The wounded and suffering man burst into tears, and said, "I have 
no handkerchief." 

" Well, you shall have one," and wetting his own with cologne, he 
gave it to him. The Colonel was now ready to talk : 

" I can t understand you Yankees ; you fight us like devils, and 
then you treat us like angels. I am sorry I entered this war." 

Mr. John Patterson 2 tells the following rather amusing 
little colloquy between some soldiers, Union and Con 
federate, and himself: 

Quite a number of us had been busy aiding the Surgeons, who 
had attended to about two hundred cases of amputation during the 
day. When the men were washed and dressed, at supper they began 
bragging about our good butter. 

" Let us see, boys," said I, " which of you can ^ "^ no f 
make the best wish for the old lady who made the 
butter." 

" An shure," replied an Irishman, " may iv ry hair of her hid be a 
wax candle to loight her into glory," a kind of beatified Gorgon, one 
would say. Then came another Irishman s wish : 

" May she be in hivin two wakes before the divil knows she s did." 

The third and last was from a son of the Emerald Isle likewise ; it 
was addressed to myself: 



1 Williams College Alumni Address, p. 27. 2 See p. 32. 

12 



178 CHFvISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

" An troth, sir, I hope God 11 take a loikin to yursilf." 

The letter which follows was written in answer to a 
note in a comfort-bag, sent from a town in Massachu 
setts by a little girl : 

GETTYSBURG, August 7th, 1863. 

MY DEAR LITTLE FRIEND : I received your present, the com 
fort-bag, and it is thrice welcome, although it was intended for Union 
defenders. It was given to me by a Christian woman, who lost her 
holy anger against Rebels for such am I in her 
The Rebel s bounteous sympathy with the unfortunate. My little 
friend can imagine my thankfulness for the favor, 
when I inform her that I have no friends this side of heaven all 
gone, father, mother, sister and brother, and I am all alone. 

The dear comfort-bag I shall always keep as a memento of true 
sympathy from a generous heart in the loyal State of Massachusetts. 
I hope you will not be disappointed by this, coming as it does from a 
Rebel ; for I was forced into the ranks at the point of the bayonet, 
for I would not go willingly to fight against the dear old flag, whose 
ample folds have always shielded the orphan and made glad the 
oppressed. 

I have read your note very many times over, and have wished it 
could rightfully be mine. " Do they think of me at home ?" 
Silence all is silence ! Not so with the Union soldier ; a thousand 
tokens tell him yes. 

I was wounded in the second day s fight, and am now packing up 
my all to be exchanged or sent back a cripple for life. I am seven 
teen years old, and now am turned out with one arm to carve my 
way through the world ; but my trust is in my heavenly Father, 
who will forgive and bless. Hoping that God may in mercy reunite 
us all again as brothers and sisters, I am your unworthy friend, 

E A , 

Co. , Miss. Volunteers. 
P. S. May God guard and bless you ! 

Mr. J. B. Stillson writes : 
The morning was always hailed with peculiar satisfaction by the 



AMONG THE CONFEDERATE PRISONERS. 179 

sufferers. The badly wounded would often ask during the weary 
night hours, "How long before the morning will be here?" as if 
thinking that with its beams would come deliverance. 
Very early one morning, an old Confederate, suffering " One Takena ^ d 
from two flesh wounds, beckoned to me as though 
he would ask, "Watchman, what of the night?" I had often 
already ministered to his wants, and been impressed with his venera 
ble look, betokening as it did, a peaceful and trusting heart. With 
voice subdued and gentle as a child s, he spoke of his only son 
Thomas, who had been in the fight and was either killed or wounded, 
he feared. Learning the boy s company and regiment, I made 
inquiry, and soon found him very close by, and mortally wounded. 
The son in turn was very anxious about his father. When told 
how near he was, he said quickly, " Oh, I wish I could see him once 
more." Procuring assistance, I bore him to his father s side. 

As they were brought face to face, tears flowed freely ere a word 
was spoken. The old man s greeting was simply, " Thomas, my 
son," he could say no more. The boy s first question was, "My 
father, are you badly wounded?" When told that his father s 
wounds were not serious, a thankful smile lit up his face, until the 
father recovered from the first effects of his emotion, and inquired 

" Thomas, are your wounds bad ?" 

" Yes, I fear they are mortal," and so the sad story of the coming 
parting was told. 

The son was pointed to the cross ; every temporal want was sup 
plied, but before midnight he died. 

The old man, bereft of wife and children, mourned as did Jacob 
of old for his Joseph, and prayed that he too might depart. I com 
forted him with precious Gospel assurances, and told him how "our 
light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more 
exceeding and eternal weight of glory." A few days afterwards the 
cloud, which had seemed so impenetrable, was scattered before the 
brightness of the rising " Sun of Righteousness," and the old man re 
joiced in confiding faith that " He doeth all things well." 

Laboring on the field, in connection with Mrs. 
Harris and the Commission, was Rev. Geo. Duffield, 



180 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

Jr., 1 who spent a large part of his time in looking espe 
cially after the Confederate wounded in our hands : 

" Oh, come, mister, and see them in the cow-stable," said a poor 
woman whom the neighbors called "the faithful creature;" "they 
are some of them worse off than these." 

Sure enough, it was even so. There they were, 
The Penalty UQ ^ any worse wounded or more utterly helpless and 
of Rebellion. i -i -, 

destitute of decent clothing, lor in these respects 

all were upon a common level. But there was at least this differ 
ence in favor of those in the wagon-shed ; theirs was comparatively 
clean dirt. In the cow-stable the filthy water of the dung-heap had 
dammed up and backed in upon them, saturating straw, blankets, 
and everything else within its reach. There was still another and 
more painful difference. On account of the water most of the scanty 
hay had floated away, and left the poor sufferers lying upon the bare 
rails, sometimes without so much as the thickness of a single blanket 
between their emaciated bodies and the sharp, knotty wood. And 
these men were the elite of the Southern army, lawyers, planters, 
men of wealth, intelligence and refinement, some of them, as I was 
afterwards informed, had been Ruling Elders in the Presbyterian 
Church, and members of its General Assemblies. 

At first the distribution of the bread was in solemn silence, remind 
ing me strangely enough of distributing on a communion-day the 
emblems of Christ s body and blood, as well as of the command, 
" If thine enemy hunger, feed him ; if he thirst, give him drink." 
But misery soon found a tongue. The first man who spoke to me was 
from Georgia, apparently about twenty-five years of age, and whose 
language and whole bearing impressed me with the belief that he had 
known what home and generous hospitality were. In the course of a 
twenty years ministry ten of it in the city of Philadelphia, in times 
of cholera and famine, in the most obscure alleys, in the court within 
the court, in the Penitentiary, in the incurable wards of the Blockley 
Almshouse Hospital, in Bedlam I have often looked on sad and 



1 Pastor then of (N. S.) Presbyterian Church, Adrian, Mich.; now, of that in 
Galesburg, 111. Mr. Duffield s observations were published in letters to his 
brother, in the Deti oit Advertiser and Tribune. 



AMONG THE CONFEDERATE WOUNDED. 181 

despairing faces ; but never, in any man who yet retained reason, on 
such a face of blank hopelessness as this. 

" O sir," said he, with an accent of agony that thrilled me through 
and through, " much as I thank you for this bread, which is the first 
mouthful of anything I could eat since I was wounded, I would 
rather do without it and starve outright, than remain any longer in 
my present position. Just look at me ; I am shot through the lungs 
and spine, and cannot move myself a hair s breadth, and here I am 
bent across this rail as if on a rack, not a handful of hay, or even 
the thickness of a blanket under me. I shall die if I do not gain 
relief immediate relief, sir, from this insupportable torture." 

To help the wretched sufferer was no very easy matter ; on one 
side, almost touching him, was a man who had his right leg off; on 
the other, one who had lost his left ; and any one who, in passing 
through a hospital, has ever touched the blanket of such a man and 
heard his piteous exclamations, will be careful ever after how he does 
so again. Finding at length a resting-place for my feet, one on each 
side of him, and reaching over to the trough for support, I managed, 
with one of his arms round my neck, partially to raise him up, and 
was beginning to push a little hay under him, when a feeble, pettish 
voice exclaimed 

" Don t you steal my hay ;" answered by the man on the other side 
in a similar tone 

"And don t you steal any of mine." 

A bale of such hay could not have been bought with all the gold 
in California. With great difficulty I gathered up the little portion 
properly belonging to him, and added some of the reeking straw, 
adjusting his blanket so as to envelop his whole body. With an air 
of inexpressible satisfaction he laid himself back in his new position, 
and a gleam of hope once more lit up his face, as if the sun should 
dawn at midnight. Seizing my hand with passionate gratitude, he 
was about to cover it with kisses. 

" No, sir," said I, pushing back his head with gentle violence, " if 
you have any thanks to give for so small a favor, give it to God and 
not to me." 

In an instant he took me at my word. His short, but earnest 
ejaculatory prayer for himself I could not help taking up for all his 
suffering comrades. The Master prayed for His enemies, " Father, 



182 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

forgive them." Why should not I, a poor sinner myself, offer a 
similar petition for mine ? 

These men, although in such sad plight, were out 
spoken in expressing their attachment to the South. 
Indeed the ministry of kindness, while it affected the 
political tendencies of the privates, touched the officers 
much less. Rev. Mr. Duffield adds that after hearing 
them talk, he could hardly keep from telling them this 
very recent experience of his : 

The day before, near Dillstown, on my way from Carlisle, while 
stopping at noon to bait our horses, away off in a far corner of the 
porch, sitting very quiet, and apparently very tired and hungry, I 
discovered two colored men, one of whom, especially, 
by the name of Harrison Ash, was a splendidly pro 
portioned man, about six feet two inches in height, 
and who must have been a very valuable chattel to his master, a 
Mississippi Colonel, when human flesh was at a premium like gold. 

His story was as follows : 

" I came here wid de Southern army, an I ve been wid it ever 
since de war begun. Friday we had a big fight, de biggest fight yit, 
an we git an awful big lickin . Friday night we had a treat. Me 
and Druro here was sleep under a tree ; rain poured down powerful, 
an dey lef us. So in de mornin , when we woke up, dey was done 
gone." 

Why don t you follow them ?" 

" Followed dem long miff ; besides, dey trabbel too fast, an we 
can t cotch up." 

" That is, you didn t want to follow them ?" 

" No, sah." 

" Wasn t your master kind to you ?" 

" Yes, mos times ; though de hardest lickin he ever guv me was 
for what he did hisself." 

" You would rather stay in Pennsylvania, then ?" 

" Yes, sah ; dey tell us dere in Mississippi, dat at the Norf dere s 



AMONG THE CONFEDERATE PRISONERS. 183 

nuffin but snow and ice all de year roun , but dis don t look much 
like it, I reckon, an I d as lief lib here as dar, I m tinkin ." 

" You ve been thinking of a good many things to-day, I suspect, 
Harrison. Let me see that big hand of yours, and feel the grit of 
it. Who owned that hand yesterday?" 

" Massa did." 

" He made it work for him. Who owns it to-day ?" 

" Reckon Harrison does hisself." 

" Stand up, Harrison ; do you know it, you are a freeman, both 
by the laws of God and man. What work you do, you will be paid 
for ; what pay you get, you can put in your own pocket instead of 
into your master s." 

Like one awaking from a dream, or like the man in the "Christus 
Consolator," long shackled and lying in a dungeon, just beginning to 
move his unfettered limbs and to look upon the light of day, so was 
it with poor Harrison. 

Supposing, from an incidental remark, that he was not altogether 
destitute of God s grace, I asked 

" What do you know about religion, Harrison?" 

" I know dat Jesus come to save sinners." 

" What did He do to save them ?" 

" He died for them." 

" Did He die for you ?" 

" Yes, He died for me as for any sinner." 

" Did you ever feel that you were a sinner ?" 

" Oh, yes ; one time very much, when I was bout sixteen years 
old." 

" How long did you feel this so much ?" 

" Till I sperienced de new change." 

" What change ?" 

" Why, de change in de heart, you know, when we begin to love 
de Lord Jesus, who died for us." 

There was religion in its real essence. The work of Christ for us 
on the cross ; the work of the Holy Spirit in us ; a change of state 
and a change of nature both ; the prisoner not only pardoned, but 
the jail fever arrested and put in process of cure. Surely, if these 
things are hid from the worldly-wise and prudent, who through their 
own pride and folly will not stoop to even pick them up when they 



184 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

lie at their feet, yet, blessed be the name of the Lord ! they are still 
revealed unto babes. 

Further on, in a barn, more Confederates were found : 

Some of the poor wretches were not only in great bodily distress, 
crying continually, " O Lord, bless my wounds!" but also in still 
greater mental distress. One fatally wounded man said to Mrs. 

Harris, who was attracted to him by his heavy 

"Knuckling to 
the Lord.- groaning- 

"O ma am, if I was only sure that my sins could 
be pardoned, so that if I died I might go to heaven, I would be more 
reconciled." 

Pointing him to the mercy of God in Christ Jesus, she recom 
mended him to seek it in prayer; and strange enough was the petition 
of this poor Publican : 

"O Lord, save my body! O Lord, save my soul! and if You do, 

Lord, I ll knuckle to You to all eternity." 

One extract more, a picture and an outlook : 

" The fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the birds of the 
heaven were still." Whether it was owing to the noise, the smoke, 
the universal presence of the soldiers, or the noisome and pestilential 

atmosphere, I do not know, but certain it is, that the 
A Symbol of . , , . , , , . , 

p eace orioles, robins, and other birds, so plentiful about the 

cemetery before the battle, had entirely disappeared 
from it. Singularly enough, the very first, and indeed the only bird 

1 saw on the battle-field, and that at the extreme verge of it, was a 
solitary turtle-dove, sitting in perfect silence, with its head turned 
towards the path of strife, one might believe in mute contemplation 
of the scene of carnage. 

" Surely that bird is strangely out of place, and has no business 
here," said one. 

" Not so," was the reply ; " may we not accept it as a happy omen, 
and see in it the joyful harbinger of the return of peace, a peace on 
the sure foundations of truth and righteousness?" 

We cannot close the record of Gettysburg better than 



A LOYAL CONFEDERATE. 185 

by the following story of an East Tennessee loyalist. 
At the request of the lady who furnishes the narrative, 
and who was not connected with the Commission, names 
are withheld : 

A lady from Philadelphia, moving through one of the field hos 
pitals a few days after the battle, had her attention drawn to a young 
Confederate asleep and dreaming. He was talking aloud. Going 

to his cot-side, she gently fanned away some flies 

, . , , ; , 1 r The Loyal East 

which were buzzing about a bandage concealing the Tennesseean 

lower part of his face. One hand was pressed tightly 

against his breast. A kindly but rough Irish nurse coming by, the 

lady inquired about the wounded man: 

" Indade, mum, he bates me intoirely. His clapper s half shot 
out, mum ; but he s furivir gossipin wid himsilf, and the Vargin only 
knows what he s sayin ; an it s all bout a bit book wid a rag roun 
it, an not wan he ll let touch it, mum. He s the strange craythur, 
mum, that s shure." 

No one knew his name, and the lady discovered that his wounds 
were pretty certain to prove fatal. Unwilling to disturb him in his 
troubled sleep, she passed on. 

The next morning a Surgeon stood by the soldier s bed. The poor, 
unknown boy was dying. Two weak, sad, wandering eyes were open 
ing and closing restlessly. It seemed very mournful that one so 
young, nameless and alone should die thus among strangers. The 
Irish nurse was much affected : 

"An shure, now, av we only had the bit book, it wud have the 
poor craythur s name intil it ;" but no coaxing or efforts could get 
the book away from him. The Surgeon said he would wake from his 
long stupor before death, indeed, he was already beginning to do 
so. The lady sat down, fanned him and paid him what gentle atten 
tions she could. By and bye he began muttering to himself, but his 
utterance was so indistinct that nothing could be gathered from it. 
Suddenly turning his head a little, he spied an old Union flag which 
hung temporarily at one end of the ward. He gazed at it a moment 
earnestly, the lady watching him meanwhile with intense interest ; 
a great change came over his face ; the dull, unconscious look passed 



18G CHUISTIAX COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

away. Pdiiting to the flag, he turned painfully, and asked with 
much clearer utterance 

" What do they let it stay there for ?" 

The question was not a pleasant one for the lady to answer, for 
several reasons ; but she replied 

" Because Gen. Lee was beaten the other day, and has retreated. 
Don t you remember ?" 

The answer seemed to confuse him. He looked back and forth 
from the lady s face to the flag, murmuring 

" Beaten ? Gen. Lee ? retreated ?" 

All at once the meaning appeared to grow plain ; a look of joy 
covered his face ; he turned to the old stripes and stars, tears mean 
while coming out of the poor, sunken eyes, and said fervently 

" Thank God ! thank God !" 

The lady thought this strange for a Confederate soldier ; supposing 
he had misunderstood her, she explained her meaning again ; but the 
poor fellow s eyes closed ; the old, hopeless blank settled upon his 
face ; he seemed more puzzling and strange than ever. 

He began to dream now; his face grew bright, and the old, mut 
tering noise was resumed, only much more distinctly. He seemed to 
be back again at his home. He talked first of some one whom he 
called "Mamma Tilly," his mother she was found to be afterwards; 
then, about " Nettie," his wife. The soldier s face became positively 
beautiful soon, for he thought Nettie had come and was with him ! 
He told her how glad and happy he was to see her, and asked about 
Harry, their little boy. The invisible Nettie seemed to be answering 
his questions, for he would look up now and then and laugh, sadly 
it sounded, too, from his wounded mouth. In the dream still, he 
opened his shirt, brought out the precious book with the " bit rag" 
about it, and then, looking up again into the eyes " so near, and yet 
so far," laughed a low, happy laugh, saying 

" Nettie, darling, there it is yet, good Minister s Testament, 

with the old flag round it still." 

The lady bent forward eagerly and saw a little well-worn and well- 
marked Testament, and wrapped around it very carefully a torn bit 
of the Union flag. 

The dream of Nettie seemed to be lost for a while, and another 
replaced it. The soldier s mutterings were still indistinct, but they 



A LOYAL CONFEDERATE. 187 

were made out to be a kind of history of the flag-shred ; how the 
Rebels had come into the village, pulled down the Union flag, and 
torn it into hundreds of fragments, then trampled these in the dust ; 
how he had gone out in the night at peril of his life, had picked up 
a piece of the dishonored banner, had taken it home and cherished 
it ; how he was driven from his home and forced into the Confederate 
army ; but how he had clung silently, through all the months of drill 
and march and battle, to the old symbol which he loved. It was a 
thrilling story, as the lady gathered the facts, one by one, from the 
lips unconscious of the tale they were telling. She understood now 
the noble soldier s unexplained conduct and words. 

The musing reminiscence of the flag was done, and Nettie came 
back again, only for a few moments, however, little more than for 
a kiss and a farewell, a kiss given by no human lips, a farewell ut 
tered to no visible, human presence. Yet it could not have been 
unconscious pantomime ; mere shadows could not have cheated that 
dying man ; it must have been real, not the less so, if St. Paul s ex 
perience was true, because invisible. And then came another, 
brighter vision, a vision which none may smile at, thank God, or 
call untrue, seen by too many glad eyes during eighteen hundred 
years, for men to be deceived by it now, a vision of the Crucified. 
Only two words were uttered, but who can measure them ? " Jesus 
dear." 

And so the soldier went away to be for ever with the Lord. 

The little Testament told the whole story in a few simple dates. 
The date of his confirmation was given, with the name of the loved 
clergyman who had given him the Testament, and had written in 
front the words of the Collect for the second Sunday in Lent : 

"Almighty God, who seest that we have no power of ourselves to 
help ourselves ; keep us both outwardly in our bodies and inwardly 
in our souls ; that we may be defended from all adversities which 
may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may 
assault and hurt the soul : through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen." 

The sentences had been written two years before the war ; it would 
have been hard, however, to have chosen more appropriate ones for 
all the unforeseen conflict and toil between. 

The date of the soldier s marriage was recorded, a month or two 
only before the war began. On one of the fly-leaves these words of 



188 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

Isaiah were written : " Is not this the fast that I have chosen ? to 
loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let 
the oppressed go free ; and that ye break every yoke ?" Close after 
these words was the date of the firing on Fort Sumter. This, with 
other plentiful marks, showed that the brave Tennesseean had 
entered into the full meaning of the struggle. The birth of little 
Harry was chronicled ; and dates attached to passages all through 
the book showed how the noble loyalist had followed amidst enemies 
the varying fortunes of the war. Towards the close of 1862, the 
Rebels had entered the village in East Tennessee which had been 
his home ; here was begun the romance of the flag. He had fled 
with Nettie and Harry into Northern Alabama ; there he was forced 
into the Rebel army. The date of separation from his family was 
appended to these words of St. Luke 

" Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no 
more that they can do." 

Several letters from his wife, who found her way back to the 
wrecked and ruined home in Tennessee, were tucked away carefully 
at the close of the book. After reading them, one might doubt 
which of the two had the firmest faith in Christ and in the final tri 
umph of right in the war. 

The relics of the dead were gathered and kept, and when East 
Tennessee was opened, they were sent safely to Nettie. Little Harry 
was dead, but a sweet little girl had come in his place. Nettie wrote 
a touching letter of thanks for what had been done for her husband: 
" It had been such a long time since I got a letter from him that 
I had given him up entirely, even before your good, kind letter came. 
I am glad that I know now just how he went away. I want to live 
long enough to tell little Alice all about it, when she can understand 
better than she does now." 

She did not live long enough for this, however. A few months 
only intervened, and Nettie went to be with her husband. Their 
bodies rest now, side by side with little Harry s, after their weariness 
and separation, amidst the sunny golden-rod on the banks of the 
Clinch. Little Alice has been brought to the home of the lady who 
was at her father s bed-side in the Gettysburg hospital. She has 
a middle name now, which her friends love to call her, it 
" Loyal." 



A LOYAL CONFEDERATE. 189 

The lady who tells this story was herself neither loyal nor a Chris 
tian when she was at Gettysburg. The East Tennesseean s death 
taught her to be both an earnest lover of her country, and Christ s 
child also. So she feels that she can never repay little Alice for the 
lessons she has been taught. 



CHAPTER VII. 

THE EASTERN ARMIES, 

FROM GETTYSBURG UNTIL GRANT S ADVANCE ON RICHMOND. 
July 1863 May 1864. 

THE movements of the armies in Virginia for several 
months after Gettysburg need no chronicling here. 
Commission stations were established at Germantown, 
Warrenton, among the First Corps hospitals on the 
Rappahannock, at Bealeton, and in the Third Army 
Corps. The sick were promptly taken to Washington ; 
so that the main work for some time was among the well. 
In September occurred the strange retreat of the entire 
army to Centreville Heights. Tedious days of slow 
advance followed. A station was put up at Gainesville 
in October, moved thence to Manassas Junction, and in 
November transferred to Warrenton Junction. 

Mr. A. D. Matthews, of Brooklyn, a Delegate in 
October at Winchester Seminary Hospital, Frederick, 
Md., relates an affecting story of a mother s courage and 
of a soldier s faith : 

After service on Sunday morning, I found Henry M - in the 

hospital, dreadfully wounded in the breast. He was one of three 

brothers, all Sunday-school scholars at the time of their enlistment. 

Two or three weeks before, Henry s mother had been 

called from her home in Northern New York to 
and her Sons. 

Washington, to see Willie, one of the brothers, 

190 



FREDERICK. 191 

who was at the point of death. He lingered but a few days after 
her arrival, then sweetly fell asleep in Jesus, Efforts to embalm 
the body failed, and the broken-hearted mother had just followed 
it to the grave, so far from home, when she was summoned in haste 
to Henry s cot in Frederick. The Surgeon cautioned her not to 
mention the fact of Willie s death, as the soldier s wound in the 
breast was liable to open during any fit of sobbing or crying, and 
death might be the result. Of course, one of Henry s first questions 
was about his brother. The mother replied 

" Don t be troubled about him, my son ; keep perfectly quiet ; 
Willie is in good hands, and well cared for." 

With heroic fortitude for several days she kept the mournful news 
pent up in her breast, until some one, not knowing the restriction, 
alluded to Willie s death. Henry looked into his mother s face : 
" Mother, is Willie dead ? " Concealment was no longer possible ; 
and telling the sad story, she realized the Surgeon s fears. The 
wound re-opened, and for several days life hung by a slender thread. 
The Sunday morning I visited him he had begun to mend. There 
was a smile on his face as he told me of his once feeble hope, of his 
present gladsome prospect : 

" Since I have lain here the old lessons have come fresh and new 
to mind ; I am now sure that Jesus is my all." 

The mother s heart was spared the loss of her second son, though, 
before Henry had entirely recovered, she was made anxious again by 
news from the third, who was wounded in battle, but soon able to 
return to his regiment. 

Rev. Luther Keene, 1 a Delegate to the forces about 
Washington in October and November, furnishes the 
following sketches of hospital work : 

A young German, afterwards baptized by Rev. Mr. Coit, of S. 
Brookfield, Mass., came to talk to me about himself: 

" There are two voices within me ; one voice tells me to play cards 

and swear : the other to go to the meeting." He 

The Two Voices. 
described with vividness and minuteness his last 



1 Pastor of Congregational Church, N. Brookfield, Mass. 



192 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

conflict ; it was as much a real one to him as if voices were actually 

audible, indeed was it not more real ? I asked him which voice he 

was going to obey. With decision in his animated face he replied, 

" The good voice." I showed him St. Paul s words in the seventh 

chapter of Komans, and how he had been unconsciously quoting them. 

After his baptism, he gave one evening a precious sign of his love 

for Christ and souls. Going to a comrade at the meeting s close, he 

led him forward to where the men were kneeling to be prayed for. It 

was a beautiful sight to see him make room among 

Guiding into ^ Q company for the unresisting soldier, and then 
the Kingdom. , . , ~ 

help him down upon his knees. Coming to where 

I stood, he told me that the man was almost deaf. By putting my 
mouth close to his ear I prayed with him. The last I saw of them, 
they were leaving the meeting together, the deaf soldier leaning on 
the German s arm, who seemed to be tenderly and solicitously help 
ing him into the kingdom of God. 

Those letters written for soldiers, how precious they were some 
times ! I met one poor little English boy in the hospital. His face 
was piteous with homelessness and waiting. " I would give all I have- 
in the world," he said, " if I could only hear from 
Letters Home. , -^ , . , , 111 

home. I 1 or some reason his letters had been long 

unanswered. I wrote to England for him, and there w r as at least one 
happy heart in the army a few weeks afterwards, when the answer 
came. 

I had visited a dying soldier named Hill, and written home for him. 
One morning I found a young stranger kneeling at the cot-side. He 
was Hill s brother. Shall I ever forget the grasp of that man s hand 
and the light in his eyes, as he told me about those letters home, nar 
rating so simply the story of a soldier s endurance and victory over 
sin ? Or, shall I ever forget another scene, over which there was 
joy elsewhere, if not there, w T hen the brother, maimed in the service 
of the Government, followed the dead soldier to the grave, and wept 
with me there ? We were the only mourners, and yet many of the 
poor boys had fewer still. 

The army in November moved against Lee. The 
Rappahannock was brilliantly crossed on the 7th ; and 



RAPPAHAXXOCK STATION. 193 

after bridges were rebuilt and communications opened, 
the Rapidan was passed on the 26th. The armies faced 
each other along Mine Run for several days. On De 
cember 1st and 2d our forces were withdrawn, and the 
campaign of 1863 was ended. 

A few days before the advance to Mine Run, Brandy 
Station became the grand centre of supply and commu 
nication. Thither, with such instructions as the Field 
Agent could give, went Rev. E. F. Williams with six 
Delegates. The first Sunday s service was an earnest 
of the great winter harvest to be gathered there. Several 
weeks before, an interesting work of grace had begun 
among the unorganized recruits at Warrenton Junction. 

Chaplain Norman Fox, of the 77th N. Y. Regiment, 
sent to the New York Examiner a story of the evening 
after the battle of Rappahannock Station : 

I found a young man of the 10th Mass. Regiment, with his leg 
crushed and mangled by a piece of shell. The shock had been so 
severe that amputation was useless, and he was sinking rapidly. I 
inquired concerning his religious history. It was the 
old story, a bright hope, active church membership, 
army life and irregularities, and the abandonment of his profession. 
"And now," said he, "if there can be forgiveness for such a wan 
derer, pray for me." 

I confess I felt more backwardness than was right. There stood a 
circle of rough soldiers surveying the solemn scene with mere morbid 
curiosity. There stood another group, more educated and refined, 
a knot of Surgeons, some of whom, I knew, had no belief in God or 
eternity, and considered my interview with the dying man as at best 
but amiable uselessness. But there lay the sinking sufferer, and I 
wore the uniform of a minister of Christ. Bending over the table 
where he lay, I asked the Good Shepherd to pardon the returning 
wanderer. Murmured responses throughout the prayer disclosed his 
own earnestness in the petition; the smothered hope revived again; 
13 



194 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

and faint at first, but growing brighter and brighter, there finally 
beamed on him the full radiance of that faith which supports in the 
stern hour. 

Meanwhile, there stood by the table a noble-looking soldier, a little 
older than the dying man, moistening the lips of the latter, and 
affectionately smoothing his hair, but so perfectly calm and collected 
that I supposed he was only a hospital attendant. A casual remark 
started my suspicion, and I asked him 

" Is this a friend of yours?" 

" It is my younger brother." 

Stooping over him, the brother said, " S , what shall I tell 

mother for you?" 

" Tell her I died for my country," was the prompt, cheery reply. 

" Give me a kiss for her," said the other ; and the bronzed face 
bowed down to the pale lips as tenderly as if they had been an 
infant s. More than one turned to hide his tears ; the brothers 
seemed least moved of all. 

The dying boy sank rapidly, but all clouds vanished, and faith 
grew bright and strong. I repeated, " I know that my Redeemer 
liveth," " The Lord is my Shepherd," " In My Father s house are 
many mansions," the beautiful hymn 

" Rock of Ages, cleft for me," 

and those lines, especially dear when the couch of dissolution was 
a rough board table in a dark, cold tent, with only a knapsack to 
rest the head upon 

" Jesus can make a dying bed 
Feel soft as downy pillows are." 

He tried to repeat, "Jesus, lover of my soul;" I finished it for 
him. This seemed to strengthen him even more than the others. 
But his voice w r as already beginning to fail. Said he, 

" There s a silver pencil in pocket " 

It was with the deepest sorrow we saw that he could not speak 
friendship s last message. There was but one Friend of whom he 
could speak now. "We watched him silently, while he lay for some 
minutes motionless ; I thought all was over ; but rousing suddenly, 
he said 



ARMY PREACHING SERVICES. 195 

" Jesus, lover of my soul ; oh, repeat that again !" 
My voice choked up so that I could hardly speak. I know not if 
he heard me, for before I reached the last verse, " the storm of life" 
was over, "the haven" was reached, and " the billows" had died 
away in the eternal peace. 

Rev. Amos H. Coolidge, 1 a Delegate about Mine Run 
time, gives an interesting narrative of a Sunday s work : 

I started out after breakfast, my horse making what time he 
could in the deep, sticky mud. Spending a short time in the Con 
traband camp, helping the eager scholars in their efforts to read, I 
hastened to my first preaching service among several 

detached companies of artillery. Then followed a One Sunday s 

. . . Preaching. 

long ride, and a second appointment with a regiment. 

It was drawn up in line ; leave was given any to retire from the 
ranks and the sermon if they wished ; only two left. On my return, 
at a little picket-station, the men begged for a service ; so again 
the word was preached. At another picket-station on the way, 
another service was held. Without dismounting this time, hymns 
and prayer and. the proclamation of the blessed Gospel succeeded 
each other, for the fourth time. The men were hungry and grateful 
for the truth. Further on was a wood-station, where were several 
hundred men ; night was coming on, but meeting a friend, arrange 
ments were made for my fifth preaching service. 

"All hail the power of Jesus name" 

was given out as the " church-call." Instantly the men came crowd 
ing from every direction. Fuel was added to an already immense 
fire; a great army of flames sprang up skyward, sending a rich 
tinge over the darkening woods and ground. Forth over the multi 
tude the old Good News went on its heavenly errand once more. It 
was indeed a solemn assembly ; and many days afterwards I heard 
of some who there gave themselves up to Jesus. 

As I rode away into the night, and looked back upon the ever- 
lessening blaze, I thought of the "City" where "there shall be no 



Pastor of Congregational Church, Leicester, Mass. 



196 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

night;" where "they need no candle, neither light of the sun." I 
was more glad than tired as I came to the Commission quarters, and 
prayed that the five services might be blessed of God, though the 
congregations had not sat in cushioned pews and I had preached from 
strange pulpits, three stumps, an old Virginia harrow, and a tired 
horse s back. 

The Commission s work during January, 1864, was 
chiefly of an organizing, preparatory character. The 
troops were in what proved to be " winter quarters," but 
the men did not know it, nor had the Commission tents 
and Delegates for its fifteen army stations till the month 

o *> 

had nearly passed. Yet everywhere the soldiers wel 
comed the agents, and came to the depot at Brandy Sta 
tion, begging for brigade and division chapels in which 
to hold preaching services. During the Winter, not less 
than sixty canvas coverings were issued. Under these 
the Chaplains held their Sabbath services and nightly 
meetings. Without them, there could have been but 
little opportunity for religious gatherings in the army 
during this Winter. 

The great work of revival began at once ; meetings 
at the stations and in the chapels were soon crowded ; 
the men were again furnished with Testaments and 
Hymn books ; Bible-classes were formed, sometimes 
taught by Delegates, sometimes by Chaplains, sometimes 
by the soldiers themselves. For very many wanderers, 
whose number can only be known when the books are 
opened, the Winter camps became the "gate of heaven." 

Rev. J. B. Davis 1 and Mr. Johnston Calhoun, 2 in February, 



1 Pastor of (O. S.) Presbyterian Church, Bridesburg, Philadelphia. 

2 Of Ilookstown, Beaver Co., Penna. 



BRANDY STATION. * 197 

organized a Bible-class in the 1st Brigade, Horse Artillery, encamped 
not far from Brandy Station. It met at the Commission "Artillery 
Reserve Station, No. 2," and numbered forty-six 

private soldiers. The work among these men and in Artillery Reserve 

Bible-Class. 

the chapel meetings was especially blessed of God. 

Rev. Mr. Davis first sermon here was preached to about seventy- 
five listeners standing in the mud. The soldiers brought boughs of 
evergreen from the river-bank to serve as a carpet, and lumber for 
the seats, after which the chapel was comfortable. Night after 
night the meetings were crowded, until many were converted. 

The artillery, having no Chaplains assigned them, stood in special 
need of spiritual ministration and effort. A special effort was there 
fore made throughout the Winter to reach the men in this arm of the 
service. The Bible-class scholars sent to the Central Office for books 
to aid them in a critical study of God s Word. Their requisition 
was met, and the meetings of the earnest Bible-students became a 
source of great delight to themselves, and of much encouragement 
to the Delegates. Several of them were college graduates. A num 
ber decided to prepare for the ministry when their army service was 
over. 

Rev. E. F. Williams, writing from Brandy Station 
in February, says : 

A sutler told me to-day that a member of his regiment, who could 
not read, but had recently been converted at one of the soldiers 
chapels, was so anxious to hear the Saviour s words, that day after 

day he had hired his comrades to read to him ; and 

. . . Paying for 

only yesterday had given a swearing acquaintance Bible- Reading 

ten cents all the money he had to read to him the 
fifth chapter of St. Matthew s Gospel. He would ask-for the reading 
of passages which he had heard in the meetings, and was continually 
on the alert to discover the names and numbers of chapters which 
had impressed any of his comrades, or of which he in some way had 
incidentally heard. 



* Rev. G. S. Stockwell, a Baptist clergyman from Springfield, Mass., was asso 
ciated with Messrs. Davis and Calhonn in this work. 



198 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

A German was converted here, who seemed utterly surprised at 
the goodness of God to him. He was overheard one day praying, 

" O Lord Jesus, I didn t know You were so good." 
The Goodness . , . ,, 

, T And yet, happy as he was, he was anxious lor more 

of Jesus. J i L J 

of Christ s presence, and kept praying that God would 
add as much to his present joy as He had given at his conversion. 

In tlic Second Division of the First Corps, on Sperry- 
ville Pike, a station manned by two Delegates was 
established. The usual scenes at other stations were wit 
nessed here. Key. Mr. Williams writes of the circum 
stances attending the conversion of a soldier named 

o 

Charles Rockwell, at this place : 

Born in the State of New York of pious parents, he spent his 

early boyhood in Connecticut in every kind of wickedness. At one 

time his parents thought him converted, and forced him to join the 

church contrary to his will. But his vows were 

The Trans- liever kept. A most injudicious and sinful prayer 

for his "damnation," by an officer of the church, on 

an occasion when he had been disturbing a meeting, had thoroughly 

hardened him. Ever afterwards he supposed himself condemned to 

hell, and met every effort for his reformation with the unwavering 

statement of his doom. 

During a long, perilous whaling voyage he had a very narrow es 
cape from immediate death, but the warning was without any effect 
upon him whatever. Some homely remarks of another officer of the 
church with which he had been connected, set him thinking seriously; 
soon after he married a gentle, loving Christian woman, and settled 
in Pennsylvania. His wife would go away alone day after day to 
read the Bible and pray ; her husband followed her once to listen ; 
she was praying for him. He was deeply affected, and with difficulty 
avoided discovering himself. 

When she came into the other room again, he asked why she had 
gone away by herself. She hesitated, in some confusion about an 
swering, when her husband said 

"Well, never mind; I know; I followed you up-stairs to-day. If 



SPERRYVILLE PIKE STATION. 199 

you want to pray, you may do it down here before me, and not go 
up there into the cold." 

Ever afterwards the wife maintained family prayers, but the hus 
band continued intemperate and profane. 

When the war broke out he enlisted as a cavalryman. He was 
soon made Orderly Sergeant for his skill and capacity, but was re 
duced to the ranks again for his crimes. It was his ambition to 
drink more whisky and play a better game of cards than any other 
man in the regiment, the 17th Penna. 

In January a Delegate was sent from Culpepper to preach to the 
regiment. The sermon on small sins was a feeble one, Charley 
thought, and only fit to ridicule. Later in the day he heard another 
sermon in a neighboring regiment, which had the effect of driving 
home to his conscience the words of the morning s discourse. He 
went to his tent with little peace. Some clays before two pious sol 
diers, hungry for a prayer meeting, had begun one in their own tents. 1 
]t had grown until some twenty men attended it. To escape the 
thought of the sermon, Rockwell wandered round after excitement. 
Hearing singing, he stumbled upon the little Christian company, 
and before the meeting closed rose for prayers. It was not God s 
time yet, however. Regretting what he had done, he became drunk, 
and remained so several days. Coming to himself, he recalled a 
scene at home during his last furlough. He had been urging his 
wife to go to a ball. Putting her arms around him, with tears 
pouring down, she said 

" Charley, I m trying to live as a Christian. I wish you were one. 
But I can t be a Christian and a ball-dancer too." 

In great agony of mind he sought the prayer meeting again. The 
struggle was a fearful one, but at last God s peace came. Describing 
the close of the strife, he afterwards said 

" I had been praying all night until about two o clock, when I 
began to feel strange. I kindled a fire, not sure whether I was alive 



1 The regiment had no Chaplain, and this little soldiers meeting grew so large 
that the Colonel gave them a tent which held about thirty. As many more used 
to crowd about the entrance, until the men petitioned for a Christian Commission 
" fly." This was given them, as well as occasional help from Delegates working 
nt the nearest station. 



200 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

or dead. Then I lay down, slept soundly and woke early. First of 
all I prayed, and then went out to attend to my horse, usually a 
vicious animal. This morning he was kind and gentle. I put my 
arms about his neck and said, " Well, old horse, have you got reli 
gion too?" 

At roll-call in the evening, Charley stepped forward from the 
ranks, and asked leave to say a few words. Judge of his comrades 
surprise when they heard his simple, brave speech : 

" Comrades, you know how wicked I have been, what a life I 
have led in this regiment. With God s help, this day Charley Rock 
well turns over a new leaf, and begins to live as a Christian. He 
wants your forgiveness for the wrongs he has done, and asks you to 
join him in trying to serve Christ." 

Ever afterwards he was an earnest Christian, cheerfully giving up 
his wicked companions, and restoring, as far as it was in his power, 
his gambling gains. He used to tell me sadly of his past life. 

" I fully expected," he once said, " to go to hell ; I meant to go 
there. I used to think I would get Satan to make me his prime 
minister, and then, what fun I would have in raking up the coals, 
and heaping them on the heads of old religious hypocrites ! " 

His faith in the power of God s grace was boundless. Becoming 
anxious to study for the ministry, he was furnished with books which 
he diligently conned. But the book of delight to him was the Bible; 
every spare moment was spent in its perusal. He continued stead 
fast as long as I knew him, until the Wilderness campaign began. 

Rev. Mr. Williams writes from Culpepper Station, the 
headquarters for work in the First Corps, of which he 
had general charge : 

A Pennsylvania soldier came two miles regularly every night to 

the meeting at Culpepper. Storms, mud, swollen streams could not 

keep him away. When his turn came to go on picket, he paid a 

companion to stand two hours for him, rather than 

Longing for loge hig f avor j te mee ting. He could not read, so he 

the Meetings. . . 

must have spiritual food ; he could only hud this at 

the evening services and in Christian conversation. 



WARRENTON JUNCTION. 201 

Rev. Win. M. Taylor 1 writes in March : 

Towards the close of my labors at Vermont Station, near Culpep- 
per, I administered the Lord s Supper, assisted by Rev. Mr. Smith. 2 
One thing, most worthy of note in connection with the service, was 

thi s though the administration was to members of 

Communion. 
eight different denominations, not one communicant 

belonged to the (O. S.) Presbyterian Church, of which I was a mem 
ber. The Commission has been a mighty power in breaking down 
sectarian prejudices and barriers. 

Rev. Benj. Waddle, 3 a Delegate during February 
among the men of the Fifth Corps at Nelson Station, 
Warrenton Junction, writes : 

The corps of drummer-boys at the station numbered ten. One 
became deeply convicted of sin. Ashamed to let the fact be known, 
he sought retirement and secresy in the woods for prayer. He found 
Jesus. An elder brother imitated his example. One 
after another followed, until the whole ten " rejoiced A Fra y inc J 

in hope of the glory of God," and began sounding out 
to all around them a new martial call, " To arms for Jesus !" 

The influence of this Warrenton Junction Station 
may be estimated from Rev. Mr. Williams report of 
the soldiers own statements : 

" Before the meetings opened," said one, " all my comrades were 
profane and gamblers ; but now not an oath can be heard, nor a card 
seen in our camp." 

In one of the meetings a soldier rose and said 

"The sectarian jealousies of denominations at home Influence of 

. the Meetings. 
have been a stumbling-block in my way ; but here in 

the army, in your Commission meetings, the corners have been rubbed 



1 Pastor of (O. S.) Presbyterian Church, Mount Jackson, Penna. 

2 Rev. Geo. Mure Smith, Pastor of Congregational Church, Rocky Hill, Conn. 

3 Of Kenton, Ohio. 



202 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

off. There is no excuse left for me. I mean, with God s help, at 
once to begin living a Christian life." 

Rev. J. B. Pearson 1 relates an incident which came to 
his knowledge at this station during March : 

A mother and sister, on parting with a son and brother who was 
soon to lead his company into battle, said to him, " We shall pray 
for you every night at seven o clock." The Captain was not a Chris 

tian ; yet in our meeting he rose and told us 
" We ahatt Pi-ay Not a n j ht b but at the hour of g 



for you at Seven: 

remember my praying mother and sister. Once 

during a severe skirmish, lasting into the evening, for some reason I 
looked at my watch ; it was nearly seven. Though I had no claims 
on God s favor and had never sought His care, yet it seemed to me 
that I was girdled by the prayers of my mother and sister, and that 
in answer to them He would bring me safely through the fight." 
He told his story with deep feeling, and, I trust, soon found Christ. 

At Warrenton a station was established in February. 
Rev. Mr. Williams writes of its beginning : 

A Delegate preached on the Sabbath, and was invited by a Captain 

to share his tent at night. Before retiring the Delegate learned that 

the Captain was a backslider, but obtained his promise that he would 

be henceforth faithful in secret prayer and correct in 

An Entire Com- outward Yl f G . I can never forget the depth of feeling 
panyfor Jesus. . 

with which the Captain, in one of the meetings at 

Warrenton, gave thanks for the good which that Delegate had done 
him. Through the Divine blessing on his amended life and renewed 
efforts for Christ, every member of his company had then become a 
child of God. 

Perhaps the most marked work of the Spirit during 
this Winter and Spring was that begun in March at 
Bristow Station in the llth Penna. Reserve Regiment. 
Rev. Mr. Williams gives the following account of it : 

1 Pastor of Congregational Church. Plymouth Hollow, Conn. 



BRISTOW STATION. 203 

Its origin, under God, was in the prayers and efforts of a private 
of the regiment. Day after day he went alone into the woods to 
pray. His comrades scoffed, but he persevered. At last one friend 

found him. This man had been converted by the 

. , . How a Great 

memory of a conversation with a pious mother on a _ 7> 

J L Work .Began. 

Sunday long previous. His mother s sudden death 

had brought into relief the almost forgotten words. The two pious 
men together felt strong ; in faith they waited for a blessing. Others 
joined them, and when the Commission chapel was set up, " It 
seemed," said the Chaplain of the regiment, " as if God s Spirit 
descended at once." Prior to the opening of the tent there were 
seven hoping in Christ ; within four weeks there were sixty-one. 

A German, deeply interested in religion, went home on a furlough. 
His chief regret when returning was the thought that he could enjoy 
no more meetings for prayer. Some of his companions, converted 
during his absence, surprised him as he came into 
camp with the inquiry A German s 

" Are you going to the meetings ?" Joy. 

"What meetings?" 

" Why, at the Christian Commission, two every day. Will you 
come?" 

The German s heart was too full for speech. Describing the effect 
of their words upon him, he afterwards said 

"I shoost cried for glad. I could shoost see Jesus in ter poys 
faces." 

Another soldier was greatly interested in reading from an old paper 
which his Chaplain gave him, a story of some poor children in Ger 
many, who, while eating the bread of charity, denied themselves their 
evening meal, which they sold and gave the proceeds 

to the missionary cause. He was so much moved by 

. dren Preaching 

the account that he came at once to the Chaplain, ^ America 

and told him of a vow made during the battle of 
Games Mills, that if the Lord would spare his life, he would give 
a certain amount of money to some benevolent object. He, paid the 
vow with a hundred per cent, interest, and lived afterwards a devoted 
Christian life. 

Many who hoped that they were converted here wrote at once to 
their friends of the change experienced ; as the result of these letters, 



204 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

several revivals began in different parts of Pennsylvania. One 

soldier wrote to his betrothed, telling her of his con- 
Reflex Work. . . . . _ J ~. . J 

version, and praying her to give herself to Christ; 

but his letter met one from her, telling of her conversion, and beg 
ging him to live for Christ. The man was so overjoyed that he came 
and called up a Delegate from his bed to hear the story. 

A similar incident came to our knowledge in the case of a hus 
band and wife, whose letters, passing each other in the mails, each 
contained an account of the writer s conversion, with a prayer that 
the other might find peace in Jesus. 

At Bristow, the result of the work in six weeks was 
the formation of a " Christian Union," numbering more 
than one hundred and twenty members. Mr. Williams 
narrative explains its origin : 

A Missionary concert, held the first Sunday in April, gave the 
soldiers zeal and more enlarged views of working for the salvation 
of others. They rejoiced in giving up for a time one of our limited 

number of helpers, to look after destitute regiments. 
"Monthly-Con- . 
. , Ihe subsequent reports from these were listened to 

with intense interest. Through constant attendance 
on the means of grace and zealous work, the young brethren were 
built up in a wonderful manner, and thus drawn together into a 
precious Christian communion. All this prepared for the formation, 
on April 18th, of a " Christian Union" for the regiment. The har 
mony with which believers from eleven different denominations, with 
out a dissenting voice, could form such a brotherhood, was a delight 
ful testimony to the oneness and strength of Christ s religion. 1 



1 There were two original hymns, among several others, composed by soldiers 
in honor of the formation of the "Union," which are worth preserving: 

A PRAYER FOR BLESSING. 

We come to Thee, our God and King, Before Thy mercy-seat we bow 

By Jesus blood, redeemed, released; And plead our ransom, Thy Dear Son. 

Accept the sacrifice we bring, In humble confidence that Thou 

For sake of our Eternal Priest. Wilt finish what Thou hast begun 



SPEKRYVILLE PIKE. 205 

Mr. J. H. Morley, 1 during his term of service, labored 
at Sperry ville Pike Station ; from his report we select 
the following incident : 

One of the most interesting cases of conversion I met with was 
that of a German named Bolick, of the 17th Penna. Cavalry. Seven 
years before he thought that he was a Christian, but although the 

son of pious parents, he took no definite stand. So 

* , . , The Strife of 

he got into the dark, and soon gave up his hope, be- , .^. 

coming, as- he himself said, " a drunkard, a gambler 

and as bad as a man could get." He came to a chapel meeting one 

evening, but made up his mind that it was no place for him : 

"I concluded that I must get out of that, or else come back to 
Christ." 

For several evenings he stayed in his tent gambling. One day a 
petition of the soldiers for a Chaplain was handed him for his signa- 



And Thou, our Saviour, God Most High, And oh, when Thou dost gather thine 
Our "Union" bless, and grant, we pray, Into their sinless, blest abode, 

To be in times of trial nigh, May we meet there by grace divine 
To guide us in Thy perfect way. In one unbroken " Brotherhood." 

CONQUERORS THROUGH HIM. 

Now for holiest warfare marshalled, March we onward, bravely faithful, 

Let the song of gladness swell By no sordid ease beguiled, 

To the praise of Him who leads us, Like the few of ancient Sardis 

Him who doeth all things well ; Ours be garments undefined : 

" Christian Union ; Then in holier, 

Christ, our Captain," Sweeter " Union," 

Be our strength and battle-cry. We shall walk with Him above. 

In the cause of Him who loved us, Now let lips and hearts united 

Comes there suffering or shame, In the glow of zealous youth, 

Though we dwell where Satan s seat is, Bless the name of God our Saviour, 

We will not deny His name ; Praise His goodness, love and truth : 

In our sacred And His favor, 

" Christian Union," May it ever 

We will conquer, led by Him. Bless our " Christian Brotherhood." 
1 Of Andover Theological Seminary, Mass. 



206 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

ture. He was gambling at the time, but signed his name, and then 
began to think upon the incongruity of a gambler s petition for a 
Chaplain. He was troubled, and determined to go to meeting, but 
for some time was kept back by his companions. At last he came, 
and for two successive evenings asked us to pray for him, in terms 
which convinced all that he was in earnest. On the third evening 
he told us in broken English that he had found the Saviour, and 
must forsake his old habits. His comrades hearing of it abused him, 
but he stood firm, and asked our prayers for them. While I was 
with the regiment he stood well, and was always ready to take up 
his cross and follow Christ. 

It was of course the Delegate s duty to minister to and 
labor with men of every rank. Mr. H. Morey 1 writes 
of an interview near Warrenton, with a Captain and 
Surgeon returning from their leaves of absence : 

The Surgeon s appearance indicated refinement and education; but 
I noticed that the Captain and he frequently swore as they talked. I 
reproved them both, somewhat to their astonishment. The Surgeon 

said he meant nothing by it ; it was a habit, he 
Sicearing, in 



(j wag doi .^ j agked 
its Theory and 

him if he was satisfied with such an apology ; if he 



was, I was not : 

" Oh, I m going to stop and be good one of these days." 

" That s all very well ; but you have confessed that the habit is so 
deep that you don t know when you are indulging in it. It will be 
harder to break when you stop and get good. " 

He told me of his father, who was a clergyman, and of his Chris 
tian mother. I told him of the love of another Father whom he was 
offending. He was touched and thanked me; while I prayed in 
wardly that the words said might indeed profit him. 

The Captain said he had been a "professor of religion" before 
entering the army, but had found that swearing was necessary to 
govern his men, so his " profession had been relieved from duty." I 
told him that I had often seen people swearing at horses and mules, 



1 City Missionary, Brooklyn, N. Y. 



CAMP CONVALESCENT. 207 

but I had never noticed either party improved by the operation, and 
was certain the users of the language had not been. 

We parted, and months afterwards I met him near the Weldon 
railroad. He introduced himself by asking if I remembered the 
talk near Warrenton. I told him, I did. 

"I am the Captain you spoke to," was his reply; "your words were 
not forgotten, and I have come to think as you did then, about swear 
ing at men and mules too." 

Before entering upon the story of the " Wilderness/ 
we shall glance backward upon the Commission s work 
in the vicinity of Washington. At Camp Convalescent 
there seems to have been a continuous revival. Agents 

o 

might be called to other fields ; new Delegates might 
come in place of older ones ; still the precious work went 
on. Rev. Mr. Williams, who visited the camp in Jan 
uary of this Winter, gives the story of one of the 
nightly gatherings : 

The bell was ringing for meeting, as we were getting a hasty sup 
per. Entering the chapel, we found it filled by an audience of at 
least eight hundred persons. Within an hour forty- three had spoken, 
ten or twelve hymns were sung, and several prayers 

offered. It was a memorable meeting. The soldiers Camp Conm - 

lescent Testimo- 
expressions were peculiar and striking. n - eg 

" Brethren," said one, " I know I have passed from 
death unto life, for I love the brethren. I feel to pray, Create ever 
within me a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within me. " 

" One year ago," said another, " I could drink as much whisky 
and swear as much as any one in my company ; now I trust I am a 
Christian." 

In a like, straight-out soldier s way they spoke on till the hour had 
passed. At the close of the exercises very many came forward, 
shaking hands with us, as if they had always known us, and telling 
us more of their religious experience. Among these was a man 
whom we had known a year before, in the hospital of the First Corps 
near Acquia Creek. Then he was an infidel, awfully profane, un- 



208 CHEISTIAX COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

willing to attend any meeting, or to converse upon religious subjects. 
Now lie was a believer, ready to testify for Christ, and anxious by 
earnest labor to atone for past neglect and sin. 

R,ev. F. N. Peloubet, 1 gives a graphic account of work 
at the Deserters Barracks, at Camp Convalescent, during 
February and March. It shows the varied work of the 
Delegate, and the difficulties and temptations of the 
soldier : 

I went as usual to the Deserters Barracks on the morning of 
March 2cl. I took out a little tract Will You Enlist f to read ; some 
objected : 

" We ve heard it before ; we can read that any 

y ; let S hCl1 tbe Testiiment " 

" Why, you can read that any day," said I. 

" Yes, but we want it explained ; we ve read it, but don t under 
stand it. The other things are made up ; we want something we 
know is true." 

So I read two chapters in St. John s First Epistle, standing the 
while on a board between two bunks. Before long a young man 
named Isaac Free objected 

" Seems to me a man must be perfect, else he can t go to heaven." 

" That can t be," said I ; " for then none would go there, since none 
are perfect." 

" Well, you said so Sabbath last, anyhow." 
TJie Doctrine 0th vergeg of the lgt c l iaptei% 



of Perfection. 

and then the Gth verse of chapter 3d, comparing 

them. 

" Well, they contradict, don t they ? " Isaac asked. 

As familiarly as I could I showed that they did not; and also 
how Peter and David, though sinners, went to heaven. 

" But it says there, The soul that sinneth, it shall die. How s 
that?" 



1 See p. 50. 



DESERTERS BARRACKS, CAMP CONVALESCENT. 209 

I told him about Christ s salvation, and how pardoning a criminal 

did not make a judge a liar. Isaac came back to the strife within 

his own heart: 

" I ve tried to be good, and I can t. I ve suffered a good deal, and 

sin don t give any peace. That s all the hell I believe in." 
" Isn t that enough to make you want freedom from it?" 
I told him my own experience ; how once, the more I had tried to 

be good, the worse it had seemed. 

" That s it," said he ; " who can live like a Christian here?" 
"But you can; only you must find the Way, Christ, whose blood 

cleanses from all sin. Do you really want to be a Christian? Do 

you ever pray ? " 
" No." 

" And you expect to become a Christian without asking?" 
Here our conversation rested ; but he came to me before I left the 

barracks, and told me his story. Born in New York, his parents, 

who were both Christians, had died when he was quite young. He 

went to live with an uncle, who put no restraint upon 

i- ,. Ti T , ! -, nt-f\ The Confession. 

his actions. Enlisting in the regular army in 1859, 

In? met much hard company. During the New York riots his regi 
ment was sent there, and stationed at the Battery. A comrade per 
suaded him to run the guard at night; they passed the hours in sin. 
While drunk for the first time in his life, his false friend induced 
him to go to Philadelphia. He did not dare to return, but found 
work, and was soon arrested. 

" I haven t known an hour s peace since I deserted," said the poor 
fellow. 

" Is the punishment hard here?" 

"Oh, it isn t that; it s the disgrace, the disgrace! after fighting 
well, to come to this ! " 

He had sworn already never to touch drink again. I strove hard 
to persuade him to pray: 

" It won t do for me, a deserter a Christian ! They d always 
throw it in my face." 

"But Christ knows all better than they; He will forgive and 
befriend you." 

Eight days later I saw him again. He had been praying all night, 
but there was no answer. I told him to keep praying, and the light 

14 



210 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

would come. He pressed my hand and asked me to add my petitions 
to his own. 

Rev. Edward Hawes 1 preached at the Barracks one Sunday morn 
ing in March. After service we distributed one hundred Black Val 
ley Railroad Guides, a vivid picture tract, illustrating the evils of 

intemperance. It took amazingly. A deserter, who 
The Two Eoads. , , , 

had been an engineer once, said they were asking him 

to run on the J5. V. R. It., at good pay ; but he thought he 

wouldn t get his wages, and would have to go on the train ; so he was 

holding on to the other road. Pointing upwards, I asked if the road 

he had chosen ended there; he answered, "Yes." 

A short time since a soldier at the barracks in a drunken fit got a 

comrade to write to his betrothed that he was dead ! Letters of 
grief and inquiry came at once. He replied himself 
that he had only been dead-drunk ! and in a few 

days learned to his horror, that the girl was dead, from the shock 

which the first letter gave ! 

While laboring at Camp Convalescent, Mr. Peloubet 
met a Pennsylvania cavalryman from Carbon County, 
named Sergeant Marcy, who told him his story : 

He had once joined the church, but was only half persuaded at 
the time, and afterwards opposed religion in numerous ways. His 
wife, an earnest Christian, vainly strove to restore him. Shocked 

deeply by much of the wickedness in the army, he 
The Little Child and a comra( j e mutually agreed to mark down the 
in the Kingdom. . 

number ot times they swore during each clay. Ihe 

result appalled him, and he determined to stop. His wife s letters 
made him uneasy ; so one Monday evening he went to the prayer 
meeting. The sermon made no particular impression, but some re 
marks following it affected him deeply. He determined to attend 
the meeting every night that week, and, though once or twice regret 
ting his resolve, carried it through. His mental agony and darkness 
were increased by certain morbid reflections about committing the 



7 Pastor then of Congregational Church, Waterville, Me. ; now of Central 
Church, Philadelphia. 



CAMP STONEMAN. 211 

sin against the Holy Ghost. A pious bunk-mate was much dis 
tressed on his account. At last the Lord s words about no man 
entering the Kingdom of Heaven unless he was a little child, brought 
him to see that he was helpless as a child that he could only put his 
hand into that of Christ, and say trustfully, " Lead Thou me on." l 
At once his whole life was illuminated. One day, while repairing 
and cleaning the stables, some of his comrades were swearing and 
finding fault at the dirty work. He did not like the task, but sud 
denly it occurred to him that Jesus was born in a manger, and his 
work at once grew bright and glad. 

Possibly the Lord s words about children only enter 
ing the Kingdom of God were never more clearly illus 
trated than sometimes in the hour of the soldier s death : 

In Camp Stoneman Hospital during March, a soldier lay dying. 
He was from Michigan, and but eighteen years old. Mr. C -- , a 
Delegate, learning that he would not recover, hastened to his side. 

"I am very sick ; pray for me," said the soldier. 

" Have you a Christian mother ?" Chim 



" Oh, yes ; my father and mother are both Chris 
tians, and so are my sisters. My brother is a minister. I wish I was 
a Christian, but I m afraid I m not." 

I prayed with him, after which he himself offered a most fervent 
petition. As I read St. John s 14th chapter, he anticipated me, 
showing his knowledge of the Bible. I stayed with him a long time ; 
together we sang 

" There is a fountain filled with blood," 
and 

" Eock of Ages, cleft for me." 
Just before he died he called the ward-master to him, and lifting 



1 " Lead, kindly light, amid th. encircling gloom 

Lead Thou me on ; 
The night is dark, and I am far from home ; 

Lead Thou me on." John Henry Newman. 



212 CHKISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

his weak arms put them round the man s neck, and kissed him. 
Looking up, he said, " I love everybody." He prayed again, and 
afterwards felt much exhausted. The nurse told him to try and 
sleep a little. They lifted him gently upon his left side ; his thoughts 
went back to her whose memory lingers longest upon earth ; like as 
a child might have done, he folded his arms across his breast, and in 
a very low voice repeated distinctly 

" Now I lay me down to sleep ; 

I pray the Lord ray soul to keep ; 
If I should die before I wake, 
I pray the Lord my soul to take." 

The light went out of the dying eyes ; the pale lips moved never 
again ; the answer to the simple petition had come quickly indeed. 
" Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not 
enter into the Kingdom of God." 

Some extracts from the experience of Rev. Edward 
Hawes, at Camp Convalescent, may close the present 
chapter : 

Many hearts were made glad one evening, by seeing Sergeant Mor 
rison kneeling for prayers. He was well known throughout the camp 
as a wild, reckless man ; his Christian wife omitted no opportunity of 

writing to him about coming to Jesus. In answer to 
Hiding behind , . . 

" her entreaties he had determined to attend regularly 



the evening meetings at the chapel. To many of us 
his unexpected act was surprising. He said to me afterwards 

" I had more feeling than many supposed, for I knew that I was a 
sinner who needed a Saviour. While you were preaching that night, 
until near the close of the sermon, I was continually thinking, Well, 
I stand that pretty well ; but at last you said you wanted to hide 
yourself behind Christ, and let Him speak through you ; and He 
did speak, and I couldn t stand under it." 

At another time, referring to his conviction, he told me 
" I was trying to do something myself; but it is good to become a 
little child, and cry for one s own helplessness." 



CAMP CONVALESCENT. 213 

He was so strong, stalwart and large that the words seemed to 
have an added meaning in his case. He came often to converse 
with me; I always enjoyed the interviews. He told me at our 
good-bye 

" I shall never, never forget the time when you hid yourself be 
hind Jesus." 

Some of the expressions of the men in the meetings were wonder 
ful for their concentration of feeling and power. A soldier rises to 
speak only these solemn words 

" I left a gray-haired mother at home praying for 

. , J T , ^ T , Enlisting for 

me; she said to me as I came away, You have en- ~, . 

listed in the service of your country, now I beg you 
to enlist for Christ. All her letters asked this question, Have you 
enlisted for Christ yet? I thank God, Jesus has found the way to 
my poor heart." 

At a meeting in the Cavalry Camp a new convert rises to say 

" I rejoice that I have found the Saviour, but my wife is not a 
Christian " and then broke down. 

A comrade is up instantly, with the words The Remedy. 

" Boys, let s get right down here, and pray for his 
wife," and kneel they did, while an earnest prayer ascended. 

A Maine soldier in the hospital says to us 

" If I had been impenitent since being a soldier, I don t think I 
would have been alive ; I would have been so impa 
tient and restless. I have tried to give up all to 
God, and, even when sickest, to trust Him." 

At one of the meetings a soldier prays in his mother-tongue, Ger 
man, and then tells his experience : 

" Brethren, I shall try to say a few words; the English goes rather 

hard with me, but I want you to understand that I 
, T T . , , ~ , L , "Hard on Sin- 

love J esus. I was once very wicked ; God took away ners 

a child ; I promised to reform, but didn t ; then He 

took away another ; then my stubborn heart was broken, and I found 

Jesus." 

He told us of a sermon preached by a minister, who was " hard on 
sinners," and whose house, for some time after, he was afraid to pass, 
lest he should come out to talk with him. After his change he tried 



214 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

successfully to awaken his wife and children ; before leaving for the 
war he sat down with them at the table of the Lord. 

At the prayer meeting at Cavalry Camp the night before some of 
the men were to join Kilpatrick, they put their arms around each 

other s necks, and sang with deep feeling 
The Country 

Above. 

"Shall we know each other there?" 



CHAPTER VIII. 

THE WESTERN ARMIES. 

THE CAMPAIGNS IN TENNESSEE AND GEORGIA. 
1863 December 1863. 



GEN. ROSECKANS long delay at Murfreesboro after 
Stone River had been dictated by the necessities of his 
position and communications. In June, 1863, he found 
Bragg s army entrenched in front of him at Shelbyville 
and Tullahoma, and towards the close of the month 
began a movement for his dislodgment. In spite of a 
continuous rain-storm, which materially delayed the 
advancing columns, within nine days Middle Tennessee 
was cleared of the Confederate army, and Shelbyville 
and Tullahoma occupied without any serious engage 
ment. Rosecrans pushed forward his light troops to 
Stevenson, Ala., on his right, and began repairing the 
railroad to that place and to Bridgeport. It was not 
until the middle of August that our army again moved 
forward in force. 

The General Field Agent returned from his visit to 
the forces operating against Vicksburg in July, and 
writes from Murfreesboro 7 , the grand army centre before 
Rosecrans movement upon Tullahoma : 

A soldier from the Anderson Troop (15th Penna. Cav.) was 

215 



216 CHKISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

brought late one afternoon to the General Hospital outside of this 
place. It was his first experience of this kind ; more desolate by far 

to him than any picture of ours can make it, taken, 

"Coming to , ,. 

the Waters " weak and desponding as he was, from among com 

rades who enlisted with him in Philadelphia, into 
the company of strangers. As the nurse, who has lifted him from 
the ambulance and has laid him on his cot, is helping him undress, 
the cavalryman asks, with a hesitating voice 

" Nurse, do you ever read in the wards ?" 

The nurse replied in the affirmative. 

" Well, nurse, I wish you would read a bit for me this evening." 

" What shall I read ?" 

The soldier asks him to take a Bible from his knapsack : " Find 
that chapter about Coming to the waters. " 

The nurse was a Christian, and turned readily to the 55th chapter 
of Isaiah, reading through the first verse : " Ho, every one that 
thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money, come 
ye, buy and eat ; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and 
without price." 

" That s it," says the sick man ; " that s it come to the waters. " 

As the nurse was continuing to read through the chapter, the 
cavalryman stopped him, and said 

" Bead that verse again, nurse : Ho, every one that thirsteth. " 

He read it again, and then again at the man s earnest request. 

" Now, that 11 do, nurse ; do you ever pray ?" 

" Yes, I can pray." 

" Will you offer a little prayer for me ?" 

The nurse knelt by his cot and offered the request which the soldier 
dictated. The next morning he asked again for the reading of Scrip 
ture ; the nurse asked, what he should read : 

" I want to hear again about that Coming to the waters. " 

He read it to him twice that morning, and twice in the evening, 
and prayed with him. The next morning he read it again. 

"I must pray for myself, nurse," the cavalryman said; and he 
asked to be placed in the attitude of prayer on his cot ; he would 
not be denied the privilege. They placed him on his knees with his 
hand on the head of his iron cot. He began praying for himself in 
the words of the petition of Our Lord ; and so the Messenger found 



MURFEEESBORO NASHVILLE. 217 

him, and taking him up home, " showed" him " a pure river of water 
of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of 
the Lamb." 

A week or two before I had met in Louisville a relative of this 
cavalryman, who was vainly trying to get through the lines to 
minister to him. I took the soldier s address, and very soon after 
visited the Murfreesboro Hospital. The nurse related the affecting 
story, which was at once communicated to the soldier s mother in 
Philadelphia. She would never have learned in any other way, most 
probably, how her boy died. Certainly in the last great day there 
will be many surprises to mothers and fathers and friends, from the 
unveiling of histories told to no human ears ; which He only noted, 
who " shall bring into judgment every secret thing." 

The same month Kev. Mr. Smith wrote to the Bible 
Society Record about the distribution of the Scriptures 
at various points throughout the army. He mentioned 
this incident, which occurred at a meeting in Convales 
cent Camp, Nashville : 

A middle-aged man rose in the crowd and held up a little book : 
" Soldiers, I have a book here which I suspect none of you have 
money enough to buy. I never read it ; I don t know how to read ; 
but I couldn t let this book go. They tell me it is 
God s Word; that this is where we find what Jesus " Tt Eeads f 

TfKSq/Q " 

says: and I love to feel it in my hands and press it 
to my bosom, and put it under my head at night. It reads of Jesus ! 
What could I do without Jesus, and how should I know about Him, 
if it was not for this book, which somebody can read ? Sometimes I 
find a good friend and take him by the arm and say, * Come, go with 
me a little way ; and when we get by ourselves, I pull out my little 
book and say, I have here a nice book: I want you to read a little 
with me. He says, Where shall I read ? I say, The 7th of Mat 
thew. Then, when he has read that, I say, Just a little more, the 
1st chapter of James. I have almost learned these two chapters, 
and then I am going to take another. I advise you all to get a 
Testament from the Christian Commission." 



218 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

He spoke modestly, but with deep feeling ; and when he held up 
his hook and pressed it to his heart, the tears dropping down his 
cheeks told how deep was his love for the Book that " reads of Jesus." 

In the hospital at Tullahoma Mr. Smith found a 
Confederate prisoner, whose story illustrates the influ 
ence of God s Word over angry passions and a wander 
ing heart: 

He was lying side by side with our own soldiers, and I should not 
have known, from his treatment and appearance, but that he be 
longed to them. When he learned that I was engaged in the Chris 
tian Commission, he pressed my hand very earnestly, 
Forgiveness. . , ^ 

saying he was glad to see me. lurning to the nurse, 

he asked 

"Nurse, has my bundle come yet?" 

" It will be here shortly," was the reply ; " don t you worry about 
it ; it is all safe." 

" I suppose it is, but I wish it was here." Turning to me, he added, 
" When they brought me here I felt scattered like, and left behind 
me my bundle of things, and my Hymn-book and Testament are 
tied up in it. I have been looking and waiting for em, and pears 
like I was lost when they don t come. One of your Commission 
gentlemen brought em to me when I was under guard ; and I have 
read em over a heap of times, and pears like I wasn t the same sort of 
man now. I wouldn t have believed last month that I should lie in 
my bed and pray for D . He is a very bad man, and it s be 
cause he has told false on me that your soldiers had me arrested. 
But I have been praying for him ; and just now when you came to 

the door I was asking God to forgive old man D , and bless 

him like He does me. Y see I ve been reading that whar it says, 
Love your enemies and pray for them that is spiteful gin you. My 
wife s been a praying Presbyterian ever since I knew her. I want 
to see her now more than ever. I lowed she d set a heap on that 
Testament, and I ll take it home with me." 

I took the address of his wife, and by means of our lines of cou 
riers, sent a letter with the glad news of her husband s conversion, 
direct to her own door. 



TULLAHOMA. . 219 

Hev. Benj. Parsons, 1 who was put in charge of the 
Held work at the front in the temporary absence of the 
General Agent, went forward with the forces following 
up Bragg s retreat, from Tullahoma to Cowan and 
Stevenson. He relates a soldier s testimony in a meet 
ing at Tullahoma in August : 

"I am glad, my comrades, to be here. When I enlisted I had 
many companions whom I well knew, but they are gone. Several 
of us entered into a covenant to hold together in the Christian life 
while in the army, and especially to hold on to 
Christ. Nearly all of them are gone. Some lie at "Holding on 
Shiloh ; some fell at Perry ville, and some are sleep 
ing their last sleep at Stone River. I feel quite alone, and that I 
too shall soon go to join my companions, who are now where war 
and bloodshed are for ever unknown ; where there shall be no broken 
bonds, no partings, no more death. Comrades, pray for me, that I 
may hold on and hold out faithful to Christ even to the last." 

Sometimes there were sad testimonies to hear : 

I was holding the chilling hands of a soldier of the 75th Indiana 
Regiment, in the Tullahoma hospital. I bade him instantly cast 
himself into Jesus arms, telling him that He was near to receive 
him. " Trust yourself," said I, " my dear boy, to 

Jesus." " He is noi 

Here " 
He opened his eyes wearily, and looked at me : 

" He is not here ! He is not here ! " 

" Yes, yes, He is here ; believe in Him, and thou shalt be saved." 
Once more he articulated, " Not here ! not here ! " and with the 
hopeless words upon his lips he died. 

A little incident of Eev. Mr. Parsons experience at 
Winchester is a picture of touching loneliness and a 
simple remedy for it : 



1 Pastor of First Congregational Church, Windsor, Conn. 



220 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

A drummer-boy came into our office and told us lie had received no 
letter for two years. He was an orphan and had lived in Brooklyn. 

" Wouldn t you like to get a letter?" we asked. 
" Oh, yes, indeed I would." 

" Well, well, my son," said Rev. Mr. Gushing, 1 " I 
think I have one for you." 

Opening a comfort-bag, he took out a letter written by a Sabbath- 
school pupil in the North, and gave it to the lad. As he received 
this token that even he had been remembered by somebody, he wept 
freely. 

August 2d, Mr. Parsons writes from Cowan Station : 

This afternoon several officers called on Col. Scribner, 2 with whom 
I was stopping. In the midst of a varied and interesting conversa 
tion, Col. Scribner rallied Brig.-Gen. Beattie 3 of Ohio, respecting a 

Bible given him by his wife, saying 

i e- ovmg fl - ag f rQS ^ an j c i ean as wnen y OU received 

J 



General. 

it from her hands." 

" Colonel," replied the General, " I can say what I fear you 
cannot, I have not let pass a single day since I entered the service 
without reading it." 

" Upon your honor?" 

" Upon my honor, sir." 

"What, in those fighting days at Stone River?" 

" Yes, sir ; in those fights I did not fail to read my daily chapter ; 
and if you ll examine my Bible, you will find every chapter marked 
in daily order." 

The answer was so calm and serious, that no one present could 
doubt the words of the speaker. 

Just here the reminiscences of this army are rich 
with Bible incidents, on account of the constant work of 



1 Kev. S. A. dishing, Shrewsbury, Mass. ; member of N. E. Conference, Meth. 
Episcopal Church. 

2 Commanding First Brigade, Gen. Rousseau s Division. 

3 Recently elected to Congress from the 8th District of Ohio. 



LOUISVILLE. 221 

Scripture distribution. Rev. Mr. Smith, writing to the 
Bible Society Record, relates the following : 

In Louisville, last Sabbath, I found in the barracks a German 
Orderly, who replied to my question, "Would you like a Testament /" 
with a very doubtful query 

" You have no Bible, I suppose ?" The Whole Bi- 

" No, I have only the Testament." 

" I have that," said he ; "I want a German Bible. 
I would give my next month s pay, when I get him, for a Bible in 
my pocket." 

I told him to call at the Bible Depository in the morning, and I 
would give him one. Early the next day, while I was at breakfast, 
there was a call for me ; it proved to be from the Orderly, who had 
come for his Bible. I gave him his choice out of the stock, and a 
happier man I have not seen for months. He had brought along 
with him a brother Orderly, once a preacher, who, while on duty at a 
hospital in Louisville, had loaned his Bible the only one there till 
it was so worn that with his poor eyesight he could no longer read it. 
The convalescents, he told me, used to take turns with his Bible, and 
sometimes /we or six applicants would put down their names for the next 
reading. I gave this man also a Bible of his own selection. 

On August 16th, the advance from Stevenson upon 
Chattanooga began. Movements were so prompt and 
well arranged that when Bragg saw the last corps of 
Hosecrans army crossing the Tennessee, he abandoned 
his stronghold on September 8th, and retired southward 
into Georgia. Rosecrans, following too hastily, soon 
found out that the Confederate army was being increased 
by reinforcements from all directions : Buckner had been 
called from East Tennessee ; Walker s Division from 
Johnson s army in Mississippi, and Longstreet s veterans 
from the Army of Northern Virginia. The Union 
forces were rapidly concentrated along Chickamauga 
Creek, and here on September 19th the battle was 



222 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

begun. On the evening of the 20th, the enemy con 
clusively having the advantage, Rosecrans withdrew 
within the Chattanooga entrenchments. Bragg followed, 
but finding the works too strong, attempted to starve our 
army out. In October Rosecrans was relieved by Gen. 
Thomas ; and shortly after the Armies of the Cumber 
land, Tennessee and Ohio were made into the Military 
Division of the Mississippi, all under the command of 
General U. S. Grant. Two corps from the Potomac 
had in the meantime reinforced the Army of the Cum 
berland. 

Early in October, Rev. B. W. Chidlaw, writing from 
Stevenson, tells a story of the value of some little hos 
pital comforts : 

One Hoosier boy, not over twenty years old, lay sick with a touch 
of the fever and ague, an affliction from which I had myself some 
times suffered at home : 

" What did mother do for you when you had these 
The Soldiers ,, 

spells at home r 

Tea-party. 

" Oh, she used to make me a good cup of tea, and 
such nice toast." 

" Why, that s just what my mother used to give me. And didn t 
it help you ?" 

" Yes, almost always." 

" Why, don t you get tea and toast here ?" 

" Oh, the tea isn t what mother used to give me, and the toast isn t 
the same at all." 

" Well," thought I, " you shall have some that s good, if it s to 
be had." 

So, going to the Commission s quarters, I soon found myself dipping 
into a chest of real, genuine black tea, and a cask of sweetest loaf 
sugar by its side, and a box of condensed milk. Then, repairing to 
the government bakery, I secured a nice loaf of bread, and took it 
to the establishment in the rear, where the cook was. I began telling 



STEVENSON I NASHVILLE. 223 

him what I wanted, and asking for the privilege of his fire and uten 
sils to do my work, when he interrupted me with 

" In dis kitchen I cooks and you talks." 

So he took the knife, sliced the bread and toasted it, while we 
talked of Jesus and His religion. The tea and toast were at last 
made ; the condensed milk was used instead of butter, and there was 
a delicious-looking article to carry to the hospital. 

" My friend," said I to the Indiana boy, " wake up, I have some 
thing nice for you." 

" Why, preacher, ain t there milk in that tea ?" 

"Certainly." 

" Why," he asked in astonishment, " does the Christian Commission 
keep cows down here?" 

" Better than that, my boy ; they have gone all the way to the old 
cow at home, and it s all right. Now sit up and eat and drink." 

And he did to his heart s content indeed, I am afraid he ate 
too much. A soldier close by said 

" Chaplain, can you give me a little tea and toast, too ?" "And 
me, too?" said another, and another, until it was like a chorus all 
through the room. 

" Certainly, certainly, we ll have a general tea-party." 

And we did. The old cook was notified ; he did the toast up brown, 
and the hot, smoking tea was delicious. We had a glorious tea- 
party there ! 

Rev. Mr. Smith relates a Nashville story ef this 
time: 

Standing on Fort Negley once, I noticed a squad of soldiers follow 
ing an ambulance to the grave of a comrade. Two of the artillery 
men belonging to the fort were remarking upon the burial. 

" There s another poor fellow got his discharge," 

"Not Dis- 

said one * charged" 

" Not that," replied his comrade. 

" Well, if not discharged, I d like to know what he is ?" 
" Only transferred." 
" Transferred where ?" 
" To the other department." 



224 



CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 



"What for?" 

" For duty." 

"What duty?" 

" Don t know ; that depends on what he s fit for." 

Mr. Tlios. Atkinson 1 tolls an incident of his service 
in the Nashville hospitals, after some of the wounded 
had come in from Chickamauga : 

I found a young- man dying in the upper end of the long first ward 
of Hospital Xo. 19. Putting my month near his ear, I whispered to 
him until the spirit passed away in peace; then gathering about sixty 

of the convalescents about the cot, I preached to 
Halt and Arm- 
/ (>x them Jesus. Down in the middle and lower end of 

the long ward were many who could not stir from their 
beds ; I told them, as I went along among them of the soldier who 
had gone up from their midst into the City of God. It was time for 
our daily prayer meeting, hut before I went away I thought there 
might be some of the maimed company whom it would comfort to 
know that God s people were praying for them somewhere: so I said 

"Boys, I m going to the prayer meeting now, and I would like to 
know if any of yon are anxious to be saved. If you are, please hold 
up your right hands." 

Hands went up all round ; here and there a stump was raised ; one 
man had neither hand remaining, so he raised two poor stumps in 
token of his desire for Christ ; another had no stumps even to raise, 
he could only turn his head and say with difficult earnestness, 
" Me me." 

Rev. Edward Hawes 2 recalls these scenes of his ser 
vice as Delegate at Chattanooga after Chickamanga : 

Pushing aside the canvas, I enter a hospital tent. In one corner 
lies a wounded man : 

" Can I do anything for you, my friend ? " 



1 See p. 102. 

2 See p. 210. From his address at the Philadelphia Anniversary of the Com 
mission, Jan. 31st, 1865. 



CHATTANOOGA. 225 

" Yes, sir, if you please. I have lost my Testa 
ment, and would like to get one." I give him one. A Lost Testa 

ment. 
On the next cot is a man who lies quiet, seemingly 

without pain. All save his face is covered : 

"You are not much injured, I suppose, my dear fellow?" 
He looks up with a faint smile, "Not much, 

sir," but he has been hit in nine places by a burst- "Not Much, 

ing shell ! Sir " 

I pass along and the steward says 
"Chaplain, won t you come here? We think this man is dying. 

Can t you say something to him?" 

I bend over him ; the cold sweat is already upon his brow ; his 

eyes are fixed, fastening themselves in death, but they grow brilliant, 

and he mutters something : 

"See! a star! there s a star ! oh, how bright ! It s The Star f 

Bethlehem. 

the star , and his voice dies away in death. Per 
haps he is thinking of the Star of Bethlehem. We hope so, and that 
it will light him through the dark valley. 

I go to another man in the next tent, and with the Surgeon s 
permission give him a single swallow of wine ; he 

looks such a beam of gratitude from those brightened * s our 

Name ? " 
eyes! 

" O sir, that s good. What is your name ? I shall ahvays remem 
ber you." 

" How are you getting along, my brother ?" I say to the next. 

" Oh, very well, thank you." 

" Have you a family?" 

" Yes, a wife and two little children in Ohio." 

"Have you written to them since the battle?" No C har 9 e fr 
It is a foolish question, for I see in a moment that 
his right arm is shattered ; " Sha n t I write for you ?" 

He hesitated ; why don t he say gladly, " Oh, yes, sir, if you 
please?" I repeat, perhaps he does not understand. He looks at 
me with a queer air: 

" How much do you charge, sir f " 

Oh, how that cuts the Delegate s sensitive heart: "My dear 
brother soldier, that is what I am here for, to write for you, or to 
do anything for you. I will thank you for the privilege." 

15 



226 CHKISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

" Oh, thank you ! thank you ! I will be so glad." 

We get paper and pen ready : " What shall I write ?" 

He begins with expressions of Christian trust, and then briefly de 
scribes his condition. We read what is written, but the man is not 
there, his eyes are shut, the big tears are rolling down from beneath 
the closed lids, and he makes no effort to wipe them away, ah ! the 
shattered arm, perhaps ; but no, that is not the reason ; he is in 
Ohio, with his dear wife and children ; we will not disturb his 
dreams. After a pause he opens his eyes, and we tell him the letter 
is finished, "Will it do?" With a look of overflowing gratitude he 
answers 

" Oh, yes, sir ; yes, sir ; thank you ! " 

In the corner lies a man burdened with a sense of his guilt. After 
talking some time, I ask him 

" My dear friend, can t you trust Jesus now ?" 

" Oh ! if I only could ! It would be the happiest 

" Can You d f life Won t you pray for me ? 

m i "i J " J \. J 

Trust Jesus? T , , , , . . , _,, , , -, 

I kneel at his side; there may be card-playing 

in the opposite corner, no matter, God s Spirit is with us, and prayer 
ascends, and God hears us, for I leave the soldier with a trembling 
hope in Jesus. 

Passing out, I come to a little shelter-tent, under which a man is 
lying. I bend over him and ask 

" You have the Christian s hope, I trust ?" 

"Oh, yes, sir." 

"^Cannot Read, j gee no Testament by him _ H ave you no Testa 
ment?" 

"No, sir." 

" Well, you must have one," and I begin opening my haversack ; 
but he tells me he cannot read : 

" You cannot read ? then I shall read for you." 

We begin at the precious words, " For we know that if our earthly 
house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, 
an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." We read 
through the chapter, and then leave him peering up through the rent 
in the canvas covering into the deep blue beyond, longing after the 
country above, where his spirit must soon be with the multitude of 
the redeemed. 



CHATTANOOGA. 227 

Rev. Wm. M. Taylor 1 tells the story of Johnny Mitch, 
of the 4th Kentucky Regiment : 

I met him at General Hospital No. 3, in Chattanooga, and became 
very much interested in him. Left fatherless and motherless at his 
home in Ohio, before he was eight years old, he had but little direc 
tion into the right way. The war broke out when 
he was fifteen. Too young to enlist, a Captain of ^ e Child- 

cavalry offered to take him with him to care for his 
horses. The two started, but when Johnny reached Cincinnati, he 
saw so many very young-looking boys enlisting, that he concluded 
to do the same. He passed safely through the fights at Rolling 
Fork, Hoover s Gap and Tullahoma, but at Chickamauga he was 
thrice wounded, in the side of his head, the right hand, and 
more seriously in the mouth, the ball lodging at the back part 
of his neck. He lay for five days on the field near an old log-house, 
receiving scarcely any food from the enemy. " Five days," said the 
little fellow afterwards to me, " they fed me on nothing." After a 
while he was brought under flag of truce within our lines. The 
Surgeon told him he must die ; and for four weeks this decision was 
unchanged. 

But," said he, " I kept up good spirits. I did sometimes think 
I would die, but it was no use to be disheartened about it." 

Who shall say that this child s faith did not save him ? Speaking 
of these long days of suspense, he told me 

" In the mornings when I woke, I would read a chapter in my Tes 
tament, and pray the Lord to help me up ; and it always seemed 
to me that I began to get better right away, and I always felt mighty 
thankful." 

He was such a youth, only seventeen, and two years a soldier, the 
lisp bequeathed him by the wound in his mouth made his yet un 
changed voice so girlish and sweet, his eventful little history was so 
interesting and affecting, that I became very much attached to him. 
I asked him once what he was going to do ? 

" I want to go home till I get well," said he, " then come back, 
and go in again. I m more anxious to try the Rebels now than I 
ever was." 



* See p. 201. 



228 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

The days after Chickamauga were the gloomiest in the 
history of the Army of the Cumberland, and nowhere 
was this felt more than in the vicinity of Chattanooga. 
Rev. Mr. Smith writes : 

During the gloomy time of the siege of Chattanooga, I was riding 
down Waldon s Ridge, on my way to Bridgeport. The day was cold 
and wet, everything was disheartening. It seemed probable that 

we were about to abandon Chattanooga, and that 
The Lost . , . 

-a- ,. this would be my last trip over the mountains. Ue- 

Hymn-hne. J 

pressed with these thoughts and chilled with the 
rain, I jogged along alone, until I overtook a cavalryman riding sol 
itarily, and seemingly as low in spirits as myself. As I came abreast 
of him, so as to look into his face, I saw his eyes full of tears. In 
our conversation I let fall a word of Christian experience, when he 
turned to me in an earnest way, and said 

" Then you are a Christian. Perhaps you can help me out of my 
difficulty?" 

I expressed my readiness to do anything I could : 
"I was just trying to repeat the first verse of a blessed old hymn 
which I have been singing for years, but somehow that fourth line I 
can t get hold of this morning : 

" Sweet was the time when first I felt 

The Saviour s pardoning blood 
Applied to cleanse my soul from guilt/ 

now, there s where I m stopped ; what s the next line ?" 
I finished it up for him, 

" And bring me home to God. " 

"That s it; thank you," said he; " that s it. I wonder I could have 
forgotten it." 

" You looked troubled," said I, " when I first saw you ; your tears 
couldn t have been over the loss of that fourth line ?" 

" Oh, no," he replied ; " it was the other three lines that brought 
the tears. I was thinking of the time of my conversion, and of the 
many, many times when I have felt the pardoning blood since that 
day." 



CHATTANOOGA. 229 

The General Field Hospital was two miles out of 
Chattanooga, on the opposite side of the Tennessee. 
Here the wounded were loaded into mule wagons for 
transportation seventy miles to Bridgeport. The story 
of those long trains of agony and death can never be 
written, yet even these wagons afforded a place of song 
and prayer : 

The road lay over precipices so steep and rocky, that the wagons 
were often let down by ropes from one rock to another, amid the 
groans and shrieks of tortured men. So excruciatingly painful was 
the descent of Waldon s Ridge, that some of the suf- 

erers begged the privilege of crawling down the , e a ^ on 

Prayer Meeting. 
rocks and dragging their wounded limbs alter them. 

There has been in the war no more touching scene than was pre 
sented one morning among these wagons, just loaded with wounded, 
and about to start on their perilous journey to Bridgeport. Lying on 
the wagon bottoms, without straw to break the rough jolting, and 
many without the canvas covering to protect from the rain and sun, 
each man was experimenting to find a comfortable position, and re 
sorting to all expedients to provide himself for the way with a can 
teen of water, and a few hard crackers in his haversack. All were 
thoughtful and anxious ; Chickamauga was a defeat, and the gloom 
of an army strikes first and deepest upon its hospitals. The Dele 
gates were busy attending, as far as possible, to the personal wants 
of the men in the different wagons. When the train was ready and 
waiting the order to move, Mr. Burnell, standing on a driver s seat, 
proposed a prayer meeting. 

" Yes, yes, give us a prayer meeting," came from a hundred voices. 

The hymn, " When I can read my title clear ;" a few words of the 
Saviour s love and cheer ; a prayer for the sufferers, some of whom 
would die on their way, and for their country and the friends far 
away, perhaps even now praying for them; the benediction of peace, 
and the fervent, responding "Amen," were all the services of this 
wagon prayer meeting ; to not a few of the worshipers their last 
earthly scene of song and prayer. 1 

1 Annals, U. S. Christian Commission, pp. 466, 467. 



230 CHKISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

The Baptist Church in Chattanooga, which had been 
assigned for a Commission chapel, and afterwards taken 
for hospital purposes, was restored early in November. 
Field Agent Smith gives an account 1 of a remarkable 
series of nightly meetings which began at once : 

The first half hour of the evening was given to prayer and relation 
of religious experience ; then came the sermon by a Delegate or 
Chaplain, followed by a special service for those who desired to be 
come Christians. The experiences were not the repetitious accounts 
often given on such occasions. Nearly all the worshipers had been 
on the Chickamauga field. They had been saved from capture and 
death, while many comrades had fallen. They crowded to the chapel 
with thanksgivings and confessions, and with importunities for their 
unconverted comrades to come to the Saviour. A half hour before 
the time for service the chapel was often so crowded as to make it 
difficult to go through the aisle to the pulpit. Twenty, forty, and one 
night more than one hundred, asked for prayers. 

One evening, when room could not be found to invite forward 

those who desired prayers, and an expression of feel- 

, w . , ing by the uplifted hand was called for, all were 

deeply affected by seeing a hand thrust in through 

the window ; an anxious soul standing without desired to see Jesus. 

At another meeting, when opportunity was given for any to express 
their feelings, an Illinois soldier arose in the audience, and with a 
decided manner and tone, said 

" My fellow-soldiers, I am not excited ; I am con 
vinced, that s all. I feel that I ought to be a Chris 
tian, that I ought to say so, to tell you so, and to ask you to come 
with me ; and now, if there is a call for sinners seeking Christ to 
come forward, I for one shall go, not on account of excitement, for 
I tell you my heart never beat steadier in my life, not to make a 
show, for I have nothing but sin to show ; I do not go because I want 
to, I would rather keep my seat, but going will be telling the 
truth ; I ought to be a Christian, I want to be a Christian, and 



1 Annals, U. S. Christian Commission, pp. 408, 469. 



MISSION KIDGE. 231 

going forward for prayers is just telling the truth about it. Say, 
comrades, won t you go with me ?" 

And without waiting for their answer, or for a formal invitation 
from the preacher, he strode down the aisle and knelt at the altar, 
with more than a score of his comrades following and kneeling 
around him. It scarcely need be added that salvation came that 
night to that sincere seeker. 

Gen. Grant s first movements were for the opening up 
of a better line of communication. This was soon ac 
complished. In the mean time Sherman was marching 
from Mississippi to re-enforce him. On Nov. 23d, the 
assault on Bragg s entrenchments began. On the next 
day Hooker carried Lookout Mountain, and on the 25th, 
the whole of the rest of the enemy s strong position in 
Chattanooga Valley and on Mission Ridge was in our 
possession. Bragg was pursued beyond Ringgold, and 
made no further offensive movements during the Winter. 

Mr. Smith gives the following narrative of the battle 
of Mission Ridge : , 

Gen. Sherman now began to strike heavy blows for the railroad 
communication through the tunnel. Twice we saw his long blue line 
move over a corn-field up to the skirts of the woods, and fall rapidly 
back. The third time they marched up and held their ground. We 
knew that many men must have gone down under that terrible fire 
at short range, and that the corn-field must be full of sufferers. A 
party of Delegates started on foot, to carry such relief as they could, 
with coffee-kettles, stimulants and bandages. As we were passing 
along the line of Gen. Wood s Division, Colonel Stanley called out 
to us, and pointing up the ridge, said 

" There will be work enough for you right here in a few minutes." 

While he was speaking a line of blue coats went over our first line 

of works, and a little further on a line of gray coats left theirs ; both 

lines swept up the hill. The Rebels massed their standards and ral- 



232 CHKISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

lied their forces at the point of the ridge directly 
The Struggle c ~ ,. , . 

for the Rid e ln Ur c " m " m g columns, or rather climbing 

mass, for every man was stretching away for himself, 
fired with the single purpose of gaining the top. Under this mus 
ketry in front and the enfilading fire of forty cannon trained on 
them from either side of the ridge, they went on and up, till the field 
was ours, the siege of Chattanooga was raised, and the Rebels had 
abandoned their last stronghold along the line of the Tennessee 
River. 

While Gen. Thomas men were scaling the ridge the Delegates 
work commenced. The wounded began to fall back, supporting a 
disabled arm or limping on a musket, or borne on a blanket by their 
comrades. Taking possession of an abandoned farm- 
8 house at the foot of the ridge, we opened a hospital 



for those who were not able to make their way to 
town. A half dozen cotton bales, ripped open and spread upon the 
floors, made good beds and pillows for the wounded. Some of the 
captured Rebels had corn meal in their haversacks. This made a 
large kettle of mush, and, with the coffee and soup we had brought 
along, furnished an excellent supper, which was taken with special 
relish by the wounded Rebels. One of them, a Tennessee Major, 

whose side (struck with a shell) we had bound up, 



^i -e yo^ followed with an eager eye, as he lay before the fire, 
our operations of making beds, preparing supper, 
tying up wounds, and cutting out minie balls. At last, his curiosity 
and astonishment getting the mastery, he said 

" Pardon me, gentlemen, but I would like to know your rank ?" 

When told that we were Delegates of the Christian Commission, 
he said 

"I am not acquainted with your organization, but I like your 
name ;" and drawing a heavy gold watch from his pocket, he placed 
it in the hands of a Delegate for safe-keeping. 1 

The enthusiasm of the men over their victory was unbounded. 



1 The Major died suddenly a few days after, and so unexpectedly that he left 
no directions respecting his property. After long inquiry the agent found his 
mother s name and residence, in Middle Tennessee, and at the close of the war 
had the pleasure of putting her son s watch in her hand. 



MISSION RIDGE. 



233 



The soldier forgot he was wounded while telling of the fight, and 

while a ball was being cut out of an arm or leg with a Delegate s 

pocket-knife, would occupy the time telling how he 

came to be hit, or " pegged," as they called it. Dur- 

ing the charge up the ridge, four soldiers were seen 

bearing back a comrade on a blanket. His story is thus told by one 

of the Delegates who met him : 




ALMOST UP." 



The men halted when they saw us, and laid down their burden, 
asking if we would see whether the Color-sergeant was badly wounded. 
I knelt down by him and said 



234 CHKISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

"Sergeant, where did they hit you?" 

" Most up the ridge, sir." 

" I mean, Sergeant, where did the ball strike you ?" 

" Within twenty yards of the top, almost up." 

" No, no, Sergeant ; think of yourself for a moment ; tell me where 
you are wounded;" and throwing back the blanket, I found his 
upper arm and shoulder mashed and mangled with a shell. Turning 
his eye to look for the first time upon his wound, the Sergeant said 

" That is what did it. I was hugging the standard to my blouse, 
and making for the top. I was almost up when that ugly shell 
knocked me over. If they had let me alone a little longer, two 
minutes longer, I should have planted the colors on the top. Al 
most up ; almost up !" 

We could not get the dying soldier s attention to himself. The fight 
and the flag held all his thoughts ; and while his ear was growing 
heavy in death, with a flushed face and look of ineffable regret, he 
was repeating, "Almost up ; almost up !" The brigade to which he 
belonged had carried the ridge, and his own regiment, rallying under 
the colors which had dropped from his shattered arm, was shouting 
the victory for which the poor Sergeant had given his young life, but 
of which he was dying without the sight. 

An Ohio soldier, of Turchin s Brigade, came into the yard of the 
farm-house, his blood smearing his face and clothes, and hanging in 
clotted masses on his long beard. A buck shot had passed through 

his nose, and was lodged under the skin on the other 
A Wounded ., . 

Latin Scholar. Slde > close "J llls e y e - He wanted it cut out, and 

was with difficulty persuaded that it was dangerous 
for an unskilled hand to operate with a pocket-knife so near his eye. 
While we were bringing water he sat down on the ground, and 
pulled from his bosom a copy of Andrews Latin Grammar. It was 
covered thick with his blood. He turned to the fifth declension and 
began with res, rei. He said that he was at an academy in Ohio, 
preparing for college, when the call came for recruits, and he had 
left his Latin at this point. As his regiment was passing a house 
that afternoon, which some "bummer" had plundered, he found this 
book, and had carried it under his blouse in the fight, thinking that 
if he was wounded or taken prisoner he would be able to go on with 
his Latin. 



MISSION RIDGE. 235 

When at midnight we had given a supper to the men, and had 
searched the fields around with the stretcher-bearers, and seen nearly 
all the wounded at this flying hospital started in ambulances for 
town, we loaded ourselves with crackers, kettles of 

soup and canteens of stimulants, and went to the top T ^ e Hos P iiai 
r \ at the top of the 

of the ridge. Here we came upon one 01 the dread- judqe 



ful scenes of war. A one-story log-house was filled 
with Union and Kebel wounded. The floors of the two rooms and 
of the wide, open hall and the piazza across the front of the house 
were covered with men, lying so thick as to make walking among 
them perilous to limb, if not to life. The night was frosty ; there had 
been no fire or supper. There was no Surgeon or nurse, and the men 
were lying in clothes stiff with blood from undressed wounds. The 
ambulances had ceased running for the night. The stretcher-bearers 
had gone to sleep on their stretchers. In the yard, for fifty feet 
around, the Rebel dead were lying. They had died in the house be 
fore the ridge was carried, and had been brought out by our men to 
make room for the living. Underneath these floors, in a cellar lately 
dug, were the children and women of the house. They had remained 
safe from the shot and shell that had poured around them, and were 
sitting in the door of their cellar, smoking pipes and eating snuff, 
without the slightest possible concern or interest in the dreadful 
scenes about them. During all the afternoon and night, with their 
house and yard full of suffering men, many of them Rebels dying 
in their cause, the mother, her sister and two grown 
up daughters had not so much as offered to tie a ou 

bandage, or kindle a fire upon the hearth, or bring a 
a cup of water, or speak a gentle word. I asked if they would not 
assist in preparing supper for the men. The mother, taking her pipe 
from her mouth, said 

" You uns brought em all here, and you uns mought take care on 
em ;" and putting back her pipe, she swung one foot over the other, 
and smoked away in the most listless manner: 

" But, madam, these are, many of them, Confederate soldiers, dying 
away from home. Can t you do something for them ?" 

It was the same answer, this time without removing the pipe 

" You uns brought em all here, and you uns mought take care 
on em." 



236 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

I asked for meal, she had none; for a kettle to make coffee, she 
had none ; for an axe to cut fire-wood, she had none. As I passed 
out a colored boy, about a dozen years old, whispered to me 

" Missus done hid the axe." 

I went back and asked again for it, she had none, and the " nig 
ger lied." I said 

" The men must have a fire, and if there is no axe I must take 
your shingles ;" and suiting the action to the word, I laid hold of the 
roof of the piazza, and had already filled my arms, when she brought 
out her axe from between the beds. 

We spent the night dressing wounds, feeding with coffee and soup, 
administering stimulants, and taking memoranda for home letters. 
For a mile along the top of the ridge we found soldiers grouped 

around their fires, discussing till morning light the 

The NiqTit on n .-, . ., 

th R d scenes 01 the previous day, and telling of their miss 

ing comrades, when and how they fell. Within 
nearly all these groups we found wounded men, and sometimes, out 
side the group, the corpse of a soldier who had been removed from 
the fire after death had ensued. By our stimulants and hot soup we 
helped these soldiers keep their comrades alive till morning. The 
wounded Confederates were as hearty in their gratitude for our relief, 
as they were unanimous in their opinion that the Yankees made 
their soup too salt. We were able to fill out many home letters, by 
the memoranda gathered during the night from the lips of the dying 
and from the letters and diaries found on the dead. Ordinarily, un 
less the body had been robbed, in the inside breast-pocket of the 
blouse there would be a letter from friends, a photograph, a Christian 
Commission Testament or Hymn-book, with the name and regiment 
and home address ; or a diary without a name, for singularly 
enough, those records of daily marches and battles and camps almost 
invariably gave no clue to the name of the writer. Keeping it merely 
for his own eye, the soldier had found no occasion to mention his 
name or regiment. When the morning broke we had passed twice 
along the ridge where the fiercest fight occurred, and had given a 
midnight supper and a breakfast to the wounded in the log-house. 
The stretcher-bearers then resumed their work of bringing in the 
wounded, and the ambulances loaded up for town. 

At daylight Gen. Turchin s Brigade, directly before us, halfway 



MISSION RIDGE. 237 

down the ri*3ge, had gathered up their dead and laid them in the long 
trench, with a dirge from the band and the farewell musketry of 
their comrades. They were under marching orders, 
with Granger s and Howard s Corps and Sherman s 
army, to raise the siege with which Longstreet was closely pressing 
Burnside at Knoxville. Before the sun was fairly up their camp 
ground was silent. Passing through it on our way back to town, we 
found no signs of its previous occupation, save smouldering fires and 
the trench of graves, set with pieces of cracker-boxes, bearing the 
names of the dead, cut in with the pocket-knives of their comrades. 
This, we thought, is a day in a soldier s life, more crowded with 
events than a whole common life at home ; to fight in the evening 
and carry the enemy s strongest position ; divide the night between 
sleep, the stories of the day, and the gathering in of their dead; in 
the morning bury their comrades, and sling knapsacks for a march 
more perilous than the fight had been. 

At noon we were startled by heavy cannonading from Fort Wood 
and other forts around Chattanooga. What could it mean ? It was 
not possible that the enemy had rallied and were upon us again ? 
To those who had seen the complete rout down 
the slope of Mission Ridge such a thought was ab 
surd ; but what could this heavy, rapid firing mean ? It was Novem 
ber 26th, the day set apart nearly two months before by President 
Lincoln for National Thanksgiving, and never were thanks given by 
cannonading more appropriately than by the national salute of that 
noon. 1 

Chaplain Thomas, 2 in visiting Sheridan s Division 
Hospital No. 2, after the battles before Chattanooga, 
found a rare example of faithful Bible reading : 

A soldier wounded in the leg was sitting on his cot tailor-fashion, 
reading an octavo book open before him. Approaching, I saw it 
was in German. Wondering how so large a book could be carried 
by a man in the ranks, I asked 



1 Annals U. S. Christian Commission, pp. 471-476. 
* See p. 82. 



238 CHEISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

A German Sir " How do you manage with that on the march?" 
ble Reader. Yo u see that ? " said he in broken English, point 

ing to a rude case by his cot ; " I got the leather of the Quartermaster, 
and cutting off strips for threads, made a rough thing as you see. 
When we strike tents I put my Bible in that case, and throw it into 
one of the wagons ; sometimes it goes in with picks and spades, no 
matter, it don t hurt ; when we get to camp again I go and get my 
Bible and have the best kind of reading. The print is large enough 
to read by fire-light when we don t draw candles." 

" How many times have you read the Bible through ? " 

" Twelve times, I think ; twice since entering the service." 

" How long have you been in the army?" 

" Twenty-eight months." 

He was not a Christian when he enlisted, and I asked what led 
him to seek the Saviour : 

" The hardships, the hardships, sir." 

Curious to know what he had learned from his reading, I 
asked 

" What must a man do to be saved?" 

" He must believe Christ, he must love Christ ; he must obey 
Christ ; he is dead, he must be united to Christ and made alive." 
Then followed an earnest denunciation of camp-vices, and simple, 
noble views of Christian character. He had been brought up a 
Roman Catholic, and had not wholly escaped from some of the 
errors of that system. 

I asked a Lieutenant, whose cot was near the German s, what he 
thought of the man : 

" He is the strangest person I have ever met. He rises with the 
dawn, kneels beside that post, and all we hear is the low murmur, but 
we know the man is talking with his God. Again at night, and occa 
sionally in the daytime, at the conclusion of hours of Bible reading, 
he does the same thing. Sometimes he hobbles along from cot to 
cot, and urges the men to quit their sins and come to Christ, and he 
does it in such a way as not to offend. Every one knows he is a 
Christian." 

For weeks, while I visited that hospital, the German unweariedly 
perused his Bible, and labored, as was his wont, among his sick and 
dying comrades. 



NASHVILLE. 239 

Mr. Thos. Atkinson, shortly after the battle of Look 
out Mountain, was left in temporary charge as Chaplain 
of Hospitals Nos. 14 and 15, Nashville. One morning 
in visiting Ward No. 6 of the latter, the following inci 
dents occurred : 

The first fifteen minutes I spent with an infidel, very badly 
wounded, just in from Lookout Mountain. He was a refined and 
educated man, received me with entire politeness, and was glad to 
have a little conversation. But the moment I ap 
proached the "Great Question," he said, pleasantly A Lesson on 
. ; _ . . _ _ Plain English. 

" You understand the English language, sir r 

I nodded assent with a half premonition of what was coming : 
" Then I respectfully but emphatically request you not to open your 
lips to me about religion. I have paddled my own canoe/ as thev 
say, thus far ; and I don t want any help in that direction." 

I was at a loss what to do ; he quickly discovered my plans to 
come at the subject indirectly as we talked, and firmly forbade my 
" preaching" to him. 

Within hearing was a very sick man, who had been listening 
eagerly ; he beckoned to me, so I went over to him : 

" Will you tell me about Jesus ? That man won t hear you, but 
I will." 

I was deeply touched with his earnest, entreating The Waters al 
. . . , . j . A 11 Some and Above. 

manner after my late repulse, and promised to tell 

him about Jesus. His name was Jesse Doherty ; he had a wife and 
two children at home, and had been in the army three years. 

" When did you hear from home, Jesse ?" 

" Six weeks ago, sir ; it s a long time since ; won t you tell me 
about Jesus ? " 

I began answering the longing of his heart. I told him of Christ 
lifted up to draw all men unto him, of how he had to look only 
look upon Him who was crucified. Jesse put his hands together 
and prayed that he too, like so many before him, might look and 
live. So, I believe, the Spirit found him, and accomplished His own 
precious work. 

As I went away at the end of a long interview, he asked me Ui 



240 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

come often again ; the infidel s face, as I passed his cot, showed no 
sign that he was moved by the conversation, which he must have 
heard. 

Next Monday morning Jesse met me with a very happy smile. 

" I have such good news," said he ; " I ll be going home this week, 
sir, on Wednesday morning. My papers are all made out, oh ! 
how glad I am ! " 

Poor fellow, I knew he never would leave his cot until carried to 
the last resting-place : 

" Jesse, you can t go home on Wednesday." 

" Why not, sir ? " said he, hastily. 

"You are too feeble; the boys might carry you to the cars, but 
you could not stand the long ride." 

" But what shall I do here, sir ? Look at that water, how can I 
drink it?" it was a mixture of mud and water, resembling what 
coffee-drinkers call " grounds" " how can I drink it when I think 
of the old well at home in Pleasant Valley? Oh, how I long for a 
draught from that old well ! And this bed s so hard, and the one at 
home so soft ! And there are the children, too, and wife, and you 
don t know r what nice things she d cook for me ! I could eat them, 
but not what I get here. If I was only home, I think I could get 
well." 

" Well, Jesse, I ll tell you what I think about it. The first pure 
draught you will get will be from the river of water of life, clear 
as crystal/ above ; when you have that you will long no more for 
draughts from the home well. And, Jesse, the first time you will see 
your wife, will be at the right hand with the heavenly family of 
God." 

"Do you think so, sir?" and his eye brightened up; " well, then, 
welcome be the will of God. How glad I am that Jesus is precious 
to me now ! " 

On Wednesday I saw him again : 

" You were right, sir ; I am much worse ; I couldn t bear to be 
carried to the cars even." 

As I entered the ward on Sunday morning, five or six soldiers 
surrounded his cot. His feet were gathered up, and the men were 
doing what little they could for him: 

"It s no use, sir; you can t speak with him." 



MURFREESBORO . 241 

Going within the sad circle, I put my mouth to his ear : 

"Jesse, do you know me?" 

He could not move his head, but there was an answer, very faint, 
but audible, not words, only a sound. I put my hand under the 
cover and pressed his; the pressure was returned : 

" It s little matter whether you know me or not ; but do you know 
the Lord Jesus, Jesse?" 

Gathering up his remaining energies, the soldier tried to speak. 
He could not articulate, but we heard the same sound he had uttered 
before, only louder and more earnestly spoken. He never moaned 
or spoke again. 

The hospital work became quieter in character until 
the army moved once more. Rev. Henry D. Lathrop, 1 
visiting Hospital No. 4, Murfreesboro , in December, 
writes : 

I found a poor Norwegian, weak and wasting rapidly away. I 
tried to talk with him ; he wanted me to send a little devotional book, 
his constant companion, to a sister in Minnesota; but after repeated 
trials I found intelligible conversation impossible. 
He had a Testament, given him previously by a Del- 
egate, with Danish and English in parallel columns. 
I took my pencil and marked in the Danish column, " Come unto 
Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." 
Never shall I forget the eagerness with which he seized the book, and 
ran his finger along the lines, as he read half audibly in his own lan 
guage the gracious invitation. A smile lighted up his features, while 
tears were running down his cheeks. Again I took the book and 
marked, " I am the Eesurrection and the Life ; he that believeth in 
Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." The same scene as 
before was repeated. Thus I no, not I, but the Lord spoke to 
him. 

I found at last a countryman of his in another hospital, and had 
the two brought together. Through this man all the wishes of the 
first could be understood and attended to. 



1 Rector of St. John s Prot. Epis. Church, Lancaster, Ohio. 
16 



242 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

The story of the year in the Cumberland Army may 
be closed with an incident related by the General Field 
Agent : 

While searching, in answer to a home letter, for a grave in the 
Soldiers Cemetery in Nashville, I noticed a man in citizen s dress 
kneeling by a grave, and evidently writing upon the painted head 
board. When I came to the spot he was standing in 
front of the board, his arms folded, his face bathed 
in tears. He was an Illinois farmer, and this was the grave of an 
Illinois soldier. 

" Is that your boy, sir ?" I asked. 

" No, he lived in our town, and I ve come to find his grave." 
" Perhaps, you represent his father, who couldn t come?" 
"Yes, my neighbor was glad to have me come, but I came for 
myself. You see, I have seven children, all of them small, and my 
wife is sickly. I was drafted. There was nobody to carry on the 
farm, and I couldn t hire a substitute. My thirteen dollars a month 
wouldn t feed the family. It seemed as though I must go and they 
must suffer. When we were in our greatest trouble about it, just the 
morning I was to report at camp, my neighbor s son came over to the 
house, and offered to go to war for me. He said he had nobody de 
pending on him and could go better than I. He went, and was 
wounded at Chickamauga, brought to a Nashville hospital, and this 
is his grave." 

The stranger sobbed aloud. I read the words which he had traced 
with his pencil in large, awkward letters under the private s name, 
" DIED FOR ME." He had come all the way from his prairie home, 
at a great cost to himself, to put this grateful mark upon the grave 
of his substitute. 



CHAPTEE IX. 

THE EASTERN ARMIES. 

GENERAL GRANT S ADVANCE UPON RICHMOND. 
May and June, 1864. 

GEN. GRANT having completed his preparations, on 
May 4th the Army of the Potomac crossed the Eapidan 
and pushed forward into the " Wilderness/ a tract of 
broken table-land stretching southward from the Eapi 
dan nearly to Spottsylvania Court House, seamed with 
ravines and densely covered with a labyrinth of dwarf 
timber and bushes. Fighting began early on the morn 
ing of the 5th, and was continued throughout that and 
the next day with no decisive result, though the 
slaughter was terrible. On Friday evening, May 6th, 
our line was substantially the same as at the beginning 
of the struggle. Early on the 7th, Lee was found to 
have entrenched his whole front ; Grant, not choosing to 
attack him thus fortified, resumed his march out of the 
Wilderness, from which his advance emerged on Sun 
day, and the whole force on the following day. The 
army was now concentrated at Spottsylvania C. H. On 
the morning of the 12th, Hancock captured a strong 
point of the enemy s entrenched line, with many cannon 
and prisoners. Lee was unable to retake it, nor yet 
could our line advance, as the murderous day sorely 



243 



244 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

proved. After several days maneuvering in quest of 
weak points, not to be found, on the night of the 20th 
the flanking advance on Richmond was resumed. Gen. 
Meade reports his losses up to this time at 39,791 men. 

Rev. E. F. Williams writes of the last Sabbath in 
April at Culpepper : 

To-day the Delegates preached twenty-three times to the regiments 
in and about the town. Everywhere the men listened as if they were 
anticipating the baptism of blood which awaited them, and were 

anxious to prepare for the march to death which so 

The Last Sun- L -, 

many were to make. 
day at Culpepper. J 

A few days more and the Commission tents were 

struck ; cooking utensils, station furniture, books, and all heavy arti 
cles were sent back to Washington ; heavy army-wagons were brought 
into use ; the Delegates, divided into companies, were placed under 
command of experienced agents, to each of whom a corps was 
assigned ; and all, with mingled calmness and dread, awaited the for 
ward movement. 

Rev. Chas. P. Lyford 1 tells the story of one of the 
last services before the Wilderness : 

The day before the advance I had an engagement to preach to a 
brigade of the Fifth Corps. Just before the hour for service it received 
marching orders. As the men passed our tent, the Colonel of a Penn 
sylvania regiment called out to me 

"In Season and "Young man, you won t keep your appointment 
out of Season. 

to-night. 

They were a noble body of men, marching so gayly and gladly to 
the grave. My heart went out after them in silent resolve to preach 
to them if it were possible, that night. 

I mounted a horse and quietly followed them. After night, as 
they approached Culpepper, they halted and prepared to bivouac. 
Supper over, I rode up to the Colonel, who had hailed me in passing 



1 Member of Black Elver Conference, Meth. Epis. Church. 



THE ADVANCE. 245 

our quarters, and reported myself ready to fill my appointment. 
With his whole heart he entered into the minutiae of preparation. 

" I believe you fellows would come with us to the cannon s mouth 
to preach the Gospel," said he. 

The drums beat " church-call ;" a dozen good singers were selected 
for a choir and yet the Colonel was not a Christian. The service 
was in front of his headquarters. I never attended one like it before ; 
it was pitch dark ; I could not see the men s faces, nor could they see 
mine, but they were there, hundreds of them, and the Kind Heart 
on high alone knew where they would be to-morrow night. How they 
crowded about me when the meeting was over to send last words 
home. Some of them spoke of Warrenton Junction, and of the meet 
ings at which they had found the Lord. "Tell my friends," said a 
Captain to me, " if anything happens, that I am ready to live or 
die, and that whether I live or die, I am the Lord s." 

On the 5th the brigade was in the thickest of the battle, and my 
brave Colonel fell at the head of his column. 



When the wounded began to come in, the saddest 
cases were those of men who, for various reasons, could 
not be relieved. Rev. Mr. Lyford writes : 

A poor German saw the badge and called me to his side. He had 
stuck some bayonets into the ground and stretched a blanket upon 
their points to try and ward off the rays of the sun. His side was 

sadly torn by a shell, but his great need was water 

. T . i v Unquenchable 

for a raging thirst. 1 put my canteen to his lips. . 1 

-L In rst . 

Never have I seen such agony and disappointment 
on a human countenance as on his when he found that he could not 
swallow. He tried again and again, then sank back upon the ground 
and articulated 

" Pray for me, pray for me ; it ll be all over soon." 
I did pray for him that he might have that water of which he who 
drinks never thirsts again. 

During the night of the second day our extreme right was assailed 
fiercely and driven back upon the field hospital. Such a scene as 
there was then ! Ambulances and wagons went tearing along, filled 



246 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

with wounded who had been hastily gathered in ; 
Saving a Life. ~ , , . 

Orderlies swept past on horseback, and close in front 

the men were fighting and yelling as they fought. Suddenly I heard 
a voice out of the darkness at my feet : 

" Don t ride over me, please don t ; I m wounded and can t stir." 
Poor fellow, he had been carried to an ambulance, but it was full 
and drove away without him. The bearers set him down by the road 
side to wait for the next that came along, but nobody had time to 
pick him up, and it was now too dark to see him. His head was 
within a few inches of the wheel-track. I stood by and protected 
him from an almost certain death, until he was properly removed 
and cared for. 

It was President Lincoln who told the members of 
the Commission calling on him in Washington after the 
Anniversary meeting in January, 1865 : " We have 
been only doing our duty, my friends, whatever we have 
been able to do together. You owe me no thanks for 
what I have done for the country, whatever that may 
be, and I owe none to you. We cannot repay the 
soldiers." And yet, poor fellows, they were always 
grateful for the smallest kindnesses, and " magnified the 
office" of the Commission. Rev. F. P. Monfort 1 pre 
serves the testimony of a German, wounded in the 
Wilderness : 

" Ah, das ish te Christian Commission. He s te pesht man in te 
army. Him safes my life. He comes rount when we lays in teWil- 
terness, all two tays and two nights, unt no preat unt no vater, unt 
no Doctor, unt shust pick up all uv um, unt give um preat unt vater, 
unt nurse um. Oh, him so many, too, plenty of um unt him 
Doctor heself, unt bring him to White House, unt bring um up here 
to te hospital. Oh, he so goot ! He s te pesht man in tearmy. Him 
work shust like a nigger." 



1 Member of Whitewater (O. S.) Presbytery, Indiana. 



AFTER SPOTTSYLVAXIA C. H. 247 

After the first fighting at Spottsylvania C. H., Rev. 

Mr. Williams writes : 

Going through the wards of the hospital at Laurel Hill, my atten 
tion was called to some members of the 14th N. Y. Regiment, who 
wore weeping over a body carefully wrapped in an army blanket and 
laid on the ground in a corner of the tent. 

" Didn t we used to see you at Culpepper ?" said " A Short Cut 

to Glory." 
one of them. 

" Yes, probably." 

" Well, the man who has just died used to attend the meetings 
there. He was a Christian ; his death was glorious, so peaceful. 
Any one would be willing to die if they could die like him." 

The blanket was carefully turned down ; we recognized the sol 
dier s features, and remembered our last conversation with him in his 
tent near Culpepper. He had been very happy at the prospect of 
soon returning home, as the term of service of his regiment was 
nearly out ; he had told us how glad he would be at again meeting 
wife and child, and going once more to church and Sabbath-school. 

" But then, you may fall ; there is death ahead," we had said. 

" I know it ; if I fall, the battle-field will only be a short cut to 
glory." 

Thither he had indeed gone. His comrades admired his life, saw 
that his body was buried with more than the usual care., and told 
over to themselves their willingness to depart, if they could die as 
he had died. 

In another division of the hospital my attention was directed to a 
group of soldiers crowding around a fly, under which were several 
wounded officers. The interest of all seemed to centre upon the 
slight form of one of the sufferers. The star upon 
his shoulders discovered his rank. The day was " Towards the 
intensely hot and sultry, and the sides of the fly were 
raised a few feet from the ground. The General s head was towards 
the centre, and his feet towards the outer edge of the tent; a few 
pine boughs were his only couch ; one of his legs had been amputated. 
Members of his staff* stood weeping about him, or stooped fondly 
down to catch his last whispered words. From his moving lips it was 
surmised that he wished to be turned over. 



248 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

" Which way ? " asked a Lieutenant. 

" Towards the enemy," was the indistinct response, and he was 
carefully and lovingly turned towards the foe, whose booming guns 
were even then telling of fearful carnage along the lines. A moment 
later a Delegate bent over and whispering gently, said 

" How does Christ seem to you now, General ?" 

" Near by," was the quickly but faintly spoken answer, and with 
these words upon his lips, the spirit of Gen. Rice passed into the 
better land. 

All the Winter the General had been greatly interested in religion. 
He had aided the Chaplain of one of his regiments in every possible 
way, going into the prayer meetings regularly, and taking part 
in them with his men. So that death did not take him by surprise. 
Quietly he sent his messages of affection to his mother, and then 
calmly and without a fear, like a Christian hero, met the King of 
Terrors. 

As the army moved towards the left in its attempt to 
flank Lee, Fredericksburg became no longer a suitable 
point of communication with Washington. The wounded 
therefore were all sent to the old base, and Port Royal 
became the new one. The Commission Delegates and 
Agents for the most part returned with the wounded, 
though quite a number continued with the advance. 
Before we go forward with the latter, we must retrace 
our steps to the city which shall ever be remembered as 
one of sorrow and of death. 

" Carleton," the correspondent of the Boston Journal, 
narrates the story of two scenes dissimilar outwardly, 
yet part of the same Gospel, which every Delegate, 
whether by ministrations to the body or soul, was alike 
illustrating : 

Go into the hospitals ; armless, legless men, wounds of every de 
scription. Men on the hard floor, on the bare seats of church pews, 
lying in one position all day, unable to stir till the nurse, going the 



FREDERICKSBURG. 249 

rounds, comes to their aid. They must wait till their 

, . , . Getting Straw 

food comes. Some must be fed with a spoon, as it ^ the Wowndedt 

they were little children. 

" Oh, that we could get some straw for the brave fellows !" said 
Kev. Mr. Kimball, 1 of the Christian Commission. He had wandered 
about town, searching for the article. " There is none to be had. We 
shall have to send to Washington for it." 

" Straw ? I remember two stacks, four miles out on the Spottsyl- 
vunia road. I saw them last night, as I galloped from the front." 

Armed with a requisition from the Provost Marshal to seize two 
stacks of straw, with two wagons, driven by intelligent contrabands, 
and four Christian Commission Delegates, away we went across the 
battle-field of December, fording Hazel Run, gained the heights and 
reached the straw stacks, owned by Rev. Mr. Owen : 

" By what authority do you take my property ?" 

" The Provost Marshal s, sir." 

Rev. Mr. Kimball was on the stack, pitching it down. I was pitch 
ing it in, and the young men were stowing it away: 

"Are you going to pay me for it ?" 

" You must see the Provost Marshal, sir. If you are a loyal man, 
and will take the oath of allegiance, doubtless you will get your 
pay." 

" It is pretty hard. My children are just ready to starve. I have 
nothing for them to eat, and you come to take my property, without 
paying for it." 

" Yes, sir, war is hard. You must remember, sir, that there are 
thousands of wounded men, your wounded as well as ours. If your 
children are on the point of starving, those men are on the point of 
dying. We must have the straw for them. What we don t take to 
night, we will get in the morning. Meanwhile, sir, if anybody 
attempts to take it, please say to them that it is for the hospital, and 
they can t have it." 

Thus, with wagons stuffed, we leave Rev. Mr. Owen, and return 
to make glad the hearts of several thousand men. Oh, how they 
thank us ! 

" Did you get it for me ? God bless you, sir." 



Kev. James P. Kimball, Pastor of Congregational Church, Falmouth, Mass. 



250 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

It is evening. Thousands of soldiers, just arrived from Washing 
ton, have passed through the town to take their places at the front. 
The hills all around us are white with innumerable tents and thou 
sands of wagons. A band is playing lively airs to 
Evening Scenes. , 

cheer the wounded in the hospitals. I have been 

looking in to see the sufferers. Two or three have gone. They will 
need no more attention. A Surgeon is at work upon a ghastly wound, 
taking up the arteries. An attendant is pouring cold water upon a 
swollen limb. In the Episcopal church, a nurse is bolstering up a 
wounded officer in the area behind the altar. Men are lying in the 
pews, on the seats, on the floor, on boards on top of the pews. Two 
candles in the spacious building throw their feeble rays into the dark 
recesses, faintly disclosing the recumbent forms. There is heavy, 
stifled breathing, as of constant effort to suppress involuntary cries 
extorted by acutest pain. Hard it is to see them suffer, and not be 
able to relieve them. 

Passing into the street, you see a group of women, talking about 
our wounded, Rebel wounded, who are receiving their especial 
attention. The Provost Marshal s patrol is going its rounds to pre 
serve order. 

Starting down the street, you reach the rooms of the Christian 
Commission. Some of the men are writing, some eating their rations, 
some dispensing supplies. Passing through the rooms, you gain the 

grounds in the rear a beautiful garden once, not 

The Delegates 

Prayer Meeting unattractive now. I he air is redolent with honey 
suckle and locust blossoms. The pennifolia is un 
folding its delicate milk-white petals ; roses are opening their tinted 
leaves. 

Fifty men are gathered round a summer-house, warm-hearted 
men, who have been all day in the hospital. Their hearts have been 
wrung by the scenes of suffering, in the exercise of Christian charity 
imitating the example of the Redeemer of men. They have given 
bread for the body and food for the soul. They have given cups of 
cold water in the name of Jesus, and prayed with those departing to 
the silent land. The moonlight shimmers through the leaves of the 
locust. 

The little congregation breaks into singing 



FREDERICKSBURG. 251 

" Come, Thou fount of every blessing." 

After the hymn, a Chaplain says 

" Brethren, I had service this afternoon in the First Division Hos 
pital of the Second Corps. The Surgeon in charge, before prayer, 
asked all who desired to be prayed for, to raise their hands, and 
nearly every man who had a hand, raised it. Let us remember them 
in our prayers to-night." 

A man in the summer-house, so far off, that I cannot distinguish 
him in the shadow, says 

" There is manifestly a spirit of prayer among the soldiers in the 
Second Division of the Sixth Corps Hospital. Every man there 
raised his hand for prayers !" 

Similar remarks are made by others, and then there are earnest 
prayers offered that God will bless them, relieve their sufferings, give 
them patience, restore them to health; that He will remember the 
widow and fatherless far away that Jesus may be their Friend. 

Ah ! this night scene ! There was an allusion, by one who prayed, 
to the garden scene of Gethsemane, to the blood of the Son of God, 
and, in connection therewith, to the blood shed for our country. 

The report of Delegate S. J. Parker, a Surgeon from 
Ithaca, N. Y., may represent the extent and value of 
the work effected by the Commission volunteers who 
were of his profession : 

I arrived at Belle Plain about 5 P. M. on the 13th, and found 
in tents, ambulances and wagons, about four hundred wounded men. 
I spent about five hours in aiding in the care of wounds, and returned 
at about 11 or 12 o clock, leaving another Delegate, 

Surgeon s Work. 



Dr. Reed, of Philadelphia, in charge. At 3 o clock 



A. M., I again took charge of them, and continued 

on duty till 10 A. M., when the day-Surgeons came. I left, and w r ith 

a party of other Delegates went on foot to Fredericksburg. 

On my arrival there I proceeded, after an hour s rest, to the hos 
pitals, which had just received newly-wounded men, and dressed 
wounds until midnight, by which time all were made comfortable and 
T returned to rest at the Commission rooms. Next morning I re- 



252 CHEISTIAN COMMISSION" INCIDENTS. 

ported early to Medical Director Dalton, and, with Dr. Seed, was 
temporarily put in charge of Hospital D, Second Division, Sixth 
Corps. The two warehouses were but partially cleared, when an 
ambulance train with 303 wounded arrived. It took us from 9 A. 
M. till 3 P. M. to unload the train, and get the men comfortably 
arranged. At 3 P. M. we began dressing wounds. After a few hours 
my right hand became poisoned from foetid discharges, and at 11 P. 
M. was disabled, and my arm excessively painful. I called in an old 
army nurse a good, faithful man, and kept on dressing till about 
two o clock the next morning, when I left Dr. Eeed on duty. 

The number of wounded I aided directly was 703, besides casual 
calls for aid upon one or two hundred more. I made with my hands 
at least three thousand dressings of wounds. I had charge of the North 
tobacco and wheat warehouse. We had a daily prayer meeting in 
the hospital. 

The story of Geo. W. Miller, as gathered from him 
self and his two Commission friends, 1 is remarkable for 
its exhibition of earnest hope and faith : 

Enlisting early in the war, Miller s regiment had been detailed for 
detached service, and had not joined the Army of the Potomac until 
late in the Summer of 1863. When he enlisted he was not a Chris 
tian, though from early childhood he had entertained 
Man Immortal & gt ^^ iQ be(jome & minister of the Gospel. 

till his Work is 
j) one- ihe abundant period for reflection afforded by the 

duty his regiment was engaged in, set him thinking 
upon his past life and upon the possible dangers of the future. His 
youthful yearning to be a minister came back also. Unaided by 
any special religious influences, save the encouragement and faithful 
Christian life of a comrade, he decided to become a Christian. Dur 
ing the Winter at Brandy Station, Miller attended the Commission 
chapel and renewed his vows. He became much attached to Kev. 
Mr. Whitney, one of the Delegates, and during several months aided 
him in his labors among the soldiers. 



1 Eev. Nelson Whitney, Minister of the Metli. Episc. Church, Sebec, Maine, 
and Wm. Ballantyne, Esq., President of the Washington Branch Christian Com- 



FKEDERICKSBUEG. 253 

He was severely wounded on the second day s fighting of the Wil 
derness battles. For twenty-four hours he remained on the field. 
The Surgeon who examined his wound refused to operate, because 
death was inevitable. Then followed a sixty hours ambulance ride 
to Fredericksburg. Here again a Surgeon examined him, and again 
his wound was pronounced fatal. 

Three or four days of intense suffering were passed in the hospital 
at Fredericksburg, until at last Rev. Mr. Whitney found him out. 
Miller had never for a moment allowed himself to think that his 
recovery was hopeless. His firm faith found vent in memorable 
words : 

"Mr. Whitney, the Surgeon says I must die; but I do not feel that 
my work is done yet. When I gave myself to God, last Winter, I 
promised Him that I would labor for His cause in the Gospel min 
istry. I feel that He has a work for me to do ; and I believe that 
man is immortal till his work is done. Can t you do something 
for me ?" 

Mr. Whitney did his best, procuring straw and a blanket, the 
half of one belonging to Mr. Cole, the Potomac Army Field Agent, 
and laying the soldier upon a bed which seemed to him then the 
softest he had ever known. A few days passed, and a third surgical 
consultation was held. The decision was in these words 

" You will recover, but it is the most miraculous escape we have 
ever seen." 

He was transferred to Armory Square Hospital, Washington, on 
May 26th ; here again the wound was pronounced mortal. Mr. Bal- 
lantyne, who visited him at this time, bears testimony to his cheerful, 
unwavering confidence. There was no fear, no concern about his 
life ; that was not in danger. His desire was to do His Master s will. 
On the 6th of June the ball was extracted. But it was not until 
very many months had passed that the soldier could leave the hos 
pital. In accordance with his early determination, he is preparing 
to preach the Gospel of Peace. 

Mr. E. M. Heydrick, of Brooklyn, with a party of 
about forty Delegates, left Belle Plain for Fredericksburg, 
on May 15th. He relates an incident of the road : 



254 CHKISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

Our wagons got behind, and we took occasion to eat a lunch. 

While standing alone, making away with the small portion that had 

been handed me, a tall, noble-looking soldier approached and said 

" Friend, can you spare a little of that, I am so 

hungry ? I have not tasted food for two davs." 

Hungry. 

"Certainly," I replied; and as I handed him what 
I had, I noticed for the first time that his arms were both disabled : 

" I have no hands to feed myself with. Will you please put it to 
my mouth ?" 

As I did so, his tears of gratitude fell on my hand. " God bless 
you, my friend !" said he, and the way in which he uttered the words 
was worth a dozen dinners. 

The instances of the strength of the willingness of 
the soldier and his friends to submit to sacrifice are 
numberless. Rev. Mr. Williams records these two : 

An old man who had come to visit his two sons in the army, found 
them both wounded. When asked, as he sat between 

his maimed boys, if he regretted the sacrifice, he 
Give up all. 

raised his hands and exclaimed most earnestly 

" No ; if I had twenty sons, I would give them all to save this 
Union !" 

In a Delegate s diary I found this entry: A private of the llth 
Maine was mortally wounded a few days since. As his companions 
started to carry him to the rear, he looked up to his regimental com 
mander, and said, in generous thoughtfulness of 

Noble to the , 
T others 

Last. 

"Don t trouble the boys to carry me back, Colonel ; 
it will only tire them. I can live but a few minutes, and can just as 
well die here." 

Rev. Dr. J. Wheaton Smith 1 finds the same exhibition 
of sacrifice : 

One poor fellow, taking me for a Surgeon, said, 



1 Pastor of Spruce St. Baptist Church, Philadelphia. The incidents were 
related at the Washington Anniversary of the Commission, January, 18G5. 




FKEDEPaCKSBUPvGr. 255 

" Sir, will you dress my wound ?" 

I am not a doctor, but I did my best. I took off the bandage, 
sponged away the hard incrustation that had gath 
ered upon the wound, and found that his sight was Going Through 

it Again. 

entirely gone ; he had been shot through the eyes 

and the bridge of the nose. 

" Poor fellow !" I said to him, " this is hard." 

"Yes, it is hard ; but I would go through it again for my country," 
Right beside him there lay a man upon a stretcher, strong and 
noble-looking, but he was shot through the head. His eyes were 
closed ; he knew no one ; could answer to no voice, and yet he still 
breathed. I never shall forget how that massive 
chest heaved up and down. We watched him for 
hours, thinking every hour would be his last. All night he lay 
there motionless save that heaving bosom. In the morning he was 
no better, but he began to move his feet. Evidently he thought he 
was marching, and he marched till he died tramp, tramp, tramp 
dead, but marching on ! 

From the reminiscences of Rev. Herrick Johnson 1 we 
extract the incidents which follow : 

I remember Aaron Lamb, a soldier from Maine, who had lost his 
left leg. The little delicacies and attentions had opened his heart. 
He had told me of his widowed mother and loving sisters, and I had 

written his message home, and back came their noble 

The Rest of God. 
answer, saying 

" We cannot, as a family, both brothers and sisters, express our 
gratitude enough to Him who ruleth all things, if from the glorious 
Army of the Potomac He give us back our darling with only the 
loss of one leg." 

And from that couch of suffering was sent up a message to heaven 
also. And that, I believe, found answer more blessed even than 
the message home. For hours and days he had been lying on the 
hard floor with nothing but a blanket under him, restless and sleep- 



1 Pastor of (N. S.) Presbyterian Church, Pittsburg, Pa. The incidents are 
from his address at the Closing Exercises of the Commission at the Capitol. 



256 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

less from the shock his nervous system had received. There in the 
dusk of evening, with his hand close clasped in mine, the patient 
hero breathed his low prayer 

" O Father, God, be pitiful be merciful give me rest rest of 
body and of soul oh, give me rest." 

And the hard floor seemed to grow woolly soft, as if Jesus had 
pillowed it, and rest, " of rest God s rest the best," came to that tired 
heart. " He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings 
shalt thou trust." 

I saw another with both legs off close to the thigh. When I spoke 
to him of the sacrifice he had made for his country, he answered 

" My country demands it and my Saviour demands it. I believe 

that the kingdom of Christ will be advanced by this 

Compensation. ,, 

war. 

Another said, " I am ready to go home to my parents, home to 
Christ, or back to the war." 

This is the spirit of the army, of Christian, patient endurance. 
Down from the throne of the Highest, through the lifted clouds 
whose bosom had been charged with thunderbolts of wrath, come 
these gleams of light, in waves of life and immortality, telling to the 
people that God is not forgetting to be gracious. 

I recall another, a young Sergeant, one of whose limbs had been 
sadly shattered. He was a brave, patient boy, but remarkably reti 
cent, resolutely maintaining a cold reserve. For days he was proof 
against all kindness, but at last I found the way 
Going up among down int() hig Cart s secrct p l ace o f tenderness and 
the Stars. , . , ., 

tears, and the great drops wet his cheeks as he told 

me how he had run away from home and almost broken his mother s 
heart. He said his own pain was nothing to the trouble he had 
given her. 

" Shall I write to your mother," I asked, " and tell her how and 
where you are ? " 

"Oh, yes," said he; "but break the news gently, break it gently; 
and oh, tell her how sorry I am for having laid such a burden on 
her loving heart." 

And then we talked of another home he had wandered from and 
another heart he had grieved, and I asked him if he had not a peni 
tent message to send home to God. Ere long I believe there was joy 



FREDERICKSBUEG. 257 

in the presence of the angels over the return of one more prodigal. 
The Surgeons at last decided that his leg must be amputated, and 
very soon it became manifest that even this would not save him, and 
\ve told him he must die. He was ready ; arms, haversack, canteen, 
blanket, all had been lost on the battle-field, but he had clung to 
the flag he bore, and he lay there with the stars and stripes wrapped 
about him. Just as he was dying his lips moved. We stooped to 
listen. He was making his last charge : 

"Come on, boys! our country and our flag for ever!" 

We asked him, "Is the Saviour with you?" 

He whispered, " Do you think He would pass by and not take me? 
I go, I go." And wrapped in stars he went up among the stars. 

There lies a young soldier wounded unto death : 

"What can I do for you, my brave fellow?" 

"Speak to me of Jesus;" and the words that suggest themselves 
are 



Jesus, lover of my soul, to me 

Let me to Thy bosom fly." 

"Oh, won t you sing them, sir?" And another wounded soldier 
lying near, takes up the words and sings. 

And then the dying drummer-boy repeats the prayer, and even 
while the words are on his lips the prayer is answered, and his soul 
is away on its flight to the bosom of Jesus. 

Rev. Horace C. Hovey 1 writes of the power of the 
" Precious Name : " 

A brave cavalry officer was dying of his wounds. He was deliri 
ous when I approached him. He thought himself on the field at the 
head of his gallant men, and fancied that a heavy gun was just in 
front of them, ready to be fired. His distress was 
great. At length he thought the gun had been dis- The Father s 

charged, and his men, badly cut up, were retreating. 
Here I interposed, saying 

"There is no gun there; you are safe among friends here in 
Fredericksburg." 



1 Pastor of Congregational Church, Florence, Mass. 

17 



258 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

" Let me alone," he sternly replied ; " I must recover my command 
and renew the attack." 

" No," said I, " let us not talk of battle-scenes. You are soon to 
die. Let us talk of Jesus." 

The mention of that name seemed to exert the powerful influence I 
had often heard ascribed to it. His agitation ceased at once; his deli 
rium passed away; a smile lit up his pallid features. After a moment s 
silence he said, in a low, sweet voice 

" Jesus ! Jesus ! It is He who said, Come unto Me, all ye that 
labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. I want rest ; 
I am weary ; can you sing, There is rest for the weary ? " 

I complied with his wishes, and with failing, faltering tongue, he 
tried to join in the song, 

" In the Christian s home of glory 
There remains a land of rest." 

We sang the hymn entirely through, and when we closed there 
was not a dry eye in all that ward. He died soon after this, saying 
for his last words 

" I have no Father here but my Heavenly Father." 

Eev. Geo. Bringhurst tells the story of another 
hymn : 

Passing through the woolen factory at Fredericksburg, my im 
mense parish of wounded, dying men, I heard a low, mournful voice 
singing 

Hidden with " While I draw this fleeting breath ; 

Christ in God. When mine eyelids close in death ; 

When I rise to worlds unknown, 
And behold Thee on Thy throne, 
Kock of Ages, cleft for me, 
Let me hide myself in Thee." 

There were some pauses in the verse, as if strength were failing the 
singer. A look, as I passed on my errand, told me that the soldier 
was dying. Next morning, the last "fleeting breath" had been 



FREDERICKSBUEG. 259 

rawn, the eyelids were "closed in death," and the life that had gone 



I 

was hid with Christ in God. 1 



In the same woolen-factory hospital, Mr. Stuart 2 found 
a Massachusetts soldier, who seemed to be the happiest 
man in Fredericksburg : 

I found 550 patients, suffering from every variety of wounds and 
injuries. As I passed one cot, my eye was caught by a happy and 
contented face. I stopped and spoke to the soldier : 

" You seem happy, my friend. I trust it is be- 

P . , . . , . ~ Peace past all 

cause your faith in Christ is nrm. TT , _. 

Understanding. 

" Yes," he answered, " I took Him with me to the 
army." 

"I trust you are not much hurt?" I continued, deceived by his 
pleasant face. He rolled down the coverlet and showed me that 
both legs were gone: 

" You have made a noble contribution to your country." 

" I have given all but my life, and am ready to give that if she 
needs it." 

His name was D. N , of Boston, 22d Mass. Regt. I learned 

afterwards that, while being removed from the town, he died in the 
same peace in the strength of which he had suffered. 

Mr. Isaac Baker, of Philadelphia, upon reaching 
Fredericksburg as a Delegate, was told that his son, who 



1 Mr. S. E. Bridgman, of Northampton, Mass., relates an incident very similar 
to the above: "Afar off, under the machinery of a mill, I heard the voice of 
singing. It reminded me of Paul and Silas singing their praises in the guarded 
dungeon. I walk over and lean upon the ponderous wheel. Near me, rises a 
voice, sweet and clear, and the holy strains are 

"While I draw this fleeting breath. 

But soon the earth receded from the eyes of the soldier-boy, and the lips that 
gave forth so sweet a strain were still ; while the spirit of the man walked in the 
light of the angels over the crystal pavement of the New Jerusalem." 

2 Who at this time accompanied Kt. Kev. Bishop Mcllvaine, of Ohio, on a 
memorable visit to the army. 



260 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

had been engaged in the battles, was wounded. The 
sight of the misery he had come to relieve was too ter 
rible to allow him to leave his post and search for his 
boy. In the trust that he would find kind care, 
wherever he was, he faithfully fulfilled his allotted 
work. From his report we make these extracts : 

On the first morning I held a little service of singing and prayer 

in my division, with the common consent of the men, and told them 

the simple and touching story of a little girl who had lost her father, 

but did not understand the dread nature of death 

p hu anc ^ ^ e rave< -E- er m ther explained through tears, 

that God had sent for father, and that by and bye 

He would send for them, and there was no telling how soon. The 

artless child on this exclaimed 

" Well, then, mother, if God is going to send for us soon, and we 
don t know just when, hadn t we better begin to pack up and get 
ready to go ?" 

This incident seemed to take hold of the men, it could so well 
be applied to their present needs. 

"Ah, Chaplain," said one to me afterwards, " I m glad you told us 
that story about packing up ; it made the thing so plain to me. I 
haven t much learning, and I haven t tried to understand these things 
much, but now I see through it all. I want you to help me pack up. 
Will you pray with me, Chaplain ?" 

I knelt by his side. While speaking with God, the earnest heart 
cried out, " Oh do, Lord, help me, help me." It was a solemn sea 
son. The Holy Spirit was there. " This poor man cried and the 
Lord heard him." I was about to go to another who had beckoned 
to me, when the dear boy said 

" Oh, I thank you, Chaplain ; I am happy now ; I have found 
Jesus !" 

He was radiant with ioy, so that I wondered. I 

Peace Within. J J 

said to him 

" But what of your body ?" Pie had been shot through the right 
shoulder and left leg, and had an arm taken off. " Do you suffer 
much now?" 



FKEDERICKSBURG. 261 

" Oh," said he, " my wounds are nothing now. I can bear them 
all I have peace within." 

At his request I sat down with a full heart and wrote to his wife, 
informing her of his condition of body, but with particular emphasis, 
as he urged, of the blessed change that had come over his soul. In 
deed it was wonderful to see the forgetfulness of bodily suffering in 
the new-found joy which filled this wounded soldier s heart. 

We sang " Rest for the weary," and one man, whose whole thigh 
had been shattered by a shell, lay there perfectly calm, patient, even 
happy. He smiled as I came to him, and said 

" Oh, how that hymn cheered me ! I forgot my Rest for the 
pains whilst I listened to it ; and I know it cheered Weary. 
many of the boys." 

One group of sufferers claimed my deepest sympathy. Four 
Indians from Wisconsin lay together, bleeding for the country that 
had once been the wide domain of their fathers. I lay down 
close to one and spoke of Jesus and His salvation, 
His eye brightened. He had heard that blessed The 
name before, and in his broken way said Shore. 

" I love Him, I love Him !" 

I commended his spirit to God, and then sang him to sleep for 
he died while we were singing that sweet chorus 

" For, oh, we stand on Jordan s strand, 

Our friends are passing over, 
And just before, the shining shore 
We may almost discover. 

The other three Indians were unable to speak. May God help 
them. I gave them some refreshment and left them. 

Mr. E. M. Heydrick relates an incident showing how 
valuable at times were Bible words to soothe and calm 
men agonized with pain : 

A young soldier, John Wagner, of the 60th Ohio Regt., was 
brought in ; he had been shot through the stomach. So great was 
his agony that he filled the building with cries. He could not lie in 



262 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

one position, but kept two or three turning him from 

TIat" Tay si ( te to side. Famishing with hunger, he would eat 

all that was given him, but it would come out 

through the bullet-holes. He kept begging that we would send to 

the front for his brother, but this was impossible. We asked him 

" Have you never heard of that Friend that sticketh closer than 
a brother ? He alone can help you ; you have but to ask Him in 
prayer, and He will help you." 

"I do not know how to pray," was his answer. 

I took a little card containing Scripture texts, and read the motto, 
"Ask, and it shall be given you," and the prayer, "Heal me, O Lord, 
and I shall be healed ; save me, and I shall be saved." Out of his 
agony, he exclaimed 

" Please read the prayer again." I did so. 

" I can pray that ;" and he kept repeating it aloud, over and over 
again. That night the bullet-holes in his stomach closed, and for 
the first time he became quiet enough to sleep. 

One incident related by Mr. S. E. Bridgman will 
serve to show the reflex influence which was exerted 
upon the soldiers friends at home : 

One night, after evening prayers, a man came to our tent and with 
tears asked the Delegates to pray for him : 

" I have navigated every channel to perdition, but now I want to 

lead a different life." 
.1 Gladdened He wag po i ntec i to j esus . He looked and lived. 

" Oh," said he the next day, " how easy it is to be a 
Christian ! I did not suppose it was so easy. I thought it was a 
long and very troublesome way ; I just asked with all my heart, and 
I hadn t to wait for the answer; I just prayed to God and light 
came in at once. How glorious everything is ! Even this Virginia 
mud now seems to have become beautiful." 

A week after, with a bright and joyous smile, he came to our quar 
ters with an open letter just received from his wife, describing the 
scene at home on the reception of the news of his conversion. She 
had begun the letter aloud, but when she found how her prayers had 
been answered, she could read no more. Her mother took the letter 



FREDERICKSBUKG. 263 

and tried to read, with the same result. There were present with the 
family four boarders, former boon-companions in sin of the infidel 
husband. One of these volunteered to read the letter, and that very 
night at a prayer meeting they all rose for prayers. All were con 
verted, and sent word to their friend in the army that they would 
meet him in heaven. 

Mr. E. M. Heydrick, on the way from Belle Plain to 
Fredericksburg, met with an instance of a life saved by 
a Bible : 

Mr. Beach 1 and myself came to a stream where we met a group of 
soldiers crossing on a log. While waiting, I noticed one of them, 2 
of noble form and countenance, looking rather sad. I approached, 
saying 



" I trust you love Jesus do you not ? " Word a 

" Do you not think," he replied, " I ought to love 
Him ? See what His word did for me." 

Opening his coat and blouse, he drew from a shirt-pocket over his 
heart a small Bible. In battle, two days before, a minie ball from 
the enemy had entered it on the front side, and coming out at the 
edge, had passed around his side, laying open the flesh to the bone. 
The blood was still on his shirt. 

"Were you a Christian," I asked, "before entering the service?" 
"Yes, sir ; only a short time previous I became a Christian ; the 
day before I left home my sister came to me and said, Harlem, will 
you take this and carry it near your heart for my sake? " 

Gen. Grant s flanking advance from Spottsylvania 
C. H. was towards the North Anna. He found Lee 
admirably posted to dispute the passage of the river, and 
although the crossing was successfully begun, yet the 
enemy s lines were so strong that Grant decided not to 
attack them. The river was recrossed ; another short 



1 Mr. Lewis Beach, of Brooklyn. 

2 Harlem T. Garnett, 20th Mich. Inf. 



264 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

march to the east, and again the long columns turned 
southward. On May 28th the Pamunkey was passed 
and the new base at White House established. Again 
the Confederate army, moving along the chord of the 
circle, was able to face Grant at Cold Harbor with strong 
fortifications. Here on June 1st, began another engage 
ment. The grand assault was made on the 3d; in it 
our army was signally repulsed. Several days of delay 
were spent before the hostile, frowning works. Finally, 
on June 14th and 15th, the Army of the Potomac 
was transferred to the south side of the James, to operate 
henceforth against the southern approaches to the Con 
federate capital. 

The following account of an ordinary experience, 
detailed by Rev. Horace C. Hovey, shows how the hard 
ships of the journeys of this campaign weighed upon 
men unused to the service exhibiting by contrast the 
soldier s sufferings and endurance : 

The hardships endured while Grant was effecting his famous flank 

movements from Spottsylvania to City Point will never be forgotten 

nor adequately described. Our little company of seven, selected to 

go with the Fifth Army Corps, was made up of men 

A Toilsome not j nure( j to hardships. For three days and three 
March. J 

nights we did not unharness our horses, or take what, 

even in army life, would be called a regular meal. Most of us mean 
while had been marching on foot, and were thoroughly jaded by our 
double duty of keeping up with the army and doing good as we ad 
vanced. The third night found us on the edge of an immense forest. 
Of necessity we proceeded slowly amid the sturdy trunks of giant 
pines. Through their branches the night wind sighed and moaned, 
while the warm Spring rain fell in torrents. The darkness was 
Egyptian ; the road grew worse and worse. By accident we had 
become separated from our wagon-train. Only two Delegates with 
strength enough to work remained with the wagon, and the driver 



BEYOND SPOTTSYLVANIA C. H. 265 

was worn out and surly. To complete our dismay, we were passing 
through a swamp about midnight when our wagon sank to the 
axles in mud, with one fore-wheel planted square against a tree. 
Our only source of appeal was to mule-drivers who now and then 
passed by. But they, like ourselves, had lost their train, and with 
curses, all undeserved, told us to get out as best we could. With rails 
we pried the wheel from the tree, but our exhausted animals refused 
to pull. Neither caresses nor blows would avail; these stores 
gathered by Christian love, we could not abandon to the guerillas ; so 
in the pitchy darkness, we two unloaded the wagon of every box, 
barrel and bundle ; with spades we dug away the clay that had 
packed itself about the wheels, and then pushing the empty vehicle 
by main force against the heels of the horses, compelled them to go 
forward. The wagon once more on solid ground, we reloaded our 
stores, and soon emerged from the forest. Now we realized that we 
were alone in an enemy s country ; not a sound was to be heard in 
that dead of night, save the rumble of our wagon-wheels. Ignorant 
of the lay of the land, we drove into a field, built a fire of rails, 
spread our blankets in the open air and lay down to a rest, never 
before so quiet and so sweet. 

From the narrative of E. A. Band the following two 
reminiscences are taken : 

On June 9th, while assisting to move the wounded to the boats at 
White House Landing, I met my friend Capt. Wm. Fitz Williams, 
of the 2d K Y. Mounted Rifles. In the battle at Cold Harbor he 
had received a wound, from which he had partially 

recovered. Anxious to be at his post, he was return- 

. ~ Trust; and a 

mg to his regiment against the advice of his feur- 



geon. I invited him to the evening meeting in our 
chapel. He told us there the story of his conversion. With a depth 
of feeling which brought tears to every eye, he described the last 
interview with his mother. As he parted from her, she threw her 
arms about his neck, and bursting into tears, exclaimed 

" O my son, I could give you up cheerfully, if you were only a 
child of God." 

This outburst of a devoted Christian mother s love melted his 



266 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

heart, and he there promised her that his future life should be given 
to God. He had striven, he said, to keep this pledge ; had been 
greatly helped by the Commission, and had found the Lord s service 
most pleasant and easy : 

" I expect to-morrow morning to return to the field, and think it 
doubtful whether I shall ever see my loved ones again. But I am 
resolved to stand firm in God, and to meet them in heaven." 

The meeting closed. I bade him farewell, to see his face again no 
more. In a fight near Petersburg on June 18th, while bending over 
to staunch the flowing blood of a companion, he received his mortal 
wound, and died with a shout of praise. 

A young lady came in search of her brother, wounded at Cold 
Harbor. She had looked for him in vain through all the Washing 
ton hospitals. With the greatest difficulty, procuring a pass from 
the War Department to White House Landing, she 

A Sister finds here i earned that he was dead and buried. One 
her Brother in . 

^ n - S wish only remained, to find the grave, recover the 

body, and bear it with her to her distant home. But 
even in this she was doomed to disappointment. The grave could 
not be identified. Suddenly, amid her grief and despair, the Holy 
Spirit revealed to her the fact that, through all this pathway of trial 
she had been led that she might find the Lord. Her brother had 
been a Christian ; she herself was not ; she had failed to find him ; 
she could only find him in Christ Jesus, in the Resurrection, in Eter 
nal Life. Giving herself away to the Lord, she determined to wait 
patiently until He called her home. 

Mr. John Patterson writes of an experience about 
this time on board a government steamer, bound for 
White House from Washington : 

Gen. Baker with his corps of detectives was on board. They had 
with them several fine horses, well supplied with what I wanted badly 
for the Commission horses on board, fodder. But this was unpur 
chaseable ; so I resorted to a little ruse, which I 

^ Shorter Gate- h p e the circumstances will justify. I became atten- 
chism" vs. Swear- 

tive to the horses of the detective officers, watering 

them occasionally during the warm day. My 



WHITE HOUSE LANDING. 267 

hungry animals were soon munching government fodder, and I was 
myself on very excellent terms with the quick-witted members of 
the force. 

After dinner, while standing on the deck, my attention, I regret to 
say, was called to a young preacher aboard, who was en route to Cold 
Harbor, to recover the dead body of his brother. The fare of the 
boat was not according to his taste, and he rated boat and govern 
ment in no very polite terms. This excited the ire of the detectives, 
and especially of an officer with whom I had just formed a 
pleasant acquaintance, who swore, were it not for the respect he had 
for the man s profession, he would put him under arrest at once. He 
gave vent to his wrath in language shockingly profane ; wrongly, I 
confess, I feared to rebuke him, as well on account of his kindness to 
me, as of his laudable zeal for the good name of the government. 
Without venturing upon him directly, I tried a chance shot. 
Leaning upon a box of goods, my chin resting on my hands, as he 
concluded a volley of terribly wild expletives at the offending divine, 
and without looking at him, as if in meditation, I said 

" However the breakers of this commandment may escape punish 
ment from man, yet the Lord our God will not suffer them to escape 
His righteous judgment." l 

A slap on the back from my profane friend brought to a sudden 
end my pious soliloquy. 

" My man," said he, " I know that book as well as you do, from 
beginning to end. I have the most profound respect for truly relig 
ious men, but as profound a contempt for canting hypocrites. I was 
baptized by Dr. McLeod, of New York, in my father s arms. Father 
and pastor, I believe, are now in heaven." 

" What would you give," said I, " for a picture of your father 
with you in his arms, your mother standing by, and the old Doctor 
dripping the water upon your face, and saying, Grant, Heavenly 
Father, that this child s name may be written in the Lamb s Book 
of Life? " 

The blow struck home; the wary look of the detective faded from 
his face ; the thick mail in which a life of cunning and danger had 



The answer to Question 56 of Westminster Assembly s " Shorter Catechism." 



268 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

encased him was penetrated by that simple thought of childhood and 
home, and welling tears moistened the bronzed cheeks. 

The scene made a deep impression on those present. We had no 
more swearing that afternoon; as our boat glided softly over the 
winding waters of the York and Pamunkey after its cargo of 
wounded braves. 



CHAPTER X. 

THE WESTERN ARMIES. 

FROM THE BEGINNING OF 1864 TO THE FALL OF ATLANTA. 
Jan. 1864 Sept. 1864. 

THE first four months of the year were spent in com 
parative quiet by both armies. In March Gen. Grant 
was called to Washington, and Gen. Sherman succeeded 
him in the command of the Military Division of the 
Mississippi, embracing the four great departments of the 
Ohio, the Cumberland, the Tennessee, and the Arkansas. 
In anticipation of simultaneous campaigns on the 
Eapidan and the Tennessee, the armies were prepared for 
the grand Spring movements. 

In January, Mr. Wm. Lawrence 1 and Rev. J. F. Loyd, 2 
took charge of the work at Chattanooga, around which 
place the bulk of the army was in winter quarters. 
Kightly meetings were re-opened in the Baptist Church, 
which had for some time been a hospital : 

The evening meeting was very reluctantly omitted one night, on 
request from headquarters of the Post Commander, to allow the 
use of the chapel for public readings by Murdoch. The next night 



1 Of Union Theological Seminary ; now a Congregational Minister, and Sec 
retary of the Brooklyn Children s Aid Society. 
- A Methodist Clergyman of Xenia, Ohio. 

269 



270 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

a battery-man stood up in the congregation and gave 
"Not the Pray- h}g expericnce ag foll()WS . 

er Meeting, but . 

Jesus " This is the third night I have been at these meet 

ings. The first time I went away saying, Religion 
is a good thing; I must have it; I ll come again. The next night I 
went away, saying to myself, You are wicked enough without being 
a miserable coward ; why didn t you get up and say you wanted to 
be a Christian? That was night before last. I didn t sleep much. 
In the morning I was in a hurry for night to come. I wanted to 
become a Christian, and thought this meeting w r as the only place to 
do it. All day long I counted the hours when I should come. To 
make sure of it, I got my pass from the Adjutant before dinner, and 
came early last night to the chapel. A guard halted me at the door. 
He said his instructions were to admit only officers and such men 
as had tickets. I told him I had no ticket, but I must go into the 
meeting ; I needed it more than any officer. He pushed me back 
with his bayonet, and I gave up, and called the Christians hard 
names for shutting me out because I was a private. Then my sins 
came crushing down on me again, and I went back and begged the 
guard to pass me in ; but he cursed me, and ordered me away. I 
started for camp. When I was passing the railroad track I said to 
myself, It is Jesus you want, not the meeting; and I knelt down 
in a cut of the road and told Jesus just what I was going to say to 
my comrades if I had got into the meeting. I had hardly begun to 
tell Him before I felt relieved. When I got up from my knees I 
couldn t help singing. I went to camp singing, and kept singing 
after I turned in, till the Colonel s Orderly hushed me up. These 
are good meetings, but if I could find such a meeting as that one on 
the railroad track, I wouldn t mind if the guard ordered me off 
every night." l 

From the reminiscences of Rev. Jno. L. Landis, 2 a 
Delegate at Chattanooga in the early part of the year, 
the two following incidents are taken : 



1 Annals, U. /S. Christian Commission, pp. 477, 478. 

2 Licentiate of (N. S.) Presbytery of Harrisburg, Penna. 



CHATTANOOGA. 271 

I was very much interested in two Confederate soldiers who lay 
side by side in the same ward of one of the hospitals, private J. P. 
Thompson, whose leg had been amputated, and Lieut. Baker, who 
hud a lung wound. Thompson sent for me one day ; 
I found the artery sloughed off and his stump bleed 
ing. It was soon evident that he must die, and he became very much 
excited. I endeavored to calm him, and at last succeeded. He ex 
pressed a most earnest wish to be with Christ, preferring it to any 
earthly consolations or prospects of life and health. He told me 
about his little sister in heaven ; and prayed that he might be per 
mitted to meet her there. As I was about leaving him, his comrade, 
Lieut. Baker, who had been intently observing the scene, spoke to 
me. He talked as a little child in Christ s Kingdom might about his 
wish to go and be with Jesus. I sang with him 

" I m a pilgrim, and I m a stranger ; " 

and after that 

" Let us walk in the light of God." 

He was delighted, so I sang again 

"There is rest for the weary." 

Said he, " That is the rest ; I want all others to enjoy it with me. 
I don t want to enjoy it by myself; would you?" 

The next time I came into the ward the two beds had been drawn 
close together. The two, who had fought together in life and been 
wounded together, were to enter the dark valley thus also. In sweet 
intercommunion and converse they passed the short time until one 
took his departure, only a few hours in advance of his companion. 

Willie Snyder, of Cincinnati, was one of the most interesting and 
lovely characters I ever met. Enlisting at the age of fifteen, he had 
seen two years service. At Mission Ridge he was so severely 
wounded as to require the amputation of one leg. He used to love 
to have me sit down on his cot and talk to him of 

Jesus. The last time I saw him, he got very close The Longed-for 

Country. 
to me, and putting one arm around me, took my left 

hand in his. Laying his warm face upon it and kissing it, he looked 
up into mine and said, sweetly 



272 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

" I wish I was in heaven." 

"Why, Willie?" 

" Because I feel it in my heart." 

He had not long to wait for the fulfillment of his desire. 

Ill January a great many regiments re-enlisted for 
three years or the war, and went home on veteran fur 
lough. This crowded the quarters in Nashville for 
weeks with soldiers coming and departing. While in 
the city, the men were kept under guard, but the Com 
mission had free access to them at all times. Rev. E. P. 
Smith writes : 

These homeward-bound men were found more thoughtful than had 

been anticipated. In many instances the thought of home so near at 

hand had recalled the fair promises of two years before, and broken 

vows came to stare them in the face. One young 

Mother s First soldier? for whom a f ur i ou gh had been procured at 

Question An- 

swerec l his request, declined to use it, asking that it might 

be postponed a month. At the end of two weeks he 
came to say that he was ready for his furlough, and, when pressed to 
give a reason for his strange delay, replied 

" I promised my mother that I would be a Christian in the army. 
I have neglected it up to this time, and I could not go home until I 
could answer my mother s first question." * 

This furlough of veterans has involved us in a new expenditure. 
They return from their homes with fewer Testaments than from the 
battle-field. The accounts run all pretty much alike : 

"Mother" or sister, or my little boy, as the case 

The Brother s m \$\i be" wanted it, because, you see, I had car 
ried it so long, and it had been in the fight ; so I left 
it home, for I knew I could get another." 

At first I thought they had presumed too far upon our free-giving ; 
but I am satisfied now that they have done right. That copy of God s 
Truth will be treasured and read in the soldier s absence. The very 



Annals, U. S. Christian Commission, p. 482. 



NASHVILLE. 273 

form of the well-thumbed, worn book will stir up and make mellow 
the depths of the home hearts. Henceforth the "Word is doubly 
sacred. 

I met on the boat from Chattanooga, a short time since, an Irish 
woman, who had come from Pennsylvania to see her brother in hos 
pital. He had been carried to the grave the day before she reached 
Chattanooga. She had gathered up his few effects, and was taking 
them home. Unrolling his knapsack upon the deck, she took from 
it a book, the only one it contained, and read. The tears streamed 
down her cheeks as she slowly spelled out the words, and with her 
fingers traced the lines on the first page. I looked over her shoulder. 
Il was an old school-book on Physical Geography, and she was read 
ing the introduction. 

" Is that an interesting book ?" I asked. 

" Indade, sir, it s me brother s book an he used to rade it. He s 
did now; d ye see his name there the darlint? He wuz a great 
scholard, me brother, an I know he used to rade it. Niver a word 
did I git from him in hospittle, an niver a word can they spake to 
me u v him only jist he died on sich a bed an wuz buried intoirely 
when I came. He wuz a great scholard, me brother wuz, an I wuz 
sthrivin to git a bit uv comfort fur me poor sowl out of his book." 

Would that it had been the book of the God of all comfort ! 

The following incident of work in Nashville in March 
is from the same pen : 

A young man lingered one day after our daily prayer meeting. 
Mr. Atkinson took him aside ; I stood near, but did not interrupt. 
The young man began 

"I m afraid I offended you this morning." 

, , -I , -i -M- *"" * -i What can I Do f 

" Why, no ; that can t be, said Mr. Atkinson ; 

" I never saw you before that I know." 

"Never saw me ? You were looking straight at me all the time you 
were talking in the barracks this morning ; and every time you cut 
me to pieces ; I couldn t stand it, so I got up and went out." 

" Was that you ? I thought it was some careless, ungodly fellow." 
" Ungodly enough, but not careless. I couldn t have lived there 
18 



274 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

any longer. You made me think of what I had done. Oh ! I am 
an awful sinner. Can I be saved ?" 

" You can be saved. The blood of Jesus cleanseth from all 



" I think I could, if I hadn t done that." 

"Done what?" 

" I have killed my mother." 

" Killed your mother ! when? how?"* 

" Last night I had a letter from her. She said she was almost 
gone, and the writing was all trembling like, she is very low with 
consumption. She talked to me, as she always did, about being a 
Christian, and left me her dying prayer that I would leave my 
wicked life and come with her to heaven. When I got that letter I 
made fun of it with my comrades, and sat down and wrote her she 
needn t worry about my soul ; that I would take care of that, and that 
I meant to live just as I had, and get all there was in this world now, 
and look after the next when I got there. O sir, you don t know 
how that w r ill make my poor old mother feel ! It will kill her out 
right, I know it will," and the strong young cavalryman bent his 
face to the railing and made the pew shake in his agony : 

" What can I do ! what can I do ! Is there mercy for me 

" Yes, for you. Jesus saves to the uttermost." 

" What can I do ?" 

" Kneel down here with me and give yourself to God. Tell Him 
you are a sinner, and cry for mercy. Then write to your mother 
and ask her forgiveness." 

" It is too late for that ; mother will be dead before another letter 
can reach her ; when she reads that wicked letter of mine, she will 
lay it down and die. Oh ! what can I do?" 

" Kneel down and cry for mercy. God will hear you and forgive ; 
then when your mother, in earth or heaven, hears that God for 
Christ s sake has forgiven you, she will remember your cruelty no 
more." 

Prayer was offered in the vestry that day, but relief was not then 
obtained ; for several days the soldier seemed not far from suicide. 
He wrote the next mail to his dying mother; confessed his guilt to 
his scoffing comrades, and prayed. Prayer was made for him in our 
meetings, but his remorse was fearful and all-absorbing. It seemed 



NASHVILLE. 275 

as though God s condemnation of him that curseth father or mother 
had already descended upon him. 

At last he seemed to find the Saviour and His forgiveness, and 
went home with his regiment ; but whether to his mother s bedside 
or her new grave, I never learned. 

A sketch by Mr. J. E. Wright, 1 of Nashville hospital 
service in April illustrates the Delegate s relief work : 

A brother Delegate asked me to go for him to Hospital No. 3, and 
see a man very low with erysipelas. I was to carry him an orange. 
I saw at once that the disease had a firm grasp of the soldier. His 
face was terribly swollen ; one eye was closed en 
tirely, the other partially ; every feature was dis- ,. 
torted, as well as discolored by an application of 
bromine or iodine ; and his limbs were terribly emaciated. I sat 
down by the cot and talked with him, read some precious Scripture 
promises, and at his request wrote to his father. In the afternoon I 
saw the poor fellow again. He was worse ; mortification had set in ; 
it was difficult for him to hear or speak, and all his faculties were 
yielding to the disease. He asked me if I had written a letter for 
him in the morning and what I had written, saying with touching 
emphasis, as he marked with his right hand a finger s length upon 
his left 

" I can t remember so long." 

I told him I had written, and asked if I should send a letter to 
his wife. He hesitated, and then answered, feebly 

" Not now, I can t hear I can t think, to-morrow perhaps." 

As I bade him good-bye, the poor fellow seemed to gather up his 
little remaining strength. Looking after me, he said clearly and 
earnestly, " God bless you !" 

The emphasis with which the simple words were spoken shall re 
main with me as long as I live. Poor boy ! his " to-morrow " never 
came ; and the letter which was to have been written to his wife, told 
in a stranger s words the sad story of a husband s death. 



Of Andover Theological Seminary, Mass. 



276 CHKISTIAX COMMISSION IXCIDEXTS. 

Mr. Arthur Lawrence 1 tells a suggestive story, related 
to him by a soldier in Bragg s Hospital, Chattanooga, 
not long before the Spring movements : 

A soldier told me what had led him to seek and find the Saviour. 

Some time before, a Christian on the next cot to his had been dvino- 

j & 

Just before he passed away, he called the nurse to bring him a cup 

of water: 

An Angel Un- ,-. . 

(lwares l Bring two, nurse ; I want one for my friend here ; 

he has come a long distance, and must be tired." 

" I don t see anybody here," said the nurse, somewhat puzzled. 

"Don t you see him?" said the soldier, pointing into what, for 
every one else in the room, was only tenanted by the vacant air. 
They assured him that there was no one there, but the soldier could 
not be convinced : 

" There is some one standing by the bed-side," he said. 

And so doubtless there was for him. 

" I didn t see what he saw," said the soldier who told me the story; 
but the long, last look of the dying man, turned towards the attend 
ant "Friend," awed him deeply; "For," said he, "it must have been 
an angel." 

" Thither we hasten through these regions dim, 
But lo ! the wide wings of the Seraphim 

Shine in the sunset! On that joyous shore 
Our lightened hearts shall know 
The life of long-ago : 
The sorrow-burdened past shall fade 
For evermore." 

Gen. Sherman s mustering of his hosts for advance 
into Georgia gave the work a new impulse in April. 
At Binggold and Cleveland very remarkable revivals 
began among the veteran troops. The General Field 
Agent writes of that at Binggold : 2 

The crowded church every night, the full morning meetings for 



1 Of Boston. 2 Annals } U. S. Christian Commission, pp. 490-491. 



KIXGGOLD. 277 

inquirers of the way of life, the prayer meetings established in the 
soldiers huts and even out on the picket-post, testify to such 

grace and power of God as is rarely exhibited. A 

?r i IT j? xi n Here and Now. 

Kentucky soldier, one or the most ungodly men in 

his regiment, had spent the night in prayer and found no relief. In 
the morning he met his Chaplain on his horse, and asked him to pray 
for him. The Chaplain promised, but said the man 

" I mean now." 

" What, here in the road ?" 

" Yes, here, Chaplain, now." 

They knelt and prayed, and others who were passing came and 
knelt, till there were more than two or three agreeing in the petition 
that the sinful one should be forgiven ; and the answer came. The 
soldier went down to his tent-house, and carried the word of life to 
his comrades. They could not resist the claims of religion, when 
pressed upon them so earnestly and persistently by their fellow- 
soldier. He told of his trials with his profane tent-mates, and of 
the agreement he had made, that, if they persisted in calling in their 
comrades for cards, he should have the tent every other night for a 
prayer meeting. The result was, the prayer meeting supplanted the 
cards altogether, and all in the tent and many men in the company 
came with the new disciple to his Master. 

Mr. William Reynolds continues the account : 

Words are inadequate to describe the glorious work of grace. We 
found about ten thousand troops encamped here and but three Chap 
lains. In our labors with these Chaplains, we experienced in full 

the sweetness of the truth, " Behold, how T good and 

,..,,, The Depth of 

how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together m *h R al 

unity." We made arrangements for holding two 
daily meetings, at one and seven o clock, p. M. At the night meeting 
the church was crowded to overflowing, not a foot of standing- 
room unoccupied. The doors and windows were filled, and the 
crowds extended out into the street, straining their ears to catch the 
words of Jesus. Sometimes hundreds of persons would go away 
unable to get within hearing distance. Day after day the interest 



278 CHKISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

deepened, and large numbers came forward nightly for prayer. 
Scores of men long hardened in sin cried out, " What shall we do?" 

A number of the converts had never been baptized, and as they 
expressed a desire to remember this command of Christ, we invited 
all candidates for baptism to meet at the church on Sabbath after 
noon, April 10th. Forty-four presented themselves. 

The Baptism T . . 

, ., In the number several denominations were repre- 

and the Commu- 

n i ollt sented, and were of course allowed to select the mode 

of baptism they preferred. Twenty-four chose im 
mersion, eighteen sprinkling, and two pouring. We marched in 
solemn procession to the tune and hymn 

"There is a fountain filled with blood," 

down to the Chickarnauga Creek. The soldiers stood on the banks, 
joining hands and continuing the hymn, while their comrades went 
down into the water, some for immersion, some for sprinkling, and 
others for pouring, but all for baptism in the name of the Father, 
and of the Son, a-nd of the Holy Ghost. After administering the 
ordinance w r e returned to the church, singing 

" Jesus, I my cross have taken," 

and then sat down, about four hundred in number, at the table of 
our common Lord. Commissary bread, currant wine, tin plates and 
tin cups, these were the circumstances of the Lord s supper in the 
army ; but they did not keep the Master from the feast of love, nor 
hinder the baptism of the Spirit upon these men, whom God was 
making ready for four months of march and battle. It was a blessed 
communion, to many of the soldiers the first they had enjoyed for 
two years, and to many men the last, until that day when they shall 
" drink it new in the Father s Kingdom." The following Sabbath 
forty*eight were baptized, twenty-seven by immersion, and twenty- 
one by sprinkling; and on the Sabbath succeeding this, the ordinance 
was administered to fifty-seven more, and four hundred new converts 
sat down at the communion table. 

As I was leaving Ilinggold, some of the soldiers came to me and 
said they had had a little discussion about my church connection. I 



CLEVELAND. 279 

asked the leader of the company what church he thought I be 
longed to. 

" Well," said he, " I think you are a Methodist." 

" Why, so ?" I asked. 

" Because you ask people to come to the anxious bench. " 

I asked another what he thought: 

"I think you are a Baptist, because you are so intimate with Chap 
lain Nash. I ve noticed you around with him a good deal." 

The third I asked, answered 

" I think you are a Presbyterian, because you stand up when you 
pray." 

I happened to be a Presbyterian ; but it was a curious and striking 
instance of how men put off their signs of division in the presence 
of the great work of the Lord. 

Rev. Mr. Smith writes of a like pouring forth of the 
Holy Spirit at Cleveland, Tenn. : 

The Fourth Army Corps lay here, waiting for marching orders. 
A marvellous revival began just before these orders came. At one 
Sabbath service Chaplain Raymond, alluding to the terrible scenes 
just before the army, and the need of a better Chris 
tian life, said- 

" I want to be a better Christian ; all in this congregation, who will 
join me in this solemn re-dedication, rise." 

The first man on his feet was Maj. Gen. Howard, commander of 
the Corps ; his staff stood up around him, and were soon followed by 
all in the house who loved the Saviour. 

From that hour, the solemnity of our meetings deepened, and the 
work grew until hundreds were converted. At the service that night 
an invitation was given to all who were ready to become Christians 
there and then, to raise the hand. The hand of a 
fine-faced Wisconsin soldier near the pulpit went up T ,f ve> 
so promptly, before the invitation was fairly given 
and so vigorously, as to attract attention. This was his last meet 
ing at Cleveland. He was called off on duty, and could not again 
attend before the grand move began. 

In the Autumn, four months after the Cleveland meetings, when 



280 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

Atlanta was ours, and fairly won," a ward-master came hastily into 
our quarters at Nashville, asking for a minister to come at once to 
Hospital No. 12. I followed him Lack. He showed me a cot, on 
which one of his men lay dying. It was the Cleveland, Wisconsin 
boy. lie wanted some Christian friend to come and take his last 
words of holy trust, for his parents in Milwaukee : 

" It ll be such a comfort to them, you know, sir." 

It was hard to look at that face and head, and feel that the boy 
must die; eighteen years of age, an only child, as fine an eye and 
form as you would find in a brigade of men. I turned involuntarily 
to the nurse, to ask if there was no hope : 

" None at all, sir ; the Doctors have all given him up." 

Then, I turn again to the dying man and lose all my regrets. His 
large hazel eye swims in tears, as he smiles and replies to my 
question 

" Yes, I am ready ; my papers are made out, and I shall be dis 
charged to-night." 

Then he told me of his conversion ; how he went out of that Cleve 
land meeting dedicated to God, and how God had kept and blest 
him, all through the marches and fights to Atlanta, till at last, in the 
siege of that city, he was wounded and his leg amputated. Since 
then he had been thinking what he could do as a one-legged Chris 
tian, till, within a few days, he had learned that he could never get 
well, and had come to be perfectly willing to die in that hospital 
ward. Reference to his home in Wisconsin, to his father s plans for 
him, and to how his mother had been counting the days till his term 
should expire, made the tears come afresh ; but he dashed them away 
and said 

" It s all right, all right ; ever since that meeting, it s all right." 

When I was about to pray, he said 

" Don t forget to thank God for Cleveland." 

He did not die that night; but when two days after I found his cot 
empty, I inquired of the nurse how he died : 

" Oh, very happy, sir ; he prayed and sang, and said the Bible all 
to himself. His last words we didn t understand ; maybe he was 
getting flighty in his mind." 

" What were they ?" 

" Cleveland Jesus ; Cleveland Jesus." 



CLEVELAND. 281 

Mr. Reynolds tells of a conversation with a Brigade 
Burgeon during the same revival : 

" Surgeons, anyhow, ought to be Christians," said he to me ; "I 
never felt the necessity of being one so much as at the battle of 
Chickamauga. A number of men were brought into a tent where 
we were amputating limbs and probing wounds. Ex- 
amining the hurts of one poor fellow, I was obliged pr ayer . 
to tell him he could live but a few minutes. He 
turned and looked at me : 

" Surgeon, are you a Christian ? 

" I had to confess I was not. 

" Is there no Christian here ? no one responded. 

" I want some Christian to pray with me before I die. 

" Are you a Christian ? I inquired. 

" Oh, yes, sir, I am a Christian ; but I would so like to have some 
one pray with me, before I go away to be with Jesus. O Surgeon, 
won t you pray ? 

" The pleading of the dying man was more than I could resist. I 
knelt down beside him and offered up a heartfelt prayer to God. I 
don t know much about such things," added the Surgeon, musingly, 
"but that prayer has had a most marked influence on my life ever 
since. The soldier died within a few minutes after its close." 

Just on the eve of the advance, this incident, told by 
the General Field Agent, occurred at Binggold : 

In the midst of one of our soldiers prayer meetings, the Adjutant 
of a Kentucky regiment came in and told the leader that he was 
ordered to pick eleven men and a Sergeant from the regiment, to go 
on special and perilous duty in Nickajack Gap. 

" They must be the best men in the regiment," said 

J in the Prayer 

the Adjutant, looking over the congregation. Meeting. 

His eye finally rested upon the front seat. There 
were the men he was looking for. All of them Christians, and close 
to the " front" in the prayer meeting, they were the soldiers for 
special and perilous service. 



282 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

Gen. Sherman, on May 6th, left his Winter encamp 
ments about Chattanooga, at the head of an army of 
100,000 men. Dalton, the first position of Johnston, 
the Confederate commander, was turned by a flank 
movement, and the enemy forced to fall back rapidly to 
Resaca, After some severe fighting this place was also 
evacuated on May 16th. Johnston s retreat, with a tem 
porary halt at Cassville, was kept up until he reached the 
shelter of the Allatoona Mountain. Continual skirm 
ishing consumed the time until June 1st, when Sherman 
made another flank movement to the left, compelling 
the enemy once more to leave their strong position, only 
to take up a new and formidable line along Kenesaw, 
Pine and Lost Mountains. After incessant fighting the 
two latter were abandoned ; but a direct and fierce 
assault upon Kenesaw on June 27th, failed. But the 
inevitable flank movement compelled its evacuation on 
July 2d. About a week later, Johnston, his army safely 
within the strong entrenchments of Atlanta, was super 
seded by Gen. J. B. Hood. This officer s first move 
ments were fierce attacks, on July 20th and 22d, upon 
the left of our too confidently advancing forces. These 
attacks, though repulsed, showed that Atlanta was not 
to be easily won. A week later, Hood struck out upon 
our right, and was again signally repelled. Unable to 
keep quiet, he sent nearly all his cavalry under Wheeler 
into Sherman s rear, which only gave the latter oppor 
tunity to push forward Kilpatrick to destroy temporarily 
the enemy s communications, and then, on August 25th 
and the succeeding days, to raise the siege and throw his 
entire army, except the Twentieth Corps, into the rear 
of Atlanta. Hood, completely outgeneraled, abandoned 



RESACA. 283 

his stronghold about the 1st of September. Here our 
army rested after their nobly-earned victory. 

Rev. Dr. J. P. Thompson, 1 writing to the Boston Con- 
grt Rationalist, tells the story of work before Resaca : 

About three A. M. of Sabbath the 15th, we came upon the camp- 
fires of our forces, gloomily lighting the forests. An hour s nap upon 
the ground, and I was awakened by the sound of cannon. Before 
the tent a soldier, just brought in, lay stretched in 
death. Around were tents filled with wounded and 
dying men. Already the hospital tents of the several army corps 
were arranged at intervals over a circuit of six miles. Mounting our 
wagons we drove from corps to corps, depositing at each hospital 
timely stores, ministering with our hands to the comfort of the 
wounded, and speaking words of Christian consolation. What scenes 
of horror and anguish did that day reveal ! Men lying in scores, upon 
their hurried beds of straw, with bleeding or ghastly wounds, await 
ing the Surgeon s care ; others brought in at intervals upon stretchers 
from the field ; here a group of six corpses ready for burial, there a 
heap of limbs and members marking the operating tent, where the 
knife of the Surgeon was always busy. 

Strange sights and scenes and labors for the Sabbath ; yet somehow 
the Master seemed nearer than ever before; the Conqueror of death; 
the sympathizing Saviour ; the all-present, the all-sufficing Friend. 
And to do some little kindness in His name, to give the cup of cold 
water, the timely nutriment, the fragrant orange; to adjust a band 
age, to soothe a weary head, to write a message for the loved ones at 
the soldier s home, to speak some brief word of hope and cheer was 
not this doing His work ? 

" How kind you Northern people are !" said a tall, stalwart Ten- 
nesseean, as I stooped to comfort him; "I used to have a prejudice 
against you ; but since I have been in the army, and have seen what 

you do for the soldiers, I think you are a wonderful 

"Hard Wading 

P e P le - through Mother s 

He had been shot through the cheek, and the Prayers" 



1 Pastor of Broadway Tabernacle Congregational Church, New York City. 



284 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

blood oozed from his mouth and nostrils at every effort to 
speak. 

" You Tennesseeans," said I, "deserve all we can do for you." 

" As for that, I made up my mind that people who wanted pro 
tection must first protect themselves." 

I spoke to him of Christ. 

" Ah," said he, " I have been a wicked man, a very wicked man ; 
but it has been hard for me to wade through my mother s prayers." 
And when I showed him the freeness of salvation, he pressed my 
hand, and thanked me again and again. 

A young Kentuckian beckoned me to his side, and welcoming me 
with a sweet smile, said 

" I professed Christ before I entered the army, and I have tried to 

live near Him ; I feel Him near me now." 

A Good Cause \ -, n n ,, 

Are you much wounded ? 
to be Wounded ^ . J 

i nm Seriously, in the thigh. I hope not mortally, 

but it is a good cause to be wounded in." 

A young man whose arm had been amputated at the shoulder, 
asked Mr. Holmes 1 to write to his friends " to keep up their spirits ;" 

he, brave fellow, had no want or care for himself. 
Sdf-forcjetful- 
nesSt L went among a company of wounded men, all 

lying on the floor, in pain, and told them the news 
of Grant s first successes in Virginia. " Good," said they, with one 
voice ; " that pays for all we ve suffered." 

Brother Holmes and I ventured down to the very front, where the 
strife was raging. We sat down near the line of battle, with a group 
of men who were presently to go in for their turn at the fight, and 
had some earnest, manly, faithful talk about the one tiling needful: 

" l* () y s > y u believe in Sherman, down here, don t you ?" 

" That s so ; that s what s the matter." 

" You believe in Grant, too, don t you ?" 

"Yes, indeed; anything for Grant." 
Faith in 
Christ. " e ^> that i s f a ith ; and we want you to feel just 

so towards the Lord Jesus Christ, and put your 
whole soul into His hands, and go into this battle loving and trust 
ing Him." 



1 Eev. Jno. M. Holmes, Pastor of Congregational Church, Jersey City, N. J. 



RESACA. 285 

" Well, now s a time for the soldier to feel pretty solemn," said 
one ; and so we talked on to men who in the next hour might look 
death in the face. 

Returning, we saw a newly-opened grave. It was for a Michigan 
boy of eighteen ; he had been shot down at the side of his father, 
who was a private in the same company. The father sat beside the 

grave, carving his boy s name upon a rude head- 

-. Tj , . P , , T , , , . , , Buried in his 

board. It was his first-born. I took him by the -n, 7 , 

J Blanket. 

hand, and gave him all my heart, then offered a 
prayer, which Brother Holmes followed with appropriate words. 
There was no coffin, but a few pieces of board were laid in the bot 
tom of the grave, between the body and the bare ground. 

" Wrap him in this blanket," said the father ; " it is one his sister 
sent him. Ah, me, how will they bear it at home! What will his 
poor mother do ! She must have a lock of his hair." 

I stooped to cut the lock with my penknife, when a soldier came 
forward with a pair of scissors from his little " housewife." My 
heart blessed the Sabbath-school child who had made that timely 
gift. And so, having rendered the last offices of faith and affection, 
we laid the brave boy in his grave, while the cannon were still roar 
ing the doom of others, young and brave, whom we had just left on 
the field. 

An incident of the fighting before Resaca, told by 
Mr. Arthur Lawrence, seems to us worthy to take a 
place high in history : 

Two of us picked up a man in our arms to carry him off the field. 
A shell had struck him in the mouth, tearing an awful wound, which 
was bleeding profusely. I offered the poor fellow a drink from my 

tin-cup, a bright, new one, which I had brought 

An American 
from Chattanooga. One would not have guessed, in 

looking at him, that he could have at the time any 
thoughts beyond his pain and what would help it. The first sensa 
tion after such a wound is well known to be one of intense thirst ; 
yet the soldier refused the proffered draught. I asked him why : 

" My mouth s all bloody, sir; and it might make the tin-cup bad 
for the others." 



286 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

He was " only a private," rough and dusty with the battle ; but 
the answer was one which the Chevalier Bayard, the knight sans 
peur et sans reproche, or Sir Philip Sydney at Zutphen, had not 
equalled, when they gave utterance to the words which have made 
their names immortal. 

The army halted one Sabbath day in Kingston, after 
Resaca had been gained. The General Field Agent 
gives the following narrative of it : l 

When we found that the army was to be at rest over the Sabbath, 

appointments were made in the different brigades for two or three 

services to each preaching Delegate. I had an appointment in the 

Baptist church in the morning, and at General How- 

An Involun- arc [ s headquarters, in the woods, in the afternoon. 
tan/ Interview mi i 111 i 

with Gen Sher- church had not been cleaned since its occupa- 

man. tion as a Rebel hospital. The sexton, who agreed to 

put the house in order on Saturday afternoon, failed 
me, and only an hour before the time for service I discovered that 
another man, engaged and paid for doing the same work on Sabbath 
morning, had served me in the same way. It was too late now to look 
for help. I took off my ministerial coat, and for one hour, with the 
mercury at ninety degrees, worked with might and main. When I 
had swept out the straw, cleared the rubbish from the pulpit, thrown 
the bunks out the window, pitched the old seats down from the 
loft, arranged them in order on the floor, and dusted the whole house 
over twice, it was time for service. I sprang up into the belfry (the 
rope had been cut away), and, with some pretty vigorous strokes by 
the bell tongue, told the people around that the hour for worship had 
arrived. Dropping down again through the scuttle upon the vesti 
bule floor, a treacherous nail carried away an important part of one 
leg of my pantaloons. It was my only suit at the front, and while 
I was pondering how I should present myself before the congrega 
tion, a Corporal and two bayonets from General Sherman s headquar 
ters, not twenty yards away, came to help me in the decision : 

" Did you ring the bell ?" 

" I did." 



1 Annals U. S. Christian Commission, pp. 498-501. 



\ 



KINGSTON. 287 

" I am ordered to arrest you." 

" For what ?" 

" To bring you to General Sherman s headquarters." 

" But, Corporal, I can t see the General in this plight. I am an 
Agent of the Christian Commission, and am to preach here this 
morning, and was ringing the bell for service. If you will tell the 
General how it is, it will be all right." 

" That s not the order, sir." 

" Well, Corporal, send a guard with me to my quarters, till I can 
wash up and pin together this rent." 

" That s not the order, sir ; fall in." 

Without hat or coat, and with gaping wardrobe, preceded by the 
Corporal and followed by the bayonets, I called at headquarters. 
General Corse, Chief of staff, standing by the side of General Sher 
man, received me. Without waiting for charges or questions, I said 

" General, I belong to the Christian Commission. We are to have 
service in the church across the way, and I was ringing the bell." 

" Is this Sunday ? Some mischievous soldiers alarmed the people 
by ringing the bell, and an order was issued against it ; but we were 
not aware this was Sunday. There is no harm done. At what hour 
is the service?" and, bowing me out, he discharged my guard. 

As I entered, General Sherman was drumming with thumb and 
finger on the window-sill ; when the Corporal announced his prisoner, 
he fixed his cold gray eye on me for a moment, motioned to his Chief 
to attend to the case, and, without moving a muscle of his face, re 
sumed his drumming and his Sabbath problem, how to flank John 
ston out of the Allatoona Mountains. 

This extra duty as sexton, and obedience to the Corporal s " order," 
made it necessary to procure a pulpit substitute for the morning. 
The Delegate who preached reported an interested congregation, and 
among them representatives from headquarters. 

In the afternoon I rode over to the Fourth Corps, four miles away. 
General Howard had notified the regiments around of the service. 
Two of his Division commanders were present, with Brigadier-Gen 
eral Harker, whose promotion was so recent that the 

star had not yet supplanted the eagle on his shoulder. 

J 5 Headquarters in 

This was the last Sabbath service which this manly, the 

modest, gallant officer attended. Five weeks later, 



288 CHKISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

in the charge at Kenesaw Mountain, he was shot dead. That Sab 
bath in the woods I shall never forget ; the earnest attention of all 
to the theme, " The safety of those who do their duty, trusting in 
God," the hearty responses of the Christian men, and the full chorus 
in the closing hymn, 

" When I can read my title clear." 

The most effective sermon of the day, however, was by the Gen 
eral commanding the Corps, given upon the piazza of his headquar 
ters, surrounded by his staff, his Division commanders and other gen 
eral officers. Nothing could be more natural than 
A Ma j. General , p , ,. ,. . 

, . , . A the turn of the conversation upon religious topics. 
Preaching Christ. 

The General spoke of the Saviour, his love for Him 
and his peace in His service, as freely and simply as he could have 
spoken in his own family circle. He related instances of Christian 
trust, devotion and triumph. Speaking of the high calling of Chap 
lains, and the importance that they should always be with their 
regiments at the front, he told us of his visit to Newton s Division 
Hospital the night after the battle of Resaca, where he found a fair- 
faced boy who could not live till morning. He knelt down on his 
blanket and asked if there was anything he wanted done for him : 
"Yes; I want somebody to tell me how to find the Saviour." 
" I never felt my ignorance so much before," said the General. 
" Here was a mind ready now to hear and act on the truth. What 
if I should give him wrong directions? How I wished I had a min 
ister s training." 

And then he told us what directions he gave, and of the prayer, 
and of the boy s smile and peace, appealing now to me and then to 
his generals, if it was not right and beautiful ; and so, under the 
pressure unconsciously applied by their superior officer, with lips all 
unused to such confession, his Division commanders acknowledged 
the power and grace of God. 

Rev. Mr. Smith adds a story of hospital work in 
Kingston : 

The wounded and sick were crowding the town full. The men 
came in in the most deplorable condition. Shelter-tents were hastily 



KINGSTON. 289 

erected for their accommodation. Late one afternoon I was summoned 

to see an officer who was supposed to be mortally 

wounded. It was Capt. Burke, of the 37th Indiana 



Regt. It did not take long to discover that he was 
a devout Christian. He asked me to telegraph to his wife of his 
condition, praying me however to break the news to her gently, 
not to say that his wound was mortal. He spoke to me freely of his 
past life, and of the slight hope there was that he would survive his 
wound. I asked 

" Captain, how does it seem to you to be thus stricken down, with 
all your prospects and hopes cut short here in Georgia? Isn t it hard 
for you to give up life and leave your family at your age ?" 

"It has come suddenly upon me," was his answer; "but I feel 
prepared for it. I have lived close to my Saviour in the army, and 
tried to keep my accounts square every night." 

He did not die so soon as we at first expected, but lived to get as far 
towards home as Nashville, whither his wife came to nurse him. The 
few months during which he lingered confirmed my first impressions 
at Kingston. He had indeed lived close to Christ and kept his 
accounts square. As he grew weak his mind sometimes wavered; 
he would call for his comrades, and seemed determined to go to 
them ; but his wife could always calm him by saying 

" My dear, Jesus is here ; that is all you want." 

His sweet, assured reply was always 

" You are right, wife; that is all I want, all I want." 

When the army moved from Kingston, and a general 
hospital had been established further on, the men who 
were too badly wounded to be taken to the rear remained 
at Kingston, many of them to die there. Rev. Mr. 
Smith, returning to Chattanooga a little later, gives an 
account of a day s work among them : l 

Coming back from the front, I learned that the Delegates had left 
Kingston, and that there was no Chaplain in either of the two hospitals. 



1 Annals, U, S. Christian Commission, pp. 501-503. 
19 



290 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

It was two weeks after the hard fight on the right by the Fourth 
and Twentieth Corps, and I knew it must be the 
Words 1 ^ me ^ or manv f the wounded to die ; and they must 

not die alone. I determined to forego business at 
Chattanooga and stop over. There were many low cases. Four or 
five, I was sure, would not live twenty-four hours. One was too 
far gone to converse. Nothing could be done but to write to his 
little daughter, the only surviving member of his family, as one of 
his comrades said. Another could speak only by nods and the 
pressure of the hand. By this means of communication I learned 
that he was peacefully waiting to die. As I prayed at his cot his 
"amen" was given by the pressure on my hand, and when the peti 
tion rose for wife and children the responses came thick and fervent. 
He slept in the night, and never woke. Another was seeking the 
Saviour, and ventured to trust before he died. 

Another, an Indiana soldier, sent for me in the night. He was 
dying, a fair-faced boy of eighteen years. His leg had been cut 
off by a shell, #nd amputation had prostrated him beyond recovery. 

The Three Pho H ^^ ^ Sabbath " scno()1 bov - He wanted me to 
tographs. take his last words home to his mother and sister : 

" Poor mother, how she will take on ! Tell her 
not to cry for me. I love Jesus. I put all my trust in Him. When 
you prayed with me this afternoon I felt my soul going right out to 
Him. Tell my sister not to fret after me. I have done the best 
I could for my country, and now I want them to meet me in heaven. 
Tell my sister to be sure and hold out faithful." 

He gave me his memorandum and pocket-book and a number of 
keepsakes ; asked me to pull the two rings from his hand and send 
to his sister, and tell her that they were taken off after his hand was 
getting cold. After prayer we sang- 

" There is a fountain filled with blood." 

He joined in, breaking the tune now and then with 

"Yes, yes; if he could trust Him, I can." " Yes, when I die." 

"That will be sweeter." "Power to save; power to save; I used 

to sing that hymn at home, but it was never so good as this ; 

power to save." 

I gave him my hand for good-bye. He drew me down for a kiss, 




DYING IN GEORGIA. 



Page 291 



KINGSTON. 291 

and Mrs. George 1 must have one also, and the nurse; and then we 
left him. Before I had passed through the ward the nurse called me 
back : " He wants to speak to you." 

When I reached the cot he asked to see the daguerreotype pictures 
in his memorandum-book. I took out three and held them up one 
by one. Mother came first. 

" Dear mother," he said, as he took it in his trembling fingers ; 
" good-bye ; I wish I could see you, but I am going to die in Georgia." 
In tears and sobbing he pressed the ambrotype to his lips; "Good 
bye ; good-bye." He takes the next : 

" Sister, dear sister ; don t fret for me ; I ll see you again ; only 
be faithful; good-bye, dear sister, good-bye;" and he prints on the 
glass his dying kiss. 

The next one he gazes upon with unutterable longing. His lips 
quiver, and his whole frame shakes. He calls no name. He kisses 
it over and over, and holds it under his hand on his breast. I put 
my mouth close to his ear and whispered, " This is hard." 

" Yes, it is hard ; I would like to go home ; but I am content." 

"You are dying now, before you are twenty years old. Are you 
not sorry you enlisted?" 

He looked at me steadily. His sobbing ceased, and with a firm, 
deliberate tone he said 

" Not a bit ; I was glad when I enlisted, and I am glad now. I 
am willing to die for my country." 

That midnight scene cannot be described. The patients in the 
ward, who could walk, gathering round ; others in their beds, rising 
up on elbow ; the nurses standing about, one of them holding, at 
the head of the cot, the single candle of the ward ; the prayer, the 
hymn, the last message, the good-bye, the family leave-takings, and 
the consecration unto death on the altar of country ; they fill a 
blessed page in my memory, but I cannot transfer it to you. 

Rev. H. McLeod 2 recalls an incident of his work after 
Johnston was driven from the Allatoona Mountains : 



1 This lady volunteered as nurse to the Indiana soldiers during the war. When 
Gen. Sherman reached the coast she met " her boys" again at Wilmington, N. C., 
and there, prostrated with toil and fever, died in one of their hospitals. 

2 Pastor of Congregational Church, Brentwood, N. H. 



292 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

Captain B., of an Ohio regiment, was brought in fatally wounded; 
yet he did not so think. He was a rare man, and inspired peculiar 
respect in all who came into his presence. Every one who ap 
proached his part of the ward stepped lightly and 
T spoke low. With his consent I read the twenty-third 

Psalm and offered a brief prayer. At parting he 
took my hand and pressed it very warmly ; the movement told me 
that he was either already a Christian, or at least wished to lean upon 
Christ. A Surgeon told me that he was not a Christian, he thought, 
though strictly correct in all his outward life. 

I saw him several times until I had a reasonable assurance that 
the grace of God had brought him to know the Saviour. He still 
expected to recover. One evening the Doctor called me hurriedly, 
saying the Captain wanted at once to see me. I was soon at his 
side ; the Surgeon had told him that he would scarcely live until 
morning; he wanted me to write three letters for him. His had 
been a severe struggle, that of giving up life with all its prospects, 
but he could already say, " Thy will be done." The first letter was 
to an elder brother ; its burden was that, though both had neglected 
the Christian teachings of their revered grandfather and precious 
mother, still there was forgiveness with Christ ; he hoped that he 
himself had obtained that forgiveness, and expected soon to meet his 
loved teachers in heaven. Then came a letter of counsel to a 
younger brother. I doubt not the "Dear Charlie" will prize it, 
coming as it did from a dying brother s heart, as more precious than 
gold. 

Then, with some hesitation, as if too sacred to speak, he gave me 
the name of her whom he loved above all on earth. He was too 
weak to dictate now ; the tender duty had been put off too long ; I 
must do it for him, as best I could : 

"Tell her how much I miss her sweet voice and presence; give 
my love to her excellent father and mother, and ask her to say that 
it seems presumption in me to try to comfort such mature and earnest 
Christians." 

I wrote the letter and read it to him ; he was satisfied, adding a 
wish that he had known me sooner. I read to him the description 
of heaven in the 7th chapter of the Revelation. 

"Yes, that is beautiful," said he, " Washed and made white in 



KINGSTON. 293 

the blood of the Lamb. If it was God s will," he solemnly added, 
" I would like to live longer, but His will be done." 

Rev. G. C. Noyes l adds another incident : 

Passing from one cot to another, I came to a man whose hair and 
beard were gray. I spoke to him, cheerfully : 

" Your gray hairs show that you ought to be a soldier of Jesus, 
but not a soldier of the Government." 

He caught first at the imputation in the last part >t Complete in 

Christ Jesus. 
of my remark : 

" I don t think, sir, any man in my regiment has done the Govern 
ment more faithful service than I. I never lost a day by sickness." 

"How old are you?" 

" Fifty-two ; and my term of three years expires Sept. 12th." 

" What is the matter with you now?" 

Turning down the counterpane, I saw that his right arm was am 
putated close to the shoulder, and his right leg close to the knee. He 
had been shot in the leg before Atlanta on August 7th, and as he 
was being borne from the field, another ball struck him in the arm. 

" Giving an arm and a leg for the country," said he, " is no great 
gift for one to whom Jesus has given all things. It is a free offering. 
He will accept the sacrifice ; and all the more bless the cause for 
which it was offered up." 

He had walked with the Saviour for many years; and I have never 
seen such exalted patriotism in combination with such victorious 
faith in Jesus. Physically a mutilated man, he was yet " complete in 
Christ Jesus." He was " mustered out" by the death angel on Sept. 
7th, five days before his term of service would have expired ; and, I 
doubt not, with all wounds and hurts healed, is now resting at home. 

Two incidents from the reminiscences of the General 
Field Agent may close this chapter and the record of 
the Atlanta campaign : 

A soldier came into our rooms in Nashville to get an envelope. 



Pastor of (N. S.) Presbyterian Church, Laporte, Ind. 



294 



CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 



He said he had a letter to send home for one of his comrades. He 
drew from his blouse a small package, carefully 
M ^ H* " wrapped, and opening it, held up the scrap of a leaf 
from a memorandum-book. It had bloody finger 
prints on it, and a few words hastily written with a pencil. The writer 




THE LAST LETTER. 



said he was the soldier s "partner." In the charge on Kenesaw 
Mountain he found him staggering back from the line, the blood 
streaming from his mouth, and covering his hands and clothes. A 
minie ball had cut off his tongue at the root. He tried to speak, but 
could not. Finally, by motions, he made his partner understand his 



ATLANTA. 295 

want, paper and pencil. A scrap was torn from the diary ; and on 
it the boy, held up by his comrade, with fingers dripping in blood, 
and trembling in death, wrote 

" Father, meet me in heaven." 

He tried to write his name, but it was too late ; life had fled ; 
where the name should have been was a faint, irregular, vanishing 
line. Thus do the thoughts of our soldiers, waking, dreaming, dying, 
turn ever homeward. 

After we had occupied Atlanta, a Delegate was sent for by a nurse 
to see a man who was about to die in one of the warehouse hospitals. 
He found him a young man of Christian education, but struggling 
with painful doubts as to the truth of the Bible and 
the way of salvation through Christ. He wanted to and Mother too" 
believe, but could not. The Delegate had frequent 
interviews with him, but seemed to make no progress in the attempt 
to lead him to the Saviour. One night the soldier called the nurse 
and asked him to set a candle at the foot of the bed, so that the light 
might strike upon a "Silent Comforter" hanging upon the wall. 
The leaf that had been turned over for that day bore the verse : 
"Whoso cometh unto Me, I will in no wise cast out." In the morn 
ing early the soldier again sent for the Delegate and asked him to 
feel under his pillow for a letter from his mother. It was an affec 
tionate entreaty to her son to accept Christ. As the Delegate read, 
he came to the words, " Whoso cometh unto Me, I will in no wise 
cast out." 

" There," said the sick man, " that s what I want. I thought 
mother said that. Read it again." It was read : 

" Mother says that, does she ? " 

" Yes." 

"And it s in the Bible too?" 

" Yes." 

" Then it must be true. Jesus will receive me. I will come to 
Him. Here, Lord, I give myself up." 

So far as could be determined from the few days of remaining 
earthly experience, it was a genuine surrender of the will to its Lord. 



CHAPTER XI. 

THE EASTERN ARMIES. 

FROM THE INVESTMENT OF PETERSBURG, UNTIL THE CLOSE OF THE WAR. 
June 1864 April 1865. 

THE movements to get into Petersburg before the 
main body of Lee s army could arrive to defend it, were 
unsuccessful. Two assaults, on June 16th and 18th, 
were repulsed with heavy loss ; and the most that could 
be done was to extend the flanks of the army, on the 
north, along the James, towards Richmond, and on the 
south, towards the Weldon railroad. Towards the close 
of July advantage was taken of Lee s withdrawal of five 
divisions of his army to the north of the James to meet 
demonstrations against Fort Darling, to explode a mine 
in front of Burnside s Corps. A Rebel fort was blown 
up, but the succeeding assault was a failure. A fort 
night later both flanks were again extended. This time 
Warren took and held the. Weldon road. In the close 
of September and beginning of October, Warren s lines 
were again extended at the south, and Fort Harrison, 
an important Confederate defence to the north of the 
James, was captured by Gen. Butler. This sanguinary 
campaign closed with the movement of October 27th, in 
which all the forces that could be spared from the 
trenches were thrown against the enemy s works cover- 



296 



BEFOKE EICHMOND FELL. 297 

ing Hatcher s Run and the Boydton plank-road. Our 
forces had the advantage in the fighting, but prudence 
decided against holding the long, thin line, and by No 
vember 1st the army was again about in the position 
held before the movement. 

There was comparative quiet after this, except a per 
manent extension of the flank to Hatcher s Bun in Feb 
ruary, 1865, until Lee s attempt in March to cut our 
army in twain by a well-planned but poorly executed 
assault on Fort Steedman. Immediately after this be 
gan the final movements of Gen. Grant, which resulted, 
on Sunday, April 2d, in the evacuation of Petersburg 
and Richmond. One week later the Confederate "Army 
of Northern Virginia" surrendered. 

The incidents of the period covered by these events 
are of such a character that we shall group them with 
less regard to the order of their occurrence than we 
have done in the other chapters. From the account of 
Rev. E. F. Williams, we take the history of the begin 
ning of the Commission work in its new circumstances : 

A station had been established very early in May at Bermuda 
Hundred, by Mr. J. R. Miller, with a large corps of Delegates. This 
was for work in Gen. Butler s army. There were two hospitals here, 
and a number of batteries without Chaplains. At Point of Rocks, 
four miles up the Appomattox, a hospital was established which re 
mained throughout the war. From Bermuda Hundred, the wounded 
of Sheridan s cavalry were visited, and large quantities of stores 
distributed to them. When the Eighteenth Corps went to White 
House Landing, Mr. Miller and his corps of Delegates accompanied 
them, establishing there the station which did so much to relieve the 
wounded. 

Delegates and stores reached City Point, June 15th. A station 
was at once established which existed for more than a year. Here 



298 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

Delegates reported as they entered the army, and stores were re 
ceived. Supply-wagons for the front were almost always waiting in 
front of the warehouse ; in short, this was the Commission s busi 
ness centre, and so continued until the fall of Richmond. It was a 
religious centre as well. Chaplains, officers, Surgeons, Stewards, 
gun-boat Commandants, all gathered here to ask and to receive. 

We shall begin with incidents connected with physi 
cal relief. Mr. Ludlow Thomas, of New York City, 
writing in July from the General Hospital at City Point, 

says : 

I found the boys very anxious to write home. Some had paid as 
high as forty cents for a sheet of paper and envelope. Pens, ink and 
pencils were scarce, so I cut pencils into halves, and distributed these, 
telling the boys to write their letters in pencil, and I 
ters for the Men wou ^ i 11 ^ the directions for them. The first day I 
directed and mailed over eighty letters. For many 
of the poor fellows, too badly wounded to hold a pencil, I wrote let 
ters, sitting alongside of them on the ground. Many of the epistles 
proved to be the last. At first they wanted me to compose the letters 
for them ; but I told them it would be much better to dictate, that 
such a letter would please their families far more than a stranger s. 
They knew that everything said would be sacred with me, and most 
touching were some of those messages home. Not a few of the letter 
sheets were wet with the tears of the amanuensis. 

Where it was possible I always had them sign their own names, 
and often held up the poor fellows to do it. Once I gave a pencil to 
a man to sign his name, and seeing that he was rather long about it, 
I turned to talk to another soldier, so as not to embarrass him. 
When I came back I saw that the grateful boy s delay was caused 
by his adding, in a trembling hand 

" This letter was written for me by an angel of the Christian Com 
mission." 

Mr. Walter S. Carter 1 gives an account of relief work 



Of Milwaukee, Wis. 



AFTER FORT HARRISON. 299 

on the extreme right, just after the taking of Fort Har 
rison : 



In company with Rev. Dr. Philip Schaff, ^ev. L. E. Charpiot 2 and 
several others, I left Point of Rocks Hospital on the afternoon of 
September 30th, for the front of the Army of the James. A large 
four-horse Commission wagon, loaded down with supplies, accompa 
nied us. 

Emerging from the woods into an open field near the James, the 
rapid discharge of artillery, intermingled with the continuous crash 
of musketry, apprised us of a renewal of the contest of the day be 
fore. We hurried on, arriving at Aiken s Landing about five, cross 
ing the river on the muffled pontoon thrown over by the Eighteenth 
Corps on Wednesday evening. Pushing on up the Varina road, we 
soon came across the skirmish line held by the enemy when our 
forces advanced ; and a little further on, another and stronger line, 
not yet completed. Entering a thick pine wood, night and rain 
overtook us ; ahead of us was a long train of army wagons ; behind 
us the ambulance train ; past us every moment dashed horsemen, 
some towards the front, others towards the rear ; in the woods on 
either hand our men were kindling fires to dry their clothes and make 
their coffee. Still along we went, until turning to the right we en 
tered the ample grounds of the Cox mansion, where 
we found the flying hospital already established. ^ 
The yard was full of tents filled with wounded men, 
officers of all grades, and privates, Union and Rebel, white and 
black soldiers. Hundreds had already arrived and more were con 
stantly coming. From every quarter moans of agony and cries for 
help could be heard, but there were none to answer them. Every 
soldier who had gone through the two days terrible conflict un 
harmed, was standing, that dark, rainy Autumn night, without fooji 
or drink, with his face to the foe, in the trenches a mile in advance 
of us. The Surgeons had prepared their operating-tables, and were 
already at their awful work. 



1 Of the German Reformed Church ; Secretary of the N. Y. Sabbath Com- 
mittee. 

2 Pastor of Congregational Church, Stratford, Conn. 



300 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

Getting permission of Dr. Richardson, Surgeon in charge, we im 
mediately pitched our tent for work. An adjoining house was 
sought, a fire built, a large kettle of water put over, and coffee made 
by the gallon. Condensed milk and sugar were added. With pails 
filled, and provided with tin cups and lanterns, our seven Delegates 
went forth on their errand into every tent, until there was not a 
wounded man who was not abundantly supplied. Boxes were then 
filled with fresh, soft crackers, and again the circuit of the tents was 
made, and the men helped to all they would have. Next more coffee 
was carried round, and after that, in cases where it was thought 
necessary, Jamaica ginger or brandy was given to the men. Then 
another visit was made with a supply of shirts and drawers for such 
as needed them. 

" We never expected such treatment as this," said a wounded 
Rebel to a Delegate. 

" Give me your name, so that when the war is over I can come 
to see you, and thank you better than I can now," said another. 

Engaged in such a work, the hours went by unnoticed, seven, 
eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve and one were gone before we even 
tried to sleep. Going into the house, we wrapped our blankets about 

us, and were scarcely on the floor, when word came 
Broken Rest. 

that twenty more ambulances loaded with wounded 

had arrived. We rose at once, and again made all the former rounds 
of distribution to the sufferers. Making a second attempt to get a 
little rest, we were hardly asleep when the Surgeon came to inform 
us that the enemy would probably renew the attack at daylight, and 
that we were within range of their shells. Immediately we struck 
our tent, loaded up our supplies again, and by the time the army 
train was ready to move, our wagon was ready for its place in the 
line. 

The ways in which the men might be helped were 
almost numberless. Eev. J. Gordon Carnachan, 1 writing 
in October, tells of one : 

Bill D was a private in the 91st P. V., a young lad about 



1 Pastor of (O. S ) Presbyterian Church, Troy, Bradford co., Penna. 



FIFTH CORPS HOSPITAL. 301 

seventeen, somewhat thoughtless, and, I regret to say, given to card- 
playing, for which I had several times remonstrated with him, once 
even threatening to report him if I caught him at it 
again ; for it was an amusement particularly forbid- A ji un d re dDol- 
den in the wards of the Fifth Corps Hospital. One larsfor Mother. 
day he accosted me 

" Say, Chaplain, could you get this changed for me ?" handing me 
a hundred dollar Treasury note with coupons attached. 

" Oh yes," I answered, taking it ; " but what do you want change 
for, Bill ? " 

" Well, you know a fellow wants something to spend, and that is 
of no use to me as it is." 

" Well, I can get it changed for you," I said ; but his card-playing 
propensities recurred to me, and willing to have a short talk with 
him, I sat down on the bed close by. In a roundabout way I got 
him to talk about his mother, about his younger brother and sisters, 
about the Sabbath-school he had attended, and about home affairs 
generally, till I saw he was in a very softened mood. He said at 
last 

" Well, read that, Chaplain, and tell me if you think there is a 
better mother in the world than mine." And he handed me a letter 
he had but a short time previously received from home. I had Bill 
just where I wanted him, and handing him back the letter, said 

" I tell you what, Bill, the very best thing you can do with this 
note" (I had held it in my hand all the time), " is to send it un 
changed to this good mother of yours." 

He paused a moment, then slapping his thigh, as if it were a most 
wonderful, novel idea, exclaimed 

"By thunder, Chaplain, it s a good thought; send her the note." 

I walked off with Bill s Treasury note in triumph, satisfied that I 
had made a hundred dollars for his widowed mother; and with the 
conviction that Bill, with all his harum-scarum habits, had a streak 
of real goodness in him." 

Rev. J. M. Lowrie, D.D., 1 in a narrative of his march 
in December with the Fifth Corps and the First Divis- 



1 Pastor of First (O. S.) Presbyterian Church, Fort Wayne, Ind. 



302 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

ion of the Second and Gregg s cavalry, along the line 
of the Weldon railroad, gives a picture of the Delegates 
willingness to share the soldier s hardest lot for the sake 
of ministering to his comfort : 

Denied the privilege of taking wagons, Corps Agent Chase asked 

for volunteers to go on foot. Mr. E. W. Metcalf, 1 Mr. Lewis Morris, 2 

Rev. S. T. Livermore, 3 Rev. I. S. Schilling 4 and myself volunteered. 

We had to carry our own rations and blankets, and 

march with the men. We were up at three o clock 
in the Ranks. 

on the morning of December 7th, and after stowing 
away our five days supply of " hard-tack," coffee and bread, were 
ready to start at five for the headquarters of the 3d division of the 
ambulance train, with which we were to go forward. The march 
began along the Jerusalem plank-road, in the midst of a drizzling, 
cold rain, only a foretaste however of what was to come. Fifteen 
miles from camp we reached the Nottaway, where we were detained 
until dark laying a pontoon bridge. We crossed at last with the first 
division, and went on five miles further, almost to Sussex C. H., where 
we camped for the night. We had no tents ; so all we could do was to 
spread some flat fence-rails in front of our fire, put our blankets on 
top and try to sleep. But to us uninitiated, the soft side of fence-rails 
was not conducive to rest. At two o clock in the morning a sudden 
dash of rain in our faces caused a hasty resurrection from our couch 
of rails, and before three the bugle note of preparation for the march 
was sounded. Ere it was light we joined the forward-moving columns. 
Passing Sussex C. H., we turned to the right, and struck the Weldon 
road at Jarrett s Station. The work of destruction here began with 
out any serious opposition from the enemy. By the light of the 
burning railroad we spent our second night, encamped on high ground 
and exposed to the cold winds. We shivered through the few hours 
allotted for sleep. 

Before light next morning we were again in motion. The troops 
tore up the track, burned the ties and bent the rails along nearly 



1 Of Bangor, Me. 2 Qf Brooklyn. 

8 Of Lowville, N. Y. * Of Clarksburg, Va. 



ALONG THE WELDON KAILROAD. 303 

twenty miles, to the bridge at Hicksford. Three miles from that 
place at noon, the main army halted, while the cavalry and one 
infantry division finished the work of destruction, repelling repeated 
attacks of the Confederates. By the burning road we camped again 
on the third night. We put pine brush this time under our blankets 
to protect ourselves from the wet ground ; but soon after we lay 
down it began to rain. After a while this was turned to sleeting and 
freezing, so that in the morning we were stiff with ice. We renewed 
our fire, but it was scarcely any protection against the pitiless storm. 

With daylight came the order for our return march. The expedi 
tion had been a complete success, and we could at least thoroughly 
sympathize with the joy and alacrity wherewith the men prepared 
for the homeward tramp to the comparative comfort of their camps. 
All day till ten o clock at night we waded through the mud and wet, 
making a Sabbath day s journey of twenty-five miles. One of our 
party gave out on the morning of the last day ; another could 
scarcely drag himself into camp, where our brethren warmly wel 
comed us, and were untiring in ministering to our wants. 

There were but few men wounded in the expedition, so there was 
little opportunity for our anticipated work. Yet we had number 
less little proofs that our weary mission had not been in vain. Many 
a word of comfort to tired and desponding men it had been our priv 
ilege to drop as we went along at their side. Many we were able 
to aid materially in other ways. But it was the sight of our sharing 
with them the dangers and toils of the way which most affected both 
officers and men, strengthening their confidence in the reality of our 
ministry, and giving us an authority when we spoke to them again. 
We had but done our duty, yet the brave boys thought we had done 
much more. 

It is impossible to measure the value of the little 
words of sympathy which the Delegate could drop as 
he labored. Rev. N. M. Bailey, 1 writing from New 
Market Roads in the Army of the James in January, 

1865, says : 



Pastor of the Meth. Epis. Church, Henniker, N. H. 



304 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

One day a soldier came into our tent and sat down; said he had 
come for a little talk. He was in trouble. He went through all the 
particulars of his case. I said to him at the end 

" My dear fellow, I am very sorry, but we can do 

A Word of ,, . f, ,, 

nothing lor you. 

" I know that ; I know you can t," he rejoined ; 
" but I thought a word or two from a Christian man would help me 
a good deal, even if he told me he couldn t do anything." 

Rev. H. J. Patrick, 1 ministering to the wounded in 
February after the extension of our left wing to Hatch 
er s Run, tells the story of a hospital quilt : 

I came to one bright countenance, that of Jonas Hefele, Co. G., 
94th N. Y. He looked up at me smilingly, from beneath a very 
neat bed quilt. I asked him if he had slept well. 

" Oh, yes," he answered very cheerfully. 

"He GivethHis ,.- . 1^-1^^ .-\ 

My eye just then caught sight of a motto on the 

quilt. I read it and showed it to him : " He giveth 
His beloved sleep. Kennebunk, Me., Soldiers Aid Society." What a 
smile went over his happy face, as he read and re-read it. 

"You must sleep well with that motto near you," said I. 

" Yes," said he, "do you know who wrote it?" 

It was in a lady s hand. I told him I did not, but that I knew 
who wrote the first words ; and then I spoke to him of who " the be 
loved" were, and who it was that gave them sleep. And I could see 
that he was listening earnestly to every word I said. 

How cheerful the brave boys were, all of them. One I saw look 
ing comically at the bullet-hole through his leg. 

" Well," said he, " that s a fancy hole. Now," he continued argu- 

mentatively, " that ll get me a furlough, just what 
Cheerfulness. . ,, 

my wire wants. 



1 Pastor of Congregational Church, W. Newton, Mass. 

2 Mr. C. E. Bolton, a Delegate in August, 1864, writes: " One day while attend 
ing to the wants of wounded Union and Kebel soldiers, huddled together on 
board the boat Ida/ which stopped at City Point on its way to Fortress Monroe, 
I listened to the following conversation between two soldiers, one Union, th? 



HATCHER S RUN. 305 

Another looked up at me, with tears coming out of such glad eyes: 
" God has been very good to me ; I ve been thinking of His pre 
serving care." 

Rev. Thos. H. Pearne 1 writes of the same battles : 

During the night and through the next day we worked, helping 
the men from and into ambulances, giving them coffee, farina, cor 
dials and words of comfort and cheer. The night was bitterly cold. 

Some of the wounded remained in the ambulances 

"God Bliss the 
for ten hours, scantily covered, some 01 them with 



of Fees" 
only a single blanket. Three poor fellows died thus, 

whose wounds were not necessarily fatal. There were about eight 
hundred in all to be attended to. The men were very demonstrative 
in their gratitude. 

An Irishman, whom I had several times assisted, and who was 
shivering in the bitter cold, inquired of me 

"Are ye a Chaplain?" 

"No." 

" A Surgeon ?" 

" No." 

" And what be yees, thin ?" 

" A Delegate of the Christian Commission." 

" I don t know much about thim ; but I say, God bliss all the likes 
of yees." 

Rev. J. H. Moore 2 illustrates further the ministry of 
sympathy, in a letter from City Point, in March : 

I have no doubt many sick and wounded die in the hospitals from 



other a Rebel. Both had undergone amputation, and the nurses were trying to 
place the Union soldier on a stretcher; his leg was in such a condition that they 
were afraid to touch it. The brave fellow laid hold of the stump himself and 
steadied it, then told them to put him on. The Rebel admiring the courage dis 
played, said, Well, Yank, you re full of pluck, anyhow. Yes, Johnny, was 
the Union boy s answer, and I calculate to keep full of pluck as long as my leg 
is four inches longer than yours. " 

1 Member of Portland (Oregon) Quarterly Conference, Meth. Episc. Church. 

2 Minister of Farm Eidge (0. S.) Presbyterian Church, 111. 

20 



306 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

sheer want of sympathy. I called one day, for the first time, on a 
soldier who had been sick for several weeks with chronic diarrhoea. 

He did not know that he was any better ; had not 

MakiiKi him .,, i i i i i i 

written to his mends, indeed was not able to write 

smue. 

himself; did not want any one to write for him ; did 
not care even that his friends should know he was in the hospital. 
He had scarcely any appetite ; did not get anything he cared to eat. 
All this I drew from him by point blank questions, for he was too 
despondent even to converse. I asked him to think of something he 
would like to eat : 

" I don t know of anything," was the lugubrious answer. I tempted 
him with the Commission "bill of fare," dwelling in a luscious, 
cookery-book kind of way, over the several articles. A smile, very 
awkward it was, for the requisite muscles were indignant with disuse, 
came into his face at last : 

" I think I could eat some canned peaches, if I had them." 
How the poor boy relished them, when they were brought ! After 
wards, as often as I entered the tent, he always greeted me with a 
smile, and was very ready to converse. 

The army was pretty generally paid towards the close 
of February. Access to the express offices was almost 
impossible for the immense majority of the men. The 
Commission undertook to carry to the offices what the 
soldiers wished to send home, and return express receipts 
to the men. 1 In the middle of March, when marching 
orders were received, another service, it was found, could 
be rendered to the men ; this was expressing home the 

1 It is impossible to give full statistics of this work. It was very tiresome 
while it lasted, often keeping a " receiver" at each station busy from early morn 
ing until eight o clock in the evening; after this the invoices had all to be made 
out, An idea of the magnitude of the transactions may be got from the reports 
of several stations; At City Point Hospital during seven weeks of March and 
April, $288,000 were thus received. From Sheridan s Cavalry, in one day, at 
Hancock Station, $30,000. In a division of the Fifth Corps, over $55,000. The 
amounts were mostly small, ranging usually from $10 to $50, though there were 
many sums exceeding these. 



QUIXXIPIAC TABERNACLE. 30? 

AVinter and extra clothing, &c., which they would not 
need in the prospective campaign. 1 Rev. Dr. Robert 
Patterson recalls an incident connected with this 
work : 

Riding up to a prominent pine tree pole from which the stars and 
stripes swung out, I discovered a large chapel and tent. I should 
have supposed myself at an express office, if there had not been evi 
dence to the contrary. Scores of soldiers, with all 

manner of bundles, gum blankets and other gear, n 7 . %e? ,/ 

God .Blessing. 

packed up in candle and cracker boxes, in old shirts, 
handkerchiefs and towels in everything capable of containing 
clothing, were crowding round the door of a large square tent with 
marquee roof, bearing a flag marked " Quinnipiac Tabernacle." 2 It 
was seated with rough lumber, church-fashion, and contained several 
wagon loads of parcels like those which were being received outside. 
Light marching orders had come ; the men must leave behind over 
coats, blankets, and all surplus baggage. Where should they leave 
them ? The government made no provision for taking them to the 
rear ; in a few hours out of all that camp there would not be even a 
guard left. They knew that the Christian Commission could do 
almost anything, so they came and asked if it would not express 
their clothing home to their families. Gen. Warren was anxious that 
this disposition of the articles might be made if possible. So from 
this one station went over $40,000 worth of clothing. Remarking to 
one of the men who was waiting his turn, that I didn t hear as much 
swearing as formerly : 

" No, Chaplain," said he, " there ain t half the cussin there was. 
But if you were down at our camp when the boys was packing up, 
you d have heard a power of God blessin the Christian Commission 
for this here job." 



1 At City Point Hospital, during March and part of April, 3204 packages of 
various kinds were thus forwarded. At a station in the Fifth Corps, the value 
of the clothing committed to the Commission was nearly $90,000. This property 
would have been almost certainly a dead loss to the men, if it had not been thus 
collected ere their march began. 

2 " Quinnipiac" was the old Indian name of New Haven, Conn. The chapel 
was purchased with funds from friends of the Commission in that city. 



308 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

The value of the work of temporal relief was most 
obvious during the hot months of 1864, among the men 
iti the trenches. Not only was there great liability to 
casualty here, but the extraordinary hardships brought 
on sickness. The dreary sameness of the service also 
did much to dispirit the troops assigned to it. The 
Commission labored hard to supply the men with proper 
diet, especially fresh vegetables, and took care of very 
many wounded. The materials for letter writing were 
distributed extensively. 

/ 

The graphic narrative of " Carleton," 1 concerning 
this work at the extreme front, presents a fair picture 

of what was to be done and how it was done : 



The day was hot, dry, dusty and sultry. The sun shone from a 
brazen sky. The grass and shrubs were scorched and withered and 
powdered with the dust, which rose in clouds from every passing 
wagon. There was not air enough to stir the aspens, 
or shake the long, lithe spires of the pines. The 
birds of the forest sought the deepest shade, and lolled and panted 
in the heat. It was hard even for men in robust health to breathe. 
They picked out the coolest places and gave themselves up to the 
languor of the hour. It required an earnest effort to do anything. 
And yet through this blazing day men sat crouched in the trenches 
from morning till night, or lay in their shallow rifle pits, watching 
the enemy, parched, broiled, burned, not daring to raise their heads 
or lift their hands. To do so was death. 

The hospital tents, though pitched in the woods, were like ovens, 
absorbing and holding the heat poured from a cloudless sky. Then, 
upon the ground lay the sick and wounded, fevered and sore, with 
life at ebb tide, with energies exhausted, perspiration oozing from the 
faces, nerves quivering and trembling with fever, pulses faint and 
feeble. Their beds were boughs of pine. They lay as they came 



1 In a letter to the Congregationalist, July 29th, 18C4. 



AT THE FROXT. 3l)9 

from the battle-field, wearing their soiled, torn and bloody garments 
of army blue. Millions of flies buzzed around. 

The Surgeons in charge were kind-hearted and attentive. They 
used all means in their power to make the patients comfortable. 
This was the place where the sick were to regain health, or from 
which they were to be removed to the General Hospital. They were 
far from home and friends. There was nothing to cheer them 
nothing to stimulate. Hope was dying out, and despondency setting 
in, with memory summoning the dear old times, and revealing by 
contrast a dark and gloomy future. 

It was the Sabbath day, and there were many among the suffering 
hundreds who had reverenced the day at home. It was a day of rest 
of cessation from toil and care. Its return recalled their former 
Sabbaths the still hours, the pealing of church bells, the grand and 
solemn music of the organ, or the hum of children s voices in the 
Sabbath-school. Is it a wonder that they had longings for home, 
or that the future was gloomy ? 

The day was wearing away. There was no cloud curtain in the 
sky to shut out the sun, but the brazen dome glowed with steady 
heat. The Christian Commission tent had been besieged all day by 
parched and fevered soldiers, who wanted onions, pickles, lemons, 
oranges anything sour anything to tempt the taste. There was a 
box of oranges which had been brought from City Point the night 
before. It was suggested that they be distributed at once to the 
sick and wounded. " Certainly, by all means," was the unanimous 
voice of the Commission. I volunteered to be the distributor. 

Go with me through the tents where the sufferers are. Some are 
lying down, with closed eyes, with pale faces and sunken cheeks. 
The paleness underlies the bronze which the sun has cast upon them. 
They breathe languidly. Some are half reclined, leaning on their 
elbows, bolstered by their knapsacks, looking into vacancy seeing, 
perhaps, the old home, and wondering if they will ever again cross 
its threshold. Some are reading the papers which the Delegates of 
the Commission have distributed. There are some who have but 
one leg. There is the stump of a thigh, or an arm, with the lightest 
possible dressing to keep down the fever. Yesterday those men stood 
in the trenches confronting the enemy, in the full tide of life. Now 



310 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

they are wrecks, flouting out into the unknown future, with wife and 
children, or parents dependent on them. 

As we enter the tent they catch a sight of the golden fruit. There 
is a coin motion. Those half asleep rub their eyes. Those half re 
clining sit up straight. Those lying with their backs towards us turn 
over to see what is going on. Those so feeble that 
they cannot turn ask what is the matter. They gaze 
at the apples of Paradise. How their eyes gleam ! Not one of them 
asks for an orange ! They wait. Through military discipline, 
through unparalleled suffering, they have learned to be patient to 
wait to endure to remain in suspense to stand still and be torn 
to pieces ! They are heroes ! 

" Would you like an orange, sir?" 

" Thank you." 

It is all he can say. He is lying upon his back. A miuie bullet 
has passed through his body, and he cannot be moved. He has a 
noble brow a manly countenance. Tears moisten his eyes and roll 
down his sunken cheeks, as he takes the orange from my hand: 

" It is a gift of the Christian Commission, and I accept your thanks 
for those who made the contribution." 

Bully for the Christian Commission !" shouted a wide-awake, jolly 
soldier near by, with an ugly wound in his left arm. 

"Thank you," " God bless the Commission," " I say, Bill, arn t 
they bully?" are the expressions which I hear behind me. 

In one of the wards I came upon a soldier who had lost his leg: 
the day before. He was lying upon his side. He was robust, healthy, 
strong and brave. The hours dragged heavily. He did not see me 
till I stood before him and not even then. He was stabbing his 
knife into a chip with a nervous energy, as if he was in imagination 
bayoneting a Rebel trying to forget the pain trying to bridge over 
the lonely hours and shut the gloom out of the future. I touched his 
elbow. He looked up: 

" Would you like an orange?" 

"By jingo! that is worth a hundred dollars!" 

He grasped it as a drowning man clutches a chip, as if to lose a 
thousandth part of a second he would miss the prize. 

" Where did this come from ?" 

"The Christian Commission had a box arrive last night." 





THAT S WORTH A HUNDRED DOLLARS." 



310. 



AT THE FRONT. 311 

" The Christian Commission ? My wife belongs to that. She 
wrote to me about it last week, that they met to make shirts for it." 

" Then you have a wife ?" 

" Yes, sir, and three children." 

His voice faltered. Ah ! the soldier never forgets his home. He 
dashed away a tear, took in a long breath, and was strong again. 

"Where do you hail from, soldier?" 

" From old Massachusetts. I had a snug little home upon the 
banks of the Connecticut, but I told my wife that I didn t feel just 
right to stay there when I was needed out here, and so I came, and 
here I am. I shall write home and tell Mary about the Christian 
Commission. I have been wishing all day that I had an orange ; I 
knew it was no use to wish. I didn t suppose there was one in camp; 
besides, here I am, not able to move a peg. I thank you, sir, for 
bringing it. I shall tell my wife all about it." 

It was worth a hundred dollars to see him suck the juice every 
drop, as if it was as precious as life itself. But enough. It was one 
of the happiest hours of my life that passed in the distribution of 
those oranges not that I was the almoner, but because of the exhi 
bition of spontaneous, unmixed, heartfelt gratitude, not towards me, 
but to the friends far away. 

Another narrative, from the pen of Delegate C. H. 
Richards, 1 continues the story of the same work: 

We pass by regiments and batteries, by sentinels who look curi 
ously at us, by the headquarters of officers of all grades and ranks, 
through field and grove, till we come to the covered wagon-road lead 

ing to the outer lines. Through this passage-wav, 

. . Getting to the 

which was channeled out that ammunition and sup- ^ 

plies might be safely taken to the batteries in front, 
we may pass without risk of life or limb. Following the devious 
windings, we find ourselves suddenly in a fort or earthwork, made of 
gabions and fascines, strengthened and cemented by an abundance 
of the " sacred soil," while numerous sand-bags crown the parapet. 
If you will look out through this embrasure you will see that we have 



1 Of Andover Theological Seminary, Mass. The narrative is from letters pub 
lished in the Sunday School Times. 



312 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

no further to go. For just beyond are our abattis, and then a thin 
picket line, and then the disputed territory into which a man may 
not advance a rod without paying dearly for it. But somebody is 
plucking you by the sleeve. Looking round, you find that several 
soldiers have gathered about you : 

" Can you spare me one of those papers ?" 

" Of course I can, my good fellow ; I brought them down on pur 
pose for you." 

. " And I should like one too," says another. "And 

Reading. " L " " Alld I >" echo a11 the rest - 

By this time they have discovered to the right and 
left of you along the lines that something is going on up in the fort. 
They look, and wonder what it can be. 

"I guess it s the Christian Commission man/ says one, and 
straightway they begin to troop towards us. They cluster about us 
like bees about a honey pot. Their faces are eager, and their hands 
are stretched out towards you like a unanimous vote of welcome : 

" Something good to read? Well, that s just what we want ! I ll 
take a paper if you can spare it." 

" There s the dear old Messenger ! That looks like home. I d like 
one of those." 
."A Flag paper for me." says another. 

" Can you give me a Baptist paper ? I used to be a Baptist when 
I was at home," says a gray-headed man, looking at the Examiner 
through his iron-bound spectacles. 

" I ll take one of those Methodists" says another. 

" Well, I don t care what kind you give me, provided I can only 
get something good to read," responded still another. And so they 
clamor pleasantly about you, and stretch out their hands so eagerly 
for your papers and little books, that you are almost bewildered in 
your endeavors to satisfy them all. The men are hungry, positively 
hungry, for reading. We make our way gradually to the edge of 
the group, sending out a word of cheer and encouragement here 
and there, thinking to pass further down the lines, towards the 
Ninth Corps. But before we are fairly out of the circle, a soldier 
says 

"You haven t got a Testament to give away, have you ? I lost 
mine in the fight at Cold Harbor, and I haven t had one since. I 



IJS T THE TttENCHES. 313 

can t stand it much longer without one, for a soldier ain t more than 
half equipped without a Testament." 

" Of course you shall have one, my dear sir, and may God help 
you to live by its teachings." 

"I should like one, too; mine was lost at Spottsylvania," says 
another. 

" One for me, too," echoes a third, till half of them are crowding 
about again, all wanting Testaments. Perhaps my experience is un 
usual, but it is noteworthy that I have hardly ever met a private 
soldier in the army, whatever his character might be, who, if he had 
no Testament, did not want one. It is a striking evidence of the 
strength of religious conviction, even in the hearts of those who are 
apparently thoughtless and careless about their most important 
interests, and is another proof that the deepest instincts of man s 
nature crave comfort and strength from above. 

Once more we make an attempt to pass down the lines, when we 
are again arrested by a voice : 

" Chaplain, have you any letter paper and envelopes ? I haven t 
been able to write home for a long time, because I haven t had any 
thing to write with. If you could only give me a little, they will 
bless you for it up there." 

" Here it is, and now write a good, sweet letter to 
the wife and little ones." 

" That s what I ll do," he says, and his eyes grow misty as he takes 
it gratefully. Again the crowd gathers around us, and every one 
must have a sheet of paper and an envelope. We are linking the 
chain that binds the soldier to his home. 

Again we start, and this time we are fairly off. We must stoop 
low and walk cautiously now, or we shall get a headache from over 
the way. There are not so many men to be seen as in the fort yon 
der, and those that we see are snugly ensconced in little pits, which 
they have scooped out for themselves, and from which it would not 
be safe to venture far. A head or a hand exposed above the ram 
parts here is a mark for a dozen sharpshooters in the works opposite. 
They cannot well flock to us, but we will creep carefully to them. 
Here is a good-natured-looking boy beckoning for a paper. Of course 
he gets it. "Zip" goes a minie ball over our heads, and buries itself 
with a " thug" in a bank near by. 



314 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

" Chaplain," says the soldier, " did you ever play a game of base 
ball when you were a boy ?" 

" Yes, to be sure ; but what of that ?" 

" Well, you know when you catch the ball, then 
Playing Base , . * ^ , , , ,, 

* you re in. But when you catch one 01 these fellows, 

you re out" and he smiled at his own grim joke. But 
such a joke serves a good purpose as a text to preach from. He 
readily tells us of the deaths that occur here day after day, of the 
friends and messmates he has lost while he has escaped their fate, of 
the peril he daily passes through. He tells you frankly, of the 
solemn thoughts of death and eternity that fill his mind in these 
scenes, of the need he feels of having some firm, sure hope on which 
to rely, of the longing he has felt to be a Christian. And then how 
precious is the privilege, and how easy and delightful the task to 
direct him to the Saviour, who is reaching out His arms of welcome 
to him. 

It is hard to select the few incidents which must serve 
as representatives of the soldier s courage and sacrifice 
during the period covered by the chapter. Rev. Geo. 
Duffield, Jr., 1 a Delegate during June and July, 1864, 
tells the following : 

W. F. Clark, a private in Kautz s Cavalry Brigade, was taken 
prisoner, with two others, on July 2d. While the Rebels were 
scouring the woods for other prisoners, the guards who had Clark and 

his companions in charge, without a word of previ- 
" Not much in the , . . 

Rebels Debt " ous ex P^ anatlon J ordered them to march in trout or 

them. They blew out the brains of the first one; 
then of the second ; and then poured a volley into Clark, leaving 
him as good as dead, with one bullet and nine buckshot in him. He 
remained where he fell until about four o clock the next morning, 
when, coming to himself, his first thought was of a stream of water 
he had passed on the other side of the field. Crawling as best he 
could to the stream, he rolled into it to conceal himself, covering every 



1 See p. 180. The two incidents were originally published in the Detroit 
Advertiser and Tribune. 



TWO HEROES. 315 

part of him but his nostrils when he heard any one approaching. 
That night a poor old worn-out horse came down to the stream to get 
a drink. By this time having rallied a little strength*he got up and 
caught the horse, made a bridle for him out of a pair of suspenders, 
and in that condition rode eight miles before daylight into our lines. 
There they put him into an ambulance and brought him to the Post 
Hospital at Bermuda Hundred, where Dr. Spees, of Dayton, Ohio, 
and I, saw him and heard his story from his own lips. When I last 
saw him, seven of the shot had been extracted; the three others he 
did not think would give him much trouble. He had no idea, he 
said, of dying after being shot in such a mean way. He wasn t much 
in the Rebels debt, anyhow, and once he was able to get on his horse 
again, he would soon wipe out old scores. 

On the steamboat from Detroit to Cleveland, I noticed an officer 
whose straps indicated him to be a Colonel. 1 Evidently he was suf 
fering from a severe wound, but of its nature I had little conception 

until I met him a second time, on the steamer going 

-, ,1-0 -!,! . i ^ /> The Shortened 

down the rotomac, and at his request, by virtue 01 T 

Leave of Absence. 
my Christian Commission badge, dressed it for him. 

It was received in one of the battles of the Wilderness. The ball 
striking hifh sideways, had entered and passed through the neck and 
shoulder, carrying away some very decided splinters from the verte 
bral column. At first the shock was so great that he was completely 
paralyzed and when he received his leave, it was with very little 
hope of ever again being able to return to the field. But the ner 
vous shock proved only temporary ; his vigorous constitution speedily 
began to rally, and his heart to fret at the thought of his men not 
having any officer higher than Second Lieutenant (if I remember 
rightly) to look after them, and care for their wants. He thought he 
could more easily bear the pain and distress of the wound on the 
field than the worry at home about his men, and so off he started to 
the front, where the weather was the hottest, with a leave of absence 
of thirty days in his pocket, and a wound that was good on presenta 
tion to a Surgeon for thirty days more. 

Rev. E. F. Williams tells an incident of the attack 
upon the Weldon road in October : 



1 Col. Pulford, commanding the 5th Michigan Kegiinent. 



316 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

All the officers of a company engaged in the fighting hud been 
either killed or wounded. The Sergeant, upon whom devolved the 
command, was irightened, and the line began to waver. A Corporal 

instantly snatched the colors, stepped to the front 
Promoted to . T , . .. 

. and led the men to victory. A Brigadier near by 

noticed the occurrence and sent for the Corporal 
after the fight, to learn his name, much to the brave man s dis 
composure, for he was afraid he had somehow subjected himself to 
military discipline. The officer took him to the Major-Gen era! com 
manding the Corps, and related the circumstances, the poor Corporal 
meanwhile wishing himself well out of the scrape. After a little 
private conference, the two Generals came forward and pinned a 
Captain s straps upon the Corporal s shoulders, sending him back to 
command the company. Before night there was another charge 
upon the enemy s position : the newly-made Captain, while gallantly 
leading his men, was shot through the heart. 

Rev. J. II. Knowles 1 was just leaving the army before 
Petersburg in June, 1864, at the close of his term of 
service, when this incident occurred : 

A soldier had been brought in on a stretcher and placed under the 
shade of a green tree. He was shot through the mouth ; his tongue 
was cut and he could not speak ; the Surgeon said he must die. On 

a card he wrote his desire to see a Delegate of the 
" Ratty Round /-,,.. ~ 

the Flag Roys " ^ nristian Commission ; they summoned me. As I ap 
proached him, he again made signs for pencil and 
paper and wrote 

" I am a Christian, prepared to die ;" then after looking about him 
upon the soldiers near, he added another line: 

" Rally round the flag, boys, rally round the flag." 
I took the paper, and with such composure as I could command, 
read it aloud to his comrades. As I read, the dying man, speaking 
only with his animated face, raised his bloody hand over his head 
and waved it, as Marmion shook his sword, with all the enthusiasm 
of the charge ; and then quietly, while every eye brimmed with 



1 Member of Genesee Conference, Meth. Epis. Church 



CITY POINT. 317 

quickly-gathered tears, went away out of the midst of the company 
into the City of Peace. 

Rev. F. P. Monfort writes from City Point Hospital 
in June : 

Daniel McKenua, an Indian chief of the Atawa tribe, from Bear 
Creek, Mich., a sharpshooter of the 1st Mich. Kegiment, lay in one 
of our wards mortally wounded. While life was ebbing away, I 
questioned him through an interpreter, but could 
get no reply till I inquired if he had ever seen a The j) y i ng 

missionary. At this he opened his eyes, and Indian Chief. 
smilingly nodded assent, saying in his broken way 

" Mishnare mishnare umph good." 

He seldom spoke or noticed anything, but now he seemed to be 
pleased, and roused up : 

"Ask him," said I, "if he likes the missionaries?" 

The interpreter did so, and communicated the reply : 

" He says, Yes, he likes them first-rate; they are very good men ; 
they teach schools and preach. I am the chief, and I am the man 
that sees to the house, and makes the appointments for them. " 

" Does he know Jesus Christ is a Saviour ?" 

" He says Yes ; Jesus Christ is his Saviour. " 

" Does he love Christ?" 

" He says Yes, he loves Him with all his heart. " 

" Does he ever pray ?" 

" Yes, he has been praying to God through Jesus Christ ever since 
he was wounded." 

"Ask him if he is prepared to die?" 

" He says Yes, if God calls him to heaven he will go with Him 
over there. " 

" Carleton" 1 tells the story of the last hours of Ed 
ward M. Schneider, 2 of the 57th Mass. : 

He was slightly wounded on the North Anna, and was sent to 



1 In a letter to the Boston Journal, in June. 

* Son of Kev. Dr. Benjamin Schneider, Missionary of the American Board at 
Aintab, Central Turkey. 



318 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

Port Royal for transportation to Washington, but, of his own accord, 
returned to his regiment, joining it at Cold Harbor. While prepar 
ing for the charge upon the enemy s works on the 
"Stand by the ^-^ beyond the j) uun House, he said to the Chap- 
Flag and the 
Q rQ8S lam, " 1 intend to be the first one to enter their 

works." 

The charge was made. How grandly they moved through the woods! 
How quickly they swept up to the Rebel line of defensive works, like 
an ocean billow upon a breakwater, rolling over it, engulfing all be 
yond ! The brave young soldier tried to make good his words. 
With eager feet he led the advance, breaking out from the line and 
keeping a rod or two in front. 

He was almost there not quite almost near enough to feel the 
hot flash of the Rebel musketry in his face near enough to be cov 
ered with the sulphurous cloud from the cannon when he fell, shot 
through the body. 

He was carried to the hospital, with six hundred and fifty of his 
division comrades. He lay all night with his wounds undressed, 
waiting his turn. There was not a murmur from his lips. The 
Chaplain looked at his w r ound : 

" What do you think of it?" 

Seeing that it was mortal, he could not articulate a reply ; neither 
could he restrain his tears. He remembered the last injunction of 
the young soldier s older sister " I commit him to your care." The 
young hero interpreted the meaning of the tear that his wound was 
mortal. 

" Do not weep," he said ; " it is God s will. I wish you to write to 
my father and tell him that I have tried to do my duty to my country 
and to God." 

He disposed of his effects, giving 810 to the Christian Commission, 
$20 to the American Board, and trifles to his friends. Then, in the 
simplicity of his heart, he said 

" I have a good many friends, schoolmates and companions. They 
will want to know where I am how I am getting on. You can let 
them know I am gone, and that I die content. And, Chaplain, the 
boys in the regiment I want you to tell them to stand by the dear old 
flag ! And there is my brother in the navy write to him and tell 
him to stand by the flag and ding to the cross of Christ!" 



CITY POINT. 319 

The Surgeon came and examined the wound. 

" It is my duty to tell you that you will soon go home," he said. 

" Yes, Doctor, I am going home. I am not afraid to die. I don t 
know how the valley will be when I get to it, but it is all bright 
now." Then gathering up his waning strength, he repeated the verse 
often sung by the soldiers, who, amid all the whirl and excitement 
of the camp and battle-field, never forget those whom they have left 
behind them mother, sister, father, brother. Calmly, clearly, dis 
tinctly, he repeated the lines, the chorus of the song 

" Soon with angels I ll be marching, 
With bright laurels on my brow ; 
I have for my country fallen : 
Who will care for sister now ?" 

The night wore away. Death came on apace. He suffered intense 
pain, but not a murmur escaped his lips. Sabbath morning came, 
and with the coming of the light he passed away. 

From a public address by Eev. Kobt. J. Parvin we 
take an incident illustrating the Christian loyalty and 
sacrifice which could fill a mother s heart when she 
heard of the death of her only son : 

In June, while the stores were being opened at our base of sup 
plies, City Point, a small square box was found to contain such a 
variety of very nice delicacies that I inferred they were not intended 

for general distribution. My suspicion was confirmed 

A Mothers 
when we reached the bottom and found that the box 



had been opened at the wrong end. Pinned on the 
top of a large cake was a note 

" If any one opens this box, except the person it is intended for, 
will they please regard the wish and anxiety of a mother, who greatly 
desires to comfort and help her dear child, and close it again, and 
send it to him if possible ? She has done a great deal for others 
during the war ; she wants also to relieve her own son. His address 
is Maj. C. E. P -- , 118th N. Y. Regt., 2d Brig., 1st Div., Eighteenth 
Corps." 

Grieved at our mistake, I undertook to remedy it as well as I 



320 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

could. Carefully returning the articles to the box, I wrote to Major 

P , telling him where to send for it. In the course of an hour, 

the messenger returned with the Chaplain of the 118th, who, on 
entering the tent, said 

" Major P - was shot dead at the head of his regiment a few 
days ago." 

The date of his death was that of his mother s letter. The con 
tents of the box were handed to the Chaplain. I wrote to Mrs. 

P , stating the sad intelligence, telling about the box, and asking 

permission to retain the letter written to her son. Here are some of 
the words of it : 

" I. have always, as you know, my dear son, felt that you were in 
the right place, and been thankful that you felt it your duty to serve 
your country ; but, I confess, my patriotism is sometimes scarcely 
equal to this long long trial. Your danger is now quite as great 
from another source as from the war. O Charley dear, seek God s 
counsel, and if He makes you feel it duty to remain, then He will 
take care of you, or prepare you for His will." 

Within a few days came the mother s answer to my letter, grant 
ing my wish to keep the communication found in the box, and 
breathing throughout a spirit of noblest Christian herois 



ism : 



"A , July 8th, 1864. 

" REV. EGBERT J. PARVIN : DEAR SIR : Your kind letter is re 
ceived, and opens anew the floodgates of a sorrow so deep that only 
He who permitted it to fall can give me strength and composure to 
reply. * * I had come, almost insensibly to myself, to feel a 

sort of security that God would not take my precious child from me, 
but would permit him to return and be my staff and comfort in the 
later days of my weary pilgrimage. But Infinite Wisdom saw that 
this was not best, either for him or his mother. God had prepared 
some better thing for him than the comforts and luxuries and affec 
tions of our earthly home. Even so, Father, for thus it seemeth 
good in Thy sight. * * * * * 

" I had sent a box previously, which, owing to purely providential 
circumstances, was lost in the multitude. Then I thought, God will 
use that to comfort some other poor sufferer, and has intended it as a 
test of my trust in Him. So I prepared and sent a second, to prove 



CITY POINT. 321 

to my own heart that I would trust, though God did see fit to disap 
point me. That second box was sent the day after my darling child 
passed away into eternity. * * And, now, what can I say to 
this ? Is God untrue, and is my faith vain, and shall I cease to trust 
Him ? Oh, blessed be His name. He does not permit my mind to 
indulge such thoughts ! No, though the clouds that gather around 
Him be as dark as midnight, though not one ray of light can be 
seen, I will cling to Him still, I will trust Him yet. He is His own 
interpreter, and in His own time and way will make it all plain. 
While He gives me the confidence that my child is safe in glory, 
where he shall hunger no more, nor thirst any more, where the sun 
shall not light on him nor any heat, I am satisfied. I will be patient; 
and I will now give all that earnest desire I had for the temporal 
and spiritual good of my own dear child, to all the poor sufferers, 
many of whom have no mother to bleed and labor for them. I will 
see a son or a brother in every noble defender of my home and of my 
country s honor. ***** MARY P ." 

And most thoroughly was the resolve carried out. 

Rev. W. G. Taylor, 1 writing in July, tells a story of 
Christ s nearness to His children : 

I went into a tent at the General Hospital, and there lay a beau 
tiful drummer-boy, sixteen years old, burning up with fever. I asked 
him where his home was : 

" In Massachusetts, sir." "Jesus u 

" Are you not lonely here, far from father and Here." 
mother and friends, and so sick?" 

"Oh, no," was his answer; "how could I be lonely, when Jesus 
is here ?" 

The smile that lit his deep blue eye, and played for a moment over 
his fevered lips, as he uttered the words, will never cease to be the 
sweetest and freshest picture in my memory. My companion asked 
him 

" How long is it since you loved Jesus ?" 

" So long that I cannot remember when I did not love Him." 



1 Pastor of Mount Carmel (O. S.) Presbyterian Church, Penna. 
21 



CHAPTER XII. 

THE EASTERN ARMIES. 

FROM THE INVESTMENT OF PETERSBURG UNTIL THE CLOSE OF THE WAR. 

(Continued.) 



June 1864 April 1865. 

IT was the soldier s deep trust in God which best pre 
pared him for sacrifice. Rev. Abel Wood 1 writes of 
an interview between Henry C. Smith, 8th Mich. Regi 
ment, and his Chaplain : 

The soldier had had his left arm amputated, but his life could not 
be saved. Towards evening of July 30th he sent for his Chaplain 
and asked him to pray once more with him. The Chaplain inquired 

as to his trust in Jesus. The man answered clearly 
Dying that the and eamestl 
Land might be 
Riqhteous " Have you no home messages ? the Chaplain 

asked. 

" No, that s all done." 

" You have been a brave soldier and done your duty ; now if you 
can trust the Great Captain of your salvation, all is well." 

" All is well, Chaplain," the soldier answered. Prayer was offered, 
after which the two bade each other farewell. 

A little after midnight, as the Sabbath began, the man commenced 
praying in a clear, strong voice ; first fervently committing his own 
soul to Christ, then offering a petition for the President and the 
country, and finally asking that his own death might contribute some 
thing to the establishment of a righteous peace. With this prayer, 
scarce escaped from his lips, he expired. 



1 Professor in Kimball Union Academy, Meriden, N. H. 
822 



THE CHRISTIAN LIFE. 323 

In August Mr. C. H. Richards relates an incident 
which shows the power for good of a consistent, manly 
life before God : 

An interesting boy from one of the Middle States joined the army 
in Virginia. He soon fell in with the most wicked man of the regi 
ment, who seemed to make it his chief delight to lead the youth into 

lower and lower depths of vice. Fascinated by his 

Living it into 
companion, the young soldier went to such extremes , 

of wickedness as would have shocked him beyond 
measure before leaving home. At last his attention was drawn to a 
pious German in the regiment. He had never spoken with him 
about religion, but he saw him constantly reading his Bible with 
apparent pleasure ; he heard his voice often in prayer ; there was a 
cheerfulness in his face, the index of an abiding joy in his heart ; his 
faithfulness in every duty was manifest, and his courage was calm 
and deep in the face of danger. Somehow he could not keep from 
watching the old man, and believing that there was a reality about 
this religion, which made the Christian the happiest man in the regi 
ment. Each day the new fascination grew. At length, after a cam 
paign of more than ordinary peril, he went to the old German and 
asked him how it was that he was always so happy. He was told 
that trust in Christ was the secret, and assured that if he would but 
give himself away to Him, the same joy would fill his soul. At once 
deserting his profligate companion, he determined to follow the ad 
vice of his new friend. God gave him His promised faith and joy, 
and he too began to live his religion in his life ; so there were two 
lights in that one regiment, shining before men ; others were attracted 
as the youth had been ; and so the influence went out and on, until 
God only can tell the blessed result. It was not the " tongues of men 
or of angels" that preached Christ here, but the devoted and sur 
rendered lives of humble followers of Him who came to do, not His 
own will, but the will of the Father that sent Him. 

On the night of August 17th there had been some 
fighting with the Rebel cavalry on the left. Some of 
our men were surrounded and had to cut their way back 



324 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

with severe loss. Among tlie wounded was Sergeant 
W. H. Boston, of St. Altmis, Vt. Rev. Chas. L. Nich 
ols, 1 who ministered to him, writes : 

I went through the little flying hospital, and found one man deeply 
anxious about a comrade whom he had seen fall from his horse. I 
went as soon as I could to the scene of action to search for the miss 
ing soldier, whose name was Boston. I found that 
Removed Above. , , , , , ,. 

he had crawled a short distance irom where he fell. 

He was shot through the lungs, and death was approaching. " Water," 
was his first word. I gave him a taste of punch, but he wanted 
water ; finding a cup lost by a soldier in the fray, I gave him a drink. 
When I had washed his face and wounds he desired me to turn him. 
I did so. He smiled and asked me to sit down : 

" Sha n t I go first and get some help to remove you ?" 

He smiled again, and answered 

" Before you could come back I should be removed up there," 
pointing upwards with his finger. He dictated a most loving letter 
to his wife, and another to his mother. We talked a few minutes, 
when he asked me to raise him up. I did so. Without a groan or 
struggle he almost immediately passed away. 

Contrasting sadly with this triumphant death-record, 
is an incident related by Rev. Chas. Cutler: 2 

While I was working at Cavalry Hospital, City Point, in Septem 
ber, a young man was brought in, who was shot in the neck and com 
pletely paralyzed. I spoke to him of preparation for death. 

" I might as well own up," said he ; " I m not pre- 
Honor that 
Dishonors pared ; 1 ve lived a bad life and been a great trouble 

to my mother. I ve got no religion, and I don t want 
any. I won t burn out my candle now, and throw the snuff in God 
Almighty s face. I ll die as I ve lived. It s honester." 

I argued with him, plead the promises, entreated him, but all to 
no purpose : 



1 Pastor of Congregational Church, Princeton, Me. 

2 Pastor of Congregational Church, Francestown, N. H. 



CITY POINT HOSPITALS. 325 

" I deserve no mercy ; I sha n t ask for any. I ve never prayed ; 
I m not going to do so now," 

Shortly he began to recover the use of his limbs, and it seemed 
likely that he would get better. But he always turned away when I 
approached, and was unwilling to converse. I was obliged to leave 
the army without seeing any impression made upon him. 

Rev. Frank F. Jewell 1 writes in October: 

In one ward of the General Hospital at City Point there were 
three conversions. One of these was that of a member of the lllth 
N. Y., who, before his entrance into the army, had been a great wan 
derer. Disabled in the Wilderness, he was permitted 
to go home on a furlough of a few weeks. When "Who ll be my 
about to return, his little boy of seven years caught Pa?" 
him by the knee, and said 

" Pa, when will you come back? 

The father replied, " I don t know, my son, whether I shall ever 
come back." 

" Well," said the child, " who will be my pa if you don t come 
back?" 

The question rooted itself in that father s mind ; amid the excite 
ment of battle-scenes he had not forgotten the parting words of his 
little boy. And when I came to sit down by his side, and urge him 
to attend to his salvation, the work seemed to be already begun. He 
at once made up his mind to seek Christ. The next time I met him, 
he was writing a letter to his wife, in which he said to her 

" I know now how to answer little Henry s question. Tell him the 
Saviour will be his pa, if I don t come back." 

Here is a sad little picture of disappointment, from 
the pen of Rev. D. Hoyt Blake : 2 

" George" was a fine- appearing soldier from Jersey City. Before 
I left, I was called to accompany him to the last resting place ; and 
then into my hands were put his letters and two well-worn pictures 



Pastor Meth. Epis. Church, Adams, N. Y. 2 Of Brooklyn, N. Y. 



326 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

of his wife and mother. Looking over his wife s last 
Georges Far- ^ to ^ ^ address to which to forward the 
lough. 

relics, I came upon these words 

" Willie and I, Mary and the baby, will be standing at the corner 
O f _ _ street, looking for you, when the cars come in. Do come 
soon, George ; it does seem as if I could not wait." 

Poor, loving, anxious one! What if my letter with the death 
news should find her waiting with Willie and Mary and baby at the 
corner ! 

Mr. John Patterson recalls an incident of his expe 
rience during several visits to the hospital at Point of 
Rocks : 

" Point of Kocks" is a very appropriate name for a place on the 

Appomattox, a little above Bermuda Hundred. For miles around 

there are no " rocks" worthy of the name ; but here two or three 

enormous boulders stick in the face of a precipice, 

which rises two or three hundred feet above the 

James Anderson. 

river. Near by, on the table above the rocks, is a 
famous oak, said to be the very tree under which Pocahontas saved 
the life of Captain Smith. Far to the south-west are the spires of 
Petersburg ; to the south-east is City Point ; to the north, Richmond. 
Three hundred yards from the tree is the Military Hospital, and not 
far off, the cheerless cemetery. Below, across the sluggish stream, 
stretches the pontoon bridge, crowded at both ends with soldiers pass 
ing from right to left of the grand army. There was enough within 
sight to meditate upon ; more than enough to make one sad, and blot 
the view on every hand with gathering tears. 

It was here I met my soldier-friend, James Anderson, a youth of 
twenty years. His eyes still retained more than a memory of their 
once cheerful glance ; but the fallen cheeks and the hectic flush 
marked a sure decline. There was so much that was manly and 
beautiful about him that his condition excited my deepest sympathy. 
I found him, one October evening, resting on the grass by the old 
oak, enjoying the cool, grateful air after the heat of the day. The 
sun was sinking into the west, bequeathing a glory as it departed to 
every exposed leaf of the sleepy trees, to the sails and masts and 



POINT OF ROCKS. 327 

cordage of the transports that lay upon the James, and cast their 
shadowy arms far away into the distance, where there was no day. 
The steamboat bells and the softened noise of the whistles came to us 
over the long water-reach between, to mingle with the nearer music 
of the regimental bands. It would have been pleasant to have given 
oneself up to the scene, but the spell was ever broken by the far-off 
booming of the Union guns, untiringly pouring their shot into the 
Confederate defences of Petersburg, and one shuddered as the dim 
outline of the cemetery and hospital could be still discerned. I 
turned to the soldier, and asked him if he was sick or wounded : 

" I am both sick and wounded, sir." 

" Hard enough," said I, taking my seat beside him. 

"A ball passed through my body near my left lung. My Doctor 
thinks I will recover." 

" That s encouraging ; it s a great mercy you escaped so." 

" Yes," said he, musingly. " The mercy of the Lord is new every 
morning, and fresh every evening." 

His manner was very retiring, and he seemed a little unwilling to 
talk. But he was a Scotchman, and I must know something more 
of him : 

" You know something, then, of this Mercy of God ?" 

" Oh, yes ; As a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth 
them that fear Him. " 

Every word he uttered thrilled me with pleasure, his manner was 
so chaste and elegant ; and he seemed so to know whereof he was 
speaking. 

" You are Scotch ?" 

" Yes," said he, and told me his name. When he heard mine, he 
added 

" O sir, I suppose you are pretty nearly a Scotchman yourself?" 

" Yes," said I, " but not altogether." 

We belonged to the same visible Church, and the ancestors of each 
name had witnessed for the truth on the same fields in the mother 
land. 

" I would rather be born," he smilingly said, " of such parents, 
than be the child of kings and princes." 

I promised, as I was leaving, to bring him some reading matter ; 
but his Bible and Catechism were enough, he said. 



328 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

Through the night and during the next day, I thought much of 
my new friend, waiting impatiently for the evening, when I should 
see him again. He told me then something of his history. He was 
born near Bothwell Bridge, in Scotland. Near by was a little valley 
between two hills, and the tear came down his cheek as he told of 
it. It was beautiful to see how he turned at once his earthly grief 
into blessed consolation : 

" But there is a land where the Lamb shall feed them and shall 
lead them unto living fountains of waters ; and God shall wipe away 
all tears from their eyes. " 

Tenderly and lovingly he went into all the particulars about his 
old home, even to the honeysuckle and sweet-brier around the walls 
and the hum of the morning bees. And then again, as his sweet 
half talk, half reverie journeyed on, he went up from the earthly to 
the heavenly, and told how in the " auld house" he had learned of 
what was " sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb." And then 
he told of the mountain near, and of the brook that clambered down 
its sides and ran near the home door, of the trees in their winter 
diamonds and summer green, and of the pasture-valley where he 
watched his father s flock. 

What a precious story too was his account of the training he had 
received ! Six farmers families, near together, used to gather their 
sheep on Saturday evening to the most convenient pasture, so as to 
have little trouble on the morrow. It seemed to him the sheep knew 
when Sabbath came ; they were so much quieter. Three miles off 
was the new Free Church ; and thither all went on the Lord s Day ; 
only one being left behind to care for the flock, a duty which the 
knowing dog took most charge of, for he knew how to gather the 
sheep together on that day without even a bark. The quaint, beau 
tiful words of the old Scotch version of the Psalms told how he 
thought of the " House of Prayer :" 

" I joyed when, to the House of God 

Go up, they said to me ; 
Jerusalem, within thy gates 
Our feet shall standing be." 

Thus was the Sabbath indeed a day of blessed rest, free from all 
vain talk and worldly enjoyment, " a delight the holy of the Lord 



POINT OF EOCKS. 329 

honorable," not a weariness, but a deep foretaste of the Eternal Sab 
bath of joy. At the close of the service all gathered together; re 
marks were made upon the sermon ; the elder " bairns" catechised ; 
and then some extract read from Boston, Willison or Baxter, before 
all returned to their homes. His intention to study theology had 
been frustrated by his father s death, after his graduation at a Scotch 
university. Removing to this country, he had found the war-fever 
so high that he enlisted. 

His story made a deep impression upon me, so deep that I deter 
mined to visit him upon my return to the army, which was not until 
the following March. 

I found him amid the old surroundings, trustful and quiet and 
beautiful in his talk as ever, and very glad to see me ; all the re 
straint which at first marked his manner had disappeared; but it was 
sadly evident, as I looked at him, that he was nearing his end. I 
made him lean on my shoulder as we walked together along the 
river s bank. Said he 

" I imagine my case is like that of one of my own countrymen, 
poor Michael Bruce. But he did some good to the world ; his poems 
will never be forgotten. He intended to study for the ministry, but 
was early called to the Church above." 

He went on to repeat some stanzas from " Lochleven," one of 
Michael Bruce s poems : 

"Thus sung the youth, amid unfertile wilds 

And nameless deserts unpoetic ground : 
Far from his friends he strayed, recording thus 

The dear remembrance of his native fields, 
To cheer the tedious night, while slow disease 

Prey d on his pining vitals, and the blasts 
Of dark December shook his humble cot." 

" I feel like him in many ways ; far from the friends I love, I need 
remembrance to cheer away the gloom." 

Once again, and for the last time, I met him. His old cheerful 
ness remained, but the nearness of the end made the interview more 
solemn. Again he recurred to his favorite poet, and quoted from 
that pathetic "Elegy," which seemed to have been written for Anderson 
himself: 



330 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

"Now Spring returns; but not to me returns 

The vernal joy my better years have known: 
Dim in my breast life s dying taper burns, 

And all the joys of life with health are flown. 

"Starting and shivering in the inconstant wind, 
Meagre and pale, the ghost of what I was, 
Beneath some blasted tree I lie reclined, 

And count the silent moments as they pass; 

" The winged moments, whose unstaying speed 

No art can stop or in their course arrest, 
Whose flight shall shortly count me with the dead, 
And lay me down in peace with them that rest. 

"Oft morning dreams presage approaching fate, 

And morning dreams, as poets tell, are true; 
Led by pale ghosts I enter Death s dark gate, 
And bid the realms of light and life adieu. 

" I hear the helpless wail, the shriek of woe, 
I see the muddy wave, the dreary shore, 
The sluggish streams that slowly creep below, 
Which mortals visit and return no more. 

"Farewell, ye blooming fields, ye cheerful plains; 
Enough for me the churchyard s lonely mound 
Where Melancholy, with still Silence reigns, 
And th rank grass waves o er cheerless ground. 

" There let me wander at the close of eve, 

When sleep sits dewy on the laborer s eyes; 
The world and all its busy follies leave, 

And talk with wisdom where my Daphnis lies. 

"There let me sleep, forgotten in the clay, 

When death shall shut these weary, aching eyes, 
Rest in the hope of an Eternal Day, 

Till the long night is gone and the last morn arise." 

Surely here was the very scene before us : the Spring returning, 
but not for him ; the old oak under which he stood ; the winged mo 
ments soon to lay him with the dead ; the pale ghosts on every bed 
of that hospital of sorrow near ; the muddy, dreary, sluggish Appo- 
mattox, and the waiting crowd visiting it now, perhaps to return no 



CITY POINT. 331 

more; the remembered story of his home; the graves near by; and the 
Hope that turned the whole to gladness, and would yet make the 
long night flee away. 

But a few days more of life were left him. About the 25th of 
March the weary, aching eyes were shut, and he rested in hope. 

Mr. J. H. Morley relates an incident of the result of 
courage in facing the consequences of doing duty : 

A young man, trying to lead a Christian life, was persecuted by 
his tent-mates. When he knelt down to pray at night they hurled 
boots and sticks of wood at him. In great trouble he went to ask 
advice of his Chaplain, who for some reason coun 
selled him to say his prayers secretly, and thus , j, , 
escape persecution. The young man tried to do so 
for a short time, but at last returned to the old way. His Chaplain 
met him soon afterwards and inquired how he was getting along. 

" Nicely," was the answer. 

" Did you follow my advice?" continued the Chaplain. 

" I did for a little while," said the soldier, " but have changed back 
to the old way now." 

"And what is the result?" 

" All my companions," (ten or a dozen in number) " kneel down 
every night with me. Isn t it better, Chaplain, to keep the colors 
flying?" 

Mr. H. L. Porter 1 shows how -a blessed work of God s 
grace may come from an act of kindly relief: 

One evening in August I was returning to my quarters at City 
Point Hospital, when I saw a soldier ahead leaning against a tree. 
I went and spoke to him ; found him very weak. It took us to 
gether a long time to reach the hospital. I visited 
him afterwards occasionally. He attended our meet- dier could 1)0 
ings and became a disciple of Christ. The evening 
before leaving for the front he asked our prayers. There was not a 
Christian man known to him in his regiment, and some officers did 



Of Haverhill, Mass. 



332 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

not like to hear anything about religion. He returned to work, how 
ever. A prayer meeting was started in the woods ; he told his story ; 
several were converted. In November he wrote me a letter, con 
taining an account of progress : 

" We have now twenty-five members, and, by God s assistance, we 
shall have a still larger increase. Now we have a tent to ourselves, 
which we were permitted to use by our Colonel. Last night, being 
Sabbath evening, it was full. It is a hospital tent and pretty large : 
but I don t think it will be large enough for us in a short time. We 
have prayer meetings on Wednesday evening and Sabbath morning 
and evening ; on Friday evening there is a class-meeting, and on Sab 
bath afternoon a Bible-class. So we are not altogether idle. We 
have organized a society, adopted a constitution, and taken a name ; 
Young Men s Christian Association of the 9th N. J. Regiment. 
God has been with us everywhere we have been." He goes on to 
recall the prayer meetings at the hospital, and to thank the Com 
mission, and then concludes : " The more I pray the better I love the 
cause of Christ. I am just beginning to realize His religion, for I 
am a young beginner, but trust that I may be always faithful in well 
doing. 

" JOHN GERRIGAN." 

Eev. E. F. Williams, telling the history of New 
Market Station in the Army of the James, in Decem 
ber, relates the following incident : 

When the rebellion broke out, J - was a citizen of Virginia, be 
longing to a company of volunteer militia. He voted against 
secession, but when this was forced upon his State and his regiment 
was to be called soon into the field, he left Virginia 

and, with his family, secretly moved to Maryland. 
Name among the 
People of God. Here during Lee s invasion he was recognized by 

an old neighbor, and arrested as a deserter. He 
was hurried to Carlisle, Pa., as a prisoner, thence to Gettysburg, 
where under guard he witnessed the terrific battle. In the confusion 
of retreat he escaped to the Union camp. Here, mistaken for a 
Kebel prisoner, he was sent to Fort Delaware, whence, after vexatious 
delays, he was at last released. Getting his family together again, 



NEW MARKET STATION. 333 

he removed to Pennsylvania. In July, 1864, he enlisted in the 
Union army, with the stipulation that he should only be called to 
do duty where he would not be exposed to capture by the Con 
federates, an arrangement which was overlooked by his officers. 
He was present at the dedication of our chapel on the New Market 
Road. God met him and convinced him of sin, giving him faith 
and repentance unto life. When those who desired to enroll them 
selves on the Lord s side came forward to give in their names, he said, 
as he handed in his, that he had enlisted under a fictitious name, 
fearing to fall into Rebel hands; but he added most earnestly 
" I want my right name taken among the people of God." 
During the Winter he was full of hope. It was a treat to hear 
his testimony to God s grace, spoken with his strong German accent: 
" I used to laugh at dese tings, unt find fault mit de breacher ; 

some vas too long unt some too short, some vas too 

"Old Things 
pig unt some too little, but now dey shoost suits me. b ecome jy ew 

I lofe dem all ; I lofe dis house ; I lofe de wort of 
G-ott, unt I mean to serfe Him all my life. My bredren, be firm, be 
faitful ; stant up for Jesus, unt notings vill harm you. I vas afraid 
at first, myself, but I to my duty. I read my Bible, unt though my 
wicked frients shake head and laugh, I know ven dey see me in earn 
est, dey vill soon quit dis foolishness." 

He was afterwards transferred to the North-west, to serve against 
the Indians. 

Rev. Edward P. Smith, called from Nashville to the 
Central office, visited the Potomac Army in December. 
He writes from City Point : 

After a preaching service in the crowded chapel tent, those desir 
ing instruction upon the subject of religion were asked to remain. 
Among some thirty who accepted this invitation, I noticed a young 
lad, apparently fifteen years of age, who remained by 

himself in a corner of the tent. I went to him at ^P^ted for 

Duty and under 
once and asked why he had stayed : Orders. 

" Because you told me to." 

" Then you want to be a Christian ?" 

" Yes, sir, I do that." 



334 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

" What is your name ?" 
" Tom Brown, sir." 
" You are a New York soldier ?" 
" Yes." 

" Did you ever go to Sabbath-school ?" 
" Yes, always." 
" Have you a mother ?" 

" She was a Christian ; she has gone to heaven a long time ago." 
" Well, why are you not a Christian, Tom?" 

" That s what s the matter ; that s just what I stopped for, to find 
out how to become one." 

" Well, don t you know how ? What did Paul say to the jailer, 
when he wanted to know what to do to be saved ?" 

" I have heard that a great many times, but somehow I don t do it, 
and I don t know how to do it." 

I explained to him then as well as I could the nature of faith, 
what it is to give oneself to Christ and leave all with Him, and 
accept of Him as the Saviour. But Tom seemed to get no relief. I 
then tried a new form of illustration : 

" Who is your commanding officer, Tom ?" 

" Lieutenant ." 

" Suppose the Lieutenant should send to-night for you to report to 
him ; what would you do ?" 
" I d report, sir." 
" Right off?" 

" Certainly, sir ; I obey orders." 

" When you came to his quarters, what would you say?" 
" I d give him the salute, and say, Lieutenant, what s the orders? " 
"And when you got the orders ?" 
" Then I would do em, sir." 

" Well, now, Tom, the Lord Jesus has sent me to you to-night, and 
orders you to report to Him at once." 

" I ll do it ; I ll do it, sir," and the little fellow looked round for 
his hat as if he were going. 

" Wait," said I, " Tom, till I have told you all. The Lord Jesus 
is here, listening to you and me; knows your words and your 
thoughts and all you mean to do. Now if you get His orders, will 
you do them ?" 



CITY POINT. 335 

" Yes, sir, right away. t 

I asked him of his companions. He told me of an irreligious 
bunk-mate : 

" Tom, if you are going to be a Christian, don t you think Jesus 
will want you to talk and pray with that bunk-mate to-night ?" 

" Yes, if a fellow s going to serve Jesus, he must take hold of it." 

" Well, exactly what Jesus wants you to do, that s the order. And 
don t you think, too, that He wants you to write your sister in the 
morning, and tell her how you feel and what you are going to do ?" 

" Certainly." 

" Well, that s the order, Tom ; and so you ll find it all along in 
life; just what Jesus wants you to do, that s the order. Now, are 
you ready for duty ?" 

" Yes, all ready." 

To take all the orders He ll give you as long as you live ?" 

"Yes." 

" Well, Tom, let us kneel down here and report to Jesus." 

We knelt; I prayed for him and he prayed for himself, keeping up 
the figure with which he had been led to the Saviour : 

" Here I am, Jesus ; I report for duty. All You order me to-night 
and to-morrow and as long as I live I am going to do "and with 
this prayer he went away. As he was passing out at the chapel door, 
Brother Blake, not knowing what had transpired, stopped him and 
asked if he was not going to be a Christian. 

" Yes," said Tom, " I m under orders." 

The next morning he came to our quarters, his face lit up with the 
joy of newly-found peace and hope. During the few days in which 
he remained at the hospital, his testimony for Christ was beautifully 
clear. 

A story related by Mr. H. V. Noyes, 1 in a letter from 
Point of Rocks, dated January 23d, shows the soldier s 
yearning for love : 

As I passed, one forenoon, along my accustomed rounds, a dying 
boy, far as he could reach, stretched out his wasted hand, asking me 



Of Western Theological Seminary (O. S. Presbyterian), Allegheny, Pa. 



336 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

to come that way. I went to his side. He put his cold arm round 

my neck, and drew my face down to his. 

"Let me Call 

you Father" OLI ma ^ e me think of father," said he. "Let 

me call you father ; you won t laugh at me, will you, 
if I call you father ?" 

" No, my dear boy, call me father, if it will be any comfort to 
you." 

" Last night," he continued, with broken utterance, " last night, 
when you prayed, I wanted you to come nearer ; I was 
so sick. I couldn t hear." 

I asked him of his dying hopes : 

" I can t read much now ; but, thank God " It was too 
much, he could say no more; and the sentence remains for ever unfin 
ished. I suppose he was thinking of reading in his Testament. 

Again, he spoke: " You ll let me kiss you now, won t 
you ?" And then he pressed his lips to my cheek and gave his fare 
well sign. I put my mouth to his ear, and offered a fervent petition, 
that God, for Christ s sake, would receive him to Himself. The cold 
sweat was already gathering, and the darkness of death was about 
him : 

" You ll stay with me all night, won t you?" 

I told him I would come back, after I had gone on a little further 
up the row of cots. Gently, oh, how gently, I removed his arm 
from my neck, and bade him good-bye. 

A few minutes later, I heard them saying, " Thompson is dead." 
I hastened back ; the cot was already empty. It only remained for 
me to find him again, and cut two locks of hair, one for the mother 
in Vermont, the other to be kept in sacred remembrance of the sol 
dier who, in his dying breath, desired to call me "Father." 

Rev. N. M. Bailey 1 writes from New Market Roads 
in January : 

One noble old soldier from Michigan, named Peter Whitmore, 
said to me 

" I had a pleasant home ; a dear family of children and grandchil- 



1 Minister of Meth. Episc. Church, Henniker, N. H. 



CITY POINT. 337 

dreii ; a good farm ar d all that, but I wanted to 

do something to help put down this rebellion, and rj oura e 

destroy slavery. I believe the Lord is on our side, 

and will soon give us the victory. I didn t suppose I could go through 

so much as I have, but the Lord has helped me. I have prayed 

to Him every day, and I trust He will take me back home again, 

safe ; but if not, it is His will, and it s all right." 

To faith such as this, God s sending was ever the 
best. Rev. A. L. Pratt 1 writes : 

I found a Maine soldier, about twenty-four years of age, in one of 
the hospitals at City Point. His good right arm would not again bear 
a weapon against his country s enemies. It was amputated just below 
the shoulder-joint. He was an earnest Christian, and 
grateful for our slightest favor. One day he looked jj / 
up into my face with a cheerful smile, and said 

" It seems to me I can t be grateful enough for losing my arm. It 
made me thoughtful, and opened the way for your Delegates to visit 
me, and ended in my finding Christ. It is better, I think, to enter 
into Life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet 
to be cast into everlasting fire. " 

The following narrative is from the pen of Rev. J. K. 
McLean. 2 It is such a vivid picture of a fair and open 
conflict with the Adversary, and illustrates so many 
points of the Delegate s work, that it is given entire : 

With Brother George W. Bigelow, a member of my own church, 
I was deputed to establish a Commission station at the Cavalry De 
pot of the Army of the Potomac, then from January to March, 

1865 located two miles below City Point, on the 

. , n, ,, T > ,. Cavalry Depot. 

same side of the James. It was a camp of dis 
mounted cavalry, numbering at different times from 350 to 2000 
men, and composed of those who had lost their horses in action and 
were waiting here to be remounted ; of wounded men and convales- 



1 Minister of Meth. Episc. Church, Bradford, Vt. 

2 Pastor of the Hollis Congregational Church, Framingham, Mass. 
22 



338 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

cents on their way back from hospital ; a corral of horses ; an armory, 
smith shops, saddle shops, depot of clothing, equipments, &c. 

Previous to our coming, little Commission work had been done for 
the camp. An occasional Sunday service and an irregular distribu 
tion of papers was all. On Monday, January 16th, Brother Bigelow 
and myself, both entirely new to the service, filled our haversacks 
with Commission ammunition, and started on foot through the inter 
vening two miles of mud and camp offal, for our scene of operations. 

Our first duty was reconnoitring. We discovered the case to stand 
about as follows : Here were some 500 men, and more daily arriving, 
with nothing to do, under lax discipline and few restrictions, stop 
ping here for a few days on their way to the front to 

A. Reconnois- . . .-, /> ,1 

. ^ take part in the feprmo; movements or the army, 

sance in Force. to > Jt 

which for the cavalry would be especially hazardous. 
Many of them were sure to be shortly either maimed or killed. 
What was to be done must be done quickly. 

The material of the camp was peculiar. The old men, those who 
had been dismounted or wounded, had nearly all been engaged in 
the constant raiding of the last campaigns ; stopping nowhere beyond 
a few hours, with few or no Chaplains, they had attended no Divine 
service for months ; some of them had not for two years. " Camp 
Stoneman," during the Winter of 1863, on the Rappahannock, was 
the last place in which many of them had heard anything of "relig 
ion." There were large squads of raw recruits also constantly com 
ing in ; many of whom were at this time about the worst class of men 
probably ever sent into any army, professional " bounty -jumpers," 
thieves given their choice between entering the army or the peni 
tentiary, and other refuse matter from the large cities. 

The very atmosphere of that fine January morning was reeking 
with profanity and fetid with vulgarity and obscenity. Some of the 
men, when they came to know who we were, restrained themselves a 
little in our presence ; but as yet we were unknown, and the foul 
thoughts came out in foulest words. It was a discouraging prospect 
to human view, two men drawn up before this stronghold of Satan, 
with, so far as we knew, not a single Christian in it; sin rampant; 
blasphemy stalking unrebuked ; our only arms the little tracts and 
books we held, light artillery indeed against such walls of sin yet 
we were there to carry that camp for Jesus. We seemed to ourselves 



CAVALRY DEPOT ; CITY POINT. 339 

like two men who should march with pickaxe and barrow against a 
huge mountain to remove and cast it into the sea. But remembering 
that faith can remove mountains, we began our work, and, with 
God s blessing, at least made some impression. 

We visited every tent ; told who we were, what we had come for ; 
gave out needles, thread, paper, envelopes, newspapers and books ; 
invited every man to come to our chapel meetings, when we should 
get the chapel up. We were in every instance 

kindly received even cordially. We found some r Profanity, at 

Home and in the 
Christians ; and almost all of the better sort said A 

" Oh, yes, of course we ll come to meeting always 
used to go at home !" 

" But, boys, did you swear so at home ?" 

" No, we didn t ; that s a fact." 

" Do you expect to keep it up after your return ?" 

"No." 

" Won t it be rather hard to break off all at once ?" 

" That s so ; just the reason we swear so now ; got used to it with 
the horses, and now don t think." 

The horses, according to a cavalryman, are responsible for a great 
deal of swearing. Many acknowledged the foolishness of the habit, 
and more than one was pledged that first day to give it up. Such 
efforts, with a public talk on the subject on Sunday, went far to 
cleanse the air of the vice. Doubtless it still existed, but was far 
less obtrusive ; oaths were probably discharged in private, but they 
rattled less furiously about our ears. 

Our main business was to get a chapel built, and in it to hold re 
ligious services. In this we encountered most vexatious delays. We 
had promise from the officer commanding the post, of men, and 
lumber from adjoining Secesh estates, for a stockade 
chapel roofed with boards, the Commission at this in ape 
time having no canvas cover to give us. Every day 
for a week, this promise was renewed. A few logs were cut, but that 
was all. One freezing morning, after waiting eight days, we took off 
our coats, borrowed some pickaxes, and set at work to dig a trench 
for our stockade. This brought out both the Captain of the Dis 
mounted Camp, and the officer commanding the post. The picks 
were at once taken out of our hands ; a strong detail of men put on ; 



340 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

and we rejoiced at the near prospect of having a sanctuary. From 
stormy weather however, from failure in getting boards, the hope 
of which we finally abandoned and roofed our building with canvas 
taken from a chapel elsewhere and from other causes, it was not 
until February 12th that our tabernacle could be dedicated. 

Meantime, we had been holding meetings at the Convalescent 
Camp, a half mile distant, in a tent or hut whence rations were dealt 
out. Into this we gathered one night four or five men who could 

sing, and struck up some of the stirring soldiers 

The Work Be- , TTT^I i 1^1 ^ 

hymns. Within a half hour over forty had come in. 

gins. J J 

We held a brief service, then asked any who were 
Christians, and not afraid to own it, to rise. Four stood up instantly. 
This was our nucleus. The next night, five asked for prayers, and, 
from that time until the meetings were transferred to the large 
chapel, hardly a night passed without some new cases presenting 
themselves. Thus by the time our chapel was finished we had 
gathered a goodly number ready to take hold and help on the 
meetings. 

It really seemed as if the powers of evil had combined against our 
chapel. We had to build by the help of bounty-jumpers, who would 
work only as one of us stood by and watched. The building was 
fairly plastered and shingled with oaths ; for never 
did a wickeder set of men build a House for the 
Lord. Then, during the dedication, a gale of wind blew, which first 
so flapped our canvas roof about the long stove-pipe that it was 
pulled apart and almost shed its lengths down upon us; that secured, 
the roof itself, all along one side, loosened with a crack, and would 
have gone, had not one of the men, just in time, caught the flying 
canvas, and, though repeatedly lifted from his feet, held on until help 
came and it was secured. That same evening a large squad of re 
cruits came. It was very cold ; there were no quarters for them, 
not even shelter-tents ; we cheerfully opened our chapel to them for 
the night. The next morning a heavy rain came on, and continued 
throughout a week. No quarters could be built; more men were daily 
arriving ; so that soon two hundred were quartered in our chapel. 
And such a place as it became ! The mud was almost as deep within 
as without ; water continually poured through the roof; refuse pork, 
coffee grounds, tobacco quids and all manner of filth were trodden 



CAVALRY DEPOT; CITY POINT. 341 

into the miry floor; the air reeked with tobacco smoke and was fetid 
with foul breath ; some of the men grew sick, many of them became 
troublesome and quarrelsome ; it was only by frequent interference 
on our part and threats of turning all out into the storm, that we 
could keep them in control. The Prince of Darkness had apparently 
gained a final triumph. It was with the utmost difficulty that we 
could hold our meetings in the rank and noisome place. But we did 
hold one every evening in spite of the surroundings, and with most 
blessed results. 

Every evening, I think without exception, some rose for prayers 
or spoke of a newly-found hope in Jesus. Our meetings were 
crowded ; sometimes as many as fifty or sixty would rise, and as 
many as twenty speak. It was no carnal battle-ground. The Holy 
Spirit and Satan there contended mightily. During the day card- 
playing, profanity and ribald songs were the order. At evening 
these gave place to prayer, preaching and praise. One night, after 
one of our best meetings, the chapel had become quiet. The lights 
were out and, save an occasional snore, all was silent, when we were 
startled by the cry of " Murder murder." The guard rushed to the 
spot ; we came with our lantern ; and such a scene as we saw would 
be hard to describe. It afterwards appeared that some evil-minded 
persons, whether of those belonging within or without the building 
we never discovered, had set about picking pockets. The alarm 
given, at once in the darkness there ensued a promiscuous knock 
down fight, which was ended only by the arrival of the guard and 
lanterns. After that we kept a lantern burning in the chapel, and 
a guard detailed for the door. Through such scenes the perennial 
strife between good and evil went on. 

It was a full week ere the chapel was cleared. Then it took a 
detail of men a whole day to clean it. By scraping the seats, newly 
sanding the floor and trimming the rough walls with cedar boughs, it 
was made a very pleasant and really attractive 
place. With this our troubles ended ; and during Brought to 

the rest of our stay we had clear sailing. A Bible- storm 
class and inquiry meeting were held every afternoon, 
and a fully-attended service every evening. There were daily con 
versions. Among the converts was a man who had enlisted in a 
Pennsylvania village which contained seven churches, but for fifteen 



342 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

years lie had never been in one of them, and had never intended to 
go again. Coming in with the recruits who were quartered in our 
chapel, the first night or two he went out into the storm and waited 
until the meetings closed. He took cold and resolved to stay in, the 
next night. He did so, became interested, and finally determined to 
live a Christian life. 

Another soldier, named McF , an iron-roller, from Pittsburg, a 

fine-looking, stalwart man of thirty-five, came to the tent-door one 
morning to ask if we could not put a stop to the gambling going on 

in the chapel. He thought it out of place and sure 
7/i Church in , T , . . , . . 

S ite of Himself . provoke a quarrel. I went in with him, and, 

after stopping the card-playing, had a talk with him. 
He told me this story : He had been accustomed to make good wages 
in the iron-mills. With the other men he would quit work Saturday 
noon, dress up, and in the evening go to the theatre or " spree it." 
He would come home at midnight or later and go to bed drunk. 
His patient wife, a Christian, a member of the Episcopal Church, 
would sit up for him, help him to bed, take his muddy boots, dry, 
clean and polish them, and in the morning beg him to go with her 
to church. He would refuse and she would cry. This had hap 
pened, for a year or two, forty Sabbaths out of the fifty-two. He 
felt his degradation and the wrong he was doing his family, but had 
not the moral strength to break away from his associations and do 
better, until at last in a kind of desperation he enlisted, as much as 
anything else to be free from his wife s importunities towards a better 
life. He arrived at City Point the day our chapel was dedicated, 
and was one of the squad quartered in it. What was his dismay at 
finding himself in the midst of preparation for a religious service ! 
He had left home to get rid of these ; here he was suddenly among 
them again. He rolled himself in his blanket, and lying down in 
an obscure corner, tried to sleep, but could not. He heard little that 
was said, but could not shake off the feelings which his church- 
quarters had awakened. He slept little that night, thinking of his 
patient, uncomplaining wife, his children and his own past conduct. 
At last, for the first time in years, he was driven to pray. A few 
nights later he rose for prayers. I felt very hopeful about him. 
But old propensities proved very strong. One day he was greatly 
provoked, got into a fight, and came near being put under arrest. 



CAVALRY DEPOT ; CITY POINT. 343 

After this he avoided us and left the meetings entirely, until I met 
him one morning in the swampy woods back of our camp, and 
accosted him. He tried at first to get away, but finally sat down. 
I told him I was sorry about the fight and could hardly blame him, 
his provocation had been so great. I still had confidence in him, and 
expected he would do well. It seemed to do him a world of good. 
That night he was again at meeting, and every following night while 
we remained. I know not whether he became a Christian. " The 
Commission," he used to say, " has done more for me than all Pitts- 
burg could." 

It was surprising to see how soon the men came to put confidence 
in us. They would come and tell us about their wives, children and 
sweethearts, and show us their pictures. One poor fellow received a 
letter containing news of his aged mother s death. He came with it, 
though a perfect stranger to us, and saying no word, with falling 
tears handed it to us to read. He wanted sympathy, and instinct 
ively felt that representatives of Christ could best afford it. Boys 
brought us their wallets to keep. One offered us five dollars for 
having kept his over night. Men put into our hands money to ex 
press home, and watches to carry when we returned North. With 
no knowledge of our personal character, with only the endorsement 
which the Commission gave, the men reposed unlimited confidence 
in us. 

It was, I think, the second day our flag had been displayed, that 
Brother Bigelow, returning from a tour through the camp, found a 
man waiting at the door to see us. He was a member of the mounted 

Fquad at headquarters ; came from Jersev City : was 

c . . The Spirits 

the son 01 pious parents ; had at home a pious wife, o -,y \ 

but had himself resisted all religious impressions. 
He had been a member of a convivial club in Jersey City, where he 
had been hurrying to ruin. He enlisted, came to City Point, and 
there, apart from any external religious influences whatever, be 
came thoughtful, penitent, and finally a child of Christ. During the 
two months since his conversion, he had seen but one person with 
whom he could converse on the subject of religion. Passing our sta 
tion the day before, he saw the sign " Christian Commission," and, 
though knowing nothing of us, the name " Christian" attracted him. 
In his own words, " I thought that there I should find some one with 



344 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

whom I could talk." As soon as he was off duty he came over to our 
tent, and finding no one in, patiently waited our return. Thus 
Brother Bigelow found him. With moistened eye and quivering lip 
he related his story. We saw him often during our stay, and were 
convinced that he was indeed a changed man. 

Our last service at the camp was deeply affecting. The chapel 
was crowded. Rev. S. L. Bowler 1 preached that evening, and after 
some remarks we bade the men good-bye. Even in the short time 
we had been with them we had come to love them, for we had found 
noble, manly hearts among them. As we left the pulpit after the 
benediction, they stood in double line all the way down to the door. 
As from one after another we received a hearty grasp of the hand 
and heard their " God bless you, Chaplain !" we thanked the Lord 
that He had placed before us such an open door. 

I have narrated these things thus fully, for the reason that the 
experience at this station was measurably unique. It was a definite 
effort, made in circumstances favorable to show the working power 

How Great the f tlie Commission. We found a camp wholly given 
Victory was. U P to gdlessness, the good which was in it buried 

out of sight almost smothered in superabounding 
evil. By a moderate effort, through God s blessing, and that in a 
short time, this state of things was almost wholly reversed, so that 
the good was uppermost and the evil forced to skulk. Large num 
bers of men, just on the eve of the sanguinary battles which termi 
nated the war, were brought under Christian influences, whereto 
many of them yielded, and rode on to death prepared to meet it. 

After we left, the meetings were continued under the efficient charge 
of Mr. D. C. H. Whitney, of Fitchburg, Mass. The station was one 
of the last broken up ; our stockade chapel had to be abandoned, as 
the weather grew warm, for a larger ; and night after night many 
souls, almost a "multitude," heard and "received with meekness 
the engrafted word" to their salvation. 

The work in connection with the numerous chapels 
erected over the entire army was one of exceeding in 
terest. In many of them revivals were begun. In all 

1 Of Orono, Me. Long the Agent of the Commission at the Washington Office. 



THE ARMY CHAPELS. 345 

there were deeply fervent and prayerful meetings. Rev. 
E. F. Williams writes of Henry Station Chapel in the 
Third Division of the Twenty-fourth Corps: 1 

One evening a man belonging to a battery, three-fourths of a mile 
from our chapel, strayed over to the meeting. He became greatly 
interested in the service. When about half-way home he kneeled 
by a stump and prayed. The next night, with a 
companion, he sought the meeting again. The stump p 
saw two praying souls that night, and upon their 
return to camp they began to work for Christ, and in a few weeks 
forty men out of that battery alone found peace in believing. 

Eev. Wm. A. Mandell 2 relates two soldiers experi 
ences, told in the chapel at City Point Hospital : 

Amos L. Ham, of Co. B, 18th N. H., told us how he was arrested 
by a message from his little daughter. He labored under deep emo 
tion as he spoke. His wife had written him a letter. Before sealing 
it she turned to her little daughter and asked 

" What shall I write father for you ?" c/ 

* Home Safe. 

"Tell him," said little Nellie, "to look to God and 
trust Him, and then he will come home safe." 

The message went to the father s heart, humbling him at the foot 
of the cross, as a " little child." 

Corporal Matthias had become a Christian. Before the Hatcher s 
Run battle he said to a comrade 

" You are detailed to go front, while I am to remain with the bag 

gage. Let us change places. I ll go front ; you re- 

Going into 

mam m camp. 



"What for?" asked his bunk-mate. 

" Because I m prepared to die, I think ; but you are not." 

The exchange was made. The Christian soldier was hit three 

times by spent balls, and very little hurt. The Corporal s friend rose 

in our meeting, and related the circumstance. 



1 Annals, U. S. Christian Commission, p. 449. 

2 Pastor of Congregational Church, Lunenburg, Mass. 



346 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

"I want to tell you, brother soldiers," he added, "that this brought 
me to Jesus, and He has made me a very different man. Some of 
you claim to be as happy in your pleasures as Christians are. If so, 
why do you strew the way with cards when you are going into bat 
tle ? Why are you afraid to die on the field with these in your pock 
ets ? Why do you reprove each other for profane words while you 
are getting into line of battle ?" 

The narrative and the argument made a deep impression upon all 
present. 

Rev. H. J. Patrick continues the reminiscences of the 
same chapel : 

A messenger, just in from the front, came into the meeting, and 
told how he had resolved, the last time he was there, to stand up the 
next night. Before that night came, he was ordered to the front : 

" I was very much troubled. I thought my day 
How to Be- , . , 

pi.- f - of grace was passed. I was put out on picket, and 

got more and more depressed. At last I determined 
I would be a Christian. I didn t know how T to do it. I thought I 
must do something or other. The only thing I could think of was 
to work with my companions, and get them to do as I did. I went 
to one and asked him if he loved Jesus. He said he didn t. I talked 
and prayed with him, spent most of a night praying. He became 
a Christian. And now I have come back to tell you how precious 
the service of Christ is." 

In the just-completed chapel at the Cumming s House 
Station, during the first meeting, two soldiers spoke, 
whose stories Rev. Mr. Patrick relates : 

About two hundred came in at our first meeting. We had no 

benches for them ; as they sat d la Turk, Rev. Asa Bullard, of the 

Massachusetts Sabbath-school Society, gave them a talk, and found 

out that nineteen-twentieths of those present had 

been connected with Sabbath-schools. A soldier of 

the 1st Maryland Regt. told how, six months before, he had scarcely 

known what the Bible w r as. Once he had deserted. His punishment 

when captured, and a letter from his wife, urging him to better 



BIBLE AND TESTAMENT. 34? 

things, had made him think. So one day, as he was returning from 
carrying rations out to the pickets, he came upon a soldier s grave. 
Humbled and penitent, he there determined to consecrate himself to 
Jesus. He told us, with faltering, earnest words, how he was trying 
to keep near to Christ. 

At the same meeting, Lieutenant Loomis, of the 146th N. Y. Regt., 
told us that on the 19th of August, the day of the Weldon railroad 
fight, as his men were advancing to the charge, he saw a Bible on 
the ground at the side of a dead Confederate soldier. 

Picking: it up, stained with blood, he found afterwards 

federates Bible. 

the dead soldier s name printed on the cover. 1 

" Now," said the Lieutenant, " I am using that Bible myself, and 
what I never did before I am praying. I shall keep the Bible 
for the owner s friends, if they can be found." 

An incident, somewhat like the last, is related by 
Rev. Lyman Bartlett : 2 

In visiting a small battery directly in front of Fort Morton, I be 
came acquainted with the Captain of a heavy battery of the 8th N. 
Y. Artillery. Until within a few weeks he had been a thoughtless, 
wild young man. His wife was a Christian ; and 
she, with a pious brother, had often written, urging ^ 
him to come to Christ. One day he found on the 
ground near his quarters a soiled Testament, which he picked up 
and began to read. He became interested as he had never been be 
fore, and in a few days read it through. Going through it over and 
over again, he found new meaning at each perusal, though there was 
much he could not understand. He began to pray for light. Soon 
the Spirit opened his eyes and led him to the cross, where he found 
pardon and direction and peace. All this time he had not conversed 
with a single Christian friend. Afterwards his wife sent him a small 
pocket Bible. The reading of it was a new revelation to him each 
succeeding day. His gratitude to God for having opened his eyes to 
behold such wondrous things out of His Law, was beautiful and 
child-like. 



1 B. F. Porter, Co. B, llth Miss. 

2 Pastor of Congregational Church, Morristown, Vt. 



348 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

Rev. Perkins K. Clark 1 writes in February from 
Point of Rocks : 

Before I left home, a little girl came to me, wishing to send some 
thing to the soldiers. Her mother said she had been saving all her 
pennies a long time, and had been very unwilling to part with them. 

But w r hen she heard I was going to the army, she 
Little Clara s . ^ , , . 

. wanted her mother to come with her to bring some 

of them to me : 

" Well, how many will you take, Clara ?" 

" Twenty-five," this was one-fourth of the whole store. The 
twenty-five pennies were brought to me, and a valuable, though 
modest little roll I thought it to be. I decided to add to it some of 
the other funds entrusted to me, and procure a Bible, to be given in 
Clara s name. 

As I was visiting my patients at Point of Rocks Hospital, a young 
man of the 1st N. Y. Mounted Rifles, who had a Testament, asked 
me for a Bible. He was searching for the truth, and under deep 
conviction of sin. I said to myself, Here is the man for little Clara s 
book. So I told him all about the twenty-five cents, and wrote on 
the fly-leaf of the book, " Albert Smay, Co. C, 1st N. Y. Mounted 
Rifles. Bought with pennies given by little Clara Hastings, of South 
Deerfield, Mass. Presented by Rev. P. K. Clark, U. S. C. C., Point 
of Rocks. Feb. 14th, 1865. Search the Scriptures. " As I gave 
him the book, I spoke to him earnestly about the duty he owed to 
God. He was overcome with emotion, and hiding his face under 
the blanket sobbed like a child. The next day I carried him some 
blackberry syrup. Again I presented Christ to him : 

" I haven t found Him," he said, " and it seems to me I ve been 
trying as hard as I can." 

" Well, now, suppose you stop trying, and let Him try. He in 
vites you ; believe this and trust Him. His promise is, Him that 
cometh unto Me, I will in no wise cast out." 

Sabbath morning, I saw him again. 

" Yesterday," said he, " I found Him ; I saw that I could do 
nothing but just believe." 



1 Pastor of Congregational Church, South Deerfield, Mass. 



POINT OF EOCKS : CITY POINT. 349 

His face and all his bearing indicated the deep peace of God. I 
was to leave next morning, and came to bid him good-bye. 

" Jesus is my Saviour," he said, with tears rolling down his cheeks; 
" I can leave all with Him. I ll write to you when I can sit up. Tell 
little Clara how I thank her for the dear book." 

When my term of service in another part of the army had ex 
pired, I hastened again to the Point of Rocks Hospital. Albert had 
taken a new sickness and was dying. He was too weak for much 
conversation : 

"Is Jesus precious to you, Albert?" 

" He is all that is precious to me, now" 

He whispered his wish that the Bible should be sent to his mother. 
A faint smile came into his face as I spoke of the Better Land. It 
rested there. On the morning of February 28th he died, happy in 
Jesus. 

Rev. W. A. Mandell tells this story of the last hour : 

At City Point Hospital, a young drummer-boy, who had been 
wounded, was dying. He asked a Delegate to read and pray with 
him. A number of passages were read ; the sufferer kept saying, 

" Read some more." At last the Delegate came to 
. _ . .^ JT^^ ^ e Comfort in 

the fourth verse of the twenty-third Psalm. theDwk Valley 

"Stop," said the boy, " that s it; read it again." It 
was done. 

" Read it again, please." It was read the third time. 

" Will you put my hand on it, please ?" 

He could not see ; so his hand was guided to the page and verse : 

" Lay it open on my breast, Chaplain." 

It was done, and the dying child folded his dear arms over the 
sacred words, " Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow 
of death, I will fear no evil ; for Thou art with me ; Thy rod and Thy 
staff they comfort me." Still pressing it to his breast, the boy passed 
from the scene of earthly conflict to the Country of Rest. 

A conundrum propounded by a soldier to Rev. E. P. 
Smith, in February, gathers up into small compass so 
much of the real difficulty of army life that it may 
well close our chapter : 



350 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

I was riding on top of a train of cars, running over what the sol 
diers called " Gen. Grant s railroad," the line that stretches from 
City Point up to the left of the army. While we were passing 
through a forest cleared by soldiers axes, a private, 

"Can t Stand g ft t i n ~ by my side, called attention to the large pine 
without the Lit- 3 . 

tie Ones" trees which had been torn up by the roots in the 

wind-storm of the night preceding. They had been 
left standing for Quartermasters purposes after the smaller ones had 
been cut away for fuel. 

" Chaplain," said the soldier, " do you know why those trees that 
have tumbled over, are like a great many men in the army ?" 

I gave it up, and he answered 

" Because they can t stand without the little ones to help them." 



CHAPTEK XIII. 

THE EASTERN ARMIES. 

FROM THE INVESTMENT OF PETERSBURG, UNTIL THE CLOSE OF THE WAR. 

(Concluded.) 

June 1864 April 1865. 

A LITTLE story told by Rev. Geo. N. Harden illus 
trates the same general truth with the incident which 
closed the preceding chapter : 

At one of the City Point hospitals was a soldier who told me he 
had been near the gates of death. 

" How did you feel in view of meeting God?" I asked. 

" Well," said he, " I thought it all over, and felt 

"My Mother s 
calm and ready. I never made any profession, but 



I m convinced of the truth of religion. When 
young, I used to read Tom Paine and Voltaire, and I liked to argue, 
for the sake of argument, with any one who seemed sectarian or fond 
of discussion. Yet I did not believe a word of what I read. I 
always believed in my mother s religion. No man on the face of God s 
globe can lodge an argument between me and my mother s religion." 

Rev. Dr. Robert Patterson, writing from Hatcher s 
Run, in March, 1865, gives an account of the opening 
of a fresh box of Testaments for the men who were to 
march within a day or two : 

" Boys, I want eight men to help in with this box of Testaments." 
" Here you go, Chaplain," said a child of fourteen or fifteen, as he 
caught hold with the others. 

351 



352 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

"That s a queer little fellow," says one of the 

Pleading for a ., , . TT , , ,, 

, men ; he is from Hagerstown, where, when the in 

habitants fled, his father bushwhacked Stuart s Cav 
alry and got killed, and he enlisted." 

He gets a Testament and a hymn book : 

" If you give me another, I ll distribute it." 

" To whom will you distribute it, my son ?" 

" To my Color Sergeant, sir." 

He is bringing in his blanket and great-coat for the Commission to 
send home for him. 

" I wish you would give me one of those Testaments. I had one 
covered with leather, mother gave me, and I carried it all through 
the campaign, til) I lost my knapsack. I wouldn t have taken fifty 
dollars for it," 

" Please, Chaplain, let me have one. I have a Bible my mother 
gave me, but the covers are worn off it, and I have to tie it with a 
string ; and I think I ll send it home." 

Here is a young convert who found Christ last week, and he 
must have one. There is a boy who wants to send home his Fifth 
Corps badge, a Maltese silver cross, inscribed with Antietam and a 
dozen other battles. We cannot refuse him one. 

The box of Testaments will scarcely last till night. Here is a 
Chaplain with an oat sack for papers and Testaments ; he will shoul 
der it two miles. Here comes a brother with whom I have crossed 
the prairie, and mingled in the great revival of 1858 ; and he says 
the spirit among the men is the same as in that. His Colonel, Mc 
Coy, conducts the meeting when he is absent, and the chapel tent is 
filled every night. 

I attended a Bible-class on Sabbath afternoon, in the Third Bri 
gade, Second Division, Fifth Corps. Almost all the boys had Testa 
ments ; but one of the leaders, buttoned up to the throat, went 
around, and opening his breast poured forth the Word of God from 
his overflowing bosom, to those who needed. Then they all began 
the study of the Sermon on the Mount. At night in that chapel over 
a dozen were under conviction and seeking prayer, after the sermon. 
They will not willingly leave the meeting till the drum calls them 
away. 



CITY POINT. 353 

Rev. W. H. Gilbert, 1 canvassing the army to find its 
need of the Word of God, comes upon these incidents : 

In one tent, where there were four men, two of them went to the 
meetings, and became hopefully converted. Without opposition from 
the other two, they began reading the Bible and praying in their 
tent. One of them, a short, stout man, whom they 
called " Chubby," was accustomed to read for them. 



At length Chubby was sent to the front. When the 
hour of worship next came, his companion, not willing to give up the 
exercise, or to conduct it entirely alone, asked his comrades who 
should read the Bible for them : 

"Will you, William?" 

" No," was the reply ; " I can t read the Bible, I never did." 

The other tent-mate, who was a very profane and wicked man, re 
sponded 

" I will ; I ought to. My mother taught me to read it ; and it 
would have been better for me if I had always obeyed her." And 
the tears flowed, as he took the book and read a chapter. When he 
had done, his pious companion knelt to pray, and he knelt too ; and 
when the other had prayed, he followed, and then and there gave 
himself to Christ, and began a Christian life. 

In one of the meetings at City Point, a soldier said that he had 
been trying to serve Christ for about six months. He had been try 
ing to induce all his company to come to the meeting 
and seek Jesus; and had persuaded eleven to come, 



He drew his Bible from his pocket, and said he 

had read it through three times since he began to serve Christ, 

and he would not exchange it for all other books that could be col 

lected. 

Rev. John B. Perry 2 writes in March from the chapel 
at Warren Station, of the influence exerted through 
these " tabernacles in the wilderness :" 



1 Joint Agent of the American Bible Society, and of the Commission. 

2 Pastor of Congregational Church, Swanton, Vt. 

23 



354 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

There were two boys from a regiment not noted for piety, who 

began to attend the services at Warren Station chapel. Becoming 

interested in the meetings, they persevered and soon gave evidence 

that they were born of God. Going back to their 

own camp, they started social worship in their tents. 
fluence. m r 

The little gatherings were nightly continued ; the 
number in attendance increased; soon thirty from that regiment 
indulged hope in Christ. 

In another regiment there had been found, a few months before, 
but a single professing Christian. He had been alone for a year. 
He was an unassuming, quiet, conscientious boy, about nineteen 
years old. His life was so spotless and his efforts so faithful that 
interest among his comrades was at last awakened. On the 1st of 
April there were eighteen of the regiment who cherished a substan 
tial trust in Christ as the Divine Saviour. 

The fruit on the battle-field of these awakenings was what might 
have been expected, soldiers " strong in the Lord." On the evening 
of March 22d, a soldier who had recently found peace was baptized 

and received into the Army Christian Association. 
At Home with T _ /- in^-ii 

I 11 the severe lighting ot March zoth he was mortally 



wounded. When brought off the field, though suf 
fering intensely, he was happy in mind. He sent messages to his 
friends at home, and to his companions in arms, urging them to seek 
Christ. As the breath ebbed away amidst the outward signs of ex 
treme bodily anguish, we asked him whither he was going : 
" I am going home ; yes, I am going home to be with Jesus." 

Rev. W. Howell Buchanan 1 writes of the way in 
which the soldiers became attached to the chapels : 

I attended one meeting in the chapel at Meade Station, whose like 
for deep, quiet, religious earnestness I had never seen. It was liter 
ally baptized in tears, and it was certainly baptized by the Holy 

Ghost. One young man, whose emotions continually 
The Gate of , , , , . 
jf eaven choked his utterance, told me 

" I helped to build this chapel, and I shall never 
forget the place. I didn t know when I was at work here what good 

1 Of Elverston 111. 



QUINNIPIAC CHAPEL. 355 

it would do me, but I have been converted here. I ve been home 
since, and united with the old church, Dr. Plummer s, in Allegheny 
City, but I can never never forget this chapel. It s been the gate 
of heaven to me." 

Just before the order came for an advance along the 
whole line, the chapel meetings were at the climax of 
their interest and power. Two narratives will illustrate 
this. The first is from the pen of Rev. Dr. Patterson, 
written at " Quinnipiac Chapel," near Hatcher s Run, on 
March 20th : 

Yesterday afternoon and evening there were two crowded meetings 
at General Gwyn s headquarters, in the chapel tent where the men 
have kept up meetings every evening for weeks, without any Chaplain. 
When I went in, a soldier with a Sergeant s chevrons 
was preaching Christ, "His name shall be called 
Wonderful." It was a noble gospel sermon. I thought of Crom 
well s preaching and praying " Ironsides," and took courage for our 
future. 

At night I preached to a crowded house ; the officers and men sit 
ting on round poles, with pins stuck in for legs, instead of benches. 
What our velvet-cushioned pew-holders would say to meetings lasting 
for three hours on such a " roost" I can t say, but General Gwyn, 
with his Colonels and officers, seemed satisfied to obtain room amidst 
the crowd. After sermon there was a prayer meeting. The faces 
and utterances of the men denoted the deepest feelings. I had not 
been accustomed to so much excitement in my meetings at home, and 
so expressed myself to an officer present. 

" You should have heard them express their feelings," said he, 
" when with the skirmish line they took the enemy s works at Dab- 
ney s Mills." It did seem as if they were wrestling in mortal conflict 
with sin. The Colonel said of some of the men who were praying 

" They are the best men in my regiment. In the fight, there s no 
hold back aboufc them. That little drummer-boy yonder was a 
terrible fellow once ; but we have no trouble with him now." 

The second narrative concerns the meetings in the 



n 
for the front. 



356 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

Sixth Corps, conducted by the Corps Agent, Eev. Geo. 
A. Hall, 1 in the station chapel : 

The nightly crowded meetings in the chapel witnessed such scenes 
as have never been known outside of army lines. The night before 
a fight on the left, the question was put to a most solemn assembly 
" How many of you that are seeking Christ are 

ready to surrender to Him now ? " 

J 
In answer some twelve or fifteen came forward and 

knelt by the front seat ; among them was an interesting youth. An 
old man seeing him, darted from his seat and pressing through the 
crowded aisle, threw his arms about the young soldier, sobbing 

" My son, my son. He was lost and is found." 

Just then an Adjutant from Division headquarters, apologizing for 
his intrusion, called out 

" All men belonging to - Division, fall in." 

They were to march in the darkness of night, to secure a position 
for the attack at daylight. The men at the front seat arose, fell on 
each other s necks and wept. Some of them were to go. The father 
was not in the division ordered out. His boy was. The parting was 
tender and cheerful. He kissed him and said 

" Go now, my boy, since the Lord is going with you." 

There were hurried pledges to be faithful, and then they all took 
hold of hands around the altar and sang 

" Say, brothers, will you meet us 
On Canaan s happy shore ?" 

and hurried to their quarters to make ready to fall in. Some did 
not return from that fight. Two were brought into City Point Hos 
pital badly wounded. They told us of the meeting, of their conse 
cration, of their fearlessness in the fight, and their readiness to meet 
death, if it was God s will. Others came back and participated in a 
few more meetings in the chapel, and joined with us in our closing 
Communion service the last meeting in the chapel, and the last 
meeting in the Corps before the final movement on Richmond. 

It was a wonderful service, the ordinance of the Lord s Supper 



1 Member of Troy Conference, Meth. Epis. Church. 



THE COLOEED SOLDIEKS. 357 

under marching orders. Officers, soldiers and Delegates all united 

hearts and said parting words. Some of them, with- 

The bora s 
out doubt, would next drink of the fruit of the vine Supper under 

new in the Father s Kingdom. None expected to Marching Or- 
commune together again in this world ; but in this ders- 
they were happily disappointed. 

When the Sixth Corps had finished its noble record of marching 
and fighting, and came to rendezvous back of Alexandria, Mr. Hall, 
with his station in working order and his chapel-flag flying, called 
in his boys once more. The blessed meetings were resumed and on 
the last Sabbath before mustering out, one more Communion service 
was held in memorial of Christ s love. It was a fit place and time 
for testimony to that love, by men who had come into the service as 
His disciples, had been kept true and were returning veterans in that 
service ; by men who had fallen under army temptations and had 
been rescued ; and by many who were going home after a three 
years service to testify for the first time to their families and neigh 
bors of the power of the Christian life. 

Before closing the story of the armies operating 
against Richmond, reference must be made to the special 
work undertaken by the Commission in behalf of the 
colored troops, who made up the Twenty-fifth Corps in 
the Army of the James. A conference of Chaplains 
met early in the Winter at Butler Station, and was im 
mediately followed by an appeal from the Executive 
Committee at Philadelphia for fifty teachers for colored 
soldiers. Gen. Butler gave carte blanche for all the needed 
lumber. Primers, Spelling-books and Bible-readers 
were forwarded in very large numbers. Soon thirty 
neat edifices attested the eagerness of the men to learn 
to read and write, and schools were in progress in nearly 
every regiment of the Corps. Two large Commission 
stations "Birney" and "Wild" one mile apart, were 
established to facilitate the general work. Long before 



358 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

this, however, the attention of the Commission had been 
called to the necessity of doing something towards the 
instruction of this part of the army. Eev. J. W. Har 
ding, 1 writing from Bermuda Hundred in September, 
1864, says : 

These colored soldiers have strong arms and warm hearts. They 
salute us respectfully, their bearing is soldierly, and the highest 
favor we can give them is a Primer or a First or Second Reader, or a 

Testament. They are bent on learning to read. It 
The Colored . ,-. ., _? 

would please you to see me in the capacity ot a pri 
mary school teacher to some brawny cavalry six- footer. 
He stands by my side, cap in hand, booted and spurred, his bright 
sabre clanking at his heels, and eagerly spelling out the words which 
shall unseal for him the fountains of knowledge. I could devote my 
whole time in giving them spelling and reading lessons. And then 
you should see them on their well-groomed horses, marching in a 
squad of Rebel prisoners. They say nothing, but they look every 
thing, and so do their more than crest-fallen captives. We found 
some of these in the guard-house yesterday, who were actually in 
mortal dread of their colored guard, lest, remembering Fort Pillow, 
they might lay violent hands on them. There is no doubt that a 
salutary fear of our colored soldiers is pervading the Rebel camps. 
And then you should see these black troopers escorting in their wives 
and little ones and sweethearts, each loaded on the head and in both 
hands with the spoils of the Egyptians ; and the laughing pickanin 
nies, who cannot march, nestling in the left arms of their protectors. 

It is impossible within reasonable limits to give any 
thing like an adequate idea of the characteristics of the 
colored soldier. Yet an incident or two may help to 
form a partial picture. Rev. E. F. Williams gives a 
story occurring at the City Point General Hospital : 

On one of the hottest days in August, Lieut.-Gen. Grant rode up 



1 Pastor of Congregational Church, Longmeadow, Mass. 



CITY POINT. 



359 



to the Commission headquarters, and asked for a drink of water. A 
cup of lemonade, sweetened with black-brown sugar, was handed 

him, with the apology that we had no water and the 
, . , , . , , Gen. Grant and 

lemonade was mst such as we gave the men in the ., ^ . , 7 

the Contraband. 

hospitals. The General drank it with great apparent 
relish, thanked us for it, declared it could not be better, arid shook 
hands with the Delegates who crowded around him. Asking for the 
accustomed " light," he was just about mounting his horse, when one 
of our negro employes, without hat, coat or vest, elbowed his way 
through the crowd, and reaching out an enormous hand, said 




QUESTIONING GENERAL GRANT. 



" How de do, Gin ral Grant ?" 

The words were spoken with gentlemanly deference, and the man s 
whole appearance indicated that he had been attracted not by mere 



360 CHKISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

curiosity. The General shook the proffered hand warmly. The man 
then disclosed the purpose of his approach : 

" How am tings goin , Gin ral ?" 

To appreciate the question it must be remembered that it was at a 
time of great depression among the colored people, not long after 
the fatal mine explosion in front of Petersburg. The simple answer 
of the General at once quieted the man s fears : 

" Everything is going right, sir." 

Politely bowing his thanks, his eyes meantime beaming gratitude, 
he backed out of the circle and returned to his work. On his way 
back I met him and asked where he had been : 

" Been to see Gin ral Grant, sah." 

" What did he say to you ?" 

" Said eberyting was goin right, sah." 

Before a great while the General s Sybilline sentence was known by 
all the colored people near City Point ; and it was astonishing to ob 
serve the effect which the simple words had in reviving the spirits of 
those who, a few hours before, had been so depressed and disheartened. 

Eev. Geo. N. Marden gives a colored soldier s idea of 
the cause of the war : 

Joseph Upcheer, of a colored regiment, was sick at City Point Post 
Hospital. He was full of Christian and patriot faith : 

" Some say dar s no God in dis war. But I puts my trust in de 

Lord, an balls don t scare me. De han ob de Lord 

Why the War . . , 

Came. IS m de War 

" What do you think is the cause of it, Joseph ?" 
" He revolved the question a moment and then said, earnestly 
" So much unfair work am de cause ob de war. My ole uncle, 
who died twenty year ago, put his han on my head once, and says 
he, Young dog, make has and grow. Bimeby you ll have a gun 
and fight. Wese ben spectin dis war, sah ; dere s been so much 
unfair work." 

Mr. Edwin Ferris, of New York City, gives his ex 
perience of the eagerness of the men to learn : 



CITY POINT. 361 

There was no reserve, no cold formality ; the greetings I received 
made me feel at home at once. Young and old were alike anxious 
for instruction, and applied themselves so assiduously that their pro 
gress was very rapid. 1 One day, while teaching one 
of them his letters, he found it difficult keeping them 
apart before his unused eyes. I shall never forget 
the way in which he lifted his sleeve and drew it across his face 
dripping with perspiration 

" Massa, dis do make me sweat." 

One noble old Christian soldier said to me, " I bless de good Lord 
for what He s helped me to larn. I se gwine to keep on right smart. 
I se got to work sharper n dese young uns, case I hasn t so much time 
lef to study in." 

One more incident of eagerness to learn is related by 
Rev. Mr. Marden : 

February 14th I discovered, within two stones throw of our chapel 
at City Point, a nest of contrabands huts on the edge of a little 
ravine. The men were laborers in the railroad department. The 
huts were of the cheapest construction. Two or three 
boxes, the same number of old barrels, a few nails, an jYfmers^ 
old boot-leg, a few sticks and stones, with the aid of 
the all-pervading Virginia mud, constitute the dwellings. An old 
boot-leg cut up makes hinges, on which swing, for window and door, 
some painfully dovetailed bits of board. 

My advent was the signal for a resurrection. As from the cap 
sules of certain flowers the little black seeds roll out when the cell 
is broken, so from the patch-work huts the dwellers now poured 
forth. Each one wanted a book. One boy of eleven years read so 
well that I gave him a Testament, which made his face all at once 
like the " countless laughter" of JEschylus sea. Mothers came beg 
ging a primer for their children. All were eager, curious, delighted. 



1 Mr. Herbert C. Clapp, of Cambridge, Mass., writing from Wild s Station in 
February, gives a remarkable instance of application : " One night I taught a 
man the alphabet and a few elementary principles. The next evening he came 
to me, prepared to recite one half the spelling-book I had given him. He had 
studied the whole day, with occasional assistance from a mate." 



362 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

One grown negro, on receiving a book, gave vent to a guffaw, the 
like to which I had never dreamed the human throat capable of. 
The women, unselfish as ever, seemed more anxious to get the 
primers for their children than for themselves. 

Mr. C. E. Bolton, 1 a Delegate to the army in July 
and August, 1864, tells a striking story of the attach 
ment of the colored soldier to the Bible : 

"William and Thomas Freeman were brothers, living in Connecti 
cut at the outbreak of the war. They enlisted in the 30th Regiment 
U. S. C. T., and were afterwards transferred to the 31st. At the 

close of the first day s battle in the Wilderness, thev 
The Brothers 1 

together entered a large house, once the property of 



an extensive slaveholder. Several slave women in 
the dwelling were nearly famished with hunger. The soldiers kindly 
relieved their wants by emptying their haversacks of all their rations. 
The only return which the women could make was the presentation 
to William Freeman of a large, finely-bound and beautifully clasped 
quarto Bible, weighing about nine pounds. Thomas and William 
were both Christians, and valued the gift very highly. It took the 
place of blankets in William s knapsack. He carried it through 
all the marches to the entrenchments of Petersburg. There he went 
into the fatal charge of July 30th, after the mine explosion, and was 
wounded in the breast. The great Bible went with him into the bat 
tle in his knapsack. He would never allow it to be beyond his reach. 
His brother Thomas, who was a Color Sergeant, was wounded in the 
same engagement. He was among the few who struggled beyond the 
chasm made by the mine, and was carried back to find his brother 
dead. As the men were bearing him further on towards the rear, he 
begged that his brother s knapsack might be placed upon the stretcher 
under his head. Thus the precious book reached the hospital of the 
4th Division of the Ninth Corps, where I was working in the Com 
mission service. 

William was buried between the picket lines under a flag of truce. 



1 A Student of Amherst College, Mass. He was accompanied to the army by 
Profs. Seelve and Hitchcock. 



CITY POINT. 363 

Poor Thomas wounds soon were discovered to be mortal also. Weak 
and worn out, he was taken after a few days to the General Hospital 
at City Point. Sergeant Edward P. Gilbert, of Bath, K Y., was a 
wardmaster of our hospital. To him, as Thomas left for City Point, 
he sold the cherished volume. 

A few days later this book, representing so much faith and hero 
ism, became mine by purchase, and was afterwards given to Amherst 
College. President Stearns, in receiving it on behalf of the Trus 
tees, remarked 

" I consider it one of the most valuable reminiscences of the war, 
presented to the College." The book has now a prominent place in 
the show-case of the "Appleton Cabinet" at Amherst. 

Another leaf from Rev. Mr. Marden s experience 
shows us how in the last hour the colored soldier could 
exercise the same trust with his white brother : 

I met Thomas Jackson Yager in one of the City Point wards. He 
looked up at me with a smile when he saw my badge, and gave me 
his hand, thin and hard worn with years of unre- 

quitedtoil: " Gi <> , P 

1 when the Lord 

" Do you love the Lord, Thomas ?" does." 

" I does love Him ; He s all to me. I se happy 
lyin here, full ob joy an praise. I pray de Lord, bless you in 
your work." 

" Where are you from, Thomas ?" 

" I se from Lagrange, in old Kentuck. I come into de army to 
fight for freedom. Lef my wife and de chile behin me, an I dunno 
how dey treat her. But de Lord s been good to me, and I doesn t 
feel like nuffin but tanks." 

A fortnight later I meet him again. His cheeks are sunken, and 
his eye dimmer than before. I take his hand again, and he begins 
to talk : 

" My time won t be long heah. All my trust is in de Lord. I 
beliebe the Lord is waitin for me. I se weak, but I se ready to go. 
Wish I could git a letter from my wife ; I se like to know how she s 
gittin long. She wa n t a Christian when I lef, but it looked 



364 CHKISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

mighty like es if she wanted to be one. I ll never be of much more 
count heah ; but I hate to gib up fore de Lord gibs up ; when He says 
I kin live no more, den Tse ready to gib up." 

A little later, the Christian soldier had gone away to his everlast 
ing rest. 

The story of a conversation between a colored Ser 
geant, and Rev. E. P. Smith, the General Field Agent 
of the Western Army, while on a visit to the East, may 
give a little insight into the depth of the motives which 
animated the negro soldiers : 

On the steamer from City Point to Fortress Monroe, I came on a 
group of negro soldiers in friendly conversation and banter with sev 
eral white artillerymen. They were all on a furlough, and conse 
quently good-natured. The colored men were going 

A Colored Ser- __ .. . _ , . 

geant s Opinions. to -Norfolk 5 tne 7 had been selected for merit as enti 
tled to a furlough. One was a Sergeant in the 36th 
U. S. C. Infantry, a fine, open-faced, well-formed man of twenty- 
seven or eight years, wearing his belt and sword. 

He heard the conversation on fighting men, high bounties, etc., in 
silence, until a batteryman turning to him asked , 

" What bounty did you get ?" 

" No bounty. I wouldn t list for bounty. I have twenty-three 
more months to put in. I don t say I will go in again when that s 
out ; can t say till the time comes ; but, if I do, it won t be for bounty. 
I wouldn t fight for money ; my wages is enough." 

" How much pay do you get ?" 

" Seven dollars a month, till they riz to sixteen. That keeps me 
along right smart. Them big-bounty men don t make good soldiers." 

" What s the matter with them ?" 

"Dey comes in for money; dar s no Country bout it, an cley hasn t 
no stomach for fightin an diggin an knockin roun , like soldiers 
has to." 

" What s money got to do with that ? Why can t a man fight just 
as well if he leaves a thousand dollars in bank, to have when he 
comes back, maybe sick or wounded ?" 



ON THE JAMES. 365 

" Well, he mout ; but y see it s the greenbacks wot fetches him 
in, an he keeps studyin how he .can jump for anoder bounty; an 
dem sort of sojers ain t no count for fightin ." 

" Sergeant, didn t you enlist cause you had run away from master, 
and had no place ?" 

" No, sir," with spirit ; " I had a place an good wages, heap 
more n a sojer gits, drivin team for Quartermaster ; an when I 
told m I was goin in, an wanted my back pay, he cussed me, an 
said I shouldn t list. I told him I had a right, an I would, an all 
I asked of him was to pay wot was comin to me more n two hun 
dred dollars. He swar an took on bout restin me, an nex day 
when I had listed, he saw me on the street, an called a guard, an 
put me in irons ten hours. Dat s my bounty, two hundred dollars 
wages gin up, an ten hours in irons by a Copperhead Quarter 
master." 

The soldiers had gathered around, highly interested in the Ser 
geant s straightforward, earnest story. 

" I d a split his copper head open with the irons," said one of 
them. 

"Dat s not me," said the Sergeant; "I don t take vengeance dat s 
God s business, an He ll work it to suit Hisself." 

The men drew back a little, and were silent all round the ring. I 
stepped forward, and said to him 

" Sergeant, how long have you been a Christian ?" 

He looked at me with a full, quick eye, as if he had found a 
brother : 

" Ten years, sir." 

" How old are you ?" 

" Twenty-eight, sir." 

" Then you were converted when you were eighteen years old. 
Where did you live?" 

" Near Richmond." 

" Have you a wife ?" 

" Yes ; I lef my wife an son when McClellan come close up to 
Richmond, an everybody reckoned he was goin to walk in." 

" How old is your son ?" 

" Not quite a year when I got away." 

" Do you hear from them ?" 



366 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

" Yes ; I seen a lady from thar in Norfolk, an she said, mas er 
done an sol Nancy an the boy." 

" You will hardly see them again, will you ?" 

" When dey git done fightin , I reckon I kin find her." 

" But you won t know where to look." 

" Den I ll keep lookin , an I reckon I ll find em. Anyhow, I 
trust in Providence bout it." 

" What do you mean by that ?" 

" I mean de Lord God A rnighty ; He knows all bout it, an He 
will do what s right." 

" Yes, Sergeant, the Lord may do what s right, but the man who 
has bought Nancy and your baby and carried them off, may not do 
what s right about it. What then ?" 

" Why, den, I reckon dat s for Him to settle bout. I se nuffin to 
do wid dat." 

" You are pretty near your master ; he might be looking for you 
one of these days." 

" Yes, he mout ; an den, y see, I mout be lookin for him. Chance 
the same on bof sides now. They say my master was scripted an 
had to go in." 

" Perhaps, you will have a chance yet to pay him back," said the 
batteryman. 

"I never pays back. De Lord A mighty takes the vengeance. 
Dat s Hissen, an I don t have nuffin to do wid it." 

" There s his doctrine again. Don t he stick to his text ?" says a 
Pittsburg soldier. " He s right, too, all the time," says another. 

" Don t know about the right," called a voice across the ring, "but 
he s bully on consistence." 

" Well Sergeant, have you really made much by running away?" 

" Made much ? I made two hundred dollars in Norfolk, but didn t 
git it." 

" I mean you are not much better off soldiering, lying out in the 
wet, digging in the trenches, and going in where the minie balls hum. 
That s not much better than to be at home on the old plantation with 
wife and baby." 

" Sojerin is hard work, but dere s a heap of difference." 

" What s the difference?" 

" Freedom, sir, Freedom ! I say Liberty in Dutch Gap/ I 



ON THE JAMES. 367 

wakes up in the night and says Liberty. Yes, there s a heap of 
difference. I kin say Liberty all the time." 

" You said you enlisted for your Country. What has your Coun 
try done for you except to give you a chance to make tobacco and 
cotton for your master, and have your wife and baby sold down in 
Georgia?" 

" God has done a heap for me. He has given me my life. I never 
had no sickness, an now He s done an made me free, an I m 
willin to fight for the rest of em." 

" Sergeant, said a white soldier, " do you know that you are just 
like Jeff Davis on the war question ?" 

" Not much, I reckon." 

" Exactly alike ; you are both fighting for the nigger. " 

" Dat may be, but it makes a heap of odds to which whips." 

" Do you think Jeff will put the colored men in ?" he asked. 

" He is doing it now. It will not be long before a corps of those 
black fellows will be down on the right, to drive you Twenty-fifth 
Corps men into the river. What will you do then ?" 

" If I should see my father in the Rebel army, I should shoot him. 
He got no business dar. Dar s some cullud people got no sense. 
Rebels has talked foolishness to em so much, you can t beat sense 
into em. I se no use for dat sort cullud folks. I fight for the nig 
ger when he s right." 

" Bully for him !" came from a dozen lips of soldiers gathered 
round. My thankful heart said, " God be praised for such piety and 
patriotism !" 

At Fortress Monroe, on parting from the Sergeant who was going 
to the Norfolk boat, I offered a prayer for the mother and baby far 
away, and that a Country, saved by such devotion, may learn at 
last to deal justly by all her children. 

Rev. C. D. Herbert, 1 writing in September from the 
Base Hospital of the Eighteenth Army Corps, preserves 
this memorial of a colored soldier s sacrifice : 

In the knapsack of a dead colored soldier, I found a letter written 



Pastor of Congregational Church, W. Newbury, Mass. 



368 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

some days before, with a postscript added on the day of his death. 
It seems that when first brought into hospital, before he knew of the 

nature of his wounds and while expecting to re- 
Volunteered to , 

cover, he wrote 
Die. 

" When this cruel war is over I hope to meet with 

the dear friends I so much love. Fond memory brings back days 
gone by, and I hope to return to a blessed joyfulness in my once 
happy home. I feel anxious to serve you, O my dear country, but I 
am weak with infirmities. May God heal me, is my prayer in this 
army, and make me a soldier of the cross, and clean my heart of all 
its sins in the world ; for Christ s sake. Amen. 

"JoHNC. WHITEN." 

When he learned how badly he was wounded, and that he must 
die, he took the letter from beneath his pillow, and added this touch 
ing postscript : 

" Most sincerely yours departed ; John C. W. Volunteered to 
die." 

My letter, breaking the sad intelligence as gently as I knew how, 
enclosed also the patriot s last letter to wife and children, with its 
postscript. 

Rev. A. Fuller 1 records two incidents of the memo 
rable Sunday on which our army broke through the 
Confederate lines around Petersburg. They are a type 
of the triumph of the cause : 

The fighting just in front of us, around three or four forts, had 

been desperate, and both parties had suffered severely. Among our 

own and the Confederate wounded we had all that we could do until 

late at night. Near evening the boom of the cannon, 

which since the previous midnight had been almost 

constantly rending the air, had ceased, and even the scattering shots 

of scouts and skirmishers had gradually died away. The troops had 

stacked their arms, and were eagerly talking over their coffee of the 

events of the day, or planning campaigns for the future. The bands, 

gathered about the flags of their respective regiments or brigades, 

1 Pastor of Congregational Church, Hallowell, Me. 



PETERSBURG. 369 

were filling the air with music. The warm April sun, breaking 
through the clouds which lay heavily along the west, was adding the 
glory of its beams to crown the glory of the day. 

The effect was marvellous. The quiet, solemn stillness of the hour, 
which the melody of the bands seemed only to render rythmical and 
deeper, was in such strange contrast with the strife and carnage of 
the day, that it would be hard to describe the attendant emotions. 
It was a time neither of war nor yet of peace ; it was the hour of pre 
cious, hallowed, but costly victory, and many a weary head was 
turned feebly but eagerly on its bloody pillow of turf, to look upon 
the scene and listen to the softened notes of triumph, until earthly 
sights and sounds were lost in the beauty and melody of the Other 
Land. 

As I was resting a moment in my work, a band at army headquar 
ters near us suddenly struck up one of our most spirited national 
airs. There was a Union soldier lying near me, whom I had supposed 
past all earthly waking. At the first note of the music he started 
arid gazed wildly about him, as if trying to understand where he was. 
With a great effort raising himself on his elbow, he looked eagerly 
at me, and half fiercely, half pleadingly, asked 

" Is that a Kebel band, sir?" 

" No," said I, " that s Union all through. Don t you hear the air? 
The Kebels are a long way from here. We have carried their whole 
line of works." 

He looked somewhat incredulously at me, as if it was almost too 
much to believe ; and then, as he saw and heard more distinctly for 
himself, and drank in gradually all of the truth, his whole countenance 
kindled up with enthusiasm. Looking reverently towards heaven, he 
said with a voice of the deepest solemnity and fervor 

" Glory to God ! It s all I ask. You may do what you like with 
me now," and without another earthly word, he sank back and died. 

Long after dark by the aid of lanterns, we were groping about to 
seek for any who might be still left without proper care, when I 
almost stumbled over a man lying by himself in 
great agony. His leg had been shattered by a piece ~ ^ 
of shell, which had struck him midway between the 
knee and hip joints. I had him carried to a Surgeon s table, where 
his leg was amputated. 

24 



370 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

Ill the morning when he had somewhat recovered from the severe 
operation he had undergone, I carried him some food and drink. He 
was very grateful for the little attention. He had been the slave of 
a gentleman near Norfolk, where his wife, mother and children were 
still living. Escaping from his master to the Union lines, he was one 
of the first to enlist in our army. He was a Christian, and had be 
come a soldier from a deep sense of duty to his race. Wounded the 
day before the general engagement, he had lain on the field, uncared 
for, with wounds undressed, and in great bodily agony. 

" Well," said I, " you did not expect this when you enlisted, did 
you ? If you were at home and well, would you come back again ?" 

He seemed moved at the thought of home, but with deep emphasis 
he quickly replied 

" Yes, sah ; yes, I w T ould. I specs all dis when I listed. I specs to 
suffer. I specs now I ll die ; but, bress de Lord, I se free, an Susy 
an de chillens free, an I se ready to die, ef de Lord will." 

I offered a brief prayer and left him, never to see him again, and 
yet ever to remember the sable hero, so worthy to be an American 
citizen. 

The Commission made full preparations for the emer 
gencies which might arise during the pursuit of Gen. 
Lee. Happily there was not all of the anticipated need. 
The Christian Banner, of August, 1865, relates a story 
told by Gen. Edwards, of the battle of Sailor s Creek, 
fought on April 7th : 

In the very thickest of the fight, C. F. Drake, of Co. B, 37th 
Massachusetts Regiment, ordered a Rebel Colonel to surrender. He 
replied that he would never surrender. Drake then shot him, inflict 
ing a mortal wound. The Colonel fell, exclaiming 
Fnemies " ^ na ^ ^ 1C was killed. Drake said to him, " I am a 

Christian, and will pray for you." The Colonel 
thanked him, and Drake kneeled by his side and prayed with him, 
while the conflict raged almost hand to hand around them. The 
Colonel pressed his hand, called him brother, told him that he too 
was a Christian, and thanked him. Then Drake resumed his gun 
and went on fighting. 



CITY POItfT. 371 

The main body of the Army, after the surrender, 
took up its line of march for Washington. Commission 
stations were retained, and work kept up among the 
troops remaining in the vicinity of the recent events. 
With a narrative illustrating this, by Rev. J. H. Moore, 
we close the memorial incidents of the active operations 
of the Army of the Potomac 

It might be supposed that these great events, so exciting in their 
nature, would destroy the religious interest which was so remarkably 
manifest in the army previous to the advance. But such was not the 
i act. True, for a few days, nearly all the troops 
around City Point were away in the battles, and ^ Alone 
our chapel services, for the time being, were almost 
deserted by the soldiers ; but when Richmond fell, the regiments 
which had been encamped here came back, and soon filled up the 
chapel again. 

A soldier, whom I had often seen before at our services, came for 
ward one evening, and told me that his most intimate companion, 
who used always to attend the meetings with him, had fallen in the 
fighting before Petersburg. 

" He was my dearest friend in the army," the soldier said ; " he 
was the instrument in my conversion. I remember how mad I used 
to get when he knelt down and prayed in our tent, before going to 
bed. I used to turn over and try to go to sleep and forget all about 
him. I held out a good while, but had to give in at last. So I be 
gan to pray too. We prayed together afterwards, and came here 
together. The last thing he did before going to the front was to 
kneel down and commit himself to God in our old tent. He fell 
dead at my side on the field ; and now I have to come to chapel 
alone." 



CHAPTER XIV. 

THE EASTERN ARMIES. 

OPERATING NEAR WASHINGTON AND HARPER S FERRY. 
June 1864 June 1865. 

THE advance of Gen. Grant s army gave an immense 
increase to the Delegates work in the Washington hos 
pitals. Thither, when Fredericksburg was abandoned, 
were brought the wounded of the earlier battles of the 
great campaign. Camp Distribution, the point of de 
parture for the convalescents of the hospitals, was well 
filled, and here was continued the blessed work of grace, 
begun so long before, until the return of the victorious 
armies and the close of the Commission s operations. 

llev. J. W. Hough 1 writes from the camp in June, 
1864: 

One of our candidates for baptism had been, to use his own words, 
" a very hard boy." Some months before, he had been confined in 
the guard-house for a misdemeanor, and on coming out he was 

ashamed to mingle with his comrades, lest they 
"WJmt Right 
Have If should taunt him with his disgrace. He determined 

to find something to read. Entering the barracks, 
he picked up a volume put there by the Commission, Baxter s "Call 
to the Unconverted." 

" I was mad," said he, " when I found it to be a religious book, 



1 Pastor of Congregational Church, Williston, Vt. 
372 



CAMP DISTHIBUTIO^. 373 

and threw it from me. But afterwards, when I could find nothing 
else, I picked it up again, and lay down to read. It interested and 
impressed me at once. The question came to me, What right have 
I to treat God as I do? He has never injured me. I was very 
much troubled, and so continued a long time, till I began to think 
less of myself and more of Jesus ; and then His love came into my 
heart." 

On the clay of his discharge from the camp, he entered publicly 
into covenant with Christ. 

Rev. Milton L. Severance 1 has preserved a soldier s 
straightforward form for expressing his thought : 

The apostle says, " By this shall ye know that ye have passed from 
death unto life, because ye love the brethren," and I have never seen 
a livelier test of this than a colored soldier gave at the close of one 
of our evening meetings. There was a simplicity 
in his expression and manner which touched all our 
hearts : 

" I love my Saviour, I love the Church. of Christ, I love the world, 
I love everybody, I love them that don t love me." 

I felt that the poor son of Africa had reached the climax of Chris- 
1 ian experience. Like the martyred Stephen, and his Saviour before 
him, he could pray for those who had despitefully used him. 

Rev. Dr. C. W. Wallace, 2 in December, writes 

One Sabbath morning at the camp, I met a boy at my door, -wait 
ing to see a Delegate. Poor little fellow, what a life he had had ! 
His parents died when he was quite young, in New York city. He 
fell to the care of a brother, a most abandoned man. 
There was no one really to care for his welfare ; the ,. QU? 
only faint bond between him and anything higher 
was the dim remembrance he retained of a good mother. For years 
he was a street "Arab," sleeping at night in boxes and doorways, 
anywhere to escape Summer heat and Winter cold. His food was 

1 Pastor of Congregational Church, Boscawen, N. H. 

2 Pastor of First Congregational Church, Manchester, N. H. 



374 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

picked up in various indefinite ways. In his fifteenth year he entered 
the army. I found him to be a sincere inquirer for the truth. 

"What shall I do?" he said. "Since I was a boy I ve done 
nothino- but swear and steal and everything else that s bad, and now 
to try to be good, it s very hard." 

The poor fellow in his ignorance would weep, and put his hands 
out gropingly for the better way, but it was hard to direct him to 
Christ in a manner which he could understand. The few times I saw 
him he would come to the place of prayer, and bow himself very 
humbly among the others ; but he was soon ordered to the front, and 
I met him no more. His strange, pitiful face and earnest cry for the 
truth deeply impressed me. They must surely have found an 
answer. 

The permanent Agent in charge of the Commission s 
work of the camp was Rev. Jas. P. Fisher. 1 From the 
t final report prepared by his wife after his death, we 
select the following incidents : 

A soldier rose one evening and told his story : 

" My friends, I left home an infidel, but I left a praying wife. A 
week ago I received a letter from her, in which she expressed anxiety 
for the welfare of my soul, and desired to know if I still held to my 

old views. I wrote an answer, and in bitter words 

The Re-written . . AT i, i 

,. defended my old position. As I was about to seal 

the letter, it seemed to me I could not send it. I 
wrote another, softened down considerably from the first; but when 
that was done, I could not send it. I began another, but such was 
the power of the Spirit upon my heart, that I fell upon my knees, 
and begged for forgiveness before God. I could not finish the letter 
until I could say to my dear wife that Christ had forgiven my sins. 
I have been permitted to write to her that I am to-night rejoicing in 
her Saviour. I feel that I am now prepared for the battle-field, and, 
if I am ever permitted to return home, I trust I shall go back pre 
pared for that also a better man than when I came into the army." 
Another comes to tell of the preserving care: 



1 Of Westfield, X. Y. 



CAMP DISTRIBUTION. 375 

" Oh, yes ! I tink it not right, when I ray God not tank. He cares 
for me ; the bullets go through my clothes, and hurt me no. I must 
mend my sleeve and my blouse in the side and in the front. Oh, yes; 
I must love my God, and keep fast to the Christian. 

And my heart pull me so heavy sometimes, when de 

J could not be told. 

priest say we shall get up in der meeting and say 
someting, and I no can speak goot English." 

" You can say you love Jesus." 

" Oh, yes, I have say dat, and keep say dat all der time." 

From Mrs. Fisher s own experience, a peculiarly 
rich one, we take a story of the hospital connected with 
the camp : 

On one of my visits, after staying over my time to speak to nearly 
all in the ward, I was hastening out ; but the sad, despairing look 
from a cot I was passing so impressed me that I returned. To my 

inquiry after the soldier s health, he answered 

, -~ T T , . T i T i > The Forgotten 

Yes ; 1m sick, but 1 don t care. . r 7 , , 

Saviour .Recalled. 

"Do you love Jesus ?" 

" I don t know as I do." 9 

" Have you a wife ?" 

" No, she died on the way to ." 

"Children?" 

" They died, the only two I had." 

"Parents?" 

" No, they died in ; and as for me, I don t care what becomes 

of me." 

" Poor soldier," said I, " how sorry I am for you ! No friends on 
earth ; no Friend in heaven ! You are indeed to be pitied. But 
hear what the Saviour says to you ; * Ye believe in God ; believe also 
in Me. In My Father s house are many mansions. " I repeated 
through the sixth verse. Gradually the look of despair gave way, 
and he said slowly, in low tones 

" That is beautiful ; that is very beautiful. Where is it?" 

I told him the chapter. He reached under his pillow for his Tes 
tament, found the place and asked me to mark it. We read it over 



376 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

together, he following every word in his Testament with a wonderful 
eagerness and interest : 

" Xow, my boy, does not that Saviour love and care for you?" 

" Yes. I had forgotten Him in my trouble," 

" Don t you want to come to Him and trust Him now ?" 

" I ll try." 

Iii June, 1865, worn out with incessant toil, Mr. 
Fisher left his work at the camp. He reached the home 
of his brother-in-law in Newburg, N. Y., and unable to 
go further, sank and died. 

Some of the scenes of his last days were touch in gly beautiful. 
Like so many others of the Commission who have died in the ser 
vice, when his mind wandered, all his thoughts were on his work for 
the soldiers. He was preaching, praying and ex 
horting. In his lucid intervals his mind turned at 
an Offered Life. 

once to Jesus and heaven, a beautiful alternation 
and combining of the Christian s work and faith. The change from 
delirium was marked by a desire to get upon his knees and offer 
prayer. He loved to be on his knees. His supplications had little 
reference to himself, except ffcr purification from sin. 

" Last night," said he, in troubled sleep, " w r as the great night of 
the feast. Jesus stood and cried, If any man thirst, let him come 
unto Me." 

In a conscious state, he said to his son " My son, there is one 
passage of Scripture I wish to impress on your mind. I adopted it 
many years ago to die upon : The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, 
cleanseth from all sin. " 

On the last day of his sickness he called in his sleep, " Frank, 
ring the bell; it is time for meeting; I am to preach to-night. Is 
everything ready, ready for the celebration of His dying love ?" 

And so he passed on, not to the preaching in a rude chapel at 
Camp Distribution, but to the praise where God is the temple. 
Everything was ready, and our dear brother celebrates the dying 
love. 

The Confederate Gen. Early in July, 1864, made a 



AFTER FORT STEVENS. 377 

raid into Maryland and Pennsylvania from the Shenan- 
doah Valley. He succeeded in thoroughly alarming 
Washington and Baltimore, and but little more. Mr. 
II. M. Whitney 1 tells an incident occurring shortly 
after : 

Before leaving home, a little girl had given me ten cents, the first 
money she had ever earned, and wanted me to use it for the soldiers. 
I bought a Testament and determined to give it to the manliest and 
most deserving soldier I met. For a long while it 
lay in my valise, for I felt that I had not yet found 
an owner for it. At last, after Early had been beaten back from 
Fort Stevens by the Sixth Corps, I found a new and bright face in 
one of my hospital tents. 

" How are you, my friend?" I began. 

" First rate." 

"Lightly wounded, then, I suppose?" 

He drew back the sheet and showed me that his right arm was 
gone, cut off close to the shoulder. 

"Is that first rate?" I asked. 

" Why, it might have been ever so much worse, you know." 

Day after day I found him as cheery and uncomplaining. At 
first he was overflowing with fun all the time, but at last the terrible 
heat and the strain upon his system so much reduced his strength 
that there was only a merry twinkle in his eye when I came in, and 
a word of cordial greeting. Little by little I learned his history. The 
action in which he had received his first wound was his thirteenth 
battle. When he dropped his musket and reached round to take his 
useless arm tenderly in his left hand and walk off the field under a 
shower of balls, it was his first time off duty since he entered the 
service. He was only nineteen years old, but his patriotism was so 
ardent and his courage so magnificent, that I felt he had become my 
teacher. As soon as he could sit up, he was busy with pencil and 
paper, training the muscles of his left hand to replace those of the 
right. His face had grown pale and thin, his eye dull, his manner 



1 Of Northampton, Mass. 



378 CHKISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

languid, and his voice broken, but his heart was still strong and man 
ful as ever. Low spirits or complaint seemed impossible to him. 

I thought I should have to look long and far to find a soldier 
worthier of the little Testament. He was eager to get one, having 
lost everything in that last charge upon the enemy. So I wrote his 
name, company and regiment on the fly-leaf of the little book, and 
added how it had come from a little girl in the Connecticut Valley, 
who had given her first money to comfort the soldier. As I read it 
the tears started into his eyes. 

" I wish," said he, " I had that arm, so that I could thank her 
myself." 

He told me afterwards that he had been thinking much since he 
had been lying there, and was going to try and lead a better life. I 
tried to show him where the best and highest Life was to be found, 
but I know not whether he found it. 

Mr. Whitney gives another incident of nearly the 
same date : 

I discovered in one of the wards of Mount Pleasant Hospital, 
Washington, a young Swede, who had taken the first degree in the 
University at Lund. He could converse readily in five different 

languages, and was familiar with Greek and Latin. 

A Savant in ^ . . . 

the Ranks was a P nva ^ e m a Maine regiment, a member 01 

the Lutheran Church at home, and a sincere Chris 
tian. He wanted a Testament. I asked him in what language. He 
did not care, but on being pressed chose an English one, as he was 
not so familiar with our language. 

" How came you," I asked, " with your fine education, comfortable 
circumstances and excellent prospects, to come to this country and 
enlist?" 

" Why I heard there was a war over here, and I came." 
The simplicity and candor of this blue-eyed, flaxen-haired son of 
the North, and his entire freedom from bloodthirstiness, puzzled me 
profoundly: 

" Did you find the realities of the war at all what you expected?" 
" Yes, but better. I have looked into these things a great deal at 



WASHINGTON. 379 

home and in Germany, and I think no government and no people 
ever took such care of their soldiers." 

The patient contentment wherewith he bore his severe wound, his 
coarse fare, his absence from home and friends, and all the little 
things which would have worn upon most men of his education, was 
an unceasing marvel to me. 

Iii September " Carleton," visiting a Sunday evening 
Delegates experience meeting in Washington, wrote an 
account of it for the Congregationalist : 

The Carver Hospital Delegate reported that he found fully one- 
tliird of the men in his wards professing Christians. They were glad 
to see him, very glad to get religious reading. A few days before, 
he gave an old man a little book, entitled, " The Blood 
of Jesus ;" he had seen him again to-day. The old Christ 
man greeted him with a smile: 

" I have found Jesus, and oh, He is so precious !" 

Another from the same hospital, said 

I found among the patients a minister who enlisted as a private. 
He has been in the hospital sixteen months, and has maintained his 
Christian character through all the trials of camp 

and hospital life. I found some convalescents plav- " G(m i keep 

Track of Sun- 
ing cards : day ,, 

" My boys, you don t play cards on Sunday, do 
you ?" 

" It isn t Sunday, is it ? Why hang it all, Chaplain, we can t keep 
track of the days in the army." 

I talked to them of home and of their mothers. The tears rolled 
down their cheeks. They put up their cards and read the papers I 
gave them. 

The Emory Hospital Delegate said 

" I never saw men so ready to receive religious instruction, or who 
were so easily impressed with the truth. I am satisfied that this is a 

rrolden opportunity for the Christian Church. I found 

"Tell me just 
a young man to-day, who said- 

" I want you, Chaplain, to tell me just what I have 



380 



CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 



to do to be a Christian. I will do just what you say. I want to be 
a Christian. 

" It was a sincere desire. I find that the Catholics are just as eager 
to have religious instruction as others." 

Another from this hospital, said 

"I found Sergeant , of Massachusetts, very low, but he met 

me with a smile : 

" It is all right. I am happy, and I die content. 

JU, Aiig/it. mil n 

I ell my friends so. 

Another Delegate said, " I have been over the river to see some 
detached regiments, men who are not in hospital. I asked one noble- 
looking soldier if he loved Jesus : 

" No, I don t. 
Everybody 

Feels so." Are 7 011 married ? 

" No ; but I have a sister. She isn t a Christian, 
but she wrote to me that she wanted me to become one, and I wrote 
to her that I wanted her to be one; and I guess, Chaplain, that 
everybody who believes the Bible feels just so. If they ain t good 
themselves, they want their friends to be. 

" I found another soldier writing a letter on a little bit of paper. I 
gave him a full sheet and an envelope : 

"Are you a Christian Commission man ? 

" Yes. 

" Not Quite so 

Hard. You are a d d good set of fellows. 

" Hold on, soldier, not quite so hard. 

: I beg your pardon, Chaplain, I didn t mean to swear ; but darn it 
all, I have got into the habit out here in the army, and it comes 
right out before I think. 

" Won t you try to leave it off? 

" Yes, Chaplain, I will." 

Another Delegate told us 

" As I went among the men they gathered about me with great 
eagerness. They were a little disappointed however, when they saw 

Setter than Gold. ^ * WaS * Dcle S ate of the Commission. They 

took me to be the paymaster : 
"But I have something that is better than gold. 
"Give me some of it, said one, the son of a Baptist minister, a 

tender-hearted Christian." 



WASHINGTON. 381 

Rev. E. F. "Williams gives some reminiscences of 
work in that peculiar field of labor, the Soldiers Rest 
at Washington : 

It was but a rough kind of " Rest " in the opinion of recruits fresh 
from home; but to the "veteran," its tight roofs, hard floors and 
neatly-spread tables w.ere vastly preferable to canvas tents, mud 

floors, hard-tack and salt pork. The principal bar- 

, , , ,. , 1 ., A Short Sermon. 

rack was about three hundred feet long ; near it were 

several smaller ones. Our visits, made in March, 1865, were usually 
begun by distributing papers, books and stationery, giving notice of 
a meeting as we passed along. Sometimes we were obliged to modify 
our course however, as in the following instance: 

The barracks were nearly vacant throughout the day ; our work 
therefore must be done just after breakfast or supper. Coming round 
rather late one morning, I found a regiment drawn up in marching 
order. Approaching the officer in command, I inquired 

" How long since these men have had the gospel preached to 
them ?" 

" Some three months," was the reply. 

" Can I preach to them now ?" 

" Yes, if you can do it in five minutes." 

Instantly I stated the case to the men, taking my text from Prov. 
ix. 12, " If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself; but if thou 
scornest, thou alone shalt bear it." My subject was " Individual 
Responsibility." It would have done any Christian good to see 
how the men drank in the only sermon they had heard for three 
months. But the five minutes were quickly gone ; a hasty benedic 
tion pronounced, my audience moved down the street to the music of 
fife and drum. 

On another occasion the whole barracks resounded with the noise 
made by a body of men whom an Orderly Sergeant was drilling. With 
some hesitation I asked leave to distribute my papers to the men as 

they passed. It was readily given. This work ac- 

J " Drilling for 

comphshed, I was turning to go, when the Orderly j esus 

politely asked if I didn t wish to preach. 

" Certainly," said I, " that was what I came for, but as your men 
are busy drilling, we shall have to let it go, I suppose." 



382 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

" By no means," he replied ; " a little drilling for Jesus is needful 
now and then to make us good soldiers of the cross." 

The music ceased, the men stacked arms and sat down in lines on 
the floor, and then we had a most precious meeting, in which the 
pious officer took a most cordial part. As I left the barrack, the 
tramp and ring of the military evolutions were resumed. 

Another evening we found nearly all the men gathered round a 
wag, who was making a speech for their amusement. The moment 
seemed inopportune for a meeting, so we went on to another barrack. 

Coming back in an hour, we found the same men 
Choosing a 

Prayer Meeting. s P ectators * some grotesque negro dances. Father 
Noble and I held a brief council of war, the result 
of which was that he stepped into the ring by the side of the dancers, 
and called out in his stentorian voice 

"I want to know if you are new recruits or veterans." 

" Four years in service," was the general answer. 

" I thought so," said he. " Now, we Christian Commission Dele 
gates don t want to interfere with your wishes, only to consult them. 
You have had fun here now for over an hour. Those who, by way 
of change, want a prayer meeting, show your hands." 

Nearly every right hand went up. Two or three only seemed 
offended, and muttered as they stalked off. The rest seated them 
selves in an orderly manner, and enjoyed the meeting greatly. 

As we were leaving, a fine-looking young man grasped my hand 
and said 

" We are ordered front to-morrow, and can t tell what awaits us. 
Will you pray that I may be a faithful Christian ?" 

After I had reached the door, one who had followed me called me 
back, and with broken sobs told that he was a guilty sinner in deep 
est need of Christ. 

Gen. Philip H. Sheridan vras placed in command in 
the Shenandoah in August. At Opequan and Fisher s 
Hill, in September, he so thoroughly defeated Early, 
the Confederate commander, that he was driven from 
the Valley into the mountains. Returning after the 
chase, our army rested at Cedar Creek. Here, during 



OPEQUAN. 383 

Sheridan s absence, on October 19th, the camp was sur 
prised by Early, and our forces driven. " Sheridan s 
ride" from Winchester, however, ere nightfall redeemed 
the day. After this there was scarcely any more fight 
ing in the Shenandoah Valley. 

Mr. J. R. Miller, formerly Field Agent of the Eigh 
teenth Corps in the armies operating against Richmond, 
became the General Field Agent in the Shenandoah 
about the time of the battle of Opequan. He writes of 
the scene after the battle : 

Winchester was literally one vast hospital. The churches and 
public buildings were filled, while nearly every private house had 
its quota. There was great need of external relief; nothing was left 

in the country ; Government supplies were all back ; 

t TT , T, ^ , Hoiu Sheridan s 

the nearest base, Harper s Ferry, was over thirty Men were Fed 

miles away, and the intervening country was overrun 
by guerrillas. 

As soon as the railroad was restored, Martinsburg became a place 
of great importance to our work. Almost every wagon-train from 
the front brought in two, three or five hundred men, who had come, 
jolted and wounded, in hard army-wagons over rough roads, twenty- 
two miles, from Winchester, with no beds, with no straw even under 
them, with no rest, and with nothing to eat. We were always ap 
prised of their coming an hour or more before they began to arrive, 
and soon had all our preparations made. With tea, crackers, jellies, 
bread, meats, cheese and fruits, the Delegates hurried about until all 
were fed. Then came the bathing, washing and dressing, and it was 
usually well-nigh morning before all was done. When the morning 
dawned the same routine was renewed, and at noon the brave fellows 
were as comfortable as they could be made for their tedious railroad 
ride to Harper s Ferry. 

Rev. P. B. Thayer l writes in October of his ministra- 



1 Pastor of Congregational Church, Garland, Me. 



384 CHRISTIAN" COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

tions to Confederate wounded, who were brought to 
Martinsburg in the same wagons with our own men : 






"Hoys, I give 
in." 



As we have ministered to their wants and addressed words of kind 
ness to them, tears have started from eyes unaccustomed to weeping. 
They fairly overwhelm us with their thankful expressions. "This 
is what I call living Christianity," one would say. 
" This is the religion for me," another would add. 

" I can t stand this," said a rough, hard-looking 
fellow, badly wounded in the foot, but able to hobble along on 
crutches, " I can t stand this, boys ; it overcomes me. I give in," 
and as he came towards us his whole frame shook with emotion, and 
the big tears fell from his sunburnt face, tears which he awkwardly 
and vainly tried to hide from his comrades and us. 

"You know," he continued, "I am no coward; I can face the 
enemy and not wink ; but this kindness kills me ; it breaks me all to 
pieces. I tell you, boys, this is no humbug. It s a big thing. It s 
the Gospel for body and soul, just what we all need." 

And so he went on in the truest eloquence for some minutes, clos 
ing with the ever-recurring soldier s benediction, " God bless you !" 

In the Winter a deep and pervading religious work 
began in this department. The larger part of the army 
lay near Winchester, and most of the chapels were 
erected in that vicinity. There were thirty in all ; four 
of them being large marquee tents, the others stockades 
roofed with canvas. A few incidents from Delegates 
reports will illustrate the general character of the work. 

Rev. Sewall Brown 1 writes in March, 1865, of service 
at Maryland Heights and Gamp Remount : 

John Sangden, a Swede, was a noble specimen of a Christian. One 
day he came in, wanting something in Swedish to read. I had 
nothing at the time, but hunted up Baxter s /Saint s Rest, in Danish, 
which he could read. His gratitude was very deep. Not knowing 

1 Pastor of Baptist Church, E. Winthrop, Me. 



MARYLAND HEIGHTS. 385 

how to express himself in English, he could only The Unknown 

grasp our hands and shake them again and again, Tongue Inter- 

.,, , . preted. 

without speaking. 

At an evening meeting a short time afterwards, a Delegate noticed 
a tear in Sangden s eye and a glow in his face. He was invited to 
rise and speak : 

" Yag kan ecke saga" " I cannot speak it," he said, and then 
added in English : " You say, My Lord Jesus, and it feels my 
heart." 

He then offered prayer in Swedish ; the only words we could un 
derstand were, " Fader," " Jesus," and the " Christian Commission ;" 
but the prayer was so intensely fervent that there was scarcely a 
dry eye in the congregation. He seemed to be praying earth up to 
heaven. 

Geo. N , a New York soldier, had come out of the lowest soci 
ety of that city. His temper was remarkably violent, and had been 
so much indulged that, when provoked, he lost all command of him* 
self, and became even unconscious of what he was 
doing. Liquor always made him " mad." Once, I 
remember seeing three men struggling with him 
while he was in the midst of one of these tempestuous passions, 
brought on by whisky. He foamed at the mouth, and was indeed a 
fearful sight. For this offence he was sentenced to thirty days hard 
labor. It was a mournful spectacle to see the poor fellow going 
through with his enforced tasks. At the close of the fifth day, his 
sentence was commuted. I went to him to try and show him what 
kindness I could ; he remembered some encouraging words of mine, 
dropped while he was under sentence, and his heart was touched. In 
a day or two he came to the chapel and asked for a Bible. He re 
ceived it, with a hymn book and other good books, and set himself 
diligently to study them. He never missed a meeting afterwards ; 
and when I came away was an humble, sincere inquirer after the 
truth. 

Mr. J. H. Earle, 1 the Agent at Stephenson s Station, 
writes : 



1 Of S. Abington, Mass. 
25 



386 CHKISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

One evening, after our usual meeting at the chapel, a Lieutenant 
asked us to go with him to the hospital, to see a soldier of his com 
pany supposed to be dying. Passing through the dimly-lighted ward, 
with its sleeping patients and yawning nurses, we 
. ^ e( came to the cot of a fine-looking boy, in great dis 

tress about his soul s salvation. After a close talk 
with him, a Delegate prayed, he joining audibly in the petition. In 
humble submission he exclaimed again and again, " Here, Lord, I 
give myself to Thee." We felt that such a yielding up would be 
blest of God. And so indeed it was. 

" Oh, I m so happy ! I m happy all over," he exclaimed in a mo 
ment. 

The Surgeon who was standing by watching the scene, said it was 
just the needed medicine for his body also. And so it proved, for 
from that hour he began to recover 

With two incidents related by Rev. W. H. Kelton, 1 a 
Delegate at Winchester in May, we close the record of 
work in the Shenandoah Valley : 

I found a Frenchman in the hospital, sick with rheumatism. He 

was intelligent and apparently pretty well educated, but quite derided 

the idea of reading the Testament. He eagerly accepted my offer 

to bring him a French book however ; so in a day or 

Influence of a two j handed him Monod s Lucille," from our Loan 
Loan Library T . . , , . , , 

P OO J. Library. When I visited him next he greeted me 

very cordially, and drawing the little book from un 
der his pillow, said 

" It is good ; I like it ; I read it through ; I want a Bible for my 
self." 

He opened the book, and showed me where he had written on the 
fly leaf 

" I like this book ; I will read the Bible. Give me one. Jules 
Bernard, Bugler, Co. F, 5th N. Y. Cav." 



1 Pastor of Baptist Church, W. Waterville, Maine. Since, rendered incapable 
of doing ministerial work by disease contracted in the Commission s service. 



WINCHESTER * 387 

I was sure from his joy at receiving the Bible, that he would pe 
ruse it with profit. 

A soldier of Co. A, 1st U. S. V. V., of Hancock s Corps, had been 
early cast upon the world to earn a livelihood. He became skeptical, 
profane and very intemperate. One day, while he was giving ex 
pression to his religious and irreligious notions, he 

used language like this 

Jjimne .Law. 

" There is no law but what men make ; there is no 
such thing as inspiration, only in that sense in which any man is in 
spired when he can impress and move men. The man Christ was 
the greatest who ever lived, simply because to this late day His words 
exert such a powerful influence on the world, but He was human ! 
His teachings have no Divine authority." 

He told me afterwards that, while he was uttering the words, a 
comrade, much more wicked outwardly than himself, was looking at 
him very strangely. The look troubled him somehow. There was 
silence for a moment : suddenly his comrade broke out 

" If I believed all that, Captain Kidd would be nowhere to me." 

The remark struck him like a thunderbolt. 

" If indeed there be no Divine Law, and no power to execute it," 
I thought, " what is there to restrain my passions ? What man can 
make, I, or any man, can break. At last I resolved to read the Bi 
ble candidly. I was utterly amazed at its revelations ; each perusal 
gave me something new to think of. Somehow it was different from 
every other book. Gradually I became fully persuaded of its Divine 
authority." 

While he was in this state of mind, the regiment came to Win 
chester and encamped close to the village cemetery. The seclusion 
and shadow of the " city of the dead" were in harmony with the 
man s troubled spirit. Thither he frequently yetired to wander and 
meditate. One day he sat down by a small grave with a plain marble 
headstone, inscribed simply, " Her name was Mary." Above the 
words was carved a hand pointing upwards with extended finger. 
The whole arrested his attention at once. To use his own expression, 
" This was my sermon-book ; to it I came often ; it always had a les 
son for me." Finally, he was led to the Commission prayer meetings ; 
here the truth came home to him with power. One Sabbath evening, 



388 CHKISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

rising in the presence of a crowded audience, he said in a clear, de 
cided voice 

" Fellow-soldiers, I am not a Christian, but I want to be one." 
And God heard and answered the earnest prayer. 

In May the victorious armies of Grant and Sherman 
began to gather near Washington for the " grand 
review." Here was the last opportunity for the Com 
mission, and its forces were mustered accordingly. 
General Field Agents, Field Agents and Delegates, to 
the number of sixty, combined all their strength and 
zeal for this last work. Chapel tents and Commission 
stations were opened throughout all the camps of the 
veterans surrounding Washington. The narrative of 
Eev. E. P. Goodwin, covering service in May and June, 
will illustrate the character of the extensive operations 
at this time : 

My first work was in the heart of Provisional Camp, some two 
and a half miles from Alexandria, where a Christian Commission 
station was opening. Tents were barely up ; the chapel was unpul- 
pited and unbenched ; domestic arrangements all in 
, chaos, and boxes unopened. Evidently a hard after 

noon s campaign was before our party of Delegates. 
Crowds of soldiers thronged us on every side, eager to find out " what 
them fellers had got in their new shebang," as they phrased it ; and 
covetously eyeing and hanging about every box of our treasures, as 
if they caught, by the instinct of their need, the odor of new shirts, 
drawers and socks. 

Lunch despatched, work began in earnest. Six of us joined hands 
in opening boxes and distributing gifts. So great was the pressure 
upon us that we were unable to meet it, and, after toiling incessantly 
until dark, had to dismiss the scores of longing ap 
plicants with the pledge better than nothing to be 
sure, but not especially comforting to shirtless men 
that we would resume the distribution early in the morning. I never 



PROVISIONAL CAMP. 389 

saw such an intensely eager set of men. There was not an article we 
had, from a shirt to a newspaper, which was not in constant demand, 
often by a dozen voices at once. And there was good reason for the 
eagerness. There were in the camp probably not far from ten 
thousand men, most of whom were from Sherman s Army. Not a 
man among them, as far as I could learn, had a dime of money, while 
all had been without pay for many months. Their condition verified 
their stories. I had certainly never thought it possible for our sol 
diers to become so ragged and beggar-like. Scores, if not hundreds 
of them, came to us and made request for shirts, often with beautiful 
and touching modesty, their blouses meanwhile close buttoned about 
the neck, hot as the day was, to hide their condition. Shirts and 
pants hung in shreds ; some wore drawers only, the pantaloons being 
past all presentableness or service ; the shoeless and stockingless were 
numberless. Our hearts certainly lacked no stimulus in the blessed 
work of relief. 

Yet all this time my heart was growing heavy over the prospects 
of the work on its spiritual side. I doubt if our camp was often 
paralleled for vileness. Its make-up will furnish a significant reason 
for this. Ostensibly it was a camp of men disabled 

by long marches, and convalescents still unfit for 

ences. 

active service, sent here chiefly by boat from New- 
bern, in advance of their comrades, who were to come by land. But 
in addition to these, there were a large number of stragglers and 
" shirks," who had contrived to pass themselves off as invalids, and 
had so dodged a fatiguing march, with quite a numerous sprinkling 
of " bounty-jumpers" and conscripts. As an inevitable sequence, the 
morals of the camp were of the worst ; and so incessantly on that 
first afternoon were our ears assailed with profanity and vulgarity, 
that the bare thought of trying to preach the Gospel to men so cor 
rupt almost filled me with dismay. 

One circumstance occurred however to check my despondency and 
inspire hope. Just as we were ready for our lunch of crackers and 
bacon, a pleasant-looking soldier came to me, and with an earnest 
look drew me aside to ask if there was to be preach 
ing in our chapel that evening. Upon my replying ^ e $1** 
that there was to be, his eyes filled forthwith with .^ 
tears, and an expression of devout thanks broke from 



* 
390 CHKISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

his lips. His personal experience was a very remarkable one. A 
sailor for nine years, he had been a very wicked man. Nothing had 
arrested him in his course, until a few evenings previous, passing a 
tent, he heard some Christian soldier singing. He was struck by the 
melody, so much so that the music kept ringing in his ears con 
stantly. He unbosomed himself to his comrade ; they went together 
to find the tent, but could not. Their consciences were now, however, 
thoroughly awake, and they agreed among themselves that they 
ought to be better men. Finally, Wright this was the soldier s name, 
Chas. Wright, of the 32d Mass., told his comrade that talking 
would not make them any better. The other suggested prayer. 
They did not know anything about praying, however. And it was 
not until after considerable hesitation that they got down on their 
knees. They confessed their common sins as well as they could, 
asked forgiveness, and found that prayer helped them very much. 
So they continued a day or two, working without encouragement from 
any about them, until it suddenly occurred to them that they were 
selfish about the matter, so they agreed to try and get in some of 
their comrades. They were successful, and after that had an evening 
prayer meeting at their tent, consisting of about ten men. Wright 
was a member of the Fifth Corps, which was hourly expected to ar 
rive. He was in great anxiety, because he feared that when his Corps 
came, he would have to join it immediately, before our meetings be 
gan. He went away with a happy face when he found that we were 
to have a meeting that evening. 

I had no idea there would be any considerable number of the men 
out. To our surprise the tent was crowded full, and probably one 
hundred and fifty men lay down on the grass outside, within hearing 
distance, when we rolled up the sides of the chapel. Close up to the 
desk sat Charles Wright. A squad of soldiers sitting near him had 
evidently formed the nucleus of his remarkable prayer meeting. Our 
doubts of the day were still hanging about us, and though we had 
grand singing, and the fullest attention was paid to everything said, 
yet it was only after a hesitating conference among ourselves that we 
proposed, not very courageously, a supplementary meeting of Chris 
tian soldiers for conference and prayer. To our embarrassment not 
a man stirred to leave. Supposing they had not understood, I re 
peated the notice that those who wanted to talk over their Christian 



PKOVISIONAL CAMP. 391 

experience might remain. But nobody moved yet so we had a 
whole tent full. The soldiers were invited to speak. Wright rose 
promptly and told the story which he had related to me in the after 
noon ; and after that we had no lack of them. The Lord seemed to 
be indeed present with us. 

With that service began a revival. A fact remarkable to us was 
developed in these meetings, and this was that there had been a suc 
cession of revivals in the army all the way round from Chattanooga. 
Various places were spoken of which had been the 

scenes of deep interest Dalton, Goldsboro , Ealeigh, . Pm ^ Meet- 

ings on the Great 
among others. Some of the men had agreed to hold 



meetings every night of the long and perilous march. 1 
These were often held under peculiar difficulties ; many a time the 
soldiers gathered in the dark, where they did not dare to have fires. 
I never heard men speak more ably or with deeper earnestness than 
did these. In those solemn, quiet meetings of the "great march," 
held under such dangers, they seemed to have entered into the mean 
ing of the Psalmist s song : " Whoso dwelleth under the defence of 
the Most High, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. He 
shall defend thee under His wings, and thou shalt be safe under His 
feathers. His faithfulness and truth shall be thy shield and buckler." 
And so, when they came into the country of safety, their song was : 
" Oh, what great troubles and adversities hast Thou showed me ! and 
yet didst Thou turn and refresh me ; yea, and broughtest me from 
the deep of the earth again. My praise shall be always of Thee." 

Every night from three to fifteen men came forward for prayers. 
Our chapel tent was filled at every meeting until the camp broke up. 
One night I remember we had a tremendous thunder-storm. My im 

pression was that it would be useless to hold a ser- 

T j 1* , A Wet Meet- 

vice. 1 wrapped myselt up to keep out ot the 

drenching rain and stepped over to the chapel. It 
was two-thirds full. The rain was dripping through the canvas. The 
water chased itself across the ground like a mill-race ; and the men 
had to keep their feet out of it as best they could. The candles 
spluttered and died out as fast as they were lit ; and excepting one or 
two which we managed to keep burning at the desk, we were in utter 



l For instance, in the 3d Brig., 2d Div., of the Twentieth Corps, such prayer 
meetings were held every night, from Tennessee to Washington. 



392 CHKISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

darkness. Yet we not only had the regular service, but a prayer 
meeting afterwards also, and two new recruits for Christ came forward 
to ask our special petitions. 

The men told many precious incidents of the Christian intercourse 

they had had during the long march. Once after a skirmish, a sol 

dier told me, they held one of their usual night prayer meetings. 

The wounded were being brought in and cared for 

ymg C ;e to ^ ^ soldiers were singing a hymn. A poor young 
lad, fatally wounded, was among the number. As 

they came up, they said to him 

" You are pretty badly wounded, ai n t you ?" 

" Yes," said he ; " almost gone ; but didn t I hear some singing ?" 

" Yes ; we had a little prayer meeting." 

" Tain t any use carrying me to the hospital ; if you ll just carry 
me up to the tent, near the prayer meeting, that ll do. I would like 
to die up there." 

The soldiers carried him tenderly to the place ; he lay there listen 
ing to the singing and the prayers until he died. 

Across the river from Provisional Camp was encamped the Four 

teenth Corps. After the grand review we established ourselves 

among them. We had many cases of interest. I remember one 

rather remarkable incident of a soldier named John 

in t 1 11 H Slia " ^ F 104th I llmois ReL He nacl savecl 



up five hundred dollars from his army pay, which he 
proposed using to have himself educated for a missionary after his 
discharge. His story awakened a deep interest in our meeting one 
evening, as he told it omitting reference to the money he had saved 
in a peculiarly simple and artless way. He spoke so gently of his 
having no earthly home ; and then, with faith and trust shining out 
of his eyes, he said he had One Friend who, he knew, would never 
forsake him or go away from him. His parents had been Roman 
Catholics. 

Emanuel A -- , Co. F, 31st Ohio, had the reputation of being 
the most accomplished gambler in his regiment. He was a fearfully 
intemperate man also, and as profane as intemperate. He rose for 

prayers one evening, to our general astonishment. 
Curious, Angry, . . . 

Convicted Afterwards he told me something of his experience. 

He had heard about the meetings, and so came one 



WASHINGTON. 393 

night out of curiosity to hear the singing. He sat down on the grass 
outside of the tent to listen. By-and-bye something was said which 
he felt inclined to regard as a personal affront. He got very angry 
and rose to stalk away. A comrade followed him out and told him 
that was not the way to leave, " like a coward." So he was prevailed 
on to go back. Again something sharp in the address came across 
him, and again he started off in anger. His comrade, himself not a 
Christian, stuck to him, and shamed him back again. This time 
something riveted his deepest attention. He began to feel there was 
some trouble within. He went away at the close of the meeting feel 
ing all crushed down ; carried his load for a day or two, and felt as 
if he must return to the meetings to confess his sins. He soon found 
out the way of peace, and coming into the meeting, asked prayers 
most earnestly in behalf of the " partner" who had urged him back 
to the chapel when he was going away cross. 

The success of our revival work was due more than anything else 
to the religious element among the men, to the Christian spirit of 
those who had held to their prayer meetings during the march from 
Atlanta. 

With two incidents, occurring near the close of the 
work in Washington hospitals, we bid adieu to the men 
who conquered with Sherman and Grant. 

The first is related by Rev. Mr. Goodwin : 

In Ward 75 of Carver Hospital, Washington, I found John Gil- 
lespie, a Pennsylvania soldier, who had lost a leg in one of the recent 
engagements before Richmond. His father was present and sat at 
his side, holding his hand. The soldier was in a deep 

stupor ; various efforts had been made to rouse him orwar , 

. . Double- Quick, 

up ; when the Chaplain and I came in, we continued March!" 

them, but he seemed too far gone to heed us. A 
little circle of comrades in the mean time had gathered round the 
cot. I offered a short prayer, and then we all stood a while watching 
for any change which might occur, momently expecting the sufferer 
to expire. Suddenly one of his comrades said eagerly that he 
thought he was going to speak. There was evidently a kindling up 
of the little life which was left in him. After trying to clear his 



394 CHKISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

throat and mouth a little, at first only faintly articulating, "For 
ward," he at last broke out, as though he were again at the head of 
his company 

" Double-quick," and then " March" came out short and quick and 
clear. 

The effort had exhausted his last remaining strength. A dull 
weight fell back upon the pillow. He was dead. 

The last is related by Rev. Edward P. Smith : 

Lieutenant Wood, of a Maine regiment in the Army of the Po 
tomac, was on his way to the " grand review." He had gone through 
the war without a wound, and even without hospital experience. At 
the last camp-halt his division made before reaching 
, Y Washington, as he stood in his tent door, he was 

mortally wounded by the accidental discharge of a 
gun. He was brought into Campbell Hospital. When I found him 
he was apparently peaceful in the immediate prospect of death. He 
had enlisted as a Christian, but while he had kept an unsullied rep 
utation for uprightness and integrity, yet he had not been distinctly 
known in the regiment as a Christian ; and this was now his bitter 
grief. He wanted to live to see his family again, but more, far 
more, he said, to recover lost opportunities. He sent for his fellow- 
officers, told them his mistake and asked their forgiveness ; while he 
trusted in the Saviour for his own forgiveness. 

" I die as a Christian," he said to me, " and I die contented ; but, 
oh, if I could have died as a Christian worker !" 

" I am peaceful and assured in view of death," he said again, " but 
I am not joyful and glad ; those three lost years keep coming back 
upon me ;" then lying a moment quiet with closed eyes, he added, 
" Chaplain, do you suppose we shall be able to forget anything in 
heaven ? I ivould like to forget those three years." 



CHAPTER XY. 

THE PRISONERS IN THE SOUTH. 

WITH NOTICES OF THOSE WHO RETURNED TO ANNAPOLIS. 

Our purpose throughout this volume has been to give 
a representative, and not an exhaustive, collection of in 
cidents. We do not propose to deviate from that plan in 
this chapter ; nor to enter into the history of the Southern 
prisons ; but to group a few narratives, especially of 
the religious life of the men who suffered in them. The 
best method of presentation is the general one of our 
chapters, the chronological. 

Eev. C. C. McCabe, 1 Chaplain of 121st Ohio Eegi- 
ment, was taken prisoner with the Regimental Surgeon 
in June, 1863, after Gen. Milroy s abandonment of Win 
chester. The news of Gettysburg was brought to Libby 
Prison, where the Chaplain was confined. He tells how 
the prisoners received it : 

I had a relative in Richmond, a staunch Rebel. The day they 
received the first tidings from Gettysburg he came to see me, his face 
wreathed in smiles : 

" Have you heard the news ?" 

"What news?" How we heard 

. oj Gettysburg in 

" Forty thousand Yankee prisoners in the Valley 

on their way to Richmond !" 



1 Member of Ohio Conference, Meth. Epis. Church. Chaplain McCabe was 
afterwards a collecting agent for the Commission, principally in the West. 

395 



396 



CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 



I was astounded. In dumb amazement I listened to the Rebel 
officers speculating where the new prisoners should be stowed away 
and how they were to be fed. I went up stairs and told the news. 
Despondency settled down into every heart. That night, as we assem 
bled for " family prayers," and sang, as was always our wont, the 
long-metre Doxology, it trembled out from quivering lips up to Him 
who has said, " Glorify ye Me in the fires." We felt we were so 
doing that night, if never before. 




NEWS IN LIBBY PRISON. 



I slept none that night, listening wearily to the watch calling the 
hours and singing out as he did so, " All s well." When the day 
broke I waited for the footsteps of " Old Ben," a character well known 
to every inmate of Libby. He was an old slave 
Union black man, who was the prison news-agent and 



One Cipher too 
Many. 



sold papers at twenty-five cents a-piece. At last his 



LIBBY PEISON. 397 

\ 

footfall came. He pushed the door ajar, looked round for a moment 
upon the sleepers, and then raising up his arms, shouted 

" Great news in de papers !" 

Did you ever see a resurrection ? I never did but once. Oh, how 
those men sprang to their feet; and what was the news? The tele 
graph operator at Martinsburg, when putting those ciphers to the 
four, had clicked his instrument once too often. There was a mistake 
of only thirty-six thousand ! More yet ! Lee was driven back ; the 
Potomac was swollen ; the pontoons were washed away ! I have stood 
by when friends long parted meet again with raining tears and fond 
embrace, but never did I witness such joy as swept into these strong 
men s faces, where the deepest sorrow sat but a moment before. 

Well, what did we do ? Why, we sang ; sang as saved men do ; 
sang till Captains Flynn and Sawyer, immured in the lowest dungeon 
below and doomed to die within ten days, heard us and wondered ; 
sang till the very walls of Libby quivered in the 
melody as five hundred of us joined in the chorus o 
of Mrs. Julia Ward Howe s " Battle Hymn of the 
Kepublic" : 

"Mine eyes have seen the Glory of the coming of the Lord ; 
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored ; 
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible, swift sword : 
His Truth is marching on. 

" I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps ; 
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps ; 
I have read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps : 
His day is marching on. 

" I have read a fiery Gospel writ in burnished rows of steel, 
As ye deal with My contemners, so with you My Grace shall deal : 
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with His heel, 
Since God is marching on. 

" He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat ; 
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat : 
O ! be swift, my soul, to answer Him ! be jubilant, my feet ! 
Our God is marching on. 



398 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS 

" In the beauty of the lilies, Christ was born across the sea, 
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me ; 
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free, 
While God is marching on. 

" CHORUS Glory, Glory, Hallelujah !" 

It was early ; I am not sure but we woke up the President of the 
Confederacy himself with that song. 

It was the Fourth of July, and we determined to have a celebration. 

Our programme was already arranged, speeches, toasts and songs. 

But where should we get a flag ? There were several in the prison ; 

but they were below in the office, turned inglori- 

ouslv upside-down before the Confederate banner. 

in Lobby. J 

We might make a flag ; but whence the material ? A 
happy thought occurred to us. A man was found who wore a red 
shirt ; another had a blue one ; white (?) shirts were plenty. From 
a combination of these at last emerged the emblem of liberty with 
all the thirty-four stars. One of Grant s men was chosen to hang 
the flag from the rafters, no easy task, but successfully and safely 
accomplished. I never saw men gaze so long and earnestly at a flag 
before or since. What memories it called up ! 

Col. Streight, the President of the Day, made an opening speech, 
in which he enjoined upon us not to make too much noise, else the 
Rebels would interrupt. Just as he closed, a Confederate officer 
made his appearance and addressed the Colonel 

" Col. Streight, by order of the Captain commanding, this fuss must 
stop." 

" Fuss/ " said the Colonel, " do you call this a fuss ? Do I un 
derstand you to mean that we can t celebrate the Fourth of July 
here?" 

"Yes, sir, you can, but "and just then looking up, he spied the 
flag. It evidently astonished him. He looked at it intently and 
long. Finally the power of speech returned : 

" Somebody take that flag down." 

A man back in the rear rose, and said in a trembling voice 

" Let any Union boy here touch that flag that dares !" 

None of us moved. The officer s command was repeated. No 
one stirred. He must execute his own order, so he began the peril 
ous ascent. He was not quite so light-limbed as the man who had 



ANDERSONVILLE. 399 

put it up, and it looked once or twice as if he would pretty surely 
come down with a crash and without his prize, but he finally succeeded. 
Such was our humiliation. Little did we think of the compensa 
tion. Little did we know of the full import of the Gettysburg vic 
tory ; much less of that other flag coming down that very day at 
Vicksburg, \ f the Gibraltar of the Rebellion!" 

where the witnesses were not a few half-starved and ompen 

sation. 
half-clad captives, but a vanquished Confederate 

army. 

So God " commanded light to shine out of darkness!" 

In the midst of the long weariness of captivity, there 
was no inner help and consolation equal to that afforded 
by the Gospel of Christ. Rev. Benj. Parsons, a Dele 
gate in August, 1863, to the right of Rosecrans army, 
recalls this incident : 

Sergeant Thos. A. Cord, of the 19th U. S. Infantry, was a mem 
ber of an association of* Christians in the division to which his regi 
ment belonged. Owing to the pressure of military duty and the cold 
indifference of superior officers, he and his compan 
ions, only four or five in number, were obliged to T ., . 
obtain by stealth the privilege of social prayer. 
When off duty they betook themselves to a secluded spot in a wood, 
and there poured out their hearts together in prayer and praise. At 
Chickamauga the Sergeant was taken prisoner. Through some of 
his escaped comrades we hear that he has been appointed by his fel 
low-prisoners to conduct a prayer meeting at night in a subterranean 
apartment within the stockade at Andersonville. Faithful to his 
country, to his comrades and to Christ in the quiet camp, he was 
found foremost among the faithful in the land of captivity. 

The Christian Commission held meetings at Chatta 
nooga, in January and February, 1864, which were 
attended by Mr. Thos. J. Sheppard, 1 a soldier of an 

1 Afterwards, in Summer of 1865, a Delegate of the Commission to aid in fin 
ishing Western work. 

f 



400 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

Ohio regiment, afterwards a prisoner at Andersonville. 
He writes : 

A young man rose one evening at the Chattanooga meetings, and 
told us he was a sutler ; he desired to make confession of his wrong 
doing, and under a sense of his sinfulness asked the prayers of God s 

people that he might become a Christian. He said 
The Converted ,1,1 , ^ i i 

that he was on his way home to be a better man, 

and then added 

" If ever I come into the army again, it will be with a gun on my 
shoulder." 

His confession made the profoundest impression upon the soldiers. 
Their marvel was at the radical nature of the change which the 
Grace of God had effected. 

" There s no use doubting God s power in converting men," said 
they, " when He makes a soldier out of a sutler." 

And nobly did the renewed man fulfill his vows. 

Months afterwards at Andersonville, a soldier who had volunta 
rily remained to care for the sick when it was 1 supposed he was going 
to the lines for exchange, one who was known throughout all that 
prison as an earnest disciple of Christ, said to me 

" Do you remember how a sutler asked the prayers of Christians 
in a meeting at Chattanooga, and promised, if he carne out again, to 
come as a Christian and a soldier ?" 

" Certainly, I do." 

" I am that sutler," was his reply. 

Amid rags and filth and sickness, faithful and patient, there was 
no Christian Commission Delegate who ever more beautifully illus 
trated the Gospel of temporal and spiritual relief, than did Sergeant 
Frank W. S , of the 124th Ohio. 

Rev. J. W. Hough, a Delegate to Camp Distribution, 
near Washington, in June, 1864, furnishes the follow 
ing narrative : 

In the Autumn of 1861, a volunteer cavalry company of home 
guards was formed in Williston, Vt., half in sport, half for the 
sake of drill. A member of Williams College, who was passing his 



ANDERSONVILLE. 401 

vacation in the village, was chosen Chaplain of the 

XT ^ r , The Memorial 

company. A gentleman from JNew York, connected 

with the Bible Society, sent a bundle of Testaments 
to distribute among the members. One Sabbath afternoon these 
were presented, with an address by the Chaplain upon the " Chris 
tian soldier." 

One of these Testaments has come back to Williston, and lies be 
fore me as I write. On the fly-leaf there is an inscription in the 
Chaplain s hand-writing 

" Williston Cavalry Company, September, 1861 ;" and beneath it 
is pencilled his name, " Charles B. Chapiu." 

He enlisted in the Summer of 1862, in the 1st Vermont Cav., and 
the little Testament was carried to the war. It traversed Virginia 
from Harper s Ferry to Petersburg, and rode with its owner, under 
Kilpatrick s lead, within the defences of Richmond. On May 5th, 
the day of the first fighting in the Wilderness, Chapin became a 
prisoner, and it went with him. Its owner had been previously 
learning the value of the little book. During the busy campaigns 
in which he had proved himself a cool, courageous soldier, there had 
sprung up in his heart a new life. He could never trace its history, 
or fix its dates. 

" I could not go into action without committing myself to God in 
silent prayer," he wrote ; " and presently I came to feel that my 
prayers were answered." 

He had learned the secret of faith in God ; and so the little Testa 
ment became a priceless treasure during the long days at Anderson- 
ville. 

When captured, his watch was taken from him, his money and 
even his pocket-knife also ; but a memorandum-book and the Testa 
ment he was permitted to retain. Together these volumes tell the 
tale of his prison-life ; giving hints and brief suggestions of suffer 
ings which could never be told, and of joys which even that life of 
horror could not wholly darken. The diary paints the dark side of 
the picture ; a sentence here and there bringing out vividly the inde 
scribable filth and wretchedness of the prison, the intolerable heat, 
the ever-increasing insufficiency of rations, the progress of disease, 
the sinking of the heart, as hope almost gave way before despair, 
which wrung out the groan 

26 



402 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

" God ! will there never be an exchange ?" 

But the well-worn Testament goes into the inner life, and tells a 
heart-history in its marked passages. A large class of these was evi 
dently made forcible by the surroundings of prison-life ; as, for ex 
ample, Christ s discourse upon the "Living Bread," in St. John s 
sixth chapter ; many of St. Paul s allusions to his imprisonment ; 
and St. Stephen s martyrdom. Others struck a deeper chord ; as 
Christ s prayer for His disciples, after the assurance, " In this world 
ye shall have tribulation ;" the close of the eighth chapter of the Ro 
mans, beginning, " Who shall separate us from the love of Christ ? 
Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, 
or peril, or sword?" St. Peter s injunction, "I think it not strange, 
.concerning the fiery trial which is to try you;" and St. Paul s tri 
umphant message to Timothy, from out the old Roman Mamertine 
dungeon, " I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my depart 
ure is at hand. I have fought a good fight ; I have finished my 
course ; I have kept the faith ; henceforth there is laid up for me a 
crown of righteousness." With what deep interest do we find the 
soldier s mark about these words (Phil. i. 12, 21): "But I would 
that ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened 
unto me, have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the Gospel. 
i: For I know that this shall turn to my salvation, through your 
prayers." 

After reading such entries in his journal as these " Cannot get 
half enough to eat ;" " Very, very hot ;" " Do not hardly draw half 
rations ;" " Had no blanket, so lay in the dirt ;" " Water poor ;" 
" Washed a pair of drawers, for the first time in two months ;" there 
is something inexpressibly touching in finding his mark upon such 
passages as these " These are they which came out of great tribula 
tion, and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood 
of the Lamb. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more ; 
neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb 
which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead 
them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all 
tears from their eyes." 

Not only was the Testament read and re-read during the seven 
months of imprisonment, but lent to others also. The day of ex 
change, so earnestly prayed for, came at last, and when the wasted 



ANDERSONVILLE. 403 

form dragged itself out of the stockade, the little volume could not 
be found ; it was in the hands of some fellow-prisoner, and gladly 
left that it might continue to comfort him. Chapin reached Annap 
olis, and sent a cheerful letter home ; his father went down to bring 
him back, as he hoped, to the old fireside. It was not so to be. 
Starvation and cruelty had done their work ; he had " fought a good 
fight, the time of his departure was at hand." 

Under the hardships of prison life, into which was crowded the 
discipline of a score of common years, he had ripened for heaven. 

" Father, sit down by me ; I want to tell you how I feel, I don t 
know as it s just right. I feel so perfectly satisfied with all God has 
done. I wouldn t have one thing changed. I would be glad to go 
home and see mother again ; but if God arranges otherwise, it s all 
right. I would have it just as He pleases. Tell Eddie and Allie and 
Millie to meet me in heaven ; and tell Mr. Hough to say to all my 
young friends in Williston to meet me there too." 

The last entry in his journal reads, " Mustered for pay ;" he was 
being " mustered for pay" indeed ; the Captain of his salvation was 
even then saying, " Behold I come quickly, and My reward is with 
Me." Peacefully, even gladly, he entered into rest. Let those who 
can, imagine the contrast between Andersonville and heaven. 

During the weeks in which he lingered, business once called his 
father to Washington. In the depot there was a group of soldiers. 
Accosting them, he found that one was a released Andersonville 
prisoner. 

" Did you know Charley Chapin ?" he inquired. 

" Charley Chapin ? Guess I did," was the quick rejoinder. 

Explanations followed, and the soldier expressed his surprise that 
he was yet alive. Opening his knapsack suddenly, he added 

" Here, I ve got a Testament that belongs to him. He lent it to 
me and I couldn t find him to return it. I ve read it through four 
times. I wish you would give it to him." 

So the precious little book came back to him who had fed upon it 
when starving, and to his friends in whose eyes it was a priceless 
treasure. It lies on my table this afternoon, where the "Chaplain" 
wrote in it four years and more ago. It bears on it the scars of ser 
vice. Itg sides and edges are worn. Its back, having failed, has been 
replaced by a piece of rough leather, once apparently part of a boot- 



404 CHKISTIAX COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

leg, carefully stitched on. Its pages are wonderfully clean, testifying 
to the care with which it was used, and reminding us of one of old, 
who in the depths of an experience, not wholly dissimilar, exclaimed 
" I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary 
food." 

During October and November, 1864, Rev. J. M. 
Clark 1 labored among the returned prisoners at Anna 
polis. From liis report we make these extracts : 

One of the men who wished to be prayed for, awakened uncommon 
interest in our evening meetings. After a season of prayer a con 
verted soldier rose and said 

" I am glad to see that brother soldier here for 

prayers; we were in Richmond prison together, and 

to God as he 

used to?" * nave ^ ten P ra y e d for him." 

Soon after, the penitent rose to add a few words 
himself: 

" I have been a backslider from God. Before I entered the army 
I enjoyed Christ ; but since, I have not lived as I ought. I ve been 
home on furlough, and if any one had heard the prattle of my little 
boy, he would have been struck with it ; but how do you think it made 
me Ids father feel, when he said to his mother, When papa comes 
to dinner, will he talk to God as he used to? Oh, I tell you it cut 
me to the heart. I am determined, if God please, to live a Christian 
life." 

Two other men were forward for prayers at the same time. Both 
had been wounded and in captivity, and now both came limping 
along together and bent their crippled limbs in earnest humility and 
petition before God. 

One of the saddest sights we had to witness were the paroled men 
leaving camp for home on furlough. Twelve ambulances came from 
the city to convey those unable to walk. About fifty others hobbled 

along on crutches, a pitiable sight! God help and 
A Crutch Bat- ,, 

bless them ! roor, brave fellows, they are cripples 

for life, many of them for but a short life. It was 



1 Pastor of Meth. Episc. Church, Ashburnham, Mass. 



ANNAPOLIS. 405 

mournful to watch them a full hundred as they turned their faces 
homeward ; and to think of the aching eyes that would fill with 
tears again when the maimed heroes got back to the old home town. 

Eev. Wm. DeLoss Love 1 was a Delegate at Annapolis 
in December, 1864. We add a few sketches from his 
pen : 

When the steamers bearing the Union paroled prisoners reached 
t;he wharf at Annapolis, it was customary for the Delegates of the 
Commission and others to go down and greet those grateful, earnest 
men, as they stepped again on the shore of what they 
often termed " God s country." The hospital band 
also met them there, and poured forth sweetest strains ^ Death 
of music. 

I was delayed one day on the arrival of a steamer, and when I 
reached the wharf some were bearing the feeble, freed prisoners on 
stretchers to the Naval Hospital ; others were placing some of their 
suffering companions on a platform car, which was to be rolled along 
up to St. John s College Hospital. 

As I came near the steamer, the first object that specially attracted 
my attention was an emaciated, feeble man, lying on one corner of 
the car platform, the sun welcoming him with its gentle and soothing 
rays, and he feebly, but touchingly, exclaiming, " Oh, that pretty 
band!" My associate Delegate of the Commission had taken his 
name, and was then trying to learn his regiment and his father s name 
and place of residence ; for it was evident the young man could not 
long survive, and that unless we obtained these particulars then, the 
poor soldier would have that sad word, " Unknown" placed on his 
little head-board in the cemetery, and no relative would ever know 
where or when he died and was buried. 

The soldier was not yet so far gone as to forget his own name, but 
he was obliged to take a little time for thought to recall his regiment. 
When the Delegate asked for his father s name and place of residence, 



1 Pastor of Spring St. Congregational Church, Milwaukee, Wi?., and Editor of 
the Wisconsin Puritan. 



406 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

he could not at first tell, but in his hard effort at recollection, said, 
" Wait a little and I ll get it." Soon he did get it, and then the atten 
tion of most of the bystanders was turned to others. 

But I felt in my heart a longing to know whether this soldier, so 
near his end, was a friend of the Saviour. I came close, and putting 
my lips near his ear, said 

" Do you love the Lord Jesus Christ ?" 

He started with an animation not manifested before, turned his 
feeble and glassy eyes straight and lovingly upon me, put an unwonted 
energy into his voice, and replied, 

" My friend, I do !" 

It was enough. I never saw the soldier again. Doubtless ere the 
day wore away he was carried by angels into Rest. 

There had come to Annapolis some months before, a skeptic to see 
his severely-wounded and feeble son, who had recently arrived from 
the Richmond prison. The father tarried, hoping to witness his son s 

improvement, now that he had exchanged quarters 
The Skeptic -r M i /> i T-T. i i 

,,. P in Lib by for those at Annapolis. But the change 

he had looked for was of another character. Gan 
grene had reached the wound, and the flesh of the young man s limb 
was gradually rotting away. 

The Surgeons abandoned nearly all hope of his recovery, and the 
benevolent Chaplain told the father that his son must probably soon 
die ; that he had better so inform him, and advise him to make all 
needful arrangements before leaving the world. 

The father replied that he could not bear the task, and asked the 
Chaplain to do it for him. 

" And," said he, " speak to him in regard to all his interests ; those 
of the future also." Then he further added, in much seriousness,- " I 
have been an unbeliever, a wicked man; but my son s mother is a 
Christian, and he had better follow her." 

The Chaplain gladly went to the son and told the father s message, 
and asked what reply he should return. 

" Tell my father," said he, " that I have not deferred preparation 
for the future to this late time. Long, long ago, previous to going 
into battle, I gave myself up to Jesus, and now am ready to go and 
meet Him when He calls me. Tell him also that I hope he will pre 
pare to meet Him too." 




O- THE 

UNIVS-RSI7Y 

or 



ANNAPOLIS. 407 



This message, tenderly given by the Chaplain, made a deep im 
pression on the loving but skeptical father. 

One evening, as I sat writing letters for soldiers in Chaplain Hen 
ries office at the Annapolis Hospital, Division No. 1, there came into 
the room a very aged and feeble man from Cambridge, 111., who with 
trembling and sadness, inquired if we could tell him 
anything about his son, N. H. Tilson. We replied ^ e , 
that we did not recollect to have seen him. He said 
that he had received a letter from some one in that hospital, inform 
ing him that his son had reached there, a paroled Union prisoner from 
Savannah. He further said that before receiving that letter he had 
not heard from him for about a year ; that then he learned he was 
probably slain in a battle near Knoxville, and he and his family 
had given him up as dead. But when they received the news of his 
arrival and sickness at Annapolis, they all sat down and wept in their 
joy, and then decided that he and his daughter both of them feeble 
in health must set out to find him. They had travelled a thousand 
miles or more ; he had left his daughter at the hotel, telling her that 
she must be prepared for the worst. 

Chaplain Henries told him that he would go through the wards 
and make inquiry for his son. After he had gone, I endeavored to 
comfort the dear old man a warm-hearted Christian by saying 
that we found many of the prisoners from Andersonville who had 
either been converted there or soon after their arrival at Annapolis. 
He replied in tears that his chief prayer for his son all along had been 
that, if still living, he might become a Christian. 

While thus conversing, I turned over the leaves of my Commission 
note-book, then nearly full, to see if I could find any trace of the son 
of this aged man. At last I discovered his name, but did not at first 
mention my discovery, lest I should find there also a record of his 
death. Glancing rapidly along the lines, I found this: "1ST. Holmes 
Tilson, Cambridge, Henry Co., 111. Been in prison a year; taken 
prisoner at Knoxville, Tenn., Nov. 18th, 1863 ; became a Christian 
last of June or first of July at Andersonville. Not heard from home 
for about eleven months." 

I read my sketch to the father ; he was so overcome with joy that 
he could scarcely speak. Soon the Chaplain returned with the glad 
news that he had found him. He said that as he went into the room 



408 



CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 



where the boy lay, he recognized him as one he had several times 
visited alone and with myself; but in the multitude his name had 
been forgotten. The young man said 

" Chaplain, you have not been to see me in a great while. Have 
you got a letter from my father ?" 

No, I have no letter from him. What would you give to see 
your father ?" 

" I will give twenty-five dollars this minute !" 
"Wei], I ll go and bring him." 

This last sentence was uttered so playfully that the lad hardly 
knew what he meant, and presumed it could not be that his father 
had come. 

But soon the Chaplain escorted the old man to the room where the 
boy lay. The father hurried over to the low cot in the corner, knelt 
down, put his arms about his son, and the son threw his arms about 
his father s neck, and there they kissed each other and wept. 

The lost son was found, in more senses than one, the father 
thought, Not only had the Lord found him at Andersonville, but 
in a few days it was evident that he would never recover, and that 
the earthly loss would be the heavenly finding. 

Perhaps one of the most remarkable episodes of the 
history of the war, if it could be fully written, would be 
the narrative of the preaching of the Gospel in Ander 
sonville stockade. Little however remains beyond the 
mere outline shreds of an account. Eev. J. M. Clark, 
who after his first Delegate s experience, became the 
Commission s permanent agent at Annapolis, preserves 
a few disconnected relations of soldiers concerning this 
phase of the story of the prison : 

Among the thousands of unfortunate men imprisoned, there 
were some Christians and Christian ministers, who were willing to 
preach the Word in season and out of season. These were called 

TheGoxpdin " Clm P lains ;" l suppose few if any of them held 
Andersonville. commissions. 

Within the bounds of the camp there were three 



ANDERSONVILLE ANNAPOLIS. 409 

spots where the men were accustomed to hold preaching and other 
services in the evenings. When the smaller area was too strait 
for the congregation, notice was proclaimed for the next meeting in a 
larger space. The spot most frequently used was on the south side 
of the stream, in the place used for the execution of the six criminals, 
or " raiders" as they were called. The attendants numbered as high 
as four, five and six hundred at a time. Sad to say, the soldiers 
te&timony was that they were often disturbed by wicked fellow- 
prisoners on the outskirts of the congregation. The meetings how 
ever were attended and sustained by sincere, earnest men, whose 
labors were not in vain. 

Many of the men tell me that it was in the time of their captivity 
that they " began to call upon the name of the Lord." Some of them 
told touching stories of their weakness and consequent inability to get 
to the prison prayer meetings. Said one 

" I was too weak to walk, yet I wanted to go to the meeting ; so I 
crawled upon my hands and knees half-way and got where I could 
hear, and stopped there thinking I could pray. Afterwards I crept 
back to my old place." 

One poor fellow who had been very wicked, became too sick to leave 
his place. He had a desire to go to the meeting; so two of his com 
rades took him up and carried him. Lying upon the ground amid 
the congregation, he listened and was deeply convicted of sin. A 
number of devout soldiers gathered about and prayed for him. He 
was converted and shortly after began to recover. 

In one of our wards at Annapolis lay a brave soldier, who had 
escaped with life and no more. He was continually recurring to 
thoughts of the old prison meetings. The first evening I met him he 

was suffering from a severe cough, which continued 

. , i . . . . n -. Prayinq for 

with scarcely any intermission for more than two Enemies 

hours. His agony was intense, and great drops of 

sweat trickled from his brow. Meanwhile his heroic wife stood at his 

side, grave and composed, as she had been through many anxious 

days. In the intervals of coughing he would offer short prayers like 

this 

" O Lord, bless those men whose cruel treatment has caused all 
this suffering; have mercy upon them and show them the right way; 
give them life, eternal life." 



410 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

At another time, as we stood by him, he said 

" The blessed Lord has been very good to me. Oh, yes, He has 
brought me out of that horrible prison ; yes, He heard my prayer ; 
He can make me well. They did use me badly, wife ; the Lord have 
mercy on them ! Oh, I think of the poor prisoners left behind. They 
are wicked many of them. I have heard them swear and curse 
and mock those who prayed ; and after a few days I have seen them 
go to the meetings and fall down upon their knees to pray ; and some 
of them came away with new hopes. Oh, yes, the Lord heard prayer 
for sinners there ; He hears prayer always.. How good He has been 
to me !" 

In the same room lay another poor boy whose severe sufferings 
moved all to pity. He had been a prisoner for fifteen months, and 
had endured even more than the usual privations. Both his feet were 
frozen, discolored, swollen and intensely painful. 
p ,. So acute were his sufferings that the tears forced 

themselves from his eyes in spite of his efforts to re 
strain them. I tried to soothe him, and asked 

" Is there anything more I can do for you ?" 

He looked earnestly up in my face and answered 

" Give me a prayer, if you please." 

So kneeling by his side, I besought the Lord for him. During the 
night, the nurse told me, he was much engaged in prayer. Early 
the next morning he died. 

Rev. Dr. Patterson puts into a few earnest words his 
experience of the prayer meetings at Annapolis, attended 
by the returned prisoners in March, 1865 : 

If one wants to know what prayer and thanksgiving mean, he 
must hear our returned prisoners pour out their hearts before God 
for the redemption from Southern bondage, and supplicate for their 

brethren still in the prison-house. Choirs, organs, 
A Prisoners rp T^ T^ i i i ^ 1-1 

Prayer Meeting. le Deums > Doxologies are poor, dumb things beside 

the tears streaming down the smoke-dyed cheeks of 
these veterans ; and as the manly, trumpet voice quivers and grows 
husky, and breaks down in sobs at the throne of grace, one begins to 



ANNAPOLIS. 411 

know what is meant by "intercession with groanings which cannot 
be uttered." 

There is a lad of nineteen who stands up and says 

" I promised the Lord that if ever I got out of prison I would 
stand up for Him the very first chance; and now I want to serve 
Him, and I ask your prayers." 

There is another who can only hang his head and weep, and stand 
up also when the invitation is given. Just behind him a manly- 
looking fellow gets up and says 

" Ain t there some more here who promised God if He wouid get 
them out that they would be Christians? Now, soldiers, don t be 
afraid of men. We weren t afraid of men in Salisbury. We can t 
put down God with a lie, no how. Just speak out and don t be 
ashamed of Christ. He was not afraid to be ridiculed. He was put 
to the most ridiculous kind of usage and death for us. Now, stand 
up for Him." Thus the meeting goes on. 

Mr. Chas. Harris, 1 a Delegate at Camp Parole in 
April, 1865, recalls a few interesting incidents of the 
meetings and hospital work : 

An Irish soldier, who had been formerly in the navy, was led to 
Christ at our meetings. He was a tall, noble-looking man ; and his 
change seemed to be thorough and deep. He thought a great deal 

of a certain corner of the chapel in which he had been 

..-. .-, .. , ., How a Sail or 

wont to sit about the time when the Saviour was n , . . 

Lame to (Jfinst. 

seeking him. He used to speak of it as his "sweet 
little corner," and was under the impression that the Spirit was some 
how there especially present. When any one from that quarter rose 
to ask for the prayers of those present, the Irishman s heart used to 
go out towards them with special sympathy and a strong faith in 
their salvation. When we asked him how he came to think of 
coming to Christ after so many years of careless trifling, he said 

"The Lord got His grapnel-irons a hold of me ; He pulled on the 
starboard side, and then He pulled on the larboard side, till I could 
not hold out any longer, and so I surrendered the ship." 



1 City Missionary of Peoria, 111. 



412 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

Poor fellows! God only knows how utterly disheartening their 
trials had been. One of the soldiers in the hospital asked the nurse 
to bear a message for him, the tragedy and hopelessness of which 

are beyond all conception : 
" I am Dead." ,, . -, , ^, . ,. ^ . . 

" Ask the Christian Commission man to write a 

letter to my sister, and to tell her that I am dead and to come for 
my body." 

So much has been written upon the subject, and so 
few villages throughout the North lack stories always 
told with horror and tears of their own unreturning 
men who had been carried away into the hopeless coun 
try, that we have not thought it necessary to enter into 
the harrowing details of imprisonment miseries. With 
Rev. Mr. Clark s account of the arrival at Annapolis of 
2739 paroled men, on March 9th, 1865, we shall close 
this chapter : 

It has always been my custom to meet the transports at the wharf 

and to render, especially to the sick and disabled, all the assistance 

in my power. Stimulants cherry cordial and brandy given under 

the inspection and with the approval of the Surgeons, 

were most valuable in reviving the men, and in pro- 
oners came into 
Annapolis. longing or saving life. 

The scene on one of the boats was beyond descrip 
tion. After the comparatively well men had passed to the wharf, I 
went below to the lower deck, where seventy-five poor fellows lay in 
that dark, close part of the vessel, unable to help themselves; filthy, 
ragged, infested with vermin. These sufferers were without shirts, 
many of them barefoot, and some absolutely naked; others with their 
fleshless limbs exposed, and themselves too feeble to gather what 
shreds and rags there were about them. One man was helped along 
towards the hatchway, a naked skeleton, with only a blanket thrown 
over his shoulders. Another lay utterly nude, and so demented as 
not to notice his exposure. I covered him with a bit of matting that 
lay near, and gave him some cordial. Another lay stark and dead, 
on his right side, in the same position of contortion and agony in 



AT AXX4POLIS WHAEF. 413 

which he had died. By the dim light of a lantern, I went to every 
man and offered him a cordial ; many were too weak to drink, save 
with the greatest difficulty. Two dead bodies lay on deck, covered 
with coarse bagging. I lifted the cover to look at the face of one ; 
it was a countenance of complete emaciation and agony. A thought 
less prisoner looking on, said with a laugh 

" Give him a drink." 

One man on a stretcher, on the way up to the hospital seemed very 
weak and faint. The bearers paused, and I lifted up his head to give 
him the cup with cordial. His thin, trembling hand carried it to 

his lips, then holding it out from him, he said 

_ , T Deliverance. 
" Here s bad luck to the Confederacy. May I 

never fall into their hands again." 

There was something in the words and action which thrilled the 
bystanders. 

A man tottered down the plank from the transport, pale and hag 
gard, but with a smile upon his face. As he neared the wharf, he 

raised his fragment of a hat, swung it in the air and 

. , Too Weak to 

tried to cheer, but his voice was too weak to make a ^ eer 

sound. All took the will for the deed, and the 
nurses conducted him to the hospital. 

Another prisoner told me of his feelings when he came into our 
lines to embark : 

" I thought I should shout lustily, but when the moment came I 
was speechless ; my emotions were unutterable. I 
felt only as if I would like to go down and kiss the 
deck of the transport, over which floated the dear old stripes and 



CHAPTER XVI. 

THE WESTERN ARMIES. 

FROM THE FALL OF ATLANTA TO THE CLOSE OF COMMISSION WORK; WITH 
SOME NOTICES OF HOSPITAL AND OTHER WORK BEFORE ATLANTA FELL. 

June 1864 September 1865. 

THE great hospitals in the rear were soon overflowing 
with patients from the front, both sick and wounded. 
In June, Mr. A. E. Chamberlain writes from Cincin 
nati : 

A friend telegraphed me from Northern Michigan to go and see 
his son, Willian Van Tine, a soldier in Marine Hospital. I did so, 
and afterwards continued to attend him in his sickness. He had 

been married only a few months before coming into 
"I Have Gone 
H ome the army, and now, the burgeon told me, he must 

die. He was very cheerful about it, and continued 
so during all his sufferings. When very near his end, I received a 
despatch from his father, saying that he would be at the hospital 
next morning. Van Tine looked up at me when I told him, with a 
pleasant smile on his face : 

" That will be good, but he won t find me here. I shall be gone 
before that." 

The soldier s words were evidently true ; I asked him for a last 
message for his father. He was silent for a moment, the smile still 
clinging about his lips and eyes, and then said 

" Tell him I have gone home." 

" Have you any message for your wife?" 

" Tell her I have gone home." 

" Is there nothing more you want to say, William, no other mes 
sage I can bear for you ?" 

414 



NASHVILLE. 415 

" No ; that is enough. They will all understand it, I have gone 
home." 

Could we have sung a hymn by that couch, what one would have 
been more appropriate than Dr. Bonar s ? 

" Beyond the parting and the meeting, 

I shall be soon ; 

Beyond the farewell and the greeting, 
Beyond the pulse s fever beating, 

I shall be soon. 
Love, Best and Home ! 

Sweet Home ! 
Lord, tarry not, but come." 

Within half an hour he was resting at home. 

Mrs. E. I. Ford, the wife of Post-Surgeon Ford, of 
Nashville, a constant friend of the Christian Commis 
sion, relates an experience, in July, of work in the 
wards of a new hospital opened at Nashville for the men 
from the front : 

Most of the boys, even those whose limbs had been amputated, 
were doing well, when hot weather brought that scourge of the 
wounded, gangrene, which in spite of every precaution attacked very 
many of the patients. With most of them it was 

arrested ; but such was the constant alternation and 

of Hope. 

suspense that they needed more than usual sympa 
thy, and nourishment better than common. The Commission Dele 
gates were always gladly welcomed. 

Soldiers do not intrude their sorrows upon others ; only when yon 
stoop down to them, and ask them of the homes they have left and 
the toils they have encountered, and not always then, may you catch 
a glimpse of the sacrifices they make for their country. A boy of 
eighteen, of athletic frame and cheerful countenance, had suffered 
amputation of a right arm, and was doing well when he was attacked 
by the gangrene. From this time he was an object of my special 
interest and attention. Many a little luxury was procured, but soon 
they were seen to be of no avail. The disease, once arrested, reap- 



416 CHBISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

peared with renewed violence ; its inroads upon his constitution could 
not be repaired. A friend from his Western home came to cheer 
him day after day with kindest converse and sympathy. One day, 
before an operation, he said to me 

" I feel sometimes like giving up, but when I think of home and 
friends, I try to live for their sakes." 

" But, my boy, you were brave in the face of the enemy ; can t you 
meet this foe with the same courage? You may have an Almighty 
Arm to lean upon." 

" Oh, how much I need it ! How I long to find it !" 

" But you may find it at once ; Jesus says so, Come unto Me, all 
ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. " 

"Ah, yes; but I ve been such a sinner, so wicked, such a hard boy, 
and all the while I had a praying mother at home." 

" But the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin. Only re 
ceive Him now, and your mother s prayers are answered." 

He was soon enabled to accept the Saviour. He drooped gradually, 
and cared less for the comforts brought him, but never wearied of 
listening to the " sweet story of old." He looked at me thoughtfully 
one day, and said 

"I have made up my mind that I can t live, and I m ready to die; 
but, oh, if I could only die at home, with my mother and little sister 
beside me, I should be satisfied ! That s all I want now." With an 
imploring look, he added 

"Will you ask my Doctor if I may be carried home? It is my 
last request," and then the tears came. I turned away heart-sick, to 
entreat for what I knew could not be granted. My husband assured 
me it would be impossible ; so I carried back a reluctant response. 
He was calmer. When I told him, he said 

" I could hardly have expected it." 

"Shall we send for your mother?" 

" No," said he, after a moment ; " she is feeble, and must not come 
here." 

No more earthly complaints were uttered ; no more wishes for what 
might not be. The "Everlasting Arms" were underneath and 
around him, until he was " present with the Lord." 

The two following letters from a Tennessee cavalry- 



TULLAHOMA. 417 

man are remarkable alike for their earnestness and 
their frank, blunt, unmistakable way of putting things : 

TULLAHOMA, N. & C. K. R, TENN., July 18th, 1864. 
GEO. H. STUART Dear Sir : 

Will you be so kind as to send me a book, the title of which is A 
Pastor s Sketches, in two volumes ? In looking over the contents I 
see a few pieces, the headings of which fit my case so well that / 
w int to see the reasoning. Paul said that he was the 

" chief of sinners," but I think if he were here that 

an Inner btrije. 

I could drill him for two or three years to come in 
that well-known science of the devil wickedness. 

I have taken it into my head that if there is grace for the devil s 
" right bower," I will, through Christ, try and obtain it. I have no 
faith that I ever shall be saved, but it is perhaps worth an effort in 
that direction. I was brought to that conclusion yesterday by read 
ing The Young Irishman, 1 from A Pastor s Sketches. His case and 
mine are not parallel by any means, but I hope some of the other 
sketches are. If I thought God would forgive me at all, I would go 
about praying with a light heart, even though the blessing was deferred 
until the last moment of my existence. But I have been so wicked that 
I knoiv He ought not to pardon, and I fully believe He will not. So 
I do not feel like praying. Another thing, I Can t Repent; I am 
Waiting for Conviction; I think it possible that I may have com 
mitted The Unpardonable Sin; I have No Escape ; I Can t Pray ; I 
Can t Feel; What Can I Do?* 

I have not the amount of money equal to the price of the two 
books, or I would cheerfully send it. I, like the prodigal son, have 
spent my money in " riotous living." I merely ask the books as a 
favor not that they will benefit me ; but they may be the means of 
Driving the Arrow Deeper into my Divided Mind? If it does any 
good, you shall hear from me. 

Yours respectfully, 

A. L. G., Co. F, 5th Tenn. Cav. 



1 Published separately in tract form. 

2 Those acquainted with Dr. Spencer s invaluable book will recognize these 
phrases as the titles of several of the sections. 

27 



418 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

The books named, with one or two others, were procured and sent 
to him. In due time came the following letter : 

TULLAHOMA, Augwt 12th, 1864. 
DEAR BROTHER: 

The books came safely to hand ; and they have more than met my 
expectations in removing the obstacles in my way. I trust, under 
God, through the merits of Christ, that every prop of unbelief and 
sin will be knocked from under me, and that I shall be compelled by 
the holy influences of the Divine Spirit to flee the wrath to come and 
embrace the truths of Christ crucified. 

I do not know in what terms to express my gratitude to you for 
your kindness. I shall study the precepts of the books in as prayer 
ful a manner as my w r icked nature will permit ; and I pray God that 
if you hear from me again, you will find I have fully embraced 
Christ. 

I have been desperately wicked, but I believe Christ died to save sin 
ners, and I know 1 am one of them ; so He certainly died to save me. 
Brother, will you pray that His dying be not in vain so far as my 
individual case is concerned? I know you will; and after this life 
shall have been spent, I hope to make your acquaintance in that 
region where there is no sin to corrupt, no doubts to blind our vision, 
but where we shall see as we are seen and be for ever under the shadow 
of that love which fills the soul with eternal bliss. May God for ever 
bless you and yours is the sincere prayer of your unworthy brother, 

A. L. G., 5th Tenn. Cav. 

We have only one other trace of the earnest Tennesseean s life. 
It is after the war, in a town of Southern Tennessee. We find him 
laboring to gather together a school of the neglected children of 
the neighborhood, sending for books for them as once he had done 
for himself. God grant him full entrance into the privileges of the 
children of God! 

The Pittsburg Branch of the Commission had sent a 
large invoice of crutches to the office at Nashville. In 
a letter under date August 10th, 1864, to Mr. Wm. P. 
Weyman, the Receiver of the Pittsburg Committee, 




CRUTCH EXCHANGE. 



Page 419. 



NASHVILLE. 419 

Ilev. Mr. Smith takes this method of thanking and of 
asking for more : 

I have sent you by express a package of crutches, a slight return 
for the fifteen hundred your Commission has given through our office 
to the maimed who come hopping and hobbling in from the fights. 

And yet I think you will agree with me that my 

, . Trading Crutches. 

package 01 a dozen represents a heavier outlay than 

your boxes of a thousand and a half. Each one of the sticks I send 
had been cut and shaped by a man who has lost a limb or its use in 
the service. They are the representatives of battle-fields all along 
from Lookout Mountain to the hills looking down on Atlanta. We 
have hailed the boys trying to make their way along the streets with 
them, and brought them into our office for a trade. It is delightfully 
refreshing to hear their remarks and see their satisfaction as they go 
hopping off trying the new pair. One said to me 

"That s a bad trade for you." 

"No, I think not," said I; "if you can give that much of your 
leg" it was off above the knee "we can give you the crutches and 
have the best of the contract." 

He looked down thoughtfully at the vacancy, and answered 

" I never saw it before, but that s so." 

" That was a mistake of yours," I said to another, who came in on 
the oddest pair of crutches I had ever seen, one fashioned from a 
panelled board, the head wound with cloth and a bit of suspender, 
the other an oak stick pulled up by the roots, one of the roots left 
branching out to form the head of the crutch. 

" What s a mistake ? " he asked. 

" Why, losing that leg." 

" Don t see how I could help it." 

" Easily enough," I replied ; " suppose you had stayed at home, as 
others did ?" 

" I can t see it in that light," he said ; and then with flushed face 
and flashing eye, stamping the sticks on the floor, he added 

" I would rather be here on crutches than at home a Copperhead." 

He thanked me for the new ones, they all do that most touch- 
ingly, and when I said it was he tha^was giving and not I, he said 



420 CHKLSTIAX COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

it was not much that he could give, but he would like to give it over 
again, and the other leg too, if it would help on the work. 

The following story of prison work at Nashville in 
August, is told by the General Field Agent : 

Mr. Walter Tearne, from Covington, Ky., was our visitor to the 
military prisons. Of the numbers of men confined in these, some 
are not only innocent, but Christians. Through some misapprehen 
sion or carelessness they have found their way there. 

A Christian .- 
j^., Ol course, on the prisoners own statements there 

would be very few guilty ; but after investigation we 
not unfrequently find men who ought to be released, and sometimes 
are able to help them out ; at least we can comfort them in their 
trouble by personal attention and sympathy. 

Mr. Tearne found one young man very eager for a Bible. He 
had read his Testament " all up," he said, and when he received a 
Bible the next day, he could not conceal the glow of satisfaction 
which lighted his face. He sat down to it at once as a student, reading 
aloud to a group of prisoners in the yard, some of them coming up with 
the " ball and chain." The next day the Delegate found his Bible 
student with paper and pencil collating and comparing passages. In 
other words, he was making his Bible, with its ordinary text, into a 
reference Bible, and so he continues now, " searching the Scriptures." 
When he finds a passage which matches or throws light upon one in 
question, he is as glad as the woman with her candle and piece of 
silver, and comes to Mr. T. as the neighbor to rejoice with him. 

The boy has a history. Brought up by " the best father and mother 
in the world," according to his account, trained from youth in the 
Christian life, he was converted before joining the army, and came 
away three years ago, with a mother s blessing upon him and God s 
love in his heart. In his regiment he was known as a true soldier 
and faithful Christian. Last Winter he was in a division sent, after 
the Chattanooga battles, to relieve Burnside and raise the siege at 
Knoxville. For three days and nights his regiment had been on 
duty, marching and fighting, while he had scarcely an hour s sleep. 
Prisoners were captured, and he w T as set to guard one who, it seems, 
was as tired and worn as Himself. He told the Lieutenant who 



NASHVILLE. 421 

ordered him on guard that he could not keep awake, that he 
could not even keep his eyelids up while receiving instructions. But 
he was put on, and remembered nothing afterwards except the snoring 
of the prisoner lying at his feet, till he was himself aroused by a 
guard and put in irons. His sentence was six months imprisonment. 
We would interfere in his behalf, but his time will expire before 
official relief could be obtained, and his three years service will 
end about the same time. 

He speaks of " these dreadful six months" with horror. Only 
through the utmost vigilance by day and by night had he kept him 
self clear from vermin. The single cotton shirt he wore was actually 
hanging in shreds, while his pantaloons and blouse were patched and 
tattered, though neatly washed and most elaborately darned. What 
vigilance such neatness must have cost no one can know who has not 
seen military prison-quarters and life ; and then, as the soldier says, 
six. months in contact with such a crowd of wretches, so thoroughly 
abandoned and impure, has horrors ineffable. In it all the true boy 
has been cheerful, and without a word of murmuring against the 
Government. He says it is an awful crime for a guard to sleep at 
his post, and has no doubt the court-martial was sorry to sentence 
him, but could not help it for the sake of the example. 

When congratulated upon his double deliverance by the expiration 
of his army service as well as of his prison term, he said 

" Oh, no ; I am coming in again. I shall run up and see my 
mother and be back in a month in the ranks. I couldn t stay out 
while this thing is going on. I think too much of the old flag to 
hang round home while others are fighting." 

When it was suggested that with his three years duty and the last 
six months treatment, he had done his part, he repelled the idea, 
saying that nobody had done his part till he had done all he could do. 

The boy goes home to his mother in good clothes next week, and 
if I could get a furlough I would give half of it to follow him to his 
father s cabin on the Illinois prairie and see the greeting. 

Rev. Victor Miller 1 gives two items of work in Mur- 
freesboro and Nashville during October : 



1 Pastor of Lutheran Church, New Wilmington, Penna. 



422 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

We had a daily prayer meeting at our rooms in Murfreesboro . A 
Scotchman who had been a miner in the " old country," told me his 
experience of them : 

" They did me a wonderfu sicht o guid. I was a wicked mon 

when I cam to th army ; I car t for naething, and ance I was to be 

shot for sleepin at my post, after I d been drinkin . I had a bairn 

at the Deaf and Dumb Asylum in Columbus, Ohio. 

. je He writ me when I was in prison, and tell t me of 

some who had fouu a freen in Jesus. I couldna 
help thinkin o t ; but then, there was the hate for the officers, and as 
lang as I kept hold o that, I couldna find Him ; I couldna read a 
chaipter, nor pray. Syne I cam to th meetin s, an then I let the 
spite all go. Whiles I had to stand guard, I chang t wi some one 
else, at the meetin times." 

As the humbled man talked, the warm tears rained down his 
bronzed cheeks. 

As I went down the steps after a preaching service in the Zolli- 
coffer Barracks at Nashville, I Avas passing out between the two 
guards. 

" Let the Christian Commission man pass," said 
Finding Home. -, . i 

one, and there was a tremor in his voice as he 

added 

"Wherever you find that, you find home" 

Mr. A. E. Chamberlain, writing from Cincinnati, 
gives a glimpse into the meaning of faith, in Christian 
plans and work : 

Our treasury in Cincinnati ran dry in October, and w T e scarcely 
knew where to look for more money. Just then word came from 
Nashville that our men wanted onions immediately. I looked at Mr. 

Marl ay 1 and Mr. Marlay looked at me. 
Moneii from .. Ar , , , ,, . , . , , 

You haven t a dollar in the treasury, said he. 
the Lord. 

" That s a fact," was all I could say in reply. 
But I thought I would start out and see what I could do. At 



1 Rev. John F. Marlay, Secretary of the Cincinnati Branch of the Commission. 
A member of Cincinnati Conference, Meth. Kpisc. Church. 



CINCINNATI. 423 

Seventh and Western Kow, I found fifty barrels of very nice 
onions : 

" How much are you asking for them, Mr. Buck?" 

" Seven dollars a barrel, sir. Cost me six." 

" Send them down to the boat at six dollars," and Mr. Buck, for 
the soldier s sake, obeyed. When I got back to the office I told 
what I had done : 

But where on earth s the money to come from ?" 

" I m sure I don t know, unless the Lord sends it." 

Of course, under the circumstances of the purchase, the bill must 
be paid on presentation. Soon a clerk brought it in, and while he 
was laying it upon the desk, a little boy entered the room, bringing 
two checks from gentlemen I had not known before as at all inter 
ested in our work ; one was for $200, the other for $100 ; both for the 
Christian Commission. Did not the money come from the Lord ? 

A month or two afterwards our Field Agent sent us word that the 
men were dying of scurvy that he must have a supply of crout and 
cabbage for immediate distribution. For months we had been 
spending all we had received as fast as it came into 
our hands ; there were no funds to meet any new ** ow we 



r 

purchases. The remembrance of how God had 
helped us before, returned to encourage us, and yet 
we did not know just what to do. Musing on the matter, I stepped 
to the window, and there saw the drays, used in my own business, 
unloading casks on the sidewalk. I called to the driver to know 
what they were. He didn t know, but had left a letter on the desk. 
I opened it. It was an invoice from the town of Lebanon, Ohio, of 
thirty-four barrels of crout and pickled cabbage. I could not help 
crying out on the spot 

" Thank God for Lebanon ! Thank God for the crout and 
cabbage." 

That very day it was sent down to the army as a first installment. 
A grateful Surgeon sent me back word that if barrels of gold dust 
had been sent instead, they would not have compared in value with 
that crout and cabbage. 

Lieut. Gen. J. B. Hood, after the fall of Atlanta, 
made several abortive movements to draw Sherman from 



424 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

Georgia ; but that commander, after vainly attempting 
to lay his hand upon the nimble-footed Confederate, 
committed the defence of Tennessee to Maj. Gen. 
Thomas, and gathering up all his garrisons and cutting 
completely adrift from all communications, on -Novem 
ber llth began his memorable march through Georgia 
and the Carolinas to the sea. Two Christian Commis 
sion Delegates, Mr. Wm. A. Lawrence and Mr. Arthur 
Lawrence, accompanied the army to Savannah, and 
there received and distributed the large invoice of stores 
with which the New York Committee of the Commis 
sion welcomed their arrival. The opportunities for 
Commission work were so restricted by the character of 
the march, and the losses to the army of life and limb 
were so small, that we shall not need to delay upon the 
incidents of the movement. 1 

While the Federal General lingered before beginning 
his hazardous march, Hood hung along the Tennessee 
about Florence, Alabama. The moment the tidings of 
Sherman s movement reached him, he put his army in 
motion towards Nashville. On the last day of Novem 
ber was fought the sanguinary battle of Franklin, re 
sulting in Hood s temporary repulse and the continued 
falling back of the Union forces. On December 2d 
Hood appeared before Nashville, and sat down to his 
impotent and impudent siege 2 of a city defended by a 



1 On pp. 391, 392, will be found a few incidents of the movement, related in 
the prayer meetings about the time of the " grand review" at Washington. 

2 While all in the city were held in no slight suspense by the close siege, and 
apparent inaction of General Thomas, the night before his movement against 
Hood was made, Mr. Smith, returning from a reconnoissance along the lines, 
overtook a gray-headed negro hobbling into town. "Well, uncle, how are the 
times ?" he asked. " I was jus study in dat ar, Colonel." " What about General 



BATTLE OF NASHVILLE. 425 

force twice as large as his own. On the 15th, Thomas 
moved out of his entrenchments against the besiegers. 
The evening of the next day witnessed the complete 
defeat and disorderly rout of the Rebel Army. From 
this time it well nigh ceased to be an army. In the 
Spring following, Forrest s cavalry, the special pride of 
the Western Confederates, could oppose but a poor 
resistance to Wilson s raid through Alabama. 

Mr. B. F. Jacobs preserves a number of incidents of 
the battle of Nashville : 

Gen. Steedman s Corps of colored troops made a reconnoissance in 
force, on the eve of the battle of Nashville. Mr. Dutcher 1 and I 
made every preparation to receive the wounded. Soon they began 
to come in on stretchers. Suddenly, we saw a bare 
headed soldier staggering towards us ; his hand was 
to his forehead, blood was pouring down his face, and tears were 
washing this away, almost as fast as it came. I supposed he must be 
very badly wounded, and went to meet him : 

" My boy, are you hit ?" 

"Yes," said he, in a dazed way, taking the hand from his forehead, 
and seeing the blood on it ; "I b liebe so." 

" Don t it hurt you ?" 

" Oh, no," said he, "I don t mind it much." 

""Well, what are you crying for?" 

Turning round, with a scared look he pointed to the woods from 
which four men had just emerged, bearing a stretcher with an offi 
cer s body on it. 

" Oh," said the poor fellow, " look dar ! My Captain s wounded ! 
My Captain s wounded !" 



Hood ?" " Dat s it, Colonel ; I s jus studyin on im." " Is he coming into Nash 
ville ?" "Dat s it, Colonel ; dat s it zackly ; I was studyin dat ar berry partick- 
ler." "Well, is he coming in?" "No, sah ; General Hood won t come in." 
v Why not ?" "He couldn t do jtis is to hisself in heah, sah." 
3 John A. Dutcher, Esq., Milwaukee, Wis. 



426 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

This was the hero s sorrow ; and all the time we were caring for 
him it seemed to be the uppermost and only grief. 

During the cannonading on the Sunday before the raising of the 
siege, I was in front of the headquarters of the Fourth Corps, at 
Acklin Place. General Wood was in temporary command. Major 

Bridge s Battery held the summit of the hill just be- 
A Battery Si- i 4^ -,. ., 

lenced far a J distributing some things among the 

Sunday Service. mcn > I suggested to the Major that we might have a 
meeting in spite of the cannonading, as it was Sunday 
morning. He said at once that I might take all the men who were 
not absolutely wanted to work the guns. There were two infantry 
regiments supporting the battery, so after several hymns were sung, 
a pretty large audience was gathered. Officers came riding up, and 
all were on the qui vive of expectation. I mounted a cracker-box for a 
pulpit, read a chapter and then talked for fifteen minutes, while the 
battery near was sending its constant response to the Confederate shells. 
Generals Wood and Schofield, the Chief of Artillery, and their staffs 
were by this time a part of the audience. I reminded all present of 
the peril of the hour, and asked them to unite with me in prayer. 
The Chief of Artillery sung out to his Orderly to have every gun 
cease firing ; the soldiers knelt upon the ground, and the officers, 
taking off their caps, bowed their heads, while, during the silence of 
the guns, we invoked the Divine blessing. The Chief came to me 
when it was over, and said earnestly 

" In the name of these soldiers, I want to thank you for this." 
The General Field Agent gives the narrative of relief 
service during the night of the first day s battle : 

The work for the night was to go over the field, searching for men 
who had been missed by the stretcher-bearers ; to gather up the dead, 
identify them through their comrades, if possible, and mark them by 

a card; to give coffee and hot soup at the flying hos- 
A Brother s -^ ^ ^ ^ to 

Rest u-ith his P a be llcxt fnend to men Dreadfully wounded, 
Dead. many of them dying. 

Coming upon a straw stack in our search for the 
dead, we found two bodies side by side, as if laid together by some 
friendly hand. As we were lifting them on the stretcher one of them 
sprang out of our hands, and pointing to his comrade, said 



BATTLE OF NASHVILLE. 427 

" It s my brother, sir ; it s my brother that s dead. We two were 
all ; we enlisted together, and I am alone now." 

Missing him in the fight, he had hunted over the field and found 
him dead by the stack ; and lying down to watch him till morning, 
had fallen into " the image of death," from which we had awakened 
him. When we took up the body to lay it in line with others, the 
brother followed after, bringing straw to make a bed for himself and 
hi.< dead. We gave him room in that long row of silent sleepers, 
and nestling close to the corpse, he lay down for his last night s rest 
with his brother. 

The scene at the house taken for the flying hospital baffles descrip 
tion. While Hood was falling back, the citizens who still believed 
in the Confederacy had taken their movable property, including bed 
ding and best furniture, to the rear, for protection 

within Kebel lines. This house had been made a re- c 

scene. 

ceptacle for neighbors furniture, and we were hence 
able to put a first-class mattress under every wounded man. All the 
rooms below, and the piazza on three sides of the house, were laid 
thick with officers and privates. Some were sleeping under the power 
of opiates, some were already sleeping in death, others were writhing 
in mortal agony. Some were calling for the Surgeon, some for water, 
some for mercy ; others were offering a prayer of trust and joyous 
hope of heaven just at hand, and others still were waiting in silent, 
anxious suspense for the Surgeon s decision as to the nature of their 
wounds. 1 

Mr. Jacobs writes of a soldier to whom lie ministered 
at this hospital : 

Our improvised hospital was at the foot of the hill our boys car 
ried by storm on the first day s fight. Shortly after it was established, 
I met four men bringing in a soldier of an Indiana regiment, named 
Jackson. I saw that he was shot through the lungs, 

and must die indeed, I thought he would live but e Sweetness 

of Prayer amidst 
a few minutes. 1 stooped down to him as the men p a { ns 

walked along : 



1 Annals, U. S. Christian Commission, pp. 508, 509. 



CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

" You are badly wounded ?" 

; Yes." 

I asked his name, regiment and home. He told me about his fam 
ily. I inquired if he was a Christian : 

" Yes ; but what do you ask that question for ?" 

" Why, my brother, you are going to die." 

" Oh ! am I ?" 

"Yes." 

" Soon ?" 

" Yes, very soon." 

He was in very great pain. We laid him down on the piazza, and 
arranged as soft a place as we could. His groans were dreadful. He 
told me what to write to his wife, and gave me her photograph and 
his watch to send home. After taking care of many others, about 
eleven o clock at night I went back to him. Kneeling at his side, I 
strove to comfort him in his pain. I told him he would not suffer 
long, and asked how he felt : 

" It would be so sweet if I could hear somebody pray once more." 

While I offered a short prayer he held my hand in both of his, 
and sobbed out responsively to the petitions, adding at the close 

" Oh ! I do so love to hear you pray. Ai n t you going to stay 
with me ?" said he, as I turned away " ai n t you going to stay with 
me until I die ?" 

" I can t, Jackson, while all these men are here." 
Amidst the paroxysms of pain he labored until his last breath. 
His frequent exclamation was 

" Blessed Jesus, come and take me out of my pain !" 

Mr. Smith s attention was attracted to this soldier 
later in the night. He writes of him : 

At one o clock, after personal attention to every man, and having 
arranged for a watch by relief, we rolled up in our blankets for a 
little rest. But there was one voice from the wounded, rising above 

all the others, now in a shriek of torture and now in 
The Invincible 

Love. a tender appeal to the Saviour. It was from an In 

diana soldier, wounded in the bowels. One of the 

Delegates, bending over him, whispered 



BATTLE OF NASHVILLE. 429 

" Jackson, do you love Jesus ?" 

"Don t I love Him !" was the instant reply. 

His wound was mortal, and beyond any human relief. We were 
obliged to leave him and go back to our blankets. Long after mid 
night that voice from the piazza, distinct in the dreadful chorus of 
groans, making sleep impossible, stole in on the chilly night air like 
the voice of a flute in the clangor of trumpets : 

" Dear Jesus, You know I love You. Come, Jesus, dear Jesus ; I 
am all ready now. Come, Jesus. You love me, and You know I 
love You, dear Jesus." 

Fainter and less frequent came that sweet, divine appeal, till it 
ceased and we slept. In the morning we found a smile in the eye 
and on the lips of the dead patriot, which seemed to be still 
repeating 

" Dear Jesus, You love me, and You know I love You." 1 

Mr. Jacobs continues the account of the second day s 
conflict : 

About four o clock in the morning we began supplying the men 
with whatever we had to comfort them, and especially attending to 
the removal of the wounded from the immediate front. This work 
continued throughout the day, while our men were 

Iving down, awaiting the orders for the final charge. 

just Be/ore the 
The monotony of the position, with the accrued wea- charge. 

riness of the previous day s fighting, put one poor 
fellow to sleep. A shot came, as he lay unconscious, piercing his 
head and killing him instantly. He was a magnificent-looking sol 
dier ; his whole appearance and physique were of the finest. There 
was no change upon his face as his comrades bore him back ; the 
smile of rest even was undisturbed. In a little while the charge 
would be ordered. Yet I was anxious to give him a Christian burial. 
The boys said "Aye, aye," with a will, and with such things as we 
had, pieces of boxes and boards, we dug a grave. Before he was 
wrapped up in his blanket, I looked to find some little token to send 



Annals, U. S. Christian Commission, p. 509. 



430 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

home to his family. Not finding anything of special interest, I cut 
a lock of hair, warm still with his life s blood, and put it in my mem 
orandum-book, to be afterwards forwarded to his mother. There was 
no dying word to accompany it. We buried him hastily, but de 
cently ; on an end of an old ammunition-box I inscribed his name, 
his only head-stone. When the grave was filled, I said 

" Let us have a moment of prayer, boys." 

Just as we had all bowed round the grave, the hastening hoofs of 
the aids horses called the men to the charge. The prayer was brief, 
but ere it was over the bullets had begun to sing, the men were back 
in their places, and the line was sweeping on in triumph towards the 
doomed works of the enemy. 

Just before this scene, while I was moving about among the men, 
Gen. A. J. Smith, commanding the Sixteenth Corps, came by with his 
staff. He jumped off his horse near where I stood and looked at 

me curiously. I was a rather strange-looking figure, 
A Cup of Coffee T . . IT -, -, i 

for Gen Smith imagine ; two great haversacks, distended with 

crackers, tea, dried toast, whisky, bandages, brandy, 
sponges, etc., were over my shoulders ; a three-gallon coffee-pot was 
in one hand ; a big twelve-quart tin pail with fresh water in the 
other, while a bundle of tin-cups hung on my arms and over my 
back and shoulders. I suppose I looked like Robinson Crusoe, or 
somebody laying in supplies for an indefinite siege or a life on a 
desert island. The General demanded who I was. I told him I 
was a Commission Delegate : 

"What have you got in that big pot?" 

"Coffee, General, for these wounded men; it is very good for 
some of them, you know. Won t you have a cup ?" 

" Thank you ; I don t care if I do. I haven t had a mouthful to 
day, and I ve been in the saddle since four this morning." 

An Orderly rode up just then, and seeing the General drinking, 
said to me 

" I ll take some if you please." 

" Haven t you had your breakfast ?" asked the General, sharply. 

The Orderly replied in the affirmative: 

" Don t give him any ; keep it for the men ; I don t think I ought 
to have taken any myself." 

When the fight was over, Gen. Smith in a tent with Gen. 



BATTLE OF NASHVILLE. 431 

McArthur and a number of Delegates, after recounting the above 
incident, said 1 

" I must say that since Jesus Christ left this world, there has never 
been a more heavenly institution than the Christian Commission. I 
thought when I passed your folks going out, that their place was 
about six miles in the rear, but I have now come to a different con 
clusion. Many a man owes his life to you." 

It was unequivocal testimony from an officer who made no preten 
sions to be a Christian. 

When the charge was ordered, the troops to whom I had been 
ministering carried the enemy s works, capturing eighteen hundred 
prisoners. In the charge they lost heavily ; a Minnesota regiment 
had one hundred killed or disabled. I pushed on 

over a corn-field after the troops, and came to a large 

nzed Flying Hos- 
house about a mile beyond. It had been the head- - tal 

quarters of a Confederate General, and its occupants 
had all run away during the battle. No one was on hand to organize 
a hospital, so I undertook it myself, directing stragglers and all other 
unemployed persons I could find to clear the rooms and bring in the 
wounded. Going out then to the point where the fighting had ceased, 
I turned the streams of wounded towards the house. It was supplied 
with magnificent furniture, which we had to put out into the yard 
to make room as the wounded accumulated. Every floor in the 
house, the great halls, the porches in front and rear, were soon crowded 
full with suffering soldiers. About this time a Surgeon 2 arrived. He 
asked who was in charge of the hospital. I reported myself as a 
Commission Delegate, who had taken the direction of affairs until the 
proper parties should arrive, and was very glad to surrender my 
trust to him. 

"By no means," was his reply ; "retain your command and I ll 
serve you to the best of my ability." 

Two Assistant Surgeons soon came in, and we all went to work 
with a will. With the concentrated beef in my haversack, we 
soon had twenty quarts of soup ; putting into it what crackers and 



1 The words are recorded by Mr. Chas. Harris, of Peoria, who was present at 
the interview. 

2 Surgeon Kennedy, of a Minnesota regiment. 



432 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

crusts of bread we had, I was able to give every wounded man in the 
house a light supper. Poor fellows ! they were almost starved, few 
having had anything since their early morning rations. I succeeded 
in confiscating a horse, and sent a soldier back through the mud at 
midnight to our office in Nashville with an order for supplies. He 
returned about two o clock with stores packed in two grain-bags, and 
otherwise distributed about his person. At three we had coffee and 
soup made, and the men had another meal. 

About seven our Christian Commission wagon made its appearance, 
loaded down with supplies. With that wagon-load the men were fed 
morning, noon and night of Saturday, and morning and noon of 
Sunday. Not a particle of Government stores reached the hospital 
in answer to the Surgeon s requisition until late Sunday afternoon. 
When they did come, the Surgeon, with manifest feeling, said to the 
Assistant Medical Director who accompanied them 

" If it hadn t been for the Christian Commission, these wounded 
men would have starved to death before this." 

We wanted some one to take more particular charge of our prop 
erty ; so on Sunday I found an able-bodied Englishman of fine per 
sonal appearance, whom I " detailed" as Hospital Steward. He did 
us most efficient service. In our general clearing-out 

Our Sunday on the evening of the battle, there had been only 
Morning Prayer 
Meeting. three things kept m the house, a piano, a family 

portrait and a large mirror with a six-pound shot 
through it. After the men had been cared for on Sunday morning, 
we arranged to hold service. Thinking it would be pleasant to have 
singing, I made the remark that if we onlv had some one to play 
the piano for us, it would be everything we could want. The Sur 
geons were still at work in the amputating-room ; they could not 
help us even if any of them had been able to use the instrument. 
To my surprise my English Steward stepped forward, and said 
modestly 

" Colonel, I used to play the piano a little in England ; maybe I 
could draw down a tune for you." 

He had on a red flannel shirt, picturesque but unfashionable, and 
his sleeves were rolled up above his elbows, more unfashionable still. 
Without stopping for any preparations, he took his seat on a cracker- 
box to make a preliminary trial. The practice was highly satisfac- 




SONGS FOR SIGHING. 



Page 432. 



BATTLE OF NASHVILLE. 433 

tory, and so he accompanied us excellently, while we sung our songs 
of Zion, and, 

" My country, tis of thee," 

to the melody " God save the Queen," familiar to every Englishman. 
And never did boys enjoy music as did our wounded in that morning 
meeting. 

Surgeon Ford, of Nashville, already referred to as a 
constant and valuable friend of the Commission, fur 
nishes the narrative of Henry Cutler, a young Illinois 
soldier wounded in the Nashville battles, and brought 
in the night to a hospital : 

I examined his wound in the right lung and liver, and gave 
the nurses directions about the dressing. As I was about leaving, 
he asked what I thought of his case. 

" You have a very serious wound," I replied. A Martyr 

" Do you think it is mortal ? You need not be Pairiot - 
afraid to tell me the truth, for I am not afraid to die." 

" Such wounds," said I, " are necessarily fatal, and I fear you have 
not long to live." 

" Well," said he, " it s all right, though it seems hard to die so 
young ; I had high hopes, but God has so ordered it, and I am willing 
to go." 

" Do you feel that you are a Christian, and ready to die ?" 

" Well, I don t know ; I have tried to be a Christian, but the army 
is a hard place." 

" True ; but if you can put your trust in Christ now, He will not 
forsake you." 

He spoke of his mother, and asked if I thought she would have 
time to come to him before he died. I had to tell him that I thought 
it impossible, but would telegraph her if he desired. He thought a 
moment, and then said that perhaps it would be best not to. I asked 
him for any message he might have for her: 

" Tell her I would like to die near her, but that I die happy. I 
am thankful I can die among friends, and that I did not fall into the 
hands of the enemy. I had a presentiment when I left home that I 

28 



434 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

should never see mother again, and when I leaped the breastworks to 
make the charge, I was sure I should be wounded or killed." 

" Do you regret now having enlisted in the service ?" 

Immediately his eye brightened, and a smile of profound satis 
faction overspread his face, as he answered with the greatest em 
phasis 

" Oh, no, by no means" 

It was painful for him to speak, so I bade him good-bye. He lin 
gered until the morning in great agony, yet without a murmur, when 
death eased him of his pains. 1 

Mr. Chas. Harris writes from Nashville in December: 

A Mission Sunday-school in Peoria had sent me the means of sup 
plying many little needed luxuries for the soldiers. Purchasing 
some oranges once, I handed one to a poor, sick boy in the Post Hos 

pital. He took it with a suppressed exclamation of 
The Children s , ,. , , , , , . -. ., 

delight, held it up, turned it round and round, and 



at last broke forth 

" My little daughter wrote me two days ago, Papa, I would like 
to send you some oranges, but I can t do it. And now, here the Lord 
has sent me one ; my little girl couldn t send any to me, but He puts 
it into some other child s heart to do it, who could." 

After the benediction in our prayer meeting the other day, a Sur 
geon rose and said 

" I have been at this meeting twice, and perhaps some of you think 

I am a Christian, but I am not ; I have risen to ask 
A Surgeon s , ^ . . ., 

w your prayers. I want to be a Christian. 

We had a few moments of silent prayer on his be 
half; and earnest, I arn sure, were the petitions offered. The next 
day he rose again, and testified of the power of Jesus to save. Our 



1 Surgeon Ford adds : " I regret that I had not leisure at the time to send 
Henry Cutler s message to his mother, and now I have lost her address. Per 
haps this may meet her eye, and bring some comfort to her afflicted heart." It 
is worthy of record in this connection, that after the Nashville battles, during 
four or five days, an average of 35,000 sheets of letter paper and envelopes were 
distributed daily by the Commission Delegates. 



PADUCAH. 435 

thanksgivings were now as fervent as had been our prayers before. 
He was the second Surgeon converted at our daily meetings while I 
attended them. 

Rev. H. McLeod, laboring in the hospitals at Padu- 
cah, Ky., in January, 1865, tells the following story of 
his experience : 

I was called one night to see a soldier who was thought to be 
dying. Two days before, he had been put ashore from one of the 
transports hastening up the river. He was unconscious, and no one 
could tell me anything about him, save that he be 
longed to a Michigan regiment. Remembering that Though he 
. , _ _ were Dead, Yet 
the mere utterance oi the name of Jesus had often shall he Live" 

recalled the wandering senses of the dying Christian, 

I sat down by him, and opening the little Testament on the stand, 

read 

" For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were 
dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, 
eternal in the heavens." 

I next read Jesus words to Martha : 

" I am the Resurrection and the Life : he that believeth in Me, 
though he were dead, yet shall he live ; and whosoever believeth in 
Me shall never die." 

The dying man opened his eyes and looked at me : 

" Does it pain you to hear me read ?" 

" Oh, no ; when well, I used to love to read the New Testament. 
There s one in my knapsack." 

" Are you afraid to die ?" 

" No," and the face grew bright; "I long to go to heaven." 

" Is Jesus with you ?" 

" Yes, He is with me." 

I asked for his father s name and home ; he gave me the particu 
lars, but added 

"Write to mother; she is a Christian, father is not," and he passed 
again into the old state of unconsciousness. I began writing a letter 
to his mother. After a little while he opened his eyes and asked for 
me. The nurse pointed me out. He said 



436 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

"Oh, yes, you are writing to mother; tell father to become a 
Christian." 

Calmly he gave directions about the division of certain property 
between his two younger brothers; and very soon he was resting with 
Christ. 

Mr. A. E. Chamberlain writes of a visit paid by him 
self, in company with Judge Bellamy Storer and Rev. 
B. W. Chidlaw of Cincinnati, to a Nashville hospital : 

We came to a soldier who looked very desponding. 

" My good fellow, you look sad," I said. 

" I feel so," was his reply. His left foot was off at the ankle, from 

a wound on the last day of the battle of Nashville. 

The Arch of A _ . v - 

p r A father and mother were living at home m Mis 

souri. His wife lived on Empire Prairie, in the 
same State : 

" Have you written to your wife since the battle ?" 

" No, sir," said he ; " I got one of the boys to write." 

" But you told all about your wound ?" 

" Well, I told him to write that I was slightly wounded ; I didn t 
want to let her hear all the worst at once." 

" Did you tell her about your amputation ?" 

" No, sir ; that would have broken her heart." 

I told him how I thought he was doing wrong in so concealing his 
condition : 

" Now I am going to write her and tell her all about how you are. 
Is she a Christian ?" 

" Yes." 

" Are you ?" 

" No." 

" You need your wife s prayers, my brave fellow." 

" Yes, and I have them." 

" But you know she can t pray for you intelligently, unless she un 
derstands all about your case." 

I wrote all the particulars, so far as I could get them, and then 
told the soldier that I wanted him to add one more paragraph at the 
bottom of the letter : 



NASHVILLE. 437 

" Your wife has been praying alone long enough. I want you to 
add that from this very evening you are going to pray for yourself. 
And then hereafter, if you never meet her again, your prayers will 
go up from here, while hers go up from Empire Prairie, both meeting 
at the throne. It will be an arch of prayer, with God at the key 
stone. Will you leave the arch incomplete? Will you authorize me 
to tell your wife that you will so pray?" 

The poor fellow went through a deep struggle ; his whole frame 
shook with emotion. But after a minute he threw up his arm and 
said 

" God helping me, I ll do it. Put it down." 

I knelt and prayed with him. Then reading over the letter, with 
the added clause, I asked if that was all right, if he was willing to 
stand by it. 

"Yes," said he; "that s all right." 

The next morning I went in to see him again. One of the pleas- 
antest countenances I ever met was that of the poor soldier. It 
seemed as if the invisible arch of prayer had been already established. 

Mr. G. W. R. Scott 1 went to the Army of the Cum 
berland as a Delegate, in March. On the road to Nash 
ville the following incident occurred : 

In the evening, as the train was passing through the woods, about 
six miles south-west of Cave City, Ky., it was attacked by guerrillas, 
who had previously torn up about one hundred yards of the track. 
They fired volley after volley into the cars, shouting 

all the while like demons. The train-guards returned A Dele 9 ate s 

Shirts for Band- 
the nre, but as the robbers were protected by the s 

bank, no injury was done them. Soon the train was 
surrendered by the military conductor, and the bandits began a gen 
eral work of pillage. Each passenger and soldier was thoroughly 
searched ; money, watches, and even finger-rings were taken. The 
amount of property which thus unceremoniously changed owners was 
estimated at fifty thousand dollars. 

The work completed, the train was fired and seven cars consumed. 



* Of Pittsburg, Penna. A student of Andover Theological Seminary, Mass. 



438 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

The guerrillas remounting their horses, rode off with their booty. 
The wounded were now to be looked after. There was no Surgeon 
on board ; so Mr. Scott found it necessary to begin his Commission 
work before he had expected to be called on. He began to dress 
wounds, and, in utter lack of bandages, was obliged to tear up his 
own shirts. Two soldiers volunteered to assist. Five balls were ex 
tracted, dislocated members set, and the wounds of sixteen men 
dressed. Mr. Scott remained with the wounded till the next after 
noon, when Surgeons came. He had the gratification of hearing from 
them that the disabled men had all been properly cared for, and that 
their wounds were doing well. 

From Mr. Scott s report of work at Tullahoina, to 
which post he was assigned, we select two incidents : 

I stopped at the bedside of a young man, the classic beauty of 
whose face strangely attracted me. I asked him if he was getting 
better : 

" No. sir; I am going: to die." 
" Mother s Here." , ,, 

Are you prepared r 

" Oh, yes," said he, with a glad smile ; " I gave myself to Christ 
long ago." 

" Shall I write home ?" 

" Yes, sir, do ; it would please mother so much. Tell mother, 
tell father," his voice faltered, and soon his mind began to wan 
der. He lay unconscious afterwards for a little while ; then waking 
from his stupor, he said, in a manner which I can never forget 

" Wait, Chaplain, you needn t mind ; mother s here" 

He lay quiet for a moment, filled perhaps with the invisible com 
munion, and then " fell asleep." 

A scene in one of the wards impressed me with its deep solemnity 

Three convalescent soldiers were grouped about an old, gray-haired 

" veteran." They had just finished singing a familiar and beautiful 

hymn. Evidently the old man s heart was deeply 

Earthh H touched by the song of Zion. His face was lit up 

with something of the brightness which must have 

shone from St. Stephen s ; he scarcely seemed to be a creature of earth. 



NASHVILLE. 439 

The convalescents began another hymn. There was a quivering of 
the old man s lips, but no sound came from them. By and bye thfc 
smile and the brightness became fixed, I looked closer, he was 
dead ! The soldiers sang on, not noticing the change. The hymn 
would not open the dull ear of death, but who can say that the freed 
spirit did not drink in the upward floating melody ? 

Gen. Clinton B. Fisk, whom we have already met 
with in the earlier operations of the Western army 
during the Summer of 1865 was acting for the Freed- 
men s Bureau in the State of Tennessee, with his head 
quarters at Nashville. Rev. Edward P. Smith 1 relates 
an incident told by the General at the close of a Sabbath 
service in Cumberland Hospital, Nashville, during July : 

One of my noble boys, very young and a Christian, was brought 
into the hospital, stricken down with malarial fever. Weary with 
the tedium of camp-life he longed, as he lay on his weary cot 
through the " lazy, leaden-stepping hours," for the 
active fray. His ideal of a soldier s life was " at the F t" 
front." Learning of his sickness, and that he must* 
soon die, I hastened to his side. After talking with him about his 
soldier life, his home and his approaching death, I said 

" Now, my boy, when I get back to St. Louis, I shall go to see 
your mother, and the first question she will ask will be, How did 
Charley die? Can t you tell me in a few words exactly how you feel 
about dying ?" 

" Yes, General," said he, fastening his deep, blue eyes upon me ; 
" I think I can. It seems just as if I was going to the front" 

And so indeed he was. For is not the real campaign beyond, for 
which this life is only the drill camp ? 

Our record of incidents of work in this army may 



1 Eev. Mr. Smith had in February been called from work in the Western 
army to the Potomac field, and in the following month had been transferred to 
the post of Field Secretary at the Central Office in Philadelphia. 



440 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

close with one related by Rev. Jeremiah Porter, 1 who 
was laboring in August among the troops of General 
Logan s Corps, in and about Louisville, Ky. It is 
characteristic of the devoted and energetic lady, whose 
care and kindness had won for her the title of " Mother 
of Sherman s Army" : 

Several regiments had been ordered to Texas ; and there were in 
dications of scurvy within their ranks. Energy and promptness 
could provide potatoes for them, a capital anti-scorbutic. Mrs. 
Bickerdyke determined that they should have them. 

How Potatoes j t wag gund and th t embarking ; the 

were sent to 
Texas. potatoes must be drawn from the Sanitary rooms 

and shipped that day, or the men would suffer from 
the want of them. An ambulance was ordered for Mrs. B. and my 
wife ; it was raining in torrents ; they went to the Quartermaster s for 
the teams which had been promised the day before, and which the 
storm had delayed. The captain of one of the steamers had pro 
mised to take the potatoes. 

The ladies waited in the storm until the army wagons were loaded 
with fifty barrels of the needed vegetables ; and then, hastening in 
advance to the river bank, were astounded to find that the boats had 
already left the levee. The spectators volunteered to comfort them 
by remarking 

"You re too late ; the boats have gone." 

" Gone ! they shall come back," said Mrs. B., decisively. 

Assuming an attitude of command worthy of Joan of Arc, waving 
her sun-bonnet and gesticulating with her hands, she made known 
her orders. The steamer obediently returned and took on board 
the supplies. 



1 At the outbreak of the war Pastor of the Edwards Congregational Church 
[now Seventh Presbyterian), Chicago. 



CHAPTEE XVII. 

THE WESTERN ARMIES. 

WORK ALONG AND NEAR THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER. 
July 1863 Dec. 1865. 

OUR last notices of the operations on the Mississippi 
were, of the fall of Vicksburg. After that event Gen. 
Grant sent Sherman after Johnston, who had been 
hovering upon the verge of the Union Army, awaiting 
any opportunity that might offer to compel the raising 
of the siege. Sherman drove his adversary out of Jack 
son, after a painfully fatiguing march from Vicksburg. 
Mr. A. E. Chamberlain narrates an incident connected 
with this movement : 

The 57th Penna. was one of the regiments which went with Sher 
man. The intense heat and fatigue of the rapid journey compelled 
the men to throw away their baggage. A soldier named Wilmarth 
had with him a Bible, a mother s last gift. When 
he had thrown away his knapsack, he carried the j 

book in his hand for a long distance, until the ques 
tion of retaining it came to be one of life itself. At last, to keep up 
with the rest, he was obliged to leave it behind him on the road. He 
put it where he could see it for a long time as he marched away. 
When it had faded from view, he could not say that his burden was 
lighter than before. 

When the expedition was ended, several fractions of regiments 
which had suffered greatly passed through Cincinnati. Among these 
was Wilmarth s. I went over on their arrival to see the Regimental 

441 



442 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

Hospital. For six weeks the men had had no changes, and were 
fearfully dirty and neglected-looking. Wilmarth lay on the first cot. 
He pulled the blanket up to hide his squalor and wretchedness. I 
had brought up some Scripture portions for distribution ; but the mo 
ment I entered, I saw it was not the time for tracts in that room. 
The seventeen men needed another phase of Christ s Gospel. 

" Boys, you want clean clothes first of all," I said ; and began tak 
ing an account of missing stock to be supplied. Coming to Wil 
marth, I asked what could be done to make him more comfortable. 

" I was never a beggar in my life," he replied. 

" My dear boy, this isn t begging; all I want to do is to pay a little 
installment on what we owe." 

The Surgeon sent his ambulance to the Commission rooms for the 
goods, and within three hours I called again. 

The three hours had certainly developed a revolution ; one would 
not have known the place or the men s faces. Now was the time for 
Testaments. Coming to Wilmarth, I asked him if he had one. His 
answer was the incident of the march to Jackson. I put a copy of 
St. John s Gospel at his side, marked a few passages, and spoke of 
the great love to him. So with them all. Then, after a short ser 
vice, I bade them good-bye, never expecting to see them again. 

Two weeks afterwards, Rev. Mr. Chidlaw and I held Sunday ser 
vice at Licking Hospital. I noticed a soldier leaning against a post; 
going to him, I asked if he was a Christian: 

" I don t know, sir ; I m trying to be one." 

" How long have you been trying ?" 

" Ever since" and he held up a little Scripture portion as he 
spoke " ever since you gave me that book, sir." 

I remembered him at once. Taking out a bright, new copy, for 
his was already worn with use, I asked 

" Suppose you give me that one, and take this." 

" You could not get this book, sir, for the whole State of Kentucky ; 
it brought me to Jesus." 

Going over not long afterwards with reading matter, Wilmarth met 
me at the gate and said 

" Mr. Chamberlain, I want to ask a favor of you; would you mind 
giving me the reading you send over here to the hospital ? I could 
talk to the men about Christ, if I had it to distribute " 



MEMPHIS. 443 

I gladly assented to the arrangement, and until he was sent tf his 
regiment, several weeks later, he did a faithful Chaplain s duty in 
that hospital. 

The work along the Mississippi was mainly in the 
field of the St. Louis Committee of the Commission. 
Mr. K. A. Burnell and Mr. F. G. Ensign were its 
Agents, with their headquarters at Memphis. Some of 
Mr. Ensign s reminiscences follow : 

In the Gayoso Hospital at Memphis, I found a soldier who had 
lost an arm and leg in the first grand assault on Vicksburg. I gave 
him some cordial, and made him as comfortable as I could. He asked 
in a surprised tone 



"Who are you? Where did you get these Dom 
things?" 

I told him how they came from Northern homes. 

" Who sent them ?" he asked again, in a kind of bewilderment. 

" The people at home who love you." 

Tears came into his eyes as he lay quiet for a moment. 

" Why," said he, " I haven t done anything to be remembered so." 

" You have given your leg and arm." 

But this fact did not strike him as at all important ; he only reit 
erated, " I haven t done anything." I told him I had a nice little 
Testament for him : 

"My eyes are weak, sir; I m afraid the print s too small," and he 
looked longingly at the book. 

I gave him one of the beautifully-printed Scripture portions of the 
British and Foreign Bible Society. 

" Well," said he, when he found that his eyes rested on the page 
without pain, " this is the best of all. I have been here for weeks, 
and I did want to read the Bible so. This is just what I want. Who 
sent it ?" 

" Those at home and across the sea who love you and pray for 
you." 

Again the unselfish heart found utterance : 

" Why, I haven t done anything." 



444 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

I spoke to him of Jesus, and visited him often afterwards. He 
gave his heart to the Master. 

About the beginning of November, a soldier of the 7th Indiana 
Cavalry came into our rooms, with soiled clothes and a worn appear 
ance generally. Cut off from his comrades while on a scout, he had 

with much difficulty straggled back to Memphis. 
The Two Let- J F 

JT His nrst request was lor envelopes and paper to write 

home. Bringing his letter to me, he said 
" Could you lend me a stamp ? I have no money." 
I told him I would mail the letter for him. 
" Well, but," said he, argumentatively, " I want to pay for it." 
" We don t take any pay here." 

" But how do you get these things to run the concern ?" 
I told him friends at home sent them : 
" Whose friends ? You don t mean mine ?" 
" Yes," I replied ; " friends who are Christians sent them." 
" Why," said he, musingly, " my wife s a Christian." 
" Very probably then, she helps to send such things." 
I showed him an envelope, on which was printed, " This is a gift 

of Christian love to you, soldier." His eyes filled, as he read it : 
" I never knew religion meant this before." 
In the afternoon, we began our daily prayer meeting with the 

hymn 

"All hail the power of Jesus name." 

During the first prayer, I heard some one sobbing aloud. When the 
meeting was over, I found it was my soldier friend of the morning. 
He told me, that while passing the door, something urged him to 
enter ; it seemed to him that he would be lost if he passed on, and 
that there was salvation if the inward voice was obeyed. We prayed 
for him, and with the confidence of a little child, the man there gave 
himself up to Jesus. 

He came in the next morning. There was another letter to be 
written ; it was to tell of a life turned at last into its right course, 
and it was to gladden the heart of a waiting, praying wife. 

A soldier of the 89th Indiana came in one morning in the begin 
ning of 1864, sat down at my desk and opened a letter. He sobbed 
aloud as he read it. I asked what I could do for him. He gtvve 



MEMPHIS. 445 

me the letter to read ; it was from his sister, with 

. , , . mi "SheWon tPray 

the sad news of his mother s death. The poor, j orme anymore 

bereaved man said 

" My mother s been praying for me all my life, and especially since 
I came to the army. I ve felt her following me. Those prayers have 
been a great protection, and now she is dead, and mother won t 
pray for me any more. What shall I do ? I don t feel safe without 
mother s prayers." 

" Why," said I, " Jesus loves you, and you must pray for yourself. 
Your mother s prayers cannot save." 

" But, can I pray ?" 

" Certainly you can." 

" Won t you teach me how to pray ?" 

" I will try," I answered. " Don t you want to give your heart to 
Jesus, and love Him for giving you such a mother. Now, I ll pray 
first, and I* want you to follow me." 

I prayed with the burden of the poor, chastised heart on mine, 
and I shall never forget his childlike petition which followed 

" Dear Jesus, my mother is gone home to Thee ; teach me to pray 
as You taught her," this was his deep and earnest longing, some 
thing to fill the void which had been made in his life. He very soon 
gave himself entirely to Jesus, and came forth a bright and devoted 
Christian. He used to say to me 

" I want to live as my mother prayed." 

As long as I knew him his life was consistent with his desire. 

The St. Louis Committee succeeded in enlisting quite 
a number of earnest, self-denying ladies in its work. 
Some of these labored more especially in the barracks 
and hospitals in and near the city. A sample of their 
service and method of dealing with the men may be 
gathered from the following extracts from the journal 
of Miss Sue McBeth : 

"No. 1, Schofield Barracks" is a transportation depot for going 
South, or returning home on furlough. One day it is crowded, the 



446 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

next almost empty. All classes of men are for a time brought 

together here. 

"Hard Ca " " ^ e nave a ^out the hardest men in our hospital 

that you can find anywhere," said the commanding 
officer, one November afternoon when Mrs. M. and I went to see if 
he would not appropriate to us a room for Commission purposes, 
wherein to store our library, stationery, etc. 

" We ve been up stairs all the afternoon, and haven t yet found 
any hard cases. " 

" Of course, they wouldn t behave badly before you." 

He was very kind, promised us the room, and allowed the men 
afterwards to go across the street to prayer meeting, and very pre 
cious hours were some of these. 

" Can you raise yourself up, so as to look out ?" I said to a sick 
boy as the wind one day bore the voice of singing from the yard 
below ; " isn t that a pleasant sight ?" 

" Yes, indeed it is," was his answer. 

The setting sun was glancing on a hundred or more new uniforms, 
as their wearers sat ranged in rows on the narrow piazza, or stood 
facing the Delegate who spoke to them the words of life. 

Yesterday, as I was talking to this same soldier, I noticed two 
strangers coming into the ward. One of them belonged to the 176th 
Illinois, a regiment just discharged and going home, but this man, too 

sick to proceed, had got a comrade to stay with him. 

Getting Ready 

to Live n wantm g so mu ch to see you again, he 

said when I spoke to him : 

" Why, did you ever see me before ?" 

" Yes, in Ward 1, Benton Barracks. Don t you remember, I was 
the one, you said, who was taking jaundice." 

I could not remember him ; but he went on : 

" I ve been thinking so much of what you said then, and I wanted 
to see you again to tell you. You remember I said something about 
getting ready to die, and you said you didn t believe in that, it 
wasn t the right thing to do ; I ought to get ready to live ; I owed 
my life to God, and it was not right to keep it back from Him ; I 
ought to present my body a living sacrifice to God, which was my 
reasonable service, instead of turning to Him at the last moment, 
so as to get into heaven." 



BEXTON BARRACKS. 447 

And did you do so?" 

" Yes, I think I did," he said, earnestly. 

He had many of the Christian family marks, and again expressed 
his strong desire, in life or in death, to be only the Lord s. 

" You remember you wanted me to promise to begin praying 
that night," he said after a little, " and I told you I was afraid to 
make the promise, for fear I would break it." 

" But you did pray ?" 

" Oh, yes ; that night and many times since." 

His comrade came up then, and I began giving him some of my 
little tracts. 

"You gave me that before," said he, handing me back"TAe 

/Substitute. 7 

.. TTT , ,., T . .. . The Substitute. 

" When did I give it to you?" 

" In the hospital in Benton Barracks, where I was sick. Don t 
you remember? I have all the little books you gave me in my 
knapsack here, and I m taking them home to the children." 

" You have a Substitute, have you, brother ?" I said as I re 
turned the tract to my satchel. " You see there is a last great Draft 
coming, for which every man on earth is enrolled. I was in Ohio 
a few weeks ago, and some who didn t go to war tried very hard to 
get exempt, and if they could not, they took great trouble to find a 
substitute, paying large sums to get others to take their chance, as 
they called it, of death. Now, against that last grand Draft, there 
is a Substitute provided, Who has already taken our place even 
unto death, and He is offered without money and without price. 
Have you accepted Him as your Substitute ?" 

" I hope so," said he, earnestly ; " I have never made a profession 
of religion, but 

" You think you possess it," I said, as he hesitated : 

" Yes, I do hope so." 

We had a little talk about the duties of a new life : 

" My wife wrote me that she had been thinking about these things 
too ; in her last letter she said she was going to join the church, and 
wanted me to do the same. I was so glad to hear it, but I told her 
to wait until I came home, and we would take hold of hands and go 
together." 

The " supper-call" sounded. I wrote their names in their Testa- 



448 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

merits ; their good-bye was " God bless you," and mine, the prayer, 
"Send them forth into Thy Kingdom, dear Saviour." 

One Sabbath, towards the year s close, while talking to a little 
fourteen-year-old drummer-boy in AVard P, Jefferson Barracks, I 
noticed a soldier at a little distance with his back towards me, busily 

writing. Going to him presently, I asked 
The Wife s , . . , 

p ra y ers . Writing home, are you ? 

He looked up, and I saw it was one whose wife 
had been lately visiting him : 

" No, I wasn t writing a letter ; I was only copying a prayer my 
wife sent me. You see, when she was here I told her how I felt, and 
when she went home she wrote down two prayers, and I m copying 
them in this," showing me his note-book. " I might lose the letter, 
and I m learning them by heart. My wife s a Christian, but I never 
cared anything about these things until I came into the army. I 
had no father or mother or anybody to teach me anything good when 
I was a boy, and I just worked my own way the best I could. I didn t 
know how to pray right, and, oh, I ve been so wicked." 

"Then you feel how much you have sinned against God?" 

" Yes, oh, so much." 

" Did you tell God how you felt?" 

" Yes, but you see, I m so little used to pray that I hardly knew 
how." 

I told him that 

" Prayer is the soul s sincere desire, 
Unutter d or expressed," 



and urged him to give himself to the Saviour now. 

" I have tried to do that," he said, humbly. 

" Do you think He has pardoned you?" 

" I don t know ; sometimes I think He has ; then again, I m afraid 
to believe it, for you don t know how great a sinner I ve been," and 
the soldier s lips quivered. 

" But, this is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that 
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, not the righteous. 
Don t you find some love for Him in your heart?" 

" Oh, yes, a great deal." 



VICKSBUEG. 449 

" More than for your wife even ? Could you give up her and the 
little ones, rather than Him ?" 

He hesitated a moment, then looking up with tear-filled eyes, he 
said, slowly 

" Yes, I think I could give up everything in this world rather than 
give up Him." 

I spoke a few words of cautious encouragement, for evidently the 
Spirit was teaching him. It was not long until the witness of this 
was given. While he remained, his life was quiet, consistent, up 
right : he carried to the field the sure trust that Christ would be with 
him " even to the end." 

The veterans of Gen. A. J. Smith s Corps, after co 
operating in the ill-fated Red River Expedition, were 
brought back to Vicksburg. Rev. R. Brown, 1 a Dele 
gate during June and July, 1864, thus describes work 
among them : 

Worn and discouraged, they lay on the sands by the Mississippi 
near Vicksburg. The tents for the troops did not average more than 
one to a company, so that they spent most of the day under their 

blankets stretched out on sticks to shelter them from 
, , T Evening Meet* 

the intense heat of the sun. Meetings among them ingsat VicJcsburgt 

were impossible in the day-time ; as we distributed 

papers from company to company, the question was asked if we could 

not have a night meeting ? The men were more than willing. 

Chaplains Smith and Bardwell co-operating, the band was pro 
cured to play, and the soldiers began gathering about us in the dark 
ness. Night served the double purpose of sheltering from the heat 
and of hiding the nakedness of many who lay under their blankets 
during the day for want of clothes. There was a solemn glory in 
the scene ; the sparkle of the stars far over our heads, the dark, 
broad, silent river, with the fleet of transports on its breast, the un 
seen presence of the distant city, the flickering light of the circling 
camp-fires and close before us the shadowy forms of the brave men 
upon whom still rested the dust of battle. 



1 Pastor of First Congregational Church, Oswego, 111. 
29 



450 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

We spoke of friends and loved ones at home, and then of the 
" Friend that sticketh closer than a brother." Half-suppressed sighs 
and sobs began to come to us out of the midst of the great company ; 
and when at last we asked who would pledge themselves to become 
the friends of Christ, though in the darkness we could not see them, 
we knew that many were standing up in solemn dedication ; and our 
hearts went out in earnest prayer that the consecration might be 
unto life. 

During our two weeks stay with these noble men, the night meet 
ings were continued with great success, the sun-down gun being the 
signal for gathering. They had a great effect upon our daily prayer 
meeting in the city ; the best-dressed men coming in 
large numbers from the camp. The testimony borne 
by some of them was remarkable. One young soldier, I remember, 
rose the day before my departure, and with deep emotion, said 

" Early this morning, before sunrise, I heard the sound of a hu 
man voice coming up from a sheltered ravine. I followed in the di 
rection of the sound, and found it was the voice of an old colored 
woman in prayer. She was thanking God for His mercies to her, 
praying for the soldiers who were fighting for her liberties, and for 
the masters who had enslaved herself, her children and her race. 
She committed the yet undecided contest, with all her personal inter 
ests, into His hands, with such implicit, childlike trust that I turned 
away utterly condemned. Since then troops of broken vows and 
pledges have come to memory. They are so many, and have filled 
me with such confusion, that I have come here to day to renew them 
before you all, and to pledge again my whole heart and life to the 
Saviour." 

The soldier s intensely earnest manner thrilled every listener. 

In the Fall of the year, the Chaplain of a large col 
ored regiment in the neighborhood of Vicksburg, wrote 
to Mr. A. E. Chamberlain, of Cincinnati, for Primers. 
Mr. Chamberlain sent them, and adds a subsequent 
history : 

Soon after, another request came for five hundred Testaments, and 
again another for five hundred more. In his last letter the Chaplain 



VICKSBURG. 451 

told me that he had one thousand men who could read the Tes 
tament. Shortly afterwards I had a visit from him. 

TT i j 11 r- i . T*-I i " Uncle Readin 

He asked me especially for a large-print Bible or .. rT . .. 

for Hisself." 

Tt-stament, to be used by an old soldier named 
" Uncle Sam," whose story is worth preserving. 

" The day before I came away," said the Chaplain, " we were orga 
nising regimental writing schools. Uncle Sam, though an indus 
trious student of reading, seemed to lack enthusiasm in the new 
enterprise. 

" Uncle, said I, at last, you want to learn to write, don t 
you ? 

" No, massa, no ; uncle care s nun*in bout de writinV 

" What made you so anxious to learn to read, then ? 

" Wanted to read God s own word, massa. 

" Can you read it yet, uncle ? 

" He took his Bible, and opened it at St. John s third chapter : 
God so loved the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that 
whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting 
life. 

" He began spelling the words ; when he was half through the sen 
tence his feelings overcame him ; looking up, he asked 

" Is dis ra al ? Is dis de sure- nuff word ob de Lord ? 

" No doubt about it, uncle. 

" An uncle readin it for hisself ! 

" He took the book and spelled through the rest of the sentence. 

" Now, said he, if ole uncle dies, he kin go up dar, and tell de 
good Lor Jesus dat he read in His Own Book, " Whomsumever 
b liebes on m shan t perish, but hab eberlastin life," an de Lor 
knows dat Uncle Sam b liebes on m, an he read it for hisself in 
His Own Book. " 

Uncle Sam s indifference to his opportunity to learn to write was 
fully explained ; his mind was occupied with the direct revelation 
from God. 

An interesting letter, written in October of this year, 
by an officer of the army in Louisiana, to Mr. J. H. 
Parsons, the Corresponding Secretary of the St. Louis 



452 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

Committee, gives an observant soldier s opinion upon 
the comparative mortality among Christians and others 
in the army : 

H. Q, ProvisiosrAL BRIGADE, MORGAXZIA, LA., Oct. 19th, 1864. 
4 We have lost very severely in men and officers this 
Summer and Fall. Some regiments have buried nearly one-half of 

their men. I had from the first taken special pains 
Religion and -. . . 

JT to have religious services held often in my regiment, 

when I commanded it. Often hearing irreligious 
officers say that this was one of the causes of great mortality, as 
religion tended to depress the spirits of the men, and that if these 
exercises were banished, the health of my men would improve, I de 
termined to find out the truth of this ; and upon a careful examina 
tion, I was disappointed, I must acknowledge, to find that, while tico- 
fifths of my regiment had died since entering the service, only one in 
every eight of those who were Christians had died, showing a great 
disparity in favor of the latter. I also, by the same examination, 
learned that those who were most zealous in learning were least liable 
to sickness, and when sick they generally recovered soonest. 

" These facts at first impressed me as strange, but I have no reason 
to doubt them, as they were obtained by careful officers. * * * * 

" A. J. EDGERTON, 

" Colonel Commanding Brigade" 

Near the close of 1864, by an arrangement between the 
Western Branches, the care of the important station of 
Cairo, the " gate" of the Western army, was transferred 
to the special superintendence of the Peoria Committee. 
From reports of their Agent, Rev. J. D. Wyckoff, 1 we 
select the following incidents of work : 

No part of the Delegate s ministry was fuller of consolation and 
blessing than the duty of writing home letters for the men. I re 
member a noble-looking, reticent Indian of the 16th Wise., named 



1 Pastor of Congregational Church, Elmwood, 111. 



CAIRO. 453 

Peter Powels, who had not heard from wife or mother 

,, . An Indian s 

for six months, and who was too shy to ask any one ^ 7 

J J Reserve Broken. 

to write for him. By degrees I found out something 
about his friends, and was able to write a letter for him, which 
pleased him mightily. I shall not soon forget how his brown face 
flushed up, when he found that in his delight he had let go the 
sentence 

" Tell her I would be glad to see her," as if that was too much for 
an Indian to confess. 

Passing along the street, I once greeted a stalwart soldier, who 
warmly grasped my proffered hand, and said, without further intro 
duction 

" I have no abiding city here." 

"May I ask if you seek one to come?" 

J J Burning. 

" Yes, thank God, I do. I don t have any time to 
myself, but I try to keep the lamp burning." 

On inquiring, I found his to be a most remarkable case. Away 
from home and all Christian associations, with no Sabbath, with in 
adequate rest, with no time even for a prayer meeting, pursuing his 
laborious duty of wagon-master in the wicked city of Cairo, he could 
yet so keep the inward light burning, that when I met him first, it 
seemed to shine out from his eyes into mine. 

In the Keceiving Ship at Cairo were six or seven hundred sailors. 
Among them all I could learn of but a single Christian. Accident 
ally another was discovered by his coming to me for a Bible : 

" Haven t you got one ?" 

a -\r T -j. e J.T i John Jones. 

Yes, sir ; I want it for a mate, though. 

I gave him one with a word of encouragement, and left him, to 
watch for the tug which was to carry me to Mound City. Presently 
he returned and asked me for a New York Observer. Some further 
conversation ensued. I found that he had no father or mother, that 
Jesus was his only friend, and again bade him good-bye. The tug 
was still invisible, and the sailor came up again. Extending his 
right hand, partly closed and inverted, he said 

" I want to do something for Christ ; won t you take this for the 
Commission ?" 

He had handed me five dollars out of his poverty, and would not 
be denied the privilege of giving it. I asked his name ; reluctantly 



454 CHKISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

he gave it a rare one, I believe, John Jones. I shall not soon 
forget his quiet, subdued, half-tearful manner. 

This was in November ; two months later I started from Cairo to 
visit the Mississippi gun-boat fleet. After boarding several vessels, I 
was transferred to the St. Clair, Captain J. S. French. I had been 

so disheartened at not meeting with any Christians 
John Jones 
Aqain ou some * tne ther boats, that this visit charmed 

me exceedingly. Here were three Christian officers ; 
the commander was a generous, courteous " old salt," who, the first 
evening of my visit, called the men on deck and introduced me to 
them with some crisp, telling words. He showed me a well-worn 
copy of the little book called Daily Food, to which, he said, it was just 
as natural for him to go in the morning as it was to eat his breakfast. 

I found four Christian sailors on board. After a meeting on Fri 
day evening, a man came up on the quarter-deck and said he would 
like to " see the Keverend." I stepped aside to see him ; he handed 
me a five-dollar bill, saying 

" Put that where it ll do good." 

I looked narrowly at him, and lo ! there was my old friend, John 
Jones of last November. It was as good as a run home to meet him 
again and find him still holding to the blessed way. 

The terrible " Eclipse disaster" 1 changed all my plans of visita 

tion. God grant I may never have such work to do again. Such 

was the accumulation of severer cases, that the men with broken 

limbs had to wait a whole day ere they could be 

Crying out of attended to> The fri htful bu with the ex crucia- 



Pain for a Sa- 

v - our ting resulting pain, made the scene one of living death. 

One poor fellow recognized my voice. He had been 
a few times at our Cairo meetings. He was fearfully scalded all over 
the body, and could scarcely see. He moaned out that he wanted 
" to see the Christian Commission man." I came to him : 

" I am the Christian Commission man, my dear fellow ; what can 
I do for you ?" 

" I was in your meetings there; I was ashamed to ask you to pray 



1 The Mississippi steamboat, Eclipse, was blown up while bringing North a 
large number of men, who were on furlough, or whose terms of enlistment had 
expired. 



VICKSBUKG. 455 

for me then. I ve been a great sinner, but I m seeking repentance 
and forgiveness. I m not ashamed to ask Christians to pray for me 
now. I ve been in battle since I saw you ; but oh, that was nothing 
to this!" 

I told him about the Healer of pains, the ever-waiting Saviour 
of the world. 

It was a solemn, oppressive, dazing day ; one which made me wish 
for the end of the misery of the war, for the coming in of the day 
of Eternal Peace. 

Poor fellows! they had taken passage on their way home from the 
war ; many of them having just finished their terms of enlistment. 
They had had bright anticipations of the pleasant greetings hidden 
by the hills and the long prairie reaches between them and home, 
greetings which to so many never came. 

Miss Katharine M. Bissell 1 was a Delegate in the 
Commission rooms at Vicksburg towards the close of 
1864 and in the beginning of 1865. An incident told 
by her illustrates the value of the work which could be 
done by ladies in the army : 

In the neighborhood of Vicksburg, about December, was quartered 
a brigade of soldiers, who for several reasons were in a rather de 
moralized condition. The men were often almost ungovernable. 

Only one of the officers seemed to have any special 

The Sergeant s 
control over them, and he never left them for a mo- Determination 

ment, exerting himself earnestly to restore reason 
and authority. 

Sergeant Fuller, of one of these regiments, came into our rooms 
one morning and leaned against the reading rack. The whole ex 
pression of his face was one of homesickness and indifference, per 
haps of something worse. I was taxing my brain to find some way of 
approaching the Sergeant without giving offence, when I thought of 
a beautiful bouquet of flowers which I had received that morning. 
Holding them out to him, I said 

" Don t you think they are pretty, Sergeant ?" 



Of Hartford, Wis. 



456 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

He vouchsafed them a peculiar, masculine glance, bowed and 
smiled carelessly, then turned to his reading. I was a little non 
plussed at first, but soon saw that he wanted to talk with me, 
whether it was their fragrance which reached him, or possibly some 
home memories which the flowers had quickened, I don t know. I 
watched him a while till I was sure, and then told him I would be at 
leisure in a moment. We began a general conversation. As soon 
as I could I introduced the great question 

"Are you a Christian, Sergeant?" 

" I am not a Christian now ; I hoped once that I was, but there 
seemed to be so little about it which I could claim as a Christian 
experience, that I came to doubt it altogether, and now I m as reck 
less as any of the others." 

I talked with him seriously and earnestly. He seemed deeply 
impressed, but would make no promise concerning the future. After 
that he came often to our rooms, and always renewed the conversa 
tion about the Christian life, until one day, after an unusually long 
talk, he stated his determination to become a Christian. From that 
time he was one of the brightest examples I ever met. His com 
rades noticed the change, and asked what made him " so still ?" 
He told them he had found something to keep him quiet all the rest 
of the days of his life. 

Rev. Ewing O. Tade, 1 the Local Agent at Memphis, 
in May, 1865, sent to the Chairman of the Commission 
a watch, handed him by a noble-hearted Christian sol 
dier of the 113th 111. Inf. The following note accom 
panying the gift, explained its beautiful meaning and 
purpose : 

"A soldier, whose earthly light went out when his little boys, Paul 
and Frankie, died last March, thought, though poor, that decent 
gravestones should mark the spot where they lie listening for the 

word which shall call them forth to immortality. 
The Children s tt ^ . , ... , 

Memorial thinks he now sees a more excellent way, 

to leave their precious dust with no costly rnemo- 
1 Pastor of Congregational Church, Washington, Iowa. 



LITTLE ROCK. 457 

rial, seeing that He who redeemed shall watch it carefully. Let the 
price of the marble be expended in sending forth the Living Word; so 
they, being dead, shall yet speak. That whatever the accompanying 
watch may bring shall be devoted to the American Bible Society, as 
the gift of two little lambs, Paul and Frankie, who are now walking 
in the green and pleasant pastures by the side of the river of Life, 

is the wish of their father, 

" S. L. URMSTON." 

The watch, with a narrative of the particulars, was sent to the 
American Bible Society. The reading of the soldier s letter, at a 
meeting of the Board of Managers, excited deep interest and sym 
pathy. Urmston was made a Life Member of the Society, and pre 
sented with a handsomely bound copy of the Bible. 

The work among the troops in Arkansas was much 
the same as elsewhere. A few of its incidents, from the 
reports of Agents and Delegates, may be given. Mr. 
C. C. Thayer, 1 who was for a long time a Field Agent 
in Arkansas, narrates an incident occurring at Little 
Rock: 

A very devoted Christian soldier, whose love for his country and 
family I had never seen surpassed, lay dying. He was dreaming ; 
and as he approached the River of Death, a vision of his home came 
back to him vividly. He seemed to be leaving it 

once more for the war, and to be passing along the *"* Heavenly 

and the Earthly 
old road ; a bend would soon hide all he loved from Homes. 

view. In the dream he turned for one last look : in 
his agony, he cried out 

" O my wife, my darling wife ! who made my home so happy, must 
we separate ? My dear only son, our joy and pride, must I leave 
you ?" 

He was silent a moment. Perhaps in the mean time, a new and 
brighter vision, the verity from which the earthly one had ever 



1 Of Chicago (Congregational) Theological Seminary. Now, a Missionary of 
the American Board in Central Turkey. 



458 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

drawn its brightness and beauty, was revealed. There was another 
bend in the road ; beyond were kinder arms than behind : 

" Yes, wife, I can give you up, and darling Henry too, country, 
friends, all all ; but, Jesus, I cannot give You up." 

The eyes that were looking upon the "Elder Brother" shone 
brightly. Doubtless, ere this, he has found that pure human ties 
never break ; that they could only be weak here on earth, because 
Christ s unseen presence was weak also ; that when that grows into a 
continual knowledge, they will become infinitely more real and 
beautiful. 

Another sketch by Miss Bissell, of work at Little 
Rock in June, gives the result of an effort to bring a 
soldier to a present decision for Christ : 

Joseph Adams was a small, slender boy belonging to the 25th Ohio 
Battery, a wild set of men, as far as any religious influences were 
concerned, and who had the reputation of being rather aristocratic. 

Delegates used to say they were the hardest men to 
Decide Now. J . m . 

preach to on the whole station, ihey prided them 
selves on their fine appearance, were always well dressed, never left 
their camp without polishing their boots, cleaning their teeth, ar 
ranging their hair, and in every way making themselves as attractive 
as possible. Adams was nineteen years of age, and had already 
contracted many of his comrades bad habits. He was one of the 
best gamblers in the battery. His habit was to save his wages, and 
use his gambling gains for other expenses. The first time I saw him 
he was bringing back a book to our library : 

" I m tired of these religious books ; I ll take a history." 
I got the desired history for him, and began a conversation. Pie 
was very communicative, but his use of tobacco was so excessive as 
seriously to impede conversation. Several times he begged my par 
don, while he awkwardly hurried to the door to discharge his over 
flowing mouth. It began to dawn upon him then that chewing in a 
lady s presence was hardly in good taste, and so mortified was he 
that he apologized and declared that he would never chew again. 
In our talk he expressed his utter unbelief in Christianity, and spoke 
lightly of conversion. When he w r as through, I asked him 



LITTLE ROCK. 459 

" Adams, do you really know what we mean by conversion ?" 

" Well, no," said he ; " I don t know that I do exactly." 

I gave him the best idea of it I could, how it was our duty to put 
ourselves in harmony with God, and consecrate our lives to Him. 
Not regarding his sneers against Christianity, I urged him to make 
this consecration at once. He was unwilling. I told him how much 
less willing he would be in three or four years hence. He looked up 
in a sharp way : 

" I suppose three or four years ago you would have said the same 
thing." 

" Very possibly," I replied ; " and can you say that it would not 
have been true?" 

As he went away I gave him God s Way of Peace, by Bonar ; he 
promised to read and return it. When he came back, I found that 
he was trying to compromise the matter, but I held him to the point 
of present decision. Finally he could elude the issue no longer, so 
he told me 

" I won t decide the matter here. I want to think it over more." 

He looked at the clock ; it was just a quarter to eleven : 

" Can you decide within twenty-four hours ?" 

" Yes," said he ; " I can, and will." 

The next day, at a quarter before eleven, a note came from him, 
stating that he had been assigned to duty the preceding evening, and 
could not get off; that he had been thinking the matter over while 
walking his beat, and had decided to be a Christian ; " with God s 
help," he added, " I mean to be one truly." 

He kept his word nobly, and for the months in which he remained 
at the post he gave the clearest evidence of a change of heart. Of 
course he was subjected to no small measure of ridicule, but he en 
dured it bravely for the sake of the Master. 

The Lieutenant of his battery was an exceedingly upright and 
moral man, and on this account nicknamed among the boys "Abe 
Lincoln." He was not a Christian, though he had thought seriously 

on the subiect. One dav Adams went to him for 

. . . "Abe Lincoln." 

permission to come to the prayer meeting at our 

rooms. The Lieutenant was struck with the request, hesitated, and 
looked at Adams for some time before granting it. From that day 
a change came over him ; nor did the impression made by this 



460 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION" INCIDENTS. 

young soldier s request lose its hold upon the officer, until he became 
an humble, sincere Christian. 

Rev. R. Brown, a Delegate among the troops at Fort 
Leaven worth, in the Fall and early Winter of 1865, 
describes an episode in his work : 

About one hundred men of the 17th 111. Cav. were confined in the 

Military Prison at Fort Leavenworth, on the charge of mutiny. On 

investigation I became satisfied that, while they had done wrong, 

there were many palliating circumstances. They cer- 

Work on be- t inl needed u th h j could rend er. Many 

half of Military 
Prisoners "iem were without shoes, shirts or stockings ; some 

were very sick, and all sad and anxious. I interested 
myself earnestly for their release, and at last, through Gov. Oglesby 
of Illinois, an order was procured from the War Department, send 
ing them to Springfield before their discharge. 

Visiting them again, just as they were preparing to obey this order, 
I held a parting meeting. Never did praise and prayer seem so de 
lightful ; never was temple of worship more truly filled with the 
Divine presence than was that forlorn prison-house. 

A lady from the East, of fashion and culture, reluctantly accom 
panied us to our last prison meeting with them. A box the only 
movable thing that would answer for a seat was placed in the 

centre of the cell for her. She wept as she saw the 
Life Becomes . , , . . 

P , gratitude glowing in every face, and evident in every 

pressure of the hand and utterance of the lips. She 
was a church member, but this scene of praise and prayer gave her an 
entirely new view of life. She was silent afterwards about the meet 
ing ; before her return to the East I asked the reason : 

" When I think of my reluctance to accompany you, and then of 
the evident presence of God in that meeting, I begin to fear my own 
hope is false, and my religion an empty form." 

It was the occasion of a new consecration, and a determination to 
do some of Christ s work among the poor. 

Intercourse between the citizens of Leavenworth and the impris 
oned soldiers had been quite frequent. In the opinion of many, the 
wonderful revival which visited the city soon after, and which re- 



ST. LOUIS. 461 

suited in adding one-third of their present strength 

The Germ, of 
to the Protestant churches, was due in no small a 



measure to the quickening granted to many during 

their visits to the Commission meetings in the prison and elsewhere. 

Two sketches of St. Louis hospital work may close 
this part of our record. Miss McBeth furnishes the 
first : 

" Why, who is this ? How did you get here, little brother ?" 

1 had slipped into the wards after the lamps were lighted, to see 
some of the new patients who had reached us from the South that 
day, and just as I opened the door my eye fell on the 
strangest sight. The bed nearest me had been newly 
filled with straw, and upon the top of it, his little limbs scarcely 
reaching more than half its length, lay the oddest, oldest-looking 
boy, with a pair of bright, black eyes, looking at me out of a little, 
thin, withered face: 

" I came up on the boat. I belong to the - Regiment" I have 
forgotten the number ; would the face were as easily forgotten ! 

"A drummer-boy?" 

" No ; a soldier !" and what pride there was in that shrill, childish 
voice, as he called over the names of the battles he had fought. 

He was a waif from one of our great cities, such as only cities 
nourish. He had never known either parents or home, but "just 
growed," Topsy-like, and struggled up and out into the world the 
best way he could, until a recruiting officer, seeking one more name 
to complete his number, added this, and the boy was a soldier. 

" Have you seen our baby yet ?" asked a nurse, as I came out of 
the ward that night, so all had christened him from the first. I 
never knew another name for him. They moved him to a cot near 
the stove $ attendants and convalescents petted and nursed him, and 
for a time he grew better under their care. Our hospitals were very 
full at that time, and death was busy in every ward. I spent my 
strength with those I knew must soon die, and gave " our baby" only 
a few passing words, waiting until I could have more time with him. 
He was getting much better, I thought, and needed careful instruc 
tion. He could neither read nor write ; knew little more of God 



462 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

than a heathen child ; had scarcely heard Christ s name, save as an 
oath. I must begin with the very rudiments of the Gospel. And so I 
waited for a more convenient season, giving him my brightest-covered 
little tracts, for his comrades to read to him, and resting myself 
when I came home at night by putting all the old engravings I could 
find into picture-books for his amusement. At last a day came when 
I thought I could give him an hour ; but when I stood beside his cot 
he had gone beyond my reach ! I thought at first he was asleep 
but no, he was dying ! I bent close to his ear and tried to make him 
hear me, but not a muscle of that still face moved. Light, or sound, 
of earth could reach him no more for ever. 

Rev. E. P. Smith, during a brief visit to St. Louis, 
was invited by Miss McBeth to see a Michigan soldier 
in Jefferson Barracks, in whose case she felt a peculiar 
interest : 

I saw at a glance that he had not long to live. In his pale, thin 
face, flushed with the last sign of flickering life, there was a beseech 
ing a piteous longing, such as in all my hospital experience I had 

rarely seen. At first he gave rne little heed, but as I 
Christ Rejected . . , . . , _ . . , 

, , j . laid the back 01 my hand upon his burning cheek, 

and stroked the hair from his forehead, he turned 
his eyes full upon me, in a look that spoke things unutterable : 

" How are you to-day, my soldier friend ?" 

" Poorly, sir ; very poorly ; a few days more only a few." 

" You are all ready, I trust ?" 

" I am going there is no help for it ; if you call that ready/ I 
am ready." 

" But I mean, are you prepared to die ? Is this exchange of worlds 
going to be pleasant to you ?" 

" Pleasant ! It is awful, sir ; horrible beyond all account ! But I 
have got to come to it!" 

" No, my brother, there is no such got to about it. You are in 
this world yet, and it is a world of mercy. This is the world where 
Christ died. Let me tell you what He says : Whoso cometh unto 
Me, I will in no wise cast out. " 

" I know it, I know it all ; I have heard it a thousand times." 




"I CANNOT COME NOW I WILL NOT" Pjge 463. 



ST. LOUIS. 463 

"Well, isn t it true?" 

" It may be but not for me, now." 

" But He says, * If you will come to him; He does not say, If you 
had come, or, If you would have come, but if you will come 
whoso cometh comes to-day He will not cast out. It s a great 
pity you haven t come already, but 

" Pity ! It s my ruin, sir. I cannot come now I will not. See 
there, stranger, do you think I am going to give that withered, dried- 
up hand to God, after I have given all its strength to the devil ? Do 
you think I m going to drink the devil s wine all my life up to this 
last day in hospital, and then offer the settlings to Jesus?" 

" It was wrong, it was mean for you to refuse the best to your God, 
but see what you are doing now. Jesus has followed you all through, 
and to-day asks for this remnant of your life, these settlings, as you 
call it. He really desires your affection and trust in Him for the 
little while you will lie on this bed." 

"Is it honorable or decent to give it now?" 

" If He can ask it, is it honorable or decent -for you to refuse it 
now ? You have refused everything ; Jesus makes a last request ; 
will you refuse that?" 

" I see it that s so, but I am afraid I shall. You come a little 
too late ! , It s getting dark now." 

I prayed at his bedside, but he was only partially conscious. As I 
sat watching him, he said in a whisper, scarcely audible 

" If I could get back again back again " 

Supposing he was thinking of his friends, I asked about his home 
in Michigan ; rousing slightly, and with a shake of his head, he 
said 

" No, no a boy again a boy again " 

Thinking that he might have fallen into a sleep from exhaustion, 
I left him for a while. But it was the sleep of death. The consist 
ency of sin held him straight through his course. He could not 
break it. He must begin anew, if at all, he thought, with the begin 
ning of life ; but, alas ! for the boyhood with its thousand invitings 
it came back no more ! 

The work under charge of the Western Army Com 
mittees did not close as soon as did the field labors in 



464 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

the East. The St. Louis Branch kept open its office at 
Memphis until October, 1865 ; and work upon the 
Plains, directed from Fort Leavenworth by Rev. W. J. 
Glad win, as Field Agent, was continued into 1866. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

ALONG THE COAST. 
18611865. 

THE New York Branch of the Commission on its or 
ganization took the charge of the work among sailors 
and soldiers operating along our extended coast line 
from Virginia to Texas. It was a quieter service than 
was found elsewhere in any field of the war. On account 
of the distance from New York, Delegates were chosen 
for longer periods of labor. So much, however, which 
was common in all army experience, has been anticipated 
in the notice of other fields, that we shall not repeat 
ourselves by attempting to give even a representative 
series of incidents of this coast work. We begin our 
record on the seaboard of North Carolina. 

Rev. Dr. A. L. Stone, who was for a time Chaplain 
of the 45th Mass. Regt., in a letter from Newbern, N. 
C., to the people of Park Street Church, Boston, his 
parish at home, gives a narrative of the illness and 
death of a soldier of his regiment, a younger brother of 
the Rev. Phillips Brooks of Philadelphia : 

George Brooks, one of our own Boston boys, a member of Co. A, 
recruited by Captain Russell Sturgis (now our Major), was taken ill 
of typhoid fever about a week ago. From the first, he expressed his 

30 465 



466 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

entire resignation to the Divine will, and enjoyed 
The Three Pe- 

the constant presence 01 Jesus at his side. When I 



asked him daily, "Is your Saviour near you to-day?" 
the look upon his face had a radiant answer before his lips could 
speak, and through his sickness that faithful Presence sustained 
and cheered him. He was never dejected, never murmured. He 
would say but little, as his lungs seemed congested ; but by gasps 
and whispers, one day he told me holding my face close to his, so 
that he could make me hear his lowest words that he had never had 
a full assurance of his pardon and acceptance until he became a 
soldier. He said that in the battle of Kingston, under that terrible 
fire of the enemy, "His Saviour came to him as never before, declared 
His presence, revealed His love, and held his soul in His hand. " 

As the hour of death drew on, he seemed to have three burdens of 
prayer ; the first was quickly disposed of he prayed aloud : 

"O Lord, keep me, hold me fast, leave me not, let me not go!" and 
then all thought of himself seemed to be at an end. 

Shortly after his lips moved audibly, and his second burden was 
laid down at the Divine feet : 

" My God, spare my country oh ! save my dear native land !" 

After a few moments of silence, the voice of prayer was again 
heard, the last earthly articulation of his tongue. The words were 
those of the old familiar petition 

" Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in 
heaven." 

His own soul, his country, the Israel of God these three interests 
he thus commended in last utterances to the faithful Promiser. How 
could a Christian life close more appropriately, more triumphantly ? 

The following incident of the siege of Washington, 
N. C., by the Rebels in March and April, 1863, related 
by a soldier of Co. G, 46th Mass. Regt., is a beautiful 
instance of heroic self-sacrifice and courage : 

A brave band of soldiers were set for the defence of Rodman s 
Point. The enemy, ten to one, pressed heavily upon them to drive 
them from the Point or destroy them. Overpowered, they fell back 



WASHINGTON, N. C. 467 

to the Tar river, where only a scow remained in 

which they could embark. They hurried into her. ^W ^ 

Others might 
The balls came thick and fast from the Rebels close 



upon their heels. The boat had to be pushed from 
shore with poles. But alas ! when she was loaded, she stuck fast in 
the mud. The sides afforded some shelter to the soldiers while they 
remained lying ; but who would leap overboard and push her out 
into the stream ? Who would deliberately lay down his life for the 
possible salvation of his fellows ? When several soldiers were about 
to do it, a large negro said 

" You keep still and save your life. I can t fight. I can push off 
the boat. If they kill me it s nothing. You are soldiers, and they 
need you to fight." 

Leaping overboard, he pushed the boat out into the stream, then 
sprang back, pierced by seven bullets. He died in two days. Does 
Greece or Rome offer a higher patriotism ? 

Rev. A. P. Johnson, 1 a Delegate in the neighborhood 
of Hilton Head, S. C., in 1863, recalls several incidents 
of his experience : 

On board one of the gunboats, I found a number of very sick men. 
T gave such stores as were needed to make them comfortable, and 
talked and prayed with them. One of them, evidently a foreigner, 
interested me exceedingly. I asked him 

"Are you a Christian?" Waiting to 

Join in the One 
" Yes," said he, " but there are few Christians in New s 

my country." 

" What country is that ?" 

" Turkey." 

I asked him how he became a Christian there ; his answer was a 
very interesting story of the missionary labors of Rev. Dr. Dwight. 
Here, far from home and kindred, he had been fighting for the land 
of his adoption, and was now dying in perfect peace, waiting for the 
fulfillment of St. John s vision of the one song in one language : 

"After this I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man 



Pastor of First Congregational Church, Charlemont, Mass. 



468 CHEISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

could number, of all nations and kindreds and people and tongues, 
stood before the Throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white 
robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, 
Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the Throne, and unto the 
Lamb." 

There were large numbers of colored people at Hilton Head, and 
I had interesting intercourse with them. One day a number of chil 
dren came asking for books. One wanted a Testament. He was a 

" darkey" pure and simple, as bright in mind as 
Washed White were ^ teeth and eyeg< Hig Qn | name wag myt j 10 . 
in the Blood of , , 

the Lamb logical Neptune, or as he gave it to me 

"Nep; on y leben yeahs old, sah." 

He could read well. I asked him what he wanted with the Testa 
ment : 

"T learn bout heben." 

" Why learn about heaven ?" 

" So I kin go dar when I die." 

" Why do you suppose you can go to heaven ? You are only a 
little nigger. You don t imagine there are any niggers there." 

"Yes, massa." 

" But, you see, white children go there ; and you don t love each 
other much, can t play together. How can you get along together 
in heaven ?" 

" Dunno, massa ; but I specs dey will." 

I kept on raising objections, until finally I asked 

" Now, do you really believe that there are any black children in 
heaven ?" 

He reflected a moment, and then answered 

" No, massa, I specs dey isn t." 

"Well, then, you cant go there, can you?" 

" Reckon I kin, massa." 

" But how can you go there, when there are no black children 
there ?" 

" Kase dey is all white." 

"But how s that?" 

" Oh, dey is all washed white in de blood of de Lamb. " 

It was a " child s" faith, true to fact, whatever may be thought of 
its form. 



OFF CHARLESTON. 469 

A correspondent of the Sunday School Times, writing 
from Bentley, N. Y., in June, 1863, gives an account of 
a Bible-class scholar in that town, who enlisted on board 
the gun-boat Daylight, one of the blockading squadron 
off Charleston : 

In a crew of two hundred men he found only one Christian. One 
Saturday it occurred to him that he would like to hold a prayer 
meeting the next day. His companion suggested the propriety of 

asking; the Captain about it. To their great aston- 

A Bible-Class 
ishment his reply was- 



"Yes, you may have the free use of the ship, and 
I am proud to think I have young men on board that do pray." 

The next day about ten o clock he got his hymn-book and Bible, 
and took charge of the " right wing" of the ship to begin his meet 
ing. It was a very solemn service ; an invitation was given to all 
those who felt their need of Christ to express it; twelve men knelt 
and asked the two to pray for them. Several of these found the 
" pearl of great price." 

Thus the Bible-class scholar had found another field of usefulness, 
far away from his own loved Sunday-school. 

Not a few of our naval officers were throughout the 
war constant in their efforts to bring the Gospel with its 
holy influences near to the sailors hearts. A corres 
pondent writes of Admiral Dupont : 

Before going into the " iron-clad" fight off Charleston, in April, 
1863, the Admiral had prayers offered on his flagship, the New Iron 
sides. From the Admiral down to the powder-boys, all humbly 

knelt and sought strength for the coming trial, by 
.... , . , , ~ Prayer on the 

joining in a short, touching prayer read by Commo- New Iron8ides 

dore Turner. The recollection of the sight of those 
four hundred determined, battle-eager men, bowing in picturesque 
groups among the grim implements of war, before their Maker, will 
never be effaced from my memory. 



470 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

An address was made by Captain Winslow of the 
Kearsarge, the destroyer of the Alabama, before the Port 
Society of New York, in December, 1864, which inci 
dentally revealed a beautiful Christian influence over 
his men : 

He stated that during the long cruise of the Kearsarge only two 

Sabbaths had passed without a religious service on board the ship. 

It was his custom to have the bell tolled and the men invited to come 

to his cabin, which was often filled with sailors for 

Lupt. in- j^is exerc j se> j n addition to the prayers, he corn- 
stows Services on 
the"Kearsarfie" nionly took up a portion of Scripture, expounded 

and endeavored to illustrate it ; and when in the 
vicinity of the lands of Bible history and prophecy, he would call 
attention to the fulfillment of God s Word, and thus set Jack think 
ing upon the reality of Divine truth. 

The following incident of the assault upon Fort Wag 
ner, in July, 1863, was related to the writer by the rela 
tives of the soldier : 

A colored soldier from Philadelphia, who had enlisted in Col. 
Shaw s Massachusetts Regiment, was carried back at the close of the 
assault on the fort, shockingly torn with wounds wounded unto 

death. Some one came to him, washed the grimed 
The Kingdom , , , . , ., , 

,/ , TT^V/ A i ace an d attended him while he was unconscious. 

that Will Come. 

After a while he began to talk as if he were in a 
dream. He thought that his wife Chloe was near him and giving 
him all the kind attentions. He told Chloe of his joy and assurance 
in the approaching freedom of his whole race : 

" De Lor kep us patient long, Chloe, den His Kingdom come." 

Recalling perhaps the last conscious sight of the repulse and of his 
falling and flying comrades, he continued 

" It don t look es if He thought we wus riddy for t yit ; but den, 
Chloe, it am gwine to come" 

He murmured on for a while about Jesus and Chloe and "<ie 
chillens," and then fell asleep. 



SOUTH CAROLINA. 471 

In the New York Parish Visitor of October, 1863, 
occurs the following narrative of a Delegate on the South 
Carolina coast : 

On returning to quarters, I found a soldier of the 7th New Hamp 
shire who begged for some reading. Said he 

" I am a poor sinner and want something to guide rne. The night 

of the assault on Fort Wagner, when the balls were 

-, . . , , T , , . A Consecra- 

so swift and thick around, I heard men swearing ^ ^ Battle 

dreadfully, and it seemed so awful that I could not 
bear it. It made me afraid, and I promised my God that I would 
swear no more, but would serve Him from that hour ; and He is my 
witness that I have tried faithfully ; and now I want something to 
read besides my Testament, to help me along. This religion has a 
wonderful effect over me even in my dreams. When I got into 
temptation the other night in a dream, I turned away from it." 

He spoke with the deepest emotions of his early religious training, 
his pious parents and of all the mercies of God. It seemed in all 
he said as if the very marrow of the man was penetrated by this 
new fear of God and love of His Son, which had come to him in the 
hour of peril. 

I gave him the little book, Come to Jesus, and turned to the Soldier s 
Series, to find a tract entitled Past Sins. Holding it in my hand, 
while we pursued our conversation, I saw that the title caught his 
attention. In a moment he asked me for it, eagerly. Mr. B 
said something to him about being a missionary in camp now. 

" Yes," said he, " I try to be. You may depend on my doing 
what I can." 

His " God bless you" at parting was fervent and heartfelt. 

Some time afterwards, as I was passing in a crowd of men along 
the beach, my eye was attracted by the salute of a guard. I looked 
up just in time to catch the pleasant smile of my Christian soldier ; 
it told of a heart completely happy in the Saviour s love. 

Rev. Robert J. Parvin furnishes a sketch connected 
with the battle of Olustee, Florida, in February, 1864 : 

The 31st U. S. Colored Regiment was recruited at Camp William 



472 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

Perm, not very far from St. Paul s, Cheltenham, Pa,, my parish 
church. Its commander was Col. Friblcy, who had formerly been a 

Captain in the 8th Pa. Regiment, At the camp he 

The Lesson of 

Loss> became deeply interested in his own spiritual condi 

tion, as well as in that of his men ; and about a fort 
night before leaving for Beaufort, he, with his young and devoted 
wife, was confirmed at St. Paul s by the lamented Bishop Potter. 
Soon after reaching Beaufort, the regiment was ordered to Florida. 
On the 20th of February, the Colonel was killed at the head of his 
men in the disastrous ambuscade at Olustee. His body was left 
upon the field. 

When his regiment started from Camp William Perm, I gave him 
a Christian Commission Testament, with these words under his 
name 

"Be thou faithful unto death." 

He carried the precious volume with him to the fatal field. 

The blow was very severe to his wife ; for a time almost too great 
to bear, but it wrought a beautiful purification. After many un 
availing attempts to recover her husband s body, she returned to the 
North. A letter received from her shortly afterwards revealed her 
feelings : 

" I have been ill both in body and mind ; and could do nothing, 
think of nothing, but this great grief that has darkened my whole 
life. God alone knows how much I have suffered ; and I fear I have 
rebelled against Him, for my heart constantly questions why it must 
be so, why my dear husband, so good, so noble, so brave, must lay 
down his life in the bright promise of his youth, with the great work 
in which he was so earnestly engaged but just begun. My happiness 
was so bound up in him my life so complete in his love and now, 
what is it ? a blank, a wreck. 

" Yes, often do I think, and my heart softens with the thought, of 
that Sunday morning in December, when together we knelt in your 
little church, and made an open profession of our faith in Christ. 
My dear husband was led there by a deep sense of his duty and love 
to God ; I, I fear, from my love and duty to him. I hesitated long, 
for I feared my heart was not right, but I knew that he desired so 
much that I should unite with him, and I felt it my duty to do so, 
and with him to lead and advise me, to assist and encourage me, I 



GALVESTON. 473 

hoped to be able to live a Christian life. But now my pillar of 
strength is gone, and I am left alone in darkness. 

" There are many beautiful things in my husband s past life that 
I should love to tell you, but I cannot now ; only this, that the last 
\vords I heard from his lips were those of prayer. He left me in the 
night. The Adjutant came for him in great haste, as the ship was 
then weighing anchor ; but even then he did not forget to pray for 
us before we parted. And thus he ever did in our many meetings 
and partings ; prayer was always his first and last thought." 

After recovering from the first sadness of her loss, Mrs. Fribley 
resolved to devote her strength to care for the race in whose behalf 
her husband had been so especially interested. For a time her home 
was the Christian Commission headquarters in Memphis, where she 
was a teacher under the direction of the Freedmen s Bureau. She 
was one of the earliest of these, and still continues in the work which 
is alike a memorial labor and a joy. 

A story of the battle of Galveston, on January 1st, 
1863, which is a good example of the bravery and de 
termination of our sailors, is preserved by the New 
Orleans correspondent of the Boston Traveller : 

William Reid, an old sailor and man-of-war s man, who was on 
board the Owasco, was one of the heroes of the fight. During the 
hottest moments of the battle between his ship and the Rebel batter 
ies, this man, who is forty-eight years of age, received 

, . ., . ^ /? i j- i -n A Sailor Hero. 

a severe wound while in the act ot loading his rme. 

Two fingers of his left hand were shot away, and the Surgeon or 
dered him below ; but he refused to go, and tying his handkerchief 
around his fingers, remained on deck and did good execution with 
his rifle. Thirty minutes later, another shot struck him on the right 
shoulder ; the blood came out through his shirt. Master s Mate Ar- 
bana then ordered him below to the Surgeon. The brave old fellow 
said 

" No, sir ; as long as there s any fighting to be done, I stay on 
deck." 

When the engagement was over, he had his wounds dressed. He is 
still on board the Owasco, and whenever they beat to general quarters, 



174 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS, 

William Reid stands at his post, ready for orders. He was told one 
day by the Captain to go below, as he was on the sick list, and his 
place was the hospital. Displeased with the remark, he replied 

" No, Captain, my eyes are good, and I can pull a lockstring as 
well as any on em." 

Rev. Jeremiah Porter and wife were appointed by the 
Commission in the Fall of 1805, to labor among the 
troops in Texas. Extracts from Mr. Porter s narrative 
of that work the last field-work of the Commission, 
which continued into the first months of 1866, may fitly 
close the coast record of incidents : 

Mrs. Porter, just before we started from Chicago, informed Mr. E. 
W. Blatchford, Treasurer of the N. W. Sanitary Commission, of our 
destination. "With accustomed liberality he placed at our disposal 
four thousand dollars worth of choicest supplies. 
B 77 With these we started on October 20th, accompanied 

by Miss Lizzie S. Gary, of Galesburg, 111. A month 
later, in attempting to go from Brazos Santiago to Brownsville, our 
operating point, a terrific " Norther" so crippled the steamer and 
exhausted all our fuel, that, unable to cross the bar, the commander 
ran the boat ashore on the beach near Bagdad in Mexico. In the 
yawl we went as near terra firma as we could, and were at last carried 
safely ashore in the sailors arms. 

On the beach we unexpectedly and joyfully met Mr. William 
Kirkby, 1 another Christian Commission Agent, who had that morn 
ing ridden from Brazos to learn our fortunes in the storm. The 
next morning, Sunday, after witnessing the genuflexions of Maximil 
ian s soldiers at the mass, I crossed over into Texas and, finding 
some colored soldiers assembled for worship, joined them. A later 
appointment to preach filled up the day. Mr. Kirkby had happily 
prepared the way for us at Brownsville, and we were most cordially 
welcomed by Mr. and Mrs. Edward Downey, " faithful among the 
faithless" during the rebellion, Rev. Hugh McLeod, and Mr. Jas. A. 
Martin. 1 



Of Brooklyn, N. Y. 



BROWNSVILLE. 475 

Our stores were placed in the hands of Mr. Town for Indianola. 
and of Mr. Martin for Brownsville and the Upper Rio Grande. Rev. 
Mr. McLeod was laboring with a brigade of white soldiers, three 

miles from town. In his Commission tent he preached 

The Laborers 
every Sabbath, with help from myself and others. and th&ir Work 

Mrs. Porter and Miss Gary took up their abode in a 
tent pitched for us at Orange Grove Hospital. Here Mrs. Porter 
distributed her stores, and Miss Gary taught the colored soldiers in a 
tent prepared for a dining-hall and place of worship. 

On the night of Nov. 29th we had our first social meeting in the 
Commission Rooms in town. Thirty-five attended, and the Holy 
Spirit was evidently present. Prof. Shephard, of Yale College, re 
turning fjpm a geological expedition to the Mexican mines, with Mr. 
Lyon, an American merchant of Monterey, encouraged us by their 
presence and remarks. Three Christian army officers spoke, and 
prayers were asked for many. 

Among the colored soldiers, we found many strange notions and 
perverted, physical ways of looking at spiritual realities, which did 
not however prevent a precious and beautiful simplicity of trust in 

Christ. A soldier named Emanuel Rickets had 

Wanting to Go. 
entered the army in JNew York, about ten months 

before. He told me his history, when I met him first, and spoke 
with confidence of his knowledge of Christ as the Saviour ; with this 
he could compare no earthly pleasures or hopes. The next time, I 
passed his cot, I found him sinking rapidly. Thinking an orange 
would comfort him, I gave him one. He was engaged in earnest 
prayer as I offered it to him : 

" Do take me to Thyself, dear Father ; I want to go." 

After prayer he exclaimed 

" I see my Father ; I see Him. Don t you see Him ? Around Him 
they are singing and dancing. Why shouldn t they dance? Well, 
I ll dance soon." 

He tried to thank me for the orange, but could do it only with the 
simple words 

" My Father has oranges enough." 

" Tell my mother," said he, as I went away, " I die happy ; I 
didn t want to stay here ; it ai n t a good place." 

Soon after the first of the new year he went home. 



476 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

We were grieved to find in Brownsville no Protestant school of 
any kind, and planned one for our soldiers and the Southern chil 
dren of the town. Aided by Government officers, a building was se 
cured and seated as a school. On the 1st of March, 

A Protestant 186g we took egsion of the g em i nary f or our 

school in Browns- J 

mile. own duelling. 

Our school began with six scholars, all from one 
family. But in a few days some Mexican children came in, and 
prejudice began to give way. One anxious father asked Mrs. 
Porter 

" Do you teach any religion here ?" 

" Oh, yes," was the answer ; " we teach the children to love one 
another, to love and obey their parents, to be kind and gentle, to obey 
God, and to love the Lord Jesus ; and we teach the ten command 
ments." 

" Oh, that s good," said he, considerably relieved. 

At the end of four months, the ladies had sixty scholars, more 
than half of them from Spanish Catholic families. In April the 
Commission closed its work, and all its Delegates and Agents, except 
ourselves, left the field. In the middle of June, our work accom 
plished, we left Brownsville, the last Commission Delegates. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

THE HOME SIDE. 

BEAUTIFUL and wonderful as were the sacrifice and 
Christian experience which the workers of the Com 
mission beheld in hospital, in camp, on the march and 
on the field, in many a saddened, anxious, loyal home 
other sacrifices were made and other experiences per 
fected. There were poor men and women whose mites 
swelled the millions which the nation gave ; there were 
mothers and children who could not be denied the privi 
lege of foregoing many luxuries and comforts, that the 
boys at the war might be helped and cheered. The 
purpose of this chapter is to preserve a few of the many 
incidents of the home side of the war. 

Mr. Charles Demond, whose long charge of Com 
mission work in New England brought him closely in 
contact with those who prayed and gave, furnishes the 
following : 

At a meeting in a small town in New Hampshire, Prof. E. T. 
Quimby, of Dartmouth College, who had been a Delegate in the 
Army of the Cumberland, told his experience. When the boxes 
were passed, an old man of eighty put in a small, 



red cotton handkerchief. The collector, thinking Capt^n, Wes- 

tons Handker- 
hc had made a mistake, was about to return it, but c ^. * 

the old man made a sign to have it retained. When 

the meeting was over the clergyman of the place said to the speaker 

477 



478 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

" Captain Western has given to you the last thing owned by him 
which he could give. A few years ago, the only one of his sons who 
could aid him came home to take charge of the aged parents, and 
they looked to him for support in their declining years. When the 
war came the son felt it his duty to enlist. He went with his father s 
blessing, and he now fills a soldier s grave in the South. Since his 
fall the old man has supported himself and his aged wife by his own 
labor. He is utterly penniless. He recently told me that he would 
be glad to do something for benevolence, but for six months, said 
he, I have had but three cents of my own. " 

Rev. E. G. Parsons, of Derry, N. H., had been a Delegate in the 
Potomac Army. Under date of July 28th, 1864, he wrote me : 

" I told my little story to my congregation last Sunday afternoon, 

and took up a collection. A silver dollar was sent 
"Moth&r Would 

Have Given it" m a " erwar d s "7 a gd lady, who has a son in the 
Union Army. With it came this message : 

" My mother, dying twenty years ago, gave me this dollar, which 
I have sacredly cherished ; that mother, if now living, would have 
five grandsons in the army. One has fallen upon the battle-field and 
another has barely escaped death of malignant disease, and I think 
she would have given this dollar for the soldiers. 

" Acting up to her convictions of her mother s washes, she sends 
the precious coin to your treasury." 

One of the most touchingly suggestive incidents I remember was 
that of a widow, who sent me her wedding-ring. She first gave her 
only son to die for the country, and then withheld not this dear pledge 

of love, made sacred by the death of him who gave 
The Widow s . x . . . 

,,. it. feuch benevolence gives to patriotism a purer 

lustre, and makes even the smoke and carnage of 
battle radiant with the reflected brightness of heaven. 

Mr. B. F. Jacobs, the Secretary of the Chicago 
Branch of the Commission, tells two incidents of scenes 
in his collecting tours through the Northwest : 

Speaking at Mineral Point, Wisconsin, after the addresses were 
1 over, we were raising a contribution and men were announcing their 
subscriptions. A soldier in the far gallery rose and said 



WISCONSIN. 479 



" Maloney, 85." 

Three or four gentlemen who stood near me at 

loney gave Jbive 
once remarked 



" He can t afford to give a cent. He ought not to 
do it. He has a wife and four children and they are very, very poor. 
He has hardly been able to support them with his soldier s pay." 

At the close of the meeting I asked for him, and he came forward 
to the desk : 

" Mr. Maloney, they say you ought not to give $5 to this cause." 

" They don t know anything about it," said he, very emphatically. 

" Well, do you think you ought to?" 

"Let me tell you," said he : " Seven years ago, when you were a 
clerk in Chicago, I used to buy goods of you. I failed in business, 
became dissipated till I was nothing but a miserable, drunken, 
wretched sinner, and my wife and children were well-nigh beggars 
and almost worse than that, before I entered the army. In Virginia 
there, I was led to the Christian Commission meetings. I gave my 
heart to the Lord Jesus Christ. After that I saved every dollar of 
my pay to send home, whereas before I never sent a cent. All that 
I have, and all that my family have for time, and all that I hope 
for in eternity, under the blessing of God, I owe to the Commission. 
Don t you think I ought to give five dollars ?" 

Eai4y in 1864, a Commission meeting was held in Milwaukee. 
After the audience had retired, I was told that a lady was waiting to 
speak with me. She was standing near the doorway, dressed in deep 

mourning. As I went to meet her, she put out her 

-i-i "She was a Mo- 

hands with great earnestness, and said t ^ er to m -^^ 

" I could not go away without thanking you and 
telling you how grateful I am." 

I replied that she must be mistaken, as I did not remember to have 
met her before : 

" Oh no ! I m not mistaken ; it s no difference ; any Delegate of 
the Christian Commission would be the same." 

" What has the Commission done for you, madam ?" 

" My only son died in the hospital at Memphis. I was too poor 
to go and see my boy, after the letter came telling me that he was 
sick. But a lady Delegate of the Commission visited him daily in 
the hospital, ministered to his wants, comforted him in his loneliness, 



480 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

and above all led him to Jesus. When he was dead, the same lady 
cut off a lock of his hair and sent it to me in a letter, with his dying 
words. She was a mother to my boy. And as long as I live, while the 
Christian Commission lasts, I want to pray for God s blessing upon 
all who love it and work for it." 

Mr. Jacobs illustrates both the confidence reposed in 
those connected with the Commission and the stuff of 
which many a soldier was made : 

A man came into my office in Chicago, about the first of May, 
1864. He was an Irishman. Said he 

" I want to see Mr. Jacobs, the Secretary of the Christian Com 

mission." 
Confidence and 

I told him I was the man he was lookin for : 



" I have come to ask you to do me a favor. I ve 
been in the service since April, 1861. I was rather wild before that. 
After I enlisted I saw how men went straight to ruin, and I made up 
my mind I would try and save myself and my money. I have laid 
by 8700. Before the war I lived in Chicago, and at the expiration 
of my second enlistment I have returned with that amount of money. 
I have bought a house and lot on the west side, have paid the 8700 
down and given a mortgage for the balance, payable after 09 year. 
I have re-enlisted, and am going back to Virginia. I have no rela 
tives in this country, except a brother in New York, who is quite 
well off. I want to put my property in trust with some one, and I 
want you to take it. Here are the papers which I have drawn up 
myself. I have been protected so far, but I may fall in the next 
battle ; so I have brought my will here too. "Will you take charge 
of the matter for me ?" 

I told him I was a perfect stranger to him, and hesitated about 
assuming the trust : 

" Who recommended me to you ?" 

" Nobody," was his answer ; " but I have been in the army, and 
have seen the Delegates of the Commission, how faithful they have 
been. I am sure they won t steal. That s the reason I have hunted 
you up. Won t you take charge of all this till I come back, for if I 
ever do, I shall want it all ?" 



ILLINOIS. 481 

I opened the will and read it. In case of his death, unmarried, he 
had arranged that his property should go to the Commission, with a 
proviso remunerating me for my services. This latter was changed 
on the spot. I asked him why he willed his money to the Com 
mission : 

" I know of no men to whom I would so soon give my money as 
to the soldiers of the army ; and though I have never needed the 
services of Commission Chaplains in hospital, yet I have seen what 
they have been doing for others, and have got little books from 
them at times ; and I know if I leave my money to them the soldiers 
will get every cent of it." 

I accepted the trust, and as the soldier went away spoke to him of 
the duty he owed to God. 

The man lived to return from the war, pay off the mortgage on 
his house, take back the deed and will, and is now a member of the 
Young Men s Christian Association of Chicago. 

Mr. William Reynolds, the President of the Peoria 
Committee, out of a large and successful experience 
as a volunteer collector, furnishes the two narratives 
which follow : 

Chaplain McCabe, of Libby Prison renown, came to Peoria. 
We determined to canvass Central Illinois, with the purpose of 
raising fifty thousand dollars. Our first meeting was held in Gales- 
burg, where $1800 were collected. Next followed 

Peoria and Bloomington, raising $1500 each. We MvrganComty 

Illinois, and Jacob 
then went to Jacksonville, and held a meeting at g trawn 

" Strawn s Hall," where $2000 were contributed. I 
knew that Mr. Jacob Strawn, the largest farmer in the State of 
Illinois, was living two miles from Jacksonville. The next morning 
we went out to his house to solicit a contribution. He was absent, 
and we understood that he was going to Springfield the following 
day. Meeting him on the train, we presented the cause. He said he 
knew nothing about the Commission, but that he was going to call on 
Governor Yates, and if he said it was all right, he would make a 
contribution. He appointed an hour to meet us at the hotel. 

We met him at the hour fixed ; he said he had seen the Governor, 

31 



482 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

who had told him the Commission was " all right ; a good institu 
tion." He then wrote a check for $500 and handed it to me, 
saying 

" If you raise $10,000 from the farmers of Morgan County, I ll 
make it $10,000, instead of $500." 

We thought the sum too large, especially as Mr. Strawn refused to 
let us count the $2000 just raised in Jacksonville. Our efforts to 
have the sum reduced to $5000 were unavailing ; there was no alter 
native but to work for the $10,000, trusting in God to open up the 
hearts of the people. Mr. M. P. Ayres, a banker of Jacksonville, 
encouraged us to accept the proposition, promising the aid of his 
extensive acquaintance in the county, in appointing meetings and 
securing a full attendance by the people. He arranged for eleven 
meetings in various parts of the county, in school-houses, small 
churches and groves. We entered on the canvass, and within nine 
days held the eleven meetings and raised $11,400. The meetings 
occurred in July, the farmers busiest season ; many of them coming 
from their fields to the speaking-places, and immediately after the 
addresses returning to their work. 

When we came back to Mr. Strawn with the proof of our success 
in hand, he at once gave us his check, with the single remark 

" Pretty smart fellows ; didn t think you would do it." 

After dinner he took us to the top of his house, to 
, show us his splendid farms lying along the country 

in every direction far as the eye could reach. I 
asked him how many acres he owned : 

" Forty thousand, all under cultivation." 

" How much is the land worth an acre?" 

" Not less than $50, sir." 

" Then you are worth $2,000,000 ?" 

" Yes. I made it all myself, too. When I started I hadn t fifty 
cents." 

I turned to him ; a look of pride flushed his face, while his eyes 
swept the country in every direction : 

" Mr. Strawn, you have asked me to look north and south, east 
and west, and view your possessions ; and you say I cannot see the 
end. Now may I ask you to look up yonder. How much do you 
own up there ?" 



WISCONSIN. 483 

"Ah," said he, the tears filling up his eyes, " I m afraid I am poor 
up there." 

I tried to point him to the treasures and the mansions above. 

This was the largest single subscription received by the U. S. 
Christian Commission. Mr. Strawn died very suddenly about one 
year afterwards. 

I went to Sparta, a little town in Monroe County, Wisconsin, 
where I was personally an entire stranger. It was shortly after the 
Wilderness battles. I set forth to the large crowd of people who had 

gathered, the objects and labor of the Commission, 

.. The Soldier s 

but felt somehow that they might be unwilling to 



credit a stranger s statements of so great a work. I 
longed for a familiar face, some one in the audience to whom I could 
appeal for endorsement of what I was saying. But the whole com 
pany was strange. While speaking I noticed a one-armed soldier 
sitting immediately in front of me. I watched his face with great 
interest to see what impression my story was making upon him. 
When I had concluded and was about calling for subscriptions, this 
soldier rose and said 

" I would like to say a word, citizens, before the collection is taken 
up. You all know me, who I am, and where I came from. I have 
lived here long in your neighborhood. I enlisted in the first regi 
ment that went from this district. I fought through the battles of 
the Wilderness ; near the close of one day I fell wounded. I dragged 
myself into a bush concealed from the enemy, and lay there. Night 
came on. I think I must have died before morning, if no help had 
come. It grew very late, and there was no appearance of assistance. 
At last I heard a sound ; there might be help in the distance. I 
tried to call out, but my voice was too weak ; it went but a short way. 
A light came near me. I summoned all my energies and raised 
my voice to its highest pitch. Directly I saw a lantern approaching. 
Soon a man s voice asked what was the matter? I told him I was 
dreadfully wounded. He set his lantern down and started off to get 
assistance. Soon I heard the roll of wheels and there was an ambu 
lance for me. He put me in it. From that time till I was well 
enough to come home on furlough nay, till I reached Chicago I 
never was outside of the care of Delegates of the Christian Commis 
sion. Citizens, I owe my life to them." 



484 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

The enthusiasm aroused by this testimony was unbounded, and 
found practical expression in an excellent collection. From that 
time we were reminded monthly of the soldier s testimony by the 
contributions which regularly found their way to us from that little 
town. 

The story of Mrs. Ellet of Philadelphia, recalls the 
memory of some of the deeds of the mothers of the 
Revolution : 

Mr. Stuart, the Chairman of the Commission, with Rev. Dr. 

Robert Patterson, of Chicago, called upon her early in 1863. She 

brought out two valuable and beautiful shawls, the proceeds of which 

she wished to have distributed among the widows 

yr j and orphans of soldiers fallen in battle. 

The dead body of her grandson had just arrived, 
and Dr. Patterson expressed the hope that God would sustain her 
under the bereavement. She stated that she had given her two sons 
Commodore Ellet, of the Ram Fleet, and Brigadier-General Ellet, 
of the Marine Brigade and four grand-children; and then added 

" I do not regret the gift to my country. If I had twenty sons, I 
would give them all, for the country must be preserved. And if I was 
twenty years younger, I would go myself and fight to the last." 

Few men in the country could so well appreciate the 
motherly sacrifice which was being made all over the 
land as President Lincoln. His letter to a pious 
widow living in Boston, deserves a place in history with 
his speech at Gettysburg and his second inaugural 
address : 

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, Nov. 2lst, 1864. 

DEAR MADAM : I have been shown in the files of the War De 
partment, a statement of the Adjutant-General of Massachusetts that 

you are the mother of five sons who have died glori- 
The Costly . , , ,, , - 

. ouslv on the field of battle. 

Sacrifice. J 

I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words 
of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a 
loss so overwhelming ; but I cannot refrain from tendering to you 



BOSTON UTICA. 485 

the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Eepublic 
they died to save. 

I pray that Our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of 
your bereavement, and leave only the cherished memory of the 
loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid 
so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of Freedom. 

Yours, very sincerely and respectfully, 

A. LINCOLN. 
To Mrs. BIXBY, Boston, Mass. 

To receive such a letter, written by him who was within a few 
months to realize the sacrifice which he here writes of, seems almost 
a compensation for the loss. 

The following soldier s letter needs no introduction. 
Its reading moistened every eye at the meeting which 
organized the Central New York Branch of the Com 
mission in Utica. The father who penned it received 
his mortal wound the next day: 

FORT BAKER, Oct. 2()th, 1864. 

DEAR LOTTIE : I found a small white envelope among the others 
that you put into my box before I came away from home, and I knew 

that Lottie put it there, because she wanted me to 

, TT -. , . , Father to Lot- 

wnte to her. Well, it always does us good to please 

those that love us, and I am glad to think that my 
little girl would be pleased to have me write to her. It is a pleasant 
task for me, and the thought of good, loving children at home, who 
think of me every day, who for my sake are trying to be good to 
their mother and make her happy, is a source of comfort and encour 
agement and of consolation that I cannot describe with my pen nor 
tell with my tongue. How far this thought goes, or how much it 
contributes to reconcile me to the separation that for their sakes I 
have voluntarily endured, you can never realize. I know that you 
do not realize that I am here because I love you, and that you do 
not appreciate the necessity of my being here. But by and bye, when 
you grow up, you will understand things better, and when you read 
in history of this war and of its causes and objects, you will be glad 
that your father left home when you were a little girl, and went 



486 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

forth to contend for the right. You will love me all the more then, 
and so will all the rest of my children. This is the thought that 
encourages and consoles me ; and then, beside this, the conscious 
ness of none other than good and pure motives, and above all, the 
consolation from day to day that religion affords me, all contribute 
to make me happy, even while the constant longing, lingering 
anxiety about my home and family keeps them every moment in my 
thoughts. 

Try and be good, Lottie, if you love me and want to do what you 
can to make me happy. Be good to your mother and grandmother, 
and brothers and sisters. Try and be good to the Lord, and then you 
will be happy yourself, and everybody will love you ; and if I should 
never see you again on earth, we shall meet in heaven. 

I pray for you many times every day, and I want you to pray for 
yourself and me. Try to learn in your books ; go to school and 
Sunday-school always when you can. Save this letter till you get old. 

Tell Harry I will write to him before long, and Freddy that I mean 
to send him some pretty stones I have picked up for him. Kiss all 
the family for me, from grandma to the baby, and love them all. 
God bless you ! FATHER. 

Occasionally throughout these chapters, the story of 
a " comfort-bag" or " housewife" has been inserted. 
These were mainly the gifts of little children, and often 
contained letters to soldiers, which in turn called out 
replies from the camps and hospitals. Thus sprung up 
many a pleasant and profitable correspondence. Rev. 
E. P. Smith, while a Delegate early in 1863, near Belle 
Plain, wrote back to his Sabbath-school at Pepperell, 
Mass., concerning these bags : 

It seems that the Sabbath-school children in Albany united to send 
" comfort-bags" to the soldiers, and on a given Sabbath each scholar 
brought a bag to her class. The superintendents collected them, 

and on Monday, when they came to count them, 
in the Arm\ they f un d five thousand ready to go. They came 

in boxes to the Christian Commission at Washing- 



IS T EW YOKK. 487 

ton, and have been given out one by one to the soldiers in this 
army. If you could see their faces when I hand out a bag and 
say 

" Boys, do you want any needles, pins, thread and buttons ? Some 
little Sabbath-school girl made that for you, and sent it to me to give 
to you." 

" To give to us? Bully for you ! A new kind of sutler, boys!" 
" See here, Jim, if a fellow goes ragged after this, he s a bummer." 
(That s a soldier s name for loafer.) "Sabbath-school girls, eh? 
those are great little girls; they don t forget the boys gone a-soldier- 
ing." " I used to go to Sunday-school." "That s \vhere I belong." 
" I have got a little girl in Sunday-school ; wonder if she did not 
have a hand in one of these bags." 

So they talk till I am out of sight. Some of them pull out the 
tract, and some find a letter in the bag and read it aloud. The 
news that Vicksburg was taken would not wake up a more lively, 
pleasant feeling among the men than a quantity of these bags freely 
given. 

I read some of the letters. Here is one, as nearly as I can 
remember it: 

" DEAR SOLDIER : It must be hard for you to keep your clothes 
nice, so far away that your mother cannot come to mend them ; so I 
send you this bag of needles and thread, and you can mend for your 
self. I would send you a thimble, but mother says you could not 
use it. Now I hope you will keep your clothes very nice, so that 
when the ragged Rebels see you they will be ashamed of themselves. 

" We talk about you, and pray about you in the Sunday-school 
concert, and every night I pray, God bless the soldier ! Good-bye, 

soldier ! 

" From your young friend, 

" HATTIE." 

I ll warrant the soldier will put that letter in his Testament, and 
if he lives to go home, it will go with him. 

Some children in Lewistown, Penna., in February, 
1864, sent a box of seventy-three housewives to the 
army. Each enclosed a note, with the little writer s 



488 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

name and address. By and bye the answers came back, 
and one who read them all writes of them : 

One of the letters spoke of verses contained in his little housewife; 

the soldier said he had never before felt the great importance of the 

words. Another -spoke of the housewife s use, and said he should 

always carry it with him, and, if he fell, it should fall 

with him. Another said that on his return home, he 
Uomjort - bag 

would go out of his way quite a distance to see and 



thank his " little friend Hallie." Another wrote 
that he was in name a Christian, but " someway he did not get along 
as he would like," but he promised renewed efforts in " walking the 
narrow way." Another had made a profession five years ago, had 
sadly gone astray, but now renewed afresh his "covenant with God;" 
he prayed for strength to endure unto the end. Another was one of 
six who, the Sabbath previous, had been baptized. He was from 
Maine, and had been from home four years. He could apply the 
beautiful verses contained in his gift ; they had touched a tender 
chord in his heart. 

Another brave fellow s acknowledgment runs thus: 
" I have received your kind gift, for which I return my most grate 
ful thanks. I have been in the army two vears, have been in all 
the battles my regiment was engaged in, and have escaped unhurt. 
I thank the Almighty. Our good Chaplain preaches for us every 
evening. When I first joined the army I was wicked would laugh 
at good men but I had no parents ; father and mother died when 
I was young. I was taken by an uncle, who was a wicked man, and 
let me run at large. I went to sea and after that enlisted. It is 
the first time I have written a letter since I have been in tJte army, and 
it makes me feel so happy to have a chance to write to a friend." 

The charm of the letters was given them by the child 
authors ; their simple, hearty, confiding words brought 
to the soldier a vision of bright, earnest eyes following 
little hands guiding unsteady pens across the paper; 
and with that vision came all the remembered sweetness 
of home. Mr. J. N. Stearns, the Editor of Merry s 



NEW ENGLAND. 489 

Museum, a Delegate at City Point in July, 1864, trans 
cribes two of these children s epistles : 

"BOSTON, MASS. 

"I am but a very little girl, six years old, but I thought I would 
like to make a comfort-bag for you as well as the big ones. 

" I go to the Shawmut Infant School. I know lots of verses in God s 
Holy Book. I have got a mother, but I have not a 
dear father living. I hope he is living in heaven 

with Jesus Christ. 

" TENY." 

" NEW IPSWICH, N. EL 

" MY DEAR SOLDIER : I wonder whether you are a well or a 
wounded soldier. I hope you are not sick. I am a little boy nine 
years old. I hope you love Jesus Christ. I hope you will love Him, 
if you do not. I shall pray for you. I hope you will write me a 

letter if you have time. From 

" JOHN W. CUMMINGS." 

The following, written by a very little girl whose 
brother had fallen upon the field, is from the Sunday - 
School Times of Jan. 7th, 1865 : 

" DEAR SOLDIER : It is Sunday afternoon, and I thought it would 
be so nice to print you a little letter to put in the bags I finished yes 
terday. Mamma gives brother Charlie and me twenty-five cents a 
week each for giving up sugar, so we have earned a good deal of 
money already to give to the soldiers, so we both bought some of 
the things to put in the six bags. I hope you will take as much 
comfort as I did in making them for you. I hope this cruel war will 
soon be over, and let you come home to your children and friends. 
Won t we all be happy then ! I pray God every day to bless you 
and bring you home. I hope you love Jesus. If you do not live to 
get home, I hope you will go home to Him, where I hope to meet 
you. Good-bye. 

" From your little friend, 

" MINNIE OLIVE C." 

Rev. Luther Keene, a Delegate during October and 



490 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

November, 1863, gives the following account of the re 
ception of an interesting letter from a soldier by two 
little children of his parish : 

As I was going away to the army, Charlie Huntingdon and Katie 

Walker gave me a little money for the soldiers. I bought a Bible 

with it, and intended to hand it to some soldier. But sickness so 

hastened my return, that I left it with Rev. Mr. Bow- 

.,. ler, the Agent at Washington. The address of the 

two children was written in it, and this request : 

" Will the soldier who receives this book, when he is converted, 
write a letter to these children, telling them about it?" 

In about six months after my return, they received the following 
reply : 

"To Katie Walker and Charlie Huntingdon, 

North BrooJcfield, Mass : 

*****" Rev. Mr. Bowler gave me the Bible you sent to the 
soldier. It gives me great pleasure to acknowledge its receipt. I 
have a great many things to tell you, but you know a poor soldier 
does not have a great many advantages. If I had you here with 
me, wouldn t we have a nice time then ? I would take you to see 
the front, and the big guns, and the soldiers on dress parade, and 
I would tell you how they fight when they are in line of battle. I 
would tell you about the fourteen regular engagements I have been 
in, and how I was wounded five times, and how the bad Rebels took 
me prisoner, and how they kept me for three months and gave me 
very little to eat, and how God brought me safe back again. And 
then, I w r ould tell you how I used to drink a great deal, and what a 
bad man I once was ; and now, how I don t drink at all, and how I 
love to read the little Bible you sent me. I would then share my 
rations with you, and give you a part of my bed, and we would say 
a little prayer together, and I would kiss you, and God would watch 
you and me, until we awoke again to enjoy His love, His sunlight, 
His flowers amid their vernal bloom and fragrance, and then we 
would praise Him again. 

" I love little children, because I see God in their ways. Let your 
little hands be busy at all times, and your tender hearts bend to the 



MASSACHUSETTS - ILLINOIS. 491 

service of God. Never waste one moment ; life is very short. There 
is a fire-fly in Southern climes, which shines beautifully when it is on 
the wing, but the very moment it rests it looks black and ugly. So 
it is with us ; we are beautiful while we are working in the vineyard 
of God, and black and ugly while we turn towards worldly things. 

"Now my little friends, you will continue to be good, will you not? 
And you will say a little prayer for me now and then, asking the 
good God to forgive me what I have done wrong, and to make me 
good in the future. 

" I sincerely thank you, and if you would like to hear from me 
again, it will be pleasant to write to you ; and, if you have your little 
pictures, send them to me. And now, may God bless you and keep 
your hearts full of the Holy Spirit/ is the prayer of, 

" Yours very affectionately, 
" E. H. UNiAc. 1 
" Camp Distribution, Va., 

" Care of U. S. C. C." 

Chaplain Thomas tells how a little Chicago girl made 
herself useful to sick soldiers in the Western Army : 

Jennie D - wanted to do something for the sick soldiers. She 
remembered how they were deprived of the delicacies and comforts 
of life, and her heart yearned for their relief. Not discouraged, as 
too many are, because she could not do everything, she 



resolved to "do what she could." But what could g u 

she do except save her lumps of sugar ? When she 

had more than a pound, in the Spring of 1863, she sent it to the 

Army of the Cumberland by our Brigade Quartermaster. He 

handed me a package one day labelled thus : 

" Lump-sugar saved by Jennie D- - , a little girl six years old, to 
give to some sick soldier." 

" Do you know any sick soldier, Chaplain," said the Quartermaster, 
" who needs that ?" 

" Yes, sir, a good many of them," I replied. 

At a prayer meeting in my tent, I held up the package and told 



Mr. Uniac, since the war, has been a successful Temperance Lecturer. 



492 CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

the men present what the little girls at home thought of the soldiers. 
They were not accustomed to tears, but if I am not mistaken, there 
was an unusual glistening in the eyes that looked on the package. 
I carried it afterwards to the four Regimental Hospitals in our 
Brigade, and gave a lump to every sick man, telling him who sent it. 

How happy the poor boys were at the child s practical remem 
brance ! They made all sorts of grateful and curious remarks. 

One more incident of the children s interest in the 
soldiers, told by Rev. Eobert J. Parvin : 

I had been addressing a meeting in Rochester, N. Y., towards the 
close of 1864. A little girl was greatly interested in my story and 
wrote to me after my return to Philadelphia, enclosing a small con 
tribution : 
What the Sol 
diers Deserve, KOCHESTEB, December 23d, 1864. 
DEAR MR. PARVIN : What you said about the 
Soldiers has made me think of them very often, every day and when 
I kneel down at night. It makes me very happy to send some of 
my Christmas money to buy some little comfort for a Soldier. 
(Mamma says I should use a little " s" for Soldiers, bid I think they 
deserve capital letters.^) 

I mean to do all that a little girl can to help you. 

Your affectionate friend, 

JENNIE LEE. 

These illustrative sketches of purposes, sayings and 
deeds begotten of the war will find an appropriate 
closing page in the words of Rev. Herrick Johnson, a 
Delegate about the Wilderness time. 

They are the closing part of his address at the last 
Anniversary of the Commission in the Capitol at 
Washington : 

" It was once my privilege to stand upon the summit 
of Mount Righi in Switzerland, and from its queenly 
top witness an autumnal sunset. Far away to the west, 



NASHVILLE. 493 

the monarch of day wrapped the drapery of his couch 
about him, and lay down as if he were a god confessed. 
He flung his splendors on that unequalled landscape with 
royal munificence. He kissed the waters that lay em 
bosomed among the hills, till they all blushed. The bald 
peaks to the right and the left of us bared their storm- 
beaten brows and bathed in the sunlight. And higher 
up and farther away, the snow-capped monarchs of the 
Alps tossed back the sun s last rays from their icy sides 
in cold and proud disdain. But, more beautiful than all, 
the gem of that most wondrous picture was the bridge 
of golden sheen that stretched over hills and valleys and 
lakes and dells from the far distant horizon to our very 
feet. It seemed as if heaven s gates had been left open 
and glory had stolen through. It was cast up by the 
hand of God, a way of gold, on which angels might 
have trodden. 

"So I have stood beside the dying soldier, when it has 
seemed as if a bridge of golden sheen were let down 
from heaven, a highway for the ransomed of the Lord. 
And that way, cast up of God, has glowed with the steps 
of the angels, come to bear the soldier who had made 
his last charge and fought his last battle home. And 
up that shining path, with angel convoy, the spirit has 
gone, away from the clang of arms and the din of 
strife and the groans of the wounded, away, away, to 
the very gates of pearl, to the Peace like a river and the 
Rest of God. 

" Oh, there are the undying tokens and proof of the 
success of the Commission. The Nation may point to 
its States won back from treason ! the Army may point 
to its battle-flags wrung from the foe by vigor and valor 



CHRISTIAN COMMISSION INCIDENTS. 

and victory! Generals may point to their starred 
shoulders as proofs of undaunted heroism! Sanitary 
Agencies may roll up their peerless record of sublime 
beneficence ! But there, up there, are the souls that are 
marching on marching on! there are the trophies 
immortal that have been snatched from death ! there are 
the unfading stars that have been set in Christ s diadem 
through the agency of this Christian Commission." 




INDEX. 



N. B. The names of Delegates are printed in SMALL CAPITALS; the titles of Incidents within 
quotation marks. 



" ABE LINCOLN," 459. 

" Abraham Lincoln s heart," 89. 

Acquia Creek, 130-132, 154, 155. 

Adams, Joseph, 458-460. 

" Adverse influences," to the Gospel, 389. 

Advocate and Journal, New York, 16. 

Alabama regiments, 45. 

Albany, N.Y., comfort-bags sent by Sunday-school 

children of, 486, 487. 
Alexandria, 357 ; 388. 
Alice Loyal," 188, 189. 
" All right," 380. 
Almost up," 233, 234. 
ALONG THE COAST, chap, xviii. 
"Amen," the soldier s, 106. 
" American Bayard, an," 285. 
American Bible Society, 457. 
American Presbyterian, Philadelphia, 176. 
Anderson, James, 326-331. 
Andersonville, 399-404, 407-409. 
Andrews Latin Grammar, 234. 
Angel unawares, an," 276. 
Annals of U. S. Christian Commission, referred to, 

15 ; 229, 230, 237 ; 270, 272, 276, 286, 289 ; 427, 

429. 

Annapolis (and Parole Camp), 54-57; 403, 404-413. 
Answers to comfort-bag notes," 488. 
Antietam, 41-18; 150. 
" Arch of prayer, the," 436, 437. 
Armstrong, Chaplain C. S., 93. 
Army Committees, preliminary work by, 58. 
" Army prayer meeting, an," 140-142. 
Army Soldiers Associations 

1st Michigan Engineers, 97-99. 
llth Pennsylvania R. V. C., 204, 205. 
9th New Jersey, 332. 
" Artillery Reserve Bible-class," 197. 
Ash, Harrison, 182-184. 
Ashamed of Christ, 109. 
" Asleep," 115, 116. 
" At home with Jesus," 354. 
ATKINSON, REV. THOMAS, 93, 102-104: 224, 237- 

241 ; 273. 

Atlanta, the campaign against, 282-295. 
" At the front," 308-311. 
il At the front in the prayer meeting," 281. 
Ayres, M. P., 482. 



" BACKSLIDER, THE," 87. 

Backsliding, equivalent to desertion, 82; turned 
to confession, 87 : a wife s entreaty against, 
109, 110 : its cause, 132 : a child s prattle ter 
minates it, 404. 

BAILEY, REV. N. M., 303, 304 ; 336, 337. 

BAKER, ISAAC, 259. 

Baker, Lieut., 271. 

BALLANTYNE, WILLLIAM, 252. 

Baltimore, 47. 

Baltimore Committee, 47. 

Baptism, by Chaplain Chidlaw, 82 : in Stone River, 
99: in Chickamauga Creek, 278. 

" Barefoot Delegate, a," 36. 

BARROWS, REV. JOHN 0., 144, 145. 

BARROWS, REV. WILLIAM, 140-142. 

BARTLETT, REV. LYMAN, 347. 

" Battery silenced for a Sunday service, a," 426. 

Battle-field, its voices, 73 : a bird on the, 184. 

Battle-hymn of the Rejmblic Mrs. Julia Ward 
Howe s, sung in Libby prison, 396, 397. 

Baxter s Call to the Unconverted, 31 2; Saints Rest, 
384. 

BEACH, LEWIS, 263. 

Beattie, Brig-Gen., 220. 

BEATTY, REV. ARCHIBALD, 41, 42. 

" Beginning to pack up," 260. 

Belle Plain, 129, 130. 

Belmont, 60, 61. 

Bermuda Hundred, 297, 298, 315 ; 358. 

Bernard, Jules, 386. 

" Best crutches," 51. 

" Best kind of breastwork," 96, 97. 

" Best way to thank you," 37. 

" Better than gold," 380. 

Bible, Cromwell s Bible offered to President Lin 
coln and a hospital cook, 53, 54 : open at the 
23d Psalm, after death. 85 : learning the way 
of life from it, 135137; longed for on ac 
count of coming battles, 139: paying for 
reading it, 197: "A Bible-loving General," 
220; a German wants the whole, 221; a faith 
ful German Bible reader, 237, 238: it saves 
life, 263 : " The Bible and mother too," 295 : 
a dead Rebel s Bible used by a Union officer, 
347 ; " Little Clara s," and its influence, 348, 
349 : reading it in a tent, 353 ; its price above 
495 



496 



INDEX. 



rubies, 353; carried into battle, 362, 363: "I 
will read the Bible," 386; the result of a 
candid reading, 387 : manufacturing a Refer 
ence Bible, 420; "Uncle readin for hisself," 
451; "The children s memorial," 456, 457: 
" A letter for a Bible," 490, 491. See SCRIP 
TURES, TESTAMENT. 

Bible-class, in First Michigan Engineers, 97, 98 : 
at Artillery Reserve Station, No. 2, 197 : in 
5th corps, 352 : " A Bible-class scholar s work," 
469. 

BlCKERDYKE, MRS., 440. 

BIGELOW, GEORGE W., 337, 343, 344. 

Billings, Captain, 171, 172. 

" Bill of fare," how one brought a smile, 306. 

Birney Station, 357. 

Bishop, Captain, 292. 

BISSELL, Miss KATHARINE M., 455, 456, 458-460. 

Bixby, Mrs., 484, 485. 

Black Valley Jiuilroud Guide, 210. 

BLAKE, REV. D. UOYT, 325, 326. 

Blutchford, E. W., 474. 

" Blessed Book, the," 150. 

Blood of Jesus, the, 379. 

Bloomington, 111., 4S1. 

BOLTON, C. E., 304, 305 ; 362, 363. 

Boston, Sergeant W. II., 324. 

Boston Traveler, 473. 

BOURNS, DR. J. FRANCIS, 175, 176. 

BOWLER, REV. S. L., 344 ; 490. 

Bowman, Colonel, 153. 

" Boys, I give in," 384. 

Bragg, Frankie, 65-G7. 

Brandy Station, 193, 197, 198. 

Bread, soft, 51. 

BRIDGMAN, S. E., 115, 116; 259, 262, 263. 

"Brighter and brighter," 83. 

" Bright side where Jesus is, the," 119, 120. 

BRINGHUUST, REV. GEORGE, 24-27; 56, 57; 162; 
258, 259. 

Bristow Station, 202-205. 

British and Foreign Bible Society its Scripture 
portions, 443. 

" Broken rest," 300. 

Brouson, Capt. Isaac R., 151. 

Brooks, George, 465, 466. 

Brothers, dying together, 31 : a child brother s 
prayers recalled, 100: the living and the 
dead, 180, 181 : the living and the dying, 
193-195: "The brother s book," 272. 273; 
Capt. Bishop s letter to his brother, 292: 
The brothers Bible," 362 ; " A brother s rest 
with his dead," 426, 427. 

" Brought to Christ by a storm," 341, 342. 

Brown, Chaplain, 39, 40. 

BROWN, REV. R., 112; 449, 450, 460, 461. 

BROWN, REV. SEWALL, 384, 385. 

Brown, Tom. 334, 335. 

Brownsville, Texas, 474-476. 



Bruce, Michael, 329-331. 

BUCHANAN, REV. W. HOWELL, 354, 355. 

BULLARD, REV. ASA, 346. 

Bull Run ; the first battle, 14, seq. : the second, 

35, SK q. 

" Burial just before the charge, the," 429, 430. 
" Buried in his blanket," 285. 
Burke, Captain, 289. 

BURNELL, K. A., 74-76; 107, 110, 111; 229; 443. 
" Burns, Old John," 165. 

CAIRO, 60, 61 ; 452-455. 

CALHOUN, JOHNSTON, 196. 

Camp Convalescent (Distribution) 146-148 ; 207- 
211, 212-214; 372-376. 

Camp Douglas, 67-70. 

Camp Remount, 384, 385. 

Camp Stoneman, 211, 212. 

Camp William Penn, 473. 

" Can t keep track of Sunday," 379. 

" Can t stand without the little ones, " 350. 

"Can t you trust Jesus?" 226. 

"Captain Billings in his place," 171, 172. 

" Captain s epitaph, the," 85. 

"Captain Weston s handkerchief," 478, 479. 

Card-playing, in Camp Douglas, 69, 70: put an 
end to, 94 ; interrupted, 110-112 : on Sun 
day, 379. 

" Cards and Testaments," 138. 

Care, our safety in God s, 96, 97. 

Carleton, see C. C. COFFIN. 

CARNACHAN, REV. J. GORDON, 300, 301. 

" Carrying the war into Africa," 110, 111. 

CARTER, WALTER S., 298-300. 

Cavalry Depot, Army of Potomac, 337-344. 

Cave City, Ky., 437. 

Cedar Mountain, 35, 36. 

Central New York Branch, 485. 

CHAMBERLAIN, A. E., 78-80, 86, 87 ; 414, 415, 422, 
423, 436, 437 ; 441-443, 450, 451. 

CHAMHKRLAIN, JOHN C., 161, 162. 

Chancellorsville, 149, seq. 

" Changed life, the," 100, 101. 

Chapels, supplied to Army of Potomac during the 
Winter of 1863-64, 196 ; built and furnished 
by soldiers, 197 : chapel building at Cavalry 
Dep6t, 339, 340 ; in Army of Potomac, Win 
ter of 1864-65, 344-347, 353-357 ; " A chapel s 
influence," 354; "The gate of heaven," 354, 
355; "Coming to chapel alone," 371 : in the 
Shenandoah Valley, 384. 

Chapin, Charley B., 400-404. 

Chaplains, work cordially with Delegates, 93 ; 277 : 
449: heroism of Chaplain Eastman, 164: 
petitioning for one, 205, 206: coming for 
Testaments, 352: " Chaplains" in Anderson- 
villo, 408. 

" Charity," 373. 

Charleston, 469, 470. 



INDEX. 



497 



CHARPIOT, REV. L. E., 299. 

CHASE, GEORGE S., 302. 

Chattanooga, 224-231, 237, 238 ; 269-272, 276 ; 399. 

Cheat Mountain, 16. 

" Cheerfulness," 304, 305. 

Cheltenham, Pa., 472. 

Chicago, 480-482. 

Chicago Army Committee, 58, 60, 62, 67-70, 71, 
84; 123; 478. 

Chickamauga, 73 ; 221, 224, seq. 

CHIDLAW, REV. B. W., 77, 81, 82 ; 222, 223 ; 436 ; 442. 

Children, " Little Lizzie s letter," 91-93 ; waiting 
until Pa comes home, 110 : " The Humis- 
ton children, 175, 176: "German children 
preaching in America," 203 : " Beginning to 
pack up," 260 : " Who ll be my Pa ?" 325 ; a 
child s message leads to her father s conver 
sion, 345 ; " Can t stand without the little 
ones, " 350 : " Will he talk to God as he used 
to ?" 404 : " The children s orange," 434 : " The 
children s memorial," 456, 457: "Washed 
white in the blood of the Lamb," 468 : a 
father s letter to Hattie, 485, 486 : " Comfort- 
hags" from Sunday-school children in Al 
bany, 486, 487 : letters from Teny, John W. 
Cummings, and Minnie Olive C., 489 ; E. II. 
Uniac s letter to Katie Walker and Charlie 
Huntingdon, 490, 491 ; Jennie D. s lump- 
sugar, 491, 492; Jennie Lee s capital " S" 
for soldiers, 492. 

" Child s prayer, the," 211, 212. 

" Child soldier s faith, the," 227. 

" Choosing a prayer meeting," 382. 

CHRIST, His presence gives happiness amidst pains, 
39, 40, 45 ; 83 ; 259 : " The source of courage," 
48 ; not ashamed of, 55, 56 : no cloud between 
Him and the soul, 60, 61; without Christ, 
62, 63; a verse leads to Him, 64; lifted up to 
draw men unto Him, 71, 72; He receives a 
backslider, 87 : deciding to follow Him, 94, 
118; Christ saves not our works, 102, 103; 
His love best in the battle, 107 ; a counter 
sign, 107; ashamed of Him, 109; "The De 
liverer," 127, 128; "I haven t got to Him 
yet," 137 ; found, 148 ; the sweetness of His 
Name, 150; near in the battle, 154, 155: 
preached in spite of infirmities, 164; "Christ s 
drink and mine," 170 ; precious, 187 : the 
Good Shepherd and Friend, 193-195; His 
goodness, 198 ; hiding behind Him, 212, 213 ; 
enlisting for Him, 213 : the covenant to hold 
to Him, 219 ; " Not here," 219 ; trusting Him 
now, 226 ; the pardoning blood, 228 ; received 
and rejected, 239-241: "Near by," 248, 257; 
321: the precious Name, 257, 258; found 
through a brother s death, 226 : " Christ 
wanted, not the prayer meeting," 270 ; com 
rades in Christ, 271 ; how His work might be 
done on the battle-field, 283; faith in Him 

32 



in battle, 284 ; giving directions how to find 
Him, 288 ; " Christ, all I want," 288, 289 ; com 
plete iu Him, 293: clinging to His cross, 318, 
319 : " Reporting" to Christ, and under or 
ders, 333-335 ; brought to Him by a storm 
341,342; "Trying" to find Him, 348, 349; 
Christ, the comfort in death, 349: "At home 
with Jesus," 354; forgotten and recalled, 
375,376; "The precious Christ," 379 ; found 
to be more than human, 387, 388; remem 
bered when home is forgotten, 405, 406 : " He 
died to save sinners, therefore He died for 
me," 418 ; Christ slays enmity, 422 ; " The 
invincible love," 428, 429 ; " The substitute, * 
447; giving up all for Him, 448, 449; "The 
healer of pains," 454, 455; "I cannot give 
You up," 457, 458; "Rejected for the last 
time," 462, 463 : the faithful presence, 466 ; 
" The kingdom that will come," 470. 

Christian, choosing not to be a, 87 : vs. forty- 
pounders and sickness, 96, 97 ; manliness and 
constancy, 120-122 : how long it takes to be 
come one, 129, 130 ; how a soldier learned to 
be a Christian before enlisting, 135-138 ; " The 
whistling Christian," 137 ; becoming one on 
account of the prayers at home, 139 ; influ 
ence of a Christian s courage, 145, 146 ; kind 
ness leads to become a Christian, 155, 156 : 
" The Christian victory," 171-174 ; becoming 
a Christian and a patriot together, 185-189 ; 
a soldier s address on beginning the new life, 
200; power of a Captain s Christian life, 202; 
Christian living in the army, 209 : telling the 
truth about wanting to be a Christian, 230, 
231 : the soldier s admiration for the Chris 
tian life, 247 ; a Christian General s death, 
247, 248; easy to be one, 262: refusing to 
use a furlough until becoming a Christian, 
272 ; Christians as soldiers, 281 : Christian 
patriotism, 316: power of a Christian life, 
323 ; the Christian s " orders," 334, 335 ; the 
word " Christian" on a sign, 343, 344 ; how to 
become a Christian, 346 : a Christian colored 
soldier s opinions, 364-367 : earnest desire to 
become one, 379, 380 ; dying a Christian, but 
not a Christian worker, 394 : " A Christian 
hero," 420, 421 ; wanting to be a Christian, 
434, 435; "Tell father to become a Chris 
tian," 435, 436: comparative mortality of 
Christians and others, 452 ; letting the light 
shine, 453 ; " The Sergeant s determination," 
455, 456. 

Christian Banner, 370. 

Christianity, patronized not realized, 132, 133: 
living, 384: vs. skepticism, 406. 

" Chronic, the," 96. 

Church, " In the woods," 98, 99 ; " Unity of the 
church," 168, 169. 

Cincinnati, 78-80,86, 87; 414, 415, 422, 423 ; 441, 442. 



498 



INDEX. 



City Point, 297, 298, 300, 301, 305 306, 317 ; 324- 
326, 331, 332, 333-335, 345, 346, 349 ; 351, 353, 
358-360, 361, 363, 371. 

CLAPP, HERBERT C., 361. 

CLARK, REV. J. M., 404, 405. 408-410, 412, 413. 

CLARK, REV. P. K., 348, 349. 

" Cleveland Jesus," 279, 280. 

Cleveland, Tenn., 279-281. 

" Coals of fire on the head." 158. 

COAST WORK, chapter xviii. 

Coffee, a cup for Gen. A. J. Smith, 430. 

Coffin, C. C., 61, 65-67 ; 248-251 ; 308-311, 317-319 ; 
379, 380. 

COIT, REV. MR., 191, 192. 

" Cold shoe, the," 51. 

COLE, JOHN A., 138 ; 253. 

Colored troops, Army of Potomac, work for, 357, 
358; their characteristics, 358, seq. ; "Ques 
tioning General Grant," 358-360 ; Why the 
war came," 360; their eagerness to learn, 
360-362; attachment to the Bible, 362, 363; 
faith, 363, 364 ; "A colored sergeant s opin 
ions," 364-367 ; patriotism, 364-368 ; " Enlist 
ing to suffer," 369, 370 ; love for the brethren, 
373: "Devotion," 425; "Uncle readin for 
hisself," 451: "Dying that others might 
live," 466, 467; "The kingdom that will 
come," 470; "Wanting to go," 475: regi 
ments, 450, 477 : 31st U. S. C. T., 362 ; 473. 

" Come, Thou fount of every blessing," 251. 

Come to Jesus, 79 ; 155 ; 473. 

Comfort, from a son s death in Christ, 166, 167 : 
"In the dark valley," 349: for a soldier, 
492. 

Comfort-bags, 154, 178 ; 219, 220 ; 486-489. 

"Coming to chapel, alone," 371. 

" Coming to Jesus," 79. 

" Coming to the waters," 216. 

Commandments, keeping the, 135, 136. 

Communion, better than going alone, 98: Chris 
tian communion, 145 : longing for it, 200; at 
Vermont Station, 201 ; in the llth P. R. V. C., 
204, 205 : at Ringgold, 278 : with Christ, 321. 

" Compensation," 256 ; 393. 

" Complete in Christ Jesus," 293. 

"Concerning hard cases," 446. 

"Confederate prisoners and wounded, treatment 
of, 43-45: 157,158; 232; 3-84: feeling toward 
Rebel sympathizers, 46, 47 : altered feeling 
after Gettysburg, 176, seq. ; difference be 
tween officers and privates, 182: touched 
with kindness at Resaca, 283: after Fort 
Harrison, 300. 

" Confessing with the mouth," 331. 

" Confession, the," 209. 

Confidence of soldiers in Delegates, 343: " Confi 
dence and thrift," 480, 481. 

"Conflict and a victory, a," 127, 128. 

Conyregationalist, Boston, 116 ; 283 ; 308 ; 379. 



Connecticut regiments. 155 ; 1st Cavalry, 139 ; 
14th Infantry, 151. 

" Conquerors through Him," 205. 

"Consecration in battle," 471. 

Contributions to the Commission, by a sailor, 
454, 455 : by Capt. Weston, 477, 478 ; by a 
wife, and a widow, 478 ; by " Mr. Maloney," 
479 ; an Irishman s will, 480, 481 ; largest 
single contribution (Jacob Strawn s), 482, 
483 ; by Mrs. Ellet, 484. 

Conundrum, a, 349, 350. 

Conversion, a hymn-book loads to, 59; "Little 
Piety s" testimony conquers a Captain s op 
position, 59, 60 ; one verse, 64 : " Little Liz 
zie s letter," 91-93; conversion changes a 
life, 100, 101: personal decision, 129, 130: a 
contraband s account of conversion, 183, 184 : 
in a prayer meeting, 198-200 ; cases at Camp 
Convalescent, 207,208; as a little child, 211, 
212, 213: how it transforms life, 262, 263: a 
comrade s death leads to conversion, 276: fol 
lowed by Christian work, 331, 332; "Old 
things become new," 332, 333 ; a conversion 
and consecration, 346, 347 : a chapel s influ 
ence, 354; a Christian s life leads to it, 354: 
a sutler converted, 400 ; at Andersonville, 
407 ; a sailor s account of conversion, 411 : 
the meaning of the word, 458, 459. 

"Converted sutler, the," 400. 

Conviction, a Sergeant s, 69 ; 199, 200 : not excite 
ment, 230, 231 : through reading Baxter s 
Call, 372, 373 ; " Curious, angry, convicted," 
392, 393. 

" Convinced," 230, 231. 

COOLIDGE, REV. AMOS H., 195, 196. 

Cord, Thomas A., 399. 

COREY, REV. CHARLES II., 31 ; 36, 37. 

"Costly sacrifice, the," 484, 485. 

"Countersign, the," 107. 

" Country above, the," 214. 

Courage, Christ its source, 48 : Frankie Bragg s, 
65 ; in death, 76, 77 ; 416 : of an armless sol 
dier, 86 : springing from Christ s love. 107 ; 
power of moral courage, 111; on a forlorn 
hope, 117; "Get the ship by, boys," 124: 
finding courage to enlist, 134-137 ; a Chris 
tian s courage, 145, 146 ; " Four inches longer 
than yours, Johnny," 304, 305 ; " Not much 
in the Rebel s debt," 314, 315 ; a Corporal 
promoted to die, 316 : courage in duty con 
quers opposition, 331 ; prayer gives courage, 
336, 337 : " A sailor hero," 473, 474. 

Cowan Station, Tenn., 220. 

CRAWFORD, T. 0., 125-128. 

Crittenden, General, and Sabbath-keeping, 84. 

Cromwell s Bible, 53, 54. 

Crozier, Chaplain, 86. 

"Crutch battalion, a," 404, 405. 

Crutches, odd, 419. 



INDEX. 



499 



" Crying out after God," 373, 374. 

" Crying out of pain for a Saviour, 454, 455. 

Culpepper, 200, 201 ; 244. 

Ciinimings House Station, 346, 347. 

Cummings, John W., his comfort- bag letter, 489. 

Cumrnings, Lieut., 124. 

" Cup of coffee for General Smith, a," 430. 

" Curious, angry, convicted," S92, 393. 

GUSHING, REV. CHRISTOPHER, 50-53. 

GUSHING, REV. S. A., 220. 

Cutler, Henry, 433, 434. 

CUTLER, REV. CHARLES, 324, 325. 

DAILY FOOD, 454. 

DISCOMB, REV. A. B., 100, 101. 

Dvvis, REV. J. B., 196. 

Daylight, gunboat, 469. 

Days and nights on the battle-field, 65. 

" Dead," 210. 

Death, cloudless, 60,61 ; bringing nearer to God, 
62 : not ready for it, 62, 63 ; 133, 134 ; 462, 463 : 
love makes it easy, 66, 67 ; " God have mercy," 
67 ; " With face upwards," 71 ; the soldier s 
reverence for a Christian death, 75, 76; a 
coming to Jesus, 79, 80; happiness in death, 
83 ; its brightness, 83 ; its peace, 85 : readi 
ness for it, 93, 94; 125, 126; 289: death and 
sleep, 115, 116; bringing home, 118: "Swal 
lowed up in victory," 151: peaceful death 
answers prayer, 169, 170 : with only two 
mourners, 192 : hopeless, 219 ; a " transfer," 
not a " discharge," 223, 224 ; Christ dearest 
in death, 240, 241 : " A short cut to glory," 
247 ; it comes only when work is done, 252, 
253 : " Dead, but marching on," 255 : the 
comrades death together, 271 ; the Angel by 
the bed, 276 ; " Discharged to-night," 280 : a 
text for preaching death and eternity, 313, 
314 ; a Christian Indian s death, 317 ; Ed 
ward M. Schneider, 318, 319: removes above, 
324 ; like the life, 324, 325 ; its gloom and 
hope, 329-331 ; prepared and not prepared, 
345, 346 ; Christ precious in death, 349 : death 
of REV. J. P. FISHKR, 376; near tlie prayer 
meeting, 392: death in life at Annapolis 
wharf, 412, 413 : Christ s love prepares for it, 
416 ; " A brother s rest with his dead," 426, 
427 ; a sleeping soldier s death and burial, 
429, 430: Henry Cutler, 433, 434: getting 
ready to live vs. getting ready to die, 446 ; 
between the heavenly arid earthly homes, 
457, 458. 

" Decide now," 458-460. 

" Decision, the," 94 ; 129, 130 ; 200 ; 279, 295 ; 437 : 
456, 459. 

Delegates, arrival of the first at Old Point Com 
fort, 18-20 ; called " Chaplains," 21 ; their 
pay, 24 ; 225 : REV. GEORGE BRINGHURST, the 
first, 24; doing nurse s work, 29, 30; divi 



sion of labor at White House Landing, 32, 
33: "Barefoot," 36; outfit, 36; exposed to 
fire ; 41, 42 ; save life, 42, 43 ; 160, 161 ; 246 : 
washing shirts, 45, 46 ; acting for crutches, 
51 : first Delegates to the West from the 
Central Office, 58, 84, 85 : assisted by officers, 
106: open-heartedness of the men toward 
them, 144; how soldiers were touched by 
their kindness, 154-156 ; anticipating the 
wounded, 157 : value of their slightest, ser 
vices, 161, 162 ; their most precious reward, 
166; their hardest task, 171, 172; one be 
comes a stretcher, 173 : means of communi 
cating news otherwise never known, 217 ; 
relief work at Chattanooga, 224-226 ; estab 
lish a hospital on Mission Ridge, 232 ; confi 
dence reposed in them, 232 ; building a fire 
on Mission Ridge, 235, 236 ; night work on 
the Ridge, 236 : getting straw at Fredericks- 
burg, 249 ; an evening prayer meeting, 250, 
251 ; a Surgeon-Delegate s work, 251, 252 ; a 
son s death heard of, 259, 260 ; hardships on 
a march, 264, 265 : an Agent s troubles on a 
Sunday in Kingston, 286, 287 : writing let 
ters for soldiers, 298 ; " Broken rest," 300 ; 
gets a hundred dollars for mother, 301 ; long 
march in the ranks, 302, 303; "Carleton" 
acts as a Delegate, 309-311 : in place of a 
father, 335, 336 : a Delegate s last hours, 376 ; 
experience-meeting in Washington, 379, 380 ; 
a busy afternoon at Provisional Camp, 388, 
389 : " Finding home," 422 ; a Delegate s in 
terview with General A. J. Smith, 430: "A 
Delegate s shirts for bandages," 437, 438: 
work of last Commission Delegates in Texas, 
474_476 ; an Irishman s confidence in them, 
480, 481 ; " I owe my life to them," 483. 

" Deliverance," 413. 

DEMOND, CHARLES, 29, 30 ; 45, 46; 73, 74 ; 161, 162, 
177 ; 477, 478. 

" Depth of the revival, the," 277. 

Derry, N. H., 478. 

" Descriptive lists," 21, 22. 

" Deserter mustered in, a," 82. 

" Deserting from Satan s army," 108. 

Detectives, General Baker s corps and a Delegate, 
266-268. 

Detroit Advertiser and Tribune, 180 ; 314. 

" Devils and Angels," 177. 

Devotion to the flag, 76, 77 ; to officers, 425. 

" Dew-drops for rations," 65. 

Diary, extracts from one kept in Amlersonvillo, 
401,402. 

" Died for me," 242. 

Diligence, Satan s past service a reason for the 
future service of God, 100, 101. 

" Disappointment," 325, 326. 

"Discharge, the," 108. 

Discipline, 310. 



500 



INDEX. 



" Distributing reading," 312. 

"Divinity doctor washing shirts, a," 45, 46. 

" Doctor, your name," 28. 

" Doctrine of perfection, the," 208. 

Doherty, Jesse, 239. 

" Doing nurses work," 29, 30. 

Doubleday, William 0., 169. 

Doubt, its influence, 132: conquered by "the 

Bible and mother, too," 295. 
" Doubting, I stopped praying," 132. 
Downey, Mr. and Mrs. Edward, 474. 
Doxology. in Libby, 396. 
Draft, escaping the, 447. 
Drake, C. F., 370. 
" Drill," 31. 

Drilling for Jesus," 381, 382. 
Drinking visages in the army, 121. 
" Drummer-boy s prayer," 13, 14. 
DUFFIELD, KEY. GEORGE, Jr., 179-184; 314, 315. 
Dupont, Admiral, 469. 
Durgan, Rev. John M., 149. 
DURYEA, REV. JOSEPH T., 164. 
DUTCHER, JOHN A., 425. 
DUTTON, ALBERT, I., 95. 
Dwight, Rev. Dr., 467. 

"Dying beneath the stars and stripes," 123. 
" Dying close to the prayer meeting," 392. 
" Dying Indian chief, the," 317. 
"Dying pillow, the," 47. 
"Dying that others might live," 466, 467. 
" Dying that the land might be righteous," 322. 
" Dying with face upwards," 71. 
" Dying without the sight," 233, 234. 

" EAGER FOR GOD S WORD," 143, 144, 

EARLE, J. H., 385, 386. 

EASTERN ARMIES, chapters i., ii., v., vi., vii., ix., 
xi., xii.. xiii.. xiv. Short summaries of army 
movements, 14, 16, 17, 18, 27, 29, 34; 35, 36, 
40,41,48,49; 125,148,149; 156,159,160; 190, 
192, 193; 243, 244, 248, 263, 264; 296, 297; 
370, 371 ; 376, 377, 382, 383, 388. 

Eastman, Chaplain, 164. 

EATON, REV. W. II., 149, 150, 153, 154. 

" Eclipse disaster, the," 454, 455. 

Edgerton, Colonel A. J., 452. 

Edwards, General, 370. 

Elegy, by Michael Bruce, 329, 331. 

Elizabeth, Ky., 23. 

Ellet, Mrs., 484. 

Enemies, relieving their thirst, 37, sacrifice on 
their behalf, 42, 43. 

Enfans Perdus, 25, 33. 

" Enlisted to suffer," 369, 370. 

"Enlisting for Christ," 213. 

Enlistment, preparing for, 134-137. 

ENSIGN, REV. F. G., 118 ; 443-445. 

" Entering into life maimed," 337. 

" Entire company for Jesus, an," 202. 



Essex, gunboat, 61. 

EVA, REV. WILLIAM T., 172, 173. 

Evening meetings at Vicksburg," 449, 450. 

Evening scenes in Fredericksburg," 250, 251. 
"Even so must He be lifted up," 71, 72. 
Everybody feels so," 380. 
Examiner, New York, 193. 
Experience, related by proxy, 131. 
Express business, done by the Commission in 

Army of the Potomac, 306, 307. 
" Extemporized flying hospital, an," 431, 432. 

FAITH, in Christ lifted up to draw men unto Him, 
71, 72; the prayer of faith, 79, 80 : amid dif 
ficulties, 95, 96; articles of faith in an army 
Christian Association, 98 ; in the Atonement, 
102, 103 ; it conquers the Adversary, 110-112 ; 
preached to others, returning to comfort one s 
self, 119, 120 ; a colored woman s faith, 119, 
120: in battle, 154,155: its justification, 163 : 
saves from death, 227 : faith in recovery, 252, 
253 : in Grant and in Christ, 284 : it prepares 
for sacrifice, 322 ; how Tom Brown was taught 
it, 334, 335 ; faith, not " trying," 348, 349 : 
" Giving up when the Lord does," 363, 364 : 
in Providence, 366 : faith in Christian plans 
and work, 422, 423 : " Washed white in the 
blood of the Lamb," 468 ; a colored soldier s 
faith, 470. 

Fairfax C. IT., 142, 143, 144, 156-158. 

Fairfax Station, 36, 37 ; 143, 144, 156. 

" Falling in for the front," 356. 

Palmer, Sergeant, 122, 123. 

Falmouth, 144, 145, 155, 156. 

" Farewell on the battle-field," 167, 168. 

" Father s last look, a," 175, 176. 

" Father, meet me in heaven," 294. 

" Father s rest, the," 257, 258. 

" Father to Lottie," 485, 486. 

FERRIS, EDWIN, 360, 361. 

Fever and ague, exorcising, 222, 223. 

" Finding home," 422. 

" First prayer, the," 281. 

" First-rate," 377, 378. 

FISHER, MRS. J. P., 375, 376. 

FISHER, REV. J. P., 374-376. 

FISK, GENERAL CLINTON B., 88-90 ; 105, 106, 113, 
114; 439. 

Flag, how one was made in Libby, 397. 

Flowers, their use by a lady Delegate, 455, 456. 

Foote, Commodore A. II., a Christian, 61 ; his 
" Order, No. 6," 62. 

Ford, Mrs. E. I., 415, 416. 

Ford, Surgeon, 433, 434. 

Forgiveness, fits for heaven, 130, 131 ; "Of sins," 
136, 137 : for a backslider, 193-195 : through 
a Testament s teachings, 218 : for sufferings 
at Andersonville, 409, 410 : not expected, 
but wanted, 417. 



IXDEX. 



501 



"Forgotten Saviour recalled, the," 375, 376. 

Fort Albany, 17. 

Fcrt Baker, 485, 486. 

Fort Donelson, 62-64. 

Fort Harrison, 298-300. 

Fort Henry. 61, 77. 

Fortitude, 51; 115, 116; 137, 138, 149; 163, 164, 
170,174; 225; 256; 377,378. 

Fort Leavenworth, 460, 461, 464. 

Fortress Monroe, 18-20, 25. 

Fort Stevens, 377, 378. 

Fort Wagner, 470, 471. 

" Forward Double-quick-March," 393, 394. 

" Fourth in Libby^the," 397. 

Fox, Chaplain Norman, 193. 

Frederick, Md., 190. 

Fredericksburg, 49, seq.; 248-263. 

Free, Isaac, 208-210. 

Freedom, its value, 366, 367. 

" Freeman indeed, a," 182-184. 

Freeman, Thomas and William, 362. 

French, Captain, J. S., 454. 

Fribley, Colonel, 473, 474. 

" Fruit after many days," 74, 75. 

FULLER, REV. A., 368-370. 

Fuller, Sergeant, 455, 456. 

Fulton Street prayer meeting, New York, inci 
dents related in, 13, 14 ; 49. 

GAINES MILLS, 31. 

Galesburg, 111., 481. 

Gulveston, Texas, 473, 474. 

GANSE, REV. HERVEY D., 128. 

Garnett, Harlem T., 263. 

GARY, Miss LIZZIE S., 474, 475. 

"Gate of heaven, the," 354, 355. 

" General Fisk s Tactics," 113-115. 

General Grant s railroad. 350. 

George, Mrs., 291. 

" George s Furlough," 326. 

German Bible reader, a," 237, 238. 

" German children preaching in America," 203. 

" German s joy, a," 203. 

Gerrigan, John, 332. 

Get the ship by, boys," 124. 

" Getting ahead of the wounded," 157. 

" Getting ready to live," 446, 447. 

Getting straw for the wounded," 249. 

"Getting to the front," in the trenches, 311, 

312. 

GETTYSBURG, 137 ; chapter vi. 
GILBERT, REV. W. H., 353. 
Gillespie, John, 393, 394. 
" Give me a prayer," 410. 
Given life, a," 174. 

" Giving up when the Lord does," 363, 364. 
"Gladdened home, a," 262, 263. 
GLADWIN, REV. W. J., 464. 
" God bless you," the Delegates pay, 24 ; 275 ; 384. 



! " God bliss the likes of yees," 305. 

"God, country, mother," 74. 

" God have mercy," 14 ; 67. 

God s Way of Peace, Bonar, 459. 

" God s word a defence," 263. 

"Going down to get up," 17. 

" Going into battle," 345, 346. 

"Going through it again," 255. 

" Going to the front," 439. 

"Going up among the stars," 256. 

" Good-bye, old arm," 86. 

" Good cause to be wounded in, a," 284. 

"Goodness of Jesus, the," 198. 

GOODWIN, REV. E. P., 23; 76-78; 388-394. 

Gospel, vs. hospital comforts, 51 ; quells a disturb 
ance, 56, 57 : rejected, 62, 63 ; gospel-rations, 
65 ; making it plain, 67-69 : not returning 
void, 101, 111, 112; preached in face of dis 
couragements, 110-112 : " The gospel of bread 
and coffee," 158; makes freemen, 182-184: 
in season and out of season, 193-195 : reject 
ing and receiving it, 239-241: preached be 
fore Grant s advance, 244, 245: its battle 
with Satan at Cavalry Depot, 337-344 ; fled 
from at home, met in the army, 342, 343: 
"Better than gold," 380; for body and soul, 
384 : " In Andersonville," 408, 409 : the op 
portunity for preaching it past, 461, 462. 

Grace, a triumph of, 100, 101 : God s grace and 
" Old Brindle," 134-138 : its victory, 172, 173; 
known and declared, 183, 184: its power in 
converting a sutler, 400. 

" Grand review, the," 388. 

GRANT, JAMES, 37, 42-44. 

Grant, Lieut. Gen., and the contraband, 358-360. 

Grassie, Rev. Thomas, 160. 

Graves, nameless, 77, 78. 

" Greater includes the less, the," 53, 54. 

Greedy, George, 32. 

Greene, Dr., 28. 

Griffeth, Captain, 167. 

Griffith, A. L., 416-418. 

"Guiding into the kingdom," 192. 

Gwyn, General, 355. 

" HAD TO BE DONE RIGHT OFF," 88, 89. 

HALL, Rev. GEORGE A., 356, 357. 

" Halt and armless," 224. 

Ham, Amos L., 345. 

" Hand at the window, the," 230, 231. 

Hanover C. H., 37. 

Hans, David, 115, 116. 

" Happiest man yon ever saw, the," 40. 

" Happy as a prince," 45. 

" Happy day, 172, 173. 

" Happy in Jesus," 83. 

" Hard cases, concerning," 446. 

HARJ>FNG, REV. J. W., 358. 

" Hard on sinners," 213. 



502 



INDEX. 



Hardships, after Fort Doiielson, 63 : in the South 
ern prisons, chapter xv., passim. 

"Hard wading through mother s prayers," 283, 
284. 

Harker, Brig. Gen., 287. 

HARRIS, CHARLES, 411, 412 ; 431, 434, 435. 

HARRIS, MRS. E. N., 15. 10, 30; 42; 179-184. 

Harvey, Governor, of Wisconsin, 74, 75. 

Haskett, Captain B. F., 85. 

Hastings, Clara, 348, 349. 

Hatcher s Run, 304, 305 ; 345 ; 351, 352. 

Hattie s letter, in a comfort-bag, 4S7. 

HAWES, REV. EDWARD, 210, 212-214. 

Hays, John, 102, 103. 

Head devil," vs. " Head angel," 52. 

11 Healing the sick," 386. 

Heath, Lieut. Col., William S., 30. 

Heaven, Bernard s hymn, 26; a country of 
growth and toil, 31: looking towards, 42; 
214; 226: no home in heaven, 62,63; point 
ing towards, 71; from the battle-field, 73: 
praying to meet a child in heaven, 130, 131 ; 
the glory beyond, 151 : a home and a Father 
there. 174 : heaven and perfection, 208, 209 : 
rest, 258: the true home, 240, 241; 414, 415: 
longed for, 271, 272: about forgetting in 
heaven, 394: "Going to the front," 439: 
The heavenly and the earthly homes," 457, 
458: "Are there any black children in hea 
ven ?" 468 : " Wanting to go," 475. 

"Heaven down my throat," 146, 147. 

" Heavenly treasures, the," 482, 483. 

Hefele, Jonas, 304. 

11 He giveth His beloved sleep," 304. 

" He is not here," 219. 

Helena. Ark., 88, 89, 105, 106, 108-110. 

Hell, in one s own heart, 209. 

" Helpless and hungry," 254. 

HENRIES, CHAPLAIN II. C., 54-56. 

Henry Station chapel, 345. 

HERBERT, REV. C. 1)., 367, 368. 

" Here and now," 277. 

"Heroes, Chancellorsville," 149. 

" Heroic mother, a," 484. 

HEYDRICK, E. M., 253, 254, 261, 262, 263. 

"Hidden prayer meeting, the," 112, 113. 

" Hidden with Christ in God," 258, 259. 

"Hiding behind Christ," 212, 213. 

High bounties, a discussion concerning, 364, 365. 

Hilton Head, S. C., 469, 470. 

" Hitting and hurting," 97. 

" Holding on to Christ," 219. 

HOT.MES, REV. JOHN M., 284. 

HOLY SPIRIT, striving with a soldier, 55, 56; 205, 
206; 417,418: His victory over Satan, 340- 
344: "Working as It wills," 389-391. 

Home, "Mother and Annie," 15: "Sergeant s 
last halt," 37-39: a mother s counsels re 
hearsed, 59, 60; "Love makes death easy," 



66, 67; home recalled by the prayer meet 
ings, 100, 101 ; recalled for the benefit of gam 
blers, 111, 112: home prayers, 139 ; turning 
back towards home, 153, 154; 1G6, 167; a 
Rebel s letter about the loss of home, 178; 
an East Tennessoean s dreams of home, 185- 
189 : " Prayer at seven," 202 ; " Reflex work," 
204 : home in Pleasant Valley and in heaven, 
240: a soldier s letter leads to conversions at 
home, 262, 263; recalled, by a rebuke to pro 
fanity, 267, 268 : the soldiers thoughts ever 
turning homewards, 294, 295 : a Scotchman s 
reminiscences of his youth, 328, seq. : power 
of evil early training, 373, 374 : " I have gone 
home," 414, 415 ; the yearning to go home, 
416 : " The heavenly and the earthly homes," 
457, 458. 

HOME SIDE, the, chapter xix. 

" Honor that dishonors," 324, 325. 

Hood, General J. B., a negro s speculations con 
cerning, 424, 425. 

Hopkins, Surgeon, 115, 116. 

Hospital, at Mission Ridge, 235, 236 : a field hos 
pital after Fort Harrison, 299 ; at the front 
before Petersburg, 308-311: extemporized 
flying hospitals at the battle of Nashville, 
427, 431, 432. 

" Hospital relieved, a," 161, 162. 

HOUGH, REV. J. W., 372, 373; 400-404. 

Housewife, used at a grave, 285 : stories of house 
wives and comfort-bags, 486-489. 

HOVEY, REV. HORACE, C., 257, 258, 264, 265. 

" How a great work began," 203. 

Howard, General 0. 0., 167, 168 ; 279, 287, 288. 

" How a sailor came to Christ," 411. 

Howe, Mrs. Julia Ward, her Battle Hymn of the 
Republic, 396, 397. 

" How potatoes were sent to Texas," 440. 

" How Sheridan s men were fed," 383. 

" How the prisoners came into Annapolis," 412, 
413. 

" How to become a Christian, " 346. 

" How to come home safe," 345. 

" How to fight best," 107. 

" How we got crout for Nashville," 423. 

"How we heard of Gettysburg in Libby," 395- 
397. 

Humiston, Amos, 175, 176. 

"Humiston children, the," 175, 176. 

"Hundred dollars for mother, a," 301. 

" Hungry for primers," 361, 362. 

Huntingdon, Charlie. 490, 491. 

Hymns, their influence, 25: snug on Antietam 
battle-field, 42; how they quieted Govern 
ment workmen, 52, and quelled a riot, 56. 
57: "Leading to Christ," 59; "Nearer to 
Thee," 62; on Shiloh battle-field, 73: mak 
ing melody in the heart, 121 ; in an army 
prayer meeting, 140-142 ; sung by wounded 



INDEX. 



503 



men, 150 ; sung in the last hour, 151 ; 258 : 
soldiers hymns on occasion of the forma 
tion of a "Christian Union," 204, 205 : "The 
lost hymn line," 228: "The last earthly 
hymn," 438, 439. 

I AM DEAD," 412. 

I am praying for you," 144, 145. 

I am to be shot for defending my country." 123. 

I cannot read, sir," 226. 

I can pray that," 262. 

1 o;norance, the Gospel for," 67-69. 

I have gone home," 414, 415. 

I haven t done anything," 443. 

I joined because so young and strong," 65. 

I like your name," 332. 

Illinois Regiments. 230, 242 ; 407 ; 420 ; 433 : llth, 
76: 18th, 122: 33d, 58; 116: 83d, 82, 83: 
104th, 392: 113th, 456: 176th, 446: 17th 
Cavalry, 460, 461. 

In chnrch in spite of himself," 342, 343. 

Indiana Regiments, 111, 112; 222; 290; 427: 
37th, 86; 289: 75th, 219: 89th, 444: 7th 
Cavalry, 444. 

Indian s reserve broken, an," 453. 

lufidel, testimony to Christian morality, 70 : a 
skeptical father wants his son to follow his 
Christian mother, 406. 

"Influence of the army meetings," 201, 202. 

" Influence of a Loan-Library book," 386. 

" In season and out of season," 244, 245. 

Inspiration, 387. 

" Instrumental music," 69. 

" In the battle to the last," 30 ; 76, 77. 

" In the Christian s home in glory," 258. 

" Into the light," 81. 

Invincible love, the," 428, 429. 

" Involuntary interview with General Sherman, 
an," 286, 287. 

Iowa Regiments, 60, 61 ; 108, 112. 

Irishmen, " The difficult Irishman conquered," 
20-24 : an Irishman s sacrifice for an enemy, 
42, 43 : their good wishes, 177, 178 : an Irish 
man s blessing, 305. 

" Ironsides," 355. 

" It brought me to Jesus," 441-443. 

"It reads of Jesus," 217. 

" Its price above rubies," 353. 

li It would break my heart," 108, 109. 

" I want a discharge," 108. 

"I will," 118. 

"I will try to go," 54-56. 

JACKSONVILLE, ILL., 481. 

JACOBS, B. F., 58-60, 62-64; 425, 426, 427, 428, 

429-433; 478-481. 

James Anxious Inquirer Directed, 128. 
"Jesus can make a dying bed," 106, 114. 
" Jesus, I my cross have taken," 278. 



Jesus is here," 321. 

Jesus, lover of my soul," 194, 195 ; 257. 
JEWELL, REV. FRANK F., 325. 
John Jones again," 453, 454. 
John Shearer s letter," 105, 106. 
JOHNSON, REV. A. P., 467, 468. 
JOHNSON, REV. HERRICK, 255-257. 
Jones, John, 453, 454. 
Tones, Joseph, 153. 
Journal, Boston, 61 ; 248 ; 317. 
Joy, Christian, 203. 
Judgment, convicted by the thought of God s, 

148. 
" Just as I am," 103. 

KANSAS REGIMENTS, 1st, 112. 
Kearsarge, gunboat, 470. 
KEENE, REV. LUTHER, 191, 192; 489^191. 
" Keep it for them," 173, 174. 
Kellogg, Captain Henry M., 116, 117. 
KELTON, REV. W. H., 386-388. 
Kenesaw Mountain, 294. 
Kennebunk, Me., Soldiers Aid Society, 304. 
Kennedy, Surgeon, 431. 

Kentucky Regiments, 277, 281, 284 ; 4th, 227- 
KIMBALL, REV. JAMES P., 249. 
Kindness, a little, 154-156; 161, 162: conquers 
enmity, 177, 178 : conquers evil passions, 385. 
" Kingdom that will come, the," 470. 
Kingston, Ga., 286-291. 
KIRKBT, WILLIAM, 474. 
Knapsack Books, one leads to Christ, 79. 
KNOWLES, REV. J. H., 316. 
Knoxville, 420, 421. 
" Knuckling to the Lord," 184. 

LADY DELEGATES, 445-449, 455, 456, 458-460, 461, 

462 ; 474-476, 479, 480. 
Laird, David, 166, 167. 
Lamb, Aaron, 255, 256. 
LANDIS, REV. JOHN L., 270-272. 
" Last earthly hymn, the," 438, 439. 
" Last letter," 16 ; 294. 
" Last of an offered life, the," 376. 
" Last prayer," 101. 
" Last Sunday at Culpepper," 244. 
Last words of soldiers, 74, 85 ; 101 ; 241 ; 280 ; 

393,394; 414, 415, 434. 
LATHROP, REV. HENRY D., 241. 
" Latitudinarian, a," 279. 
Law. its sanctions and divine authority, 387. 
LAWRENCE, ARTHUR, 276, 285. 
LAWRENCE, WILLIAM A., 269. 
"Lead Thou me on," 211. 
" Learning to pray," 136. 
" Leaven of prayer, the," 345. 
Lebanon, Ky., 82. 
Lebanon, Ohio, and faith, 423. 
" Lesson on plain English, a," 239. 



504 



INDEX. 



Let mo call yon father, 335, 336. 
Let not your heart be troubled," 75, 76. 
Letters, a child s letter leads to Christ, 91-93; 
John Shearer s, 105, 106; Captain Kellogg s 
last letter home, 117 : the preciousness of 
home letters, 192: writing for the wounded, 
225, 226 : an unwritten letter, 275 ; the dying 
letter to father, 294, 295 : Delegates writing 
for soldiers, 298 ; distributing writing mate 
rials in the trenches, 313 : a letter rewritten, 
374 : paper and envelopes distributed after 
the Nashville battles, 434; a postscript about 
prayer, 436, 437 ; " Mother s here," 438 : " The 
two letters home," 444 ; an Indian s letter, 
453: "Father to Lottie," 485, 486; "Comfort- 
bag letters," 487-4S9 ; soldiers letters in an 
swer to " comfort-bag" notes, 488 ; " A letter 
for a Bible," 490, 491. 

" Letting the spite go," 422. 

Lewistown, Pa., 487, 488. 

Libby prison, 394-399. 

" Library at the front, a," 156, 157. 

Life, owed to God, 46 : saved by timely relief, 
146, 147 : " Becomes real," 460 ; wasted, 462, 
463. 

" Life saved, a," 42, 43. 

Light burning, the," 453. 

Lincoln, Abraham, receives a Commission sol 
diers book, 54 : his kindness of heart, 89, 
90: his address to members of the Commis 
sion about "thanks," 246: his letter to Mrs. 
Bixby, 484, 485. 

Liquor, noble refusal to "drink," 121, 122: its 
temptation overcome, 127, 128 : its evil con 
sequences, 210; 385. 

" Little child in the kingdom, the," 210, 211. 

" Little Clara s Bible," 348, 349. 

" Little Lizzie s letter," 91-93. 

"Little Piety," 59, 60. 

Little Rock, 457-460. 

LIVERMORE, REV. S. T., 302. 

"Living it into them," 323. 

" Living waters," 64. 

Lochleven, by Michael Bruce, 329. 

" Lock of hair, the," 175. 

Loneliness, a remedy for, 219, 220. 

"Longed-for country, the," 271, 272. 

" Longing for the meetings," 200. 

" Long march in the ranks, a," 302, 303. 

Loomis, Lieutenant, 347. 

" Lord rising up to judge, the," 148. 

" Lord s prayer, the," 216, 217. 

" Lord s supper under marching orders," 356, 357. 

" Lost hymn line, the," 228. 

" Lost son found, the," 407, 408. 

Louisville, 221 ; 440. 

Love, " Makes death easy," 66, 67 : Christ s love, 
the source of courage, 107 ; for those at 
home, 117 ; the meaning of love to Christ, 



118: love to the brethren, the test of life, 
207 ; 373 : in the last hour, 211, 212 : the sol 
dier s yearning for paternal love, 335, 336: 
"The love that could not be told," 375; the 
forgotten love recalled, 375, 376: "The in 
vincible love," 428, 429. 

LOVE, REV. WILLIAM DE Loss, 405-408. 

LOWRIE, REV. JOHN M., D. D., 301-303. 

" Loyal East Tennesseean, the," 185-189. 

LOYD, REV. J. F., 269. 

Lucille, by Monod, 386. 

Lump sugar, Jennie D. s, 491, 492. 

LYFORD, REV. CHARLES P., 244-246. 

MAINE REGIMENTS, 30 ; 255 ; 337 : 378, 394 : llth, 
254 : 20th, 171. 

" Major General preaching Christ, a," 288. 

"Making him smile," 306. 

" Making him sweat," 361. 

MANHELL, REV. WILLIAM A., 345, 346, 349. 

" Man immortal till his work is done," 252, 253. 

" Marching on," 255. 

"March to Gettysburg, the." 137. 138. 

MARDEN, REV. GEORGE N., 154, 155 ; 351, 360, 361, 
362, 363, 364. 

MARLAY, REV. JOHN F., 422, 423. 

Marsh, John B., 123. 

MARTIN, JAMES A., 474, 475. 

Martinsburg, 383, 384. 

" Martyr patriot, a," 433, 434. 

Maryland Heights, 384, 385. 

Maryland Regiments, 1st, 346, 347. 

Massaclmsetts Regiments, 22; 133-138, 150; 174, 
175 ; 311 ; 380 : 1st, 152 : 10th, 193 : 12th, 48 : 
22d, 259: 32d, 390: 37th, 370: 45th, 465: 
46th, 466 : 57th, 317 : Colonel Shaw s, col 
ored, 470. 

MATTHEWS, A. D., 190, 191. 

Matthias, Corporal, 345, 346. 

McArthur, General, 112; 430, 431. 

McAULEY, REV. A. G., 85. 

McBEi-n, Miss SUE, 445-449, 461. 462. 

McCABE, CHAPLAIN, C. C., 86 ; 395-899 ; 481. 

McGurk, Andrew, 76, 77. 

MclLVAiNE, RT. REV. BISHOP, 259. 

McKenna, David, 317. 

McKim s Hospital, Baltimore, 47. 

McKinloy, Sylvester, 47. 

MCLEAN, REV. J. K., 337-344. 

McLEOD, REV. H., 291-293: 435, 436; 474. 

Meade Station, 354, 355. 

"Meeting of the maimed and halt, a," 153, 154. 

Mementoes, a soldier sends a hymn-book to his 
wife, 59 ; 194 ; 218 : " The three photographs," 
290, 291 . 

" Memorial Testament, the," 400-404. 

Memphis, 106, 107, 118; 443-445, 456, 457, 464; 
479. 

Mercy of God, 82 ; 101 ; 274, 275 ; 327 ; 409, 410. 



INDEX. 



505 



" Messages for home," 168 ; 194 ; 290, 291 ; 414, 
415 ; 435, 436. 

METCALF, E. W., 302. 

Methodist, Baptist, or Presbyterian ? 279. 

Michigan Regiments, 130; 166; 211: 285; 336, 
337 ; 414, 435 ; 462 : 1st, 317 : 5th, 315 : 8th, 
322 ; 20th, 263 : 4th Cavalry, 92, 93 : 5th Cav 
alry, 144 : 1st Eng., 97-99. 

Military terms, used by soldiers to express their 
spiritual condition, 82; 107, 108; 213; 223; 
280 ; 333-335 ; 381 : to indicate God s Word, 
113, 114. 

Milk, a hospital wonder. 223. 

Mill Creek Hospital, 26. 

Miller, Enoch K., 160, 161. 

MILLER, GEORGE W., 252, 253. 

MILLER, J. R., 297, 298 ; 383. 

MILLER, RKV. VICTOR, 421, 422. 

Milliken s Bend, 108, 111-113. 

MILNE, CALEB J., 92. 

Milwaukee, 479, 480. 

Mineral Point, Wisconsin, 478. 

MINGINS, RET. GEORGE J., 18-24; 45,46; 146-148. 

Ministry of a kind word, the," 385. 

Minnesota Regiments, 431. 

Minnie Olive C., her comfort-bag letter, 489. 

Minute Men," 49. 

Missionary. in the ranks, a," 392. 

Mission Ridge, 231-237. 

Mississippi (Confederate) Regiments, 347. 

Missouri Regiments, 439 : 33d, 88. 

Mitch, Johnny, 227. 

Mitchell, John B., 125, 126. 

" Money from the Lord," 422, 423. 

MONFORT, REV. P. P., 246 ; 317. 

" Monthly concert in camp," 204, 205. 

MOODY, D. L., 60, 63, 71, 72; 100. 

Moody, Colonel Granville, 84. 

MOORE, RKV. J. II., 305, 306 ; 371. 

MOREY, IlAVILAH, 206, 207. 

Morgan county, 111., and Jacob Strawn," 481- 
483. 

Morganzia, La., 452. 

Morin, Lieutenant Anthony, 42, 43. 

MORLET, J. II., 205, 206 ; 331. 

MORRIS, LEWIS, 302. 

MORSS, REV. GEORGE H., 155, 156. 

Mother, " Mother and Annie," 15 ; mother giv 
ing up a son, 15, 16 ; last letter to a son, 16, 
17 ; absent, yet present, in death, 22, 23 ; 
" Seems as if mother had been here," 22 ; 
thanking God for such a mother, 27, 28 ; 
praying that she might be comforted, 31 : 
her last counsels rehearsed, 59, 60; "God. 
Country, Mother," 74 : anxiety changed into 
gladness, 122 : " Take care of the rest," 128 ; 
" Mother s letter," 139 : a mother s tender 
ness, 166 ; a message to her, 167, 168 ; a lock 
of hair for her, 175 : a mother s courage, 



190,191: writing to mother " gently," 256 ; 
"A mother s trust and a son s," 265, 266: 
" Mother s first question answered," 272 ; " I 
have killed my mother," 274: "Hard wad 
ing through mother s prayers," 283, 284; 
" The Bible and mother too," 295 : a hun 
dred-dollar note for mother, 301 : faith, 319- 
321 : " My mother s religion," 351 ; " Mother 
taught me to read it," 353 : " Mother s here," 
438 : " She won t pray for me any more," 
445 : " Mother would have given it," 478 ; 
" She was a mother to my boy," 479, 480 ; 
" A heroic mother," 484. 

Mound City, 75, 76. 

Murfreesboro , 93, 95-99 ; 215-217, 241 ; 422. 

" Mustered for pay," 403. 

" My body is not me," 117. 

" My country, tis of thee, 433. 

" My mother s religion," 351. 

" NAMELESS GRAVES," 77, 78. 

Nashville, 76, 77, 86; 91-93, 100-104; 217, 218, 
223, 224, 239-241, 242 ; 272-275, 280, 293-295 ; 
415, 416, 419-421, 433-435, 436, 437, 439. 
Siege and battle of, 423^134. 

National Orphan Homestead, 176. 

" Nearer to Thee," 62. 

" Near me all that dreadful day," 154, 155. 

Nelson, Rev. Dr., 88. 

"Nettie," 186-189. 

Newberne, N. C., 465. 

New Hampshire, Commission meetings in, 477, 
478. 

New Hampshire Regiments, 7th, 471 : 12th, 149 ; 
18th, 345. 

New Ironsides, Admiral Dupont s flagship, 469. 

New Jersey Regiments, 325, 343 : 9th, 332. 

New Market Roads, 303, 304 ; 332, 333, 336, 337. 

" New stretcher, a," 173. 

New York Branch, 128; 464; chapter xviii., 
passim. 

New York Regiments, 37, 43, 44 ; 334 ; 373, 385 : 
5th, 38: 14th, 247: 77th, 193: 78th, 154: 
94th, 304: 108th, 160: lllth, 325: 118th, 
319: 146th, 347: 147th, 126: 154th, 176: 
Enfans Perdus, 25: 5th Cavalry, 386: 1st 
Mounted Rifles, 348: 2d Mounted Rifles, 
265 : 8th Artillery, 347. 

NICHOLS, REV. CHARLES L., 324. 

Nichols, Stanley, 92, 93. 

" Nigger," a discussion about the, 366, 367. 

" Noble to the last," 254. 

" No charge for letters," 225. 

" No pay," 51. 

North Baltimore Ladies Union Relief Associa 
tion, 47. 

North Carolina (Confederate) Regiments, 37. 

Northwestern Sanitary Commission, 474. 

Norton, Surgeon, 78, 79. 



506 



INDEX. 



" Not a cloud," 60, 61. 

" Not discharged." 223, 224. 

" Not going home," 62, 63. 

" Nothing in my hands I bring," 103. 

" Not lonely," 26. 

" Not long parted," 80. 

Not much in the Rebels debt," 314, 315. 

" Not much, sir," 225. 

Not quite so hard," 380. 

" Not the prayer meeting, but Jesus," 270. 

u Not the Rebels bad shooting," 46. 

Not willing to go alone," 98. 

" Now I lay me down to sleep," 212. 

NOYES, REV. G. C., 293. 

NOTES, REV. H. V., 335, 336. 

OBSERVER. New York, 49. 

Officers, devoted to his men, 30 : sympathy for 
their sufferings, 61 ; regard for Sunday, 84 : 
assist Delegates in their work, 106 : influence 
in misleading their men, 132: influence of 
an officer s conversion, 202: testimony to the 
Commission, 430, 431. 

Ohio Regiments, 82; 100, 123; 234; 271, 292; 
400: 31st, 392, 393: 51st, 85: 60th, 261: 
121st, 395 : 124th, 400 : 12th Battery, 458. 

"Old things become new," 333. 

Olustee, Florida, 471, 472. 

"One cipher too many," 396. 

" One Sunday s preaching," 195, 196. 

" One taken and another left," 179. 

"One Testament for thirty men," 138. 

Onions, for Nashville, 422, 423. 

" Only one verse," 64. 

" On the right side of the Old Master," 84. 

Opequan, 382, 383. 

Opposition, of a Captain turned to support, 59, 
60 : of officers and men to Christianity, 113. 

"Oranges," Carletoirs distribution of, 310,311: 
"The children s oranges," 434. 

"Orphan, the," 219, 220. 

" Our Baby," 461. 

" Our Father." 174. 

"Our Jubilee song," in Libby, 396, 397. 

" Out of darkness into light," 69. 

Owasco, gunboat, 473. 

Owen, Rev. Mr., 249. 

PADUCAH, KY., 64-67 ; 435, 436. 

Pardon, by President Lincoln, 89, 90. 

Parish Visitor, New York, 471. 

PARKER, DR. S. J., 251, 252. 

PARSONS, REV. BENJAMIN, 219, 220 ; 399. 

PARSONS, REV. E. G., 478. 

PARSONS, J. H., 451. 

"Parting of the heroes, the," 167, 168. 

PARVIN, REV. R. J., 44, 45, 54-56; 160, 161, 166, 

167, 171, 172, 173-175; 319-321; 471-473; 

492. 



Pastor s Sketches, by Dr. Spencer, 417, 418. 

"Patience of hope, the," 415, 416. 

PATRICK, REV. II. J.. 304, 305; 346, 347. 

Patriotism, Christ s cause only before the coun 
try, 85 : dying beneath the flag, 123 ; shot 
for defending the country, 123: a soldier of 
1812, 165 ; an East Tennesseean s devotion to 
the Union, 185-189 : a young soldier s patri 
otism, 227 : giving up sons, 254 ; in the last 
hour, 257; 316; 393,394: "A good cause to 
be wounded in," 284; not sorry he enlisted. 
291; a gray-haired soldier, 293: a colored 
Sergeant s patriotism, 364-367 ; " Volunteered 
to die," 368; "Is that a Rebel band, sir?" 
369: "Too weak to cheer," 413: "Rather 
on crutches than a Copperhead," 419 ; " A 
Christian hero," 421; Henry Cutler, 433, 434: 
a heroic mother, 484. 

PATTERSON, JOHN, 32-34; 177,178; 266-268; 326- 
331. 

PATTERSON, REV. ROBERT, D. D., 64, 65, 67-70, 72, 
73 ; 307 ; 351, 352, 355 ; 410, 411 ; 484. 

Pay, none asked or taken by Delegates, 24 ; 51. 

" Paying for Bible reading," 197. 

Peace, in death, 85 : " Peace after prayer," 152 : a 
symbol of it, 184: after a struggle, 199, 200: 
Christ s peace for the weary, 258 ; " Past all 
understanding," 259 ; " Within," 260, 261. 

PEARNE, REV. THOMAS H., 305. 

PEARSON, REV. J. B., 202. 

PELOUBET, REV. F. N., 50-53; 208-211. 

"Penalty of Rebellion, the," 180. 

Peninsula, campaign on the, 17-34. 

Pennsylvania Regiments, 47 ; 125,143; 174; 200, 
210; 244; 341, 342; 393, 394: 3d P. R. V. C., 
32 : 10th P. R, V. C., 55 : llth P. R. V. C., 
202: 57th, 441: 68th, 151: 84th, 153: 90th 
42 : 91st, 300 : 2d Cavalry, 156, 157 : 15th 
Cavalry, 215: 17th Cavalry, 199, 205. 

Peoria Army Committee, 452; 481. 

Perfection, the doctrine of, 208, 209. 

" Perfectly satisfied," with God s will, 403. 

Perkins, John, 155, 156. 

PERRY, REV. JOHN B., 353, 354. 

Perryville, 81-83. 

Petersburg, mine explosion at, 362; the victory 
before, 368-370. 

Pews, in the army and at home, 355. 

Piano-playing in an extemporized flying hospital, 
432, 433. 

Piety, a principle of extension, 59, 60. 

Pittsburg Branch, 418. 

Pittsburg Landing, 71, se.rj. 

" Playing base ball," 313, 314. 

" Pleading for a Testament," 352. 

Point of Rocks, 297 ; 326, 335, 348, 349. 

" Poor Little Rob s asleep," 31. 

Porter, B. F., 347. 

PORTER, II. L., 347. 



INDEX. 



507 



PORTER, REV. JEREMIAH, 440 ; 474-476. 

Port Society of New York, 470. 

Posey, John, 65. 

Post, New York, 65. 

" Postscript, the," 167. 

Potatoes, how they were sent to Texas, 440. 

Potomac Creek Station, 153, 154. 

Potter, Rt. Rev. Bishop, 152; 472. 

Powels, Peter, 453. 

Power of God blessing, a," 307. 

PRATT, REV. A. L., 337. 

Prayer, in presence of comrades, 13, 14; shielded 
by a wife s prayers, 15 ; in a bomb-proof, 17 ; 
with thanksgiving, 27, 28: bringing happi 
ness, 40; causes peace, 52: wanting to be 
taught one, 67-69; "The prayer of fa