Church Work in the Army; Some Confederate Chaplains;
Religious Reading for the Soldiers; "The Church Intelligencer"; The Confederate Prayer Book
The history of the Church in the Confederate States is brief, but it is full of tragic interest, if we could but recover it. And in no part does the life of those times shine out with more blessed and benign influence than in the religious history of the Confederate armies. It has been said that no army since that of Cromwell has been so distinctly and sincerely religious as the "Army of Northern Virginia." And it is no unworthy partiality which claims that the Confederate soldier was free from the evil element of fanaticism and ferocity, which to so great an extent vitiated and degraded the religion of Cromwell's Ironsides. For in truth the Christianity of the Confederate camp and bivouac and battlefield was not the product of the segregated and unnatural life of the soldier. It was simply the religion of family altar, and home circle, and parish church, and country meeting-house, carried by father and son, and brother and friend, from home into the army. Never in any other modern war has the whole male population of a country, from seventeen to fifty years of age, been transported bodily into the camp and the field. And to a great extent the same moral atmosphere and the same religious standards prevailed in the army to which the soldiers had been accustomed at home. There was doubtless enough of sin and wickedness, as there is more than enough in the best ordered society, but the Confederate Army was no scene of relaxed morals and licensed ungodliness. A distinguished clergyman of the Church, who entered the Confederate Army in 1861 as second lieutenant, and rose to the command of his regiment in Lee's army, who took Holy Orders in 1877, and served as regimental chaplain through the Spanish-American War of 1898, writes: "In regard to the religious condition of the Army of Northern Virginia during the war, so far as my observation extended, I saw but little difference, if any, from what they were at home before and since the war. [The Rev. Edwin A. Osborne, Archdeacon of Charlotte, Colonel of the Fourth Regiment N. C. Troops in the Confederate Army, and Chaplain of the Second Regiment N. C. Volunteers in the Spanish-American War.] In fact I should say there was rather more piety manifested by the soldiers during the war than by the same young men before, and decidedly more, I believe, than prevails among the mass of young men today. I was painfully impressed with the contrast between the Confederate soldiers and the Volunteers in the Spanish-American War. I seldom heard an oath in the Confederate camps, and I had every opportunity, from second lieutenant to the command of the regiment. [As these pages are going through the press the following extract is made from a communication in a Southern newspaper, over the signature of a distinguished Presbyterian minister, the Rev. James Power Smith, who as a young man served on the staff of Stonewall Jackson and of General Richard E. Ewell. His communication is a protest against a popular novelist's representation of Confederate officers as using profane language in their ordinary conversation. He writes: "The frequent introduction of profane language is much to be regretted. These things are not necessary to the story, and not to any such extent true to history. They are to be regretted in a book to be read by many of our boys, as not just to the character of their fathers. The gentlemanly behavior of officers of all ranks repressed any such habits when they came into the army. The few men of prominence who were known to be profane in speech, in times of excitement and passion, themselves felt the repression of the noble men of character and piety who were their leaders, and in later years they left the bad habit behind them. [General Richard E. Ewell, Jackson's trusted division commander, and his successor in command of the Second Corps, is represented" [by the novelist] "as frequently uttering profane oaths. One who after Jackson's death served on the staff of General Ewell, and was in intimate personal contact with him, is ready to testify that he never heard him utter an oath, but knew him as a Christian gentleman, reverent, devout, and free from any habit of profanity. Losing a leg at Second Manassas, he was for some time an invalid in Richmond, during which time he made a profession of Christ, from which he never declined. There may be those in Richmond who yet remember the day when General Ewell went up the aisle of St. Paul's Church on his crutches and was confirmed."] Our camps often resounded at night with hymns and spiritual songs; and arrests for drunkenness were very rare. My own company from North Iredell numbered two hundred and forty men all told during the war, and I do not remember a single arrest among my men, except for one or two old-fashioned 'fisticuffs'; and profanity was seldom heard. In the winter of 1863-4 a very remarkable religious revival swept through the army, and thousands of conversions occurred. The army reminded me of regular camp-meeting while in winter quarters, and even on bivouac. Religious exercises were generally well attended by officers and men, without any compulsion, on week-days as well as on Sundays, and the moral and religious atmosphere in the camp was good, remarkably so, as I remember it. How could it be otherwise, with our noble citizen soldiery, and the examples set before them by such men as Lee and Jackson at their head? As for camp-followers and lewd women, they were so rare that I do not remember seeing any of the latter but once, and then they were being carried beyond the reach of the army under a military escort; and there was nothing to attract the former, so far as I can remember, after the winter of 1861-2, when there were some few around Manassas Junction.
"Most of our men had small copies of the Bible or New Testament when they left home; and many of them could be seen reading them when 'at rest' on the march, or in the camp when off duty.
"This may seem somewhat exaggerated, but it is as I remember it. Anything like profanity or immorality was very offensive and painful to me always; and I was seldom shocked during the war by any open manifestation of such a spirit among our soldiers. I do remember a very few instances on the part of individuals that were painful and disgusting, and I would certainly have been impressed if such had been anyways general."
This testimony of a brave and godly soldier, given from memory after the lapse of more than forty years, is confirmed by the contemporary evidence of a faithful chaplain, the Rev. Frederick Fitzgerald, in his report to his Bishop, as published in the Journal of the Diocese of North Carolina for the year 1863. He writes: "I have perceived a constant and real improvement in the moral and religious character of our soldiers since the first nine months of the war. I believe that there is far less of vice of every kind in our army than there was one year ago, and far more seriousness and willingness to read God's Word and hear it explained; far more interest in things that pertain to the soul, about that world where peace reigns eternal, and the horrid sound of war is never heard."
This moral and spiritual condition of the army was taken notice of at the time, and was a cause of much satisfaction and confidence among our people. In his Convention Address of 1861 Bishop Meade thus alludes to the subject: "Let me in conclusion commend to [your] special prayers all those who have devoted themselves to the defence of our State. From personal knowledge of many of them, and from the information of others, there is already, I believe, a large portion of religious principle and genuine piety to be found among them. I rejoice to learn that in many companies not only are the services of Chaplains and other Ministers earnestly sought for and after, but social prayer-meetings held among themselves. Our own Church has a very large proportion of communicants among the soldiers."
The Rev. Dr. Randolph H. McKim, President of the House of Deputies in the General Convention, writes: "I was a private soldier the first year of the war, and used to conduct prayer-meetings among my comrades; had a tent devoted to this purpose. As a staff-officer I used to hold services, did so on the field of battle at Gettysburg. I always found the men receptive. Their moral standard and tone was high, and they had the greatest respect for religion. I served as Chaplain of the 2nd Virginia Cavalry for eight months at the close of the war. I had services twice a day generally, every day in all hard campaigning, and often on the battlefield. There were many communicants. They rallied round me, and there was much religious interest."
These are four witnesses; they might be increased to hundreds. But is anything more needed to show the high level of moral and religious character in the men who made up the Confederate armies?
That this moral and religious improvement was steady and continuous is evidenced in many ways by contemporaneous testimony. The Church Intelligencer, of January 8,1864, has a careful and judicious editorial article upon the condition of religion in the army, in connection with the reports of revival services, so common during that winter. The editor is careful to point out the limitations and qualifications which must be observed in forming a judgment upon the solid results of such movements. He admits having but little sympathy with the revival system, and is most cautious in calculating its permanent fruits. But he is very clear in his testimony as to the real power of the religious spirit in the army: "Among the best news that comes to us in these troublous times is that of the growing attention to Christian life and duty in our army.... From all quarters this intelligence has for months past been coming up to us. ... A vast improvement has undoubtedly taken place since the commencement of the war--indeed, within the last few months." Many reports of our Clergy of this same period might be quoted to similar purpose. An editorial note in the same paper, April 1, 1864, says that one of our Bishops in the Southwest reports, that during the preceding year he had confirmed more men than women; and he explains this by the strong religious feeling developed among the soldiers: "so many in the army, especially the officers, were coming forward manfully to assume their baptismal promises." Even more remarkable was the religious character of the professional soldiers who were their leaders. Most of the Confederate generals of the first distinction had been bred to arms, and had been soldiers, and soldiers only, from boyhood. And in many cases they were as eminent for religious character as for military achievements. Lee, Jackson, and Stuart are most prominent examples in the public eye, but they had many like-minded comrades. The publication in 1904 of the familiar letters of General Lee was a revelation even to those most familiar with him in his public character. Seldom has there lived a man who amid the trials and vicissitudes of fortune, in victory and in defeat, in poverty and in wealth, has exhibited such simple, unconscious gentleness, goodness, purity, humility, unruffled sweetness, and serenity of mind and of spirit, as we find in the great Confederate commander. No harsh word was ever heard from his lips, no feeling of bitterness ever invaded his breast. His daily devotions remembered before God both friend and foe, and his great heart took up as its own the burden of all faults and failures of others, while it generously assigned to them the praises due to his own great deeds. [This fact, commonly reported and believed in the South, that General Lee was accustomed to remember in his private prayers the soldiers of the armies opposed to him, along with his own devoted followers, led to the introduction of a like petition into the prayers licensed for use in the Diocese of North Carolina during the Spanish-American War of 1898, and in turn caused these prayers to be copied and used in other and distant Dioceses: "So shines a good deed in a naughty world."] The Church in the Confederate States has given to the world the most perfect character, exhibited by any great historical figure of modern times, in Robert Edward Lee. And in their lesser measure many of his soldiers, officers and men, followed after his noble example of Christian faith and conduct. Numberless instances and references might be given to illustrate the general prevalence of religious feeling and principle, as exhibited in the daily habits of officers and men. In Dr. Packard's "Recollections of a Long Life" we read: "I went to the camp at Manassas to see my son Joseph. [Mr. Joseph Packard, since one of the most eminent members of the General Convention.] I slept one night in my son's tent on the soft side of a board. It was the custom of this company to have prayers at the dawn of day, and next morning I was asked to officiate, and made a prayer. It was too early to see to read. The scene was a thrilling one. It was a remarkable company, composed largely of college and theological students." At the bottom of the same page: "I saw him" [General Pendleton] "once again, when I went to his headquarters at sunrise the next morning to get a furlough for my son, who was sick. He was standing by a fire out of doors reading his Bible." And a few lines further on: "My son remembers that Jackson came round early one morning, and looking in the tent gave him a tract." General Lee gave as many Prayer Books as he could get to his soldier friends." The Rev. J. Wm. Jones, in his book "Christ in the Camp," mentions that a bookseller in Richmond, when General Lee was buying Prayer Books in his store, offered him a dozen copies for the old one which he had carried for many years in his pocket. General Lee gladly made the exchange, saying that he would give the additional books to his soldiers.
In the report of the Committee on the State of the Church, in the Diocesan Convention of Virginia in 1863, we are told that, "The army is like a field white for the harvest. From the Commanding General down to the unknown private, there is extended a hearty welcome to the message of the gospel, and to him who brings it. The influence of our own Church, though silent and unostentatious, is unmistakable." In his Address to the same Convention, Bishop Johns says: "A youthful chaplain, who with a few others formed a committee to confer with the lamented Jackson on the subject of ministerial supply for the soldiers, found him with his staff engaged in a prayer-meeting. When its solemn exercises were concluded, he asked the young chaplain to say to me that there were forty vacant chaplaincies in the Army of the Rappahannock, and to beg me to send some of our clergy to visit the camp and render those ministerial services which were greatly needed and earnestly desired.... Within the last week I was unexpectedly privileged with a brief interview with his surviving friend and brother in arms, the Commander-in-Chief.... From his lips I received an appeal in perfect consonance with the last message of his lamented colleague--an earnest request for special ministerial services for the army, accompanied by the statement that their condition is most favorable for religious improvement." In response to this appeal the Convention passed unanimously a resolution, requesting the Bishop to call upon those clergymen who were without parishes for this service, but also pledging the whole body of the clergy to answer his call.
It is unfortunate that so little should have been done to preserve a record of the work of our chaplains in the Confederate service. The only book, professing to be a history of religion in the Army of Northern Virginia, is by a Baptist minister, whose conception of religious experience was so strictly limited to that peculiar phase associated with the ordinary revival, that he seldom notices any kind of Christian work not in line with that which appealed specially to himself. It is noticeable that, even in his book, some of the most beautiful examples of Christian faith and heroism are young Virginia Churchmen, and he does justice to the Christian character of all such, who come under his notice. There seems to be no designed or conscious unfairness in his treatment, but perhaps naturally the work of our chaplains did not specially appeal to him or attract his attention.
The Church sent many of her best and ablest Priests as chaplains to the army. Four who became Bishops after the War were commissioned chaplains, and devoted in their service, Bishop Quintard of Tennessee, Bishop Watson of East Carolina, Bishop Randolph of Southern Virginia, and Bishop Gray of Southern Florida. Bishop Beckwith of Georgia, though not a regular chaplain, did volunteer work as a chaplain in the Army of Tennessee during the summer of 1864.
As in so many other things, so Virginia stands first in the number of chaplains, sending a total of twenty-nine during the War from her one hundred and fifteen clergymen. North Carolina came next, with fifteen chaplains from her total of fifty-three diocesan clergy. "Christ in the Camp," by the Rev. J. Wm. Jones. Georgia gave six; Mississippi, five; Tennessee, three; Louisiana and Texas, each two; and South Carolina, Florida, and Alabama, one each. These numbers are the result of my best efforts to ascertain the names of our regular chaplains in the army. Many, however, served temporarily and irregularly, and doubtless some in State organizations, whose names do not appear. Several from South Carolina are known to have served in this way, notably the Rev. A. Toomer Porter and the Rev. T. S. Arthur. The Rev. Robert W. Barnwell, of that Diocese, sacrificed his life in devoted attention to the sick and wounded soldiers in the army hospitals in Virginia. In the later stages of the War several of the Dioceses, notably Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, took measures to send their parochial clergy for stated periods to the army, to serve as chaplains in turn, under the systematic direction of the Bishop. The diocesan Journal of Alabama contains some interesting reports of clergymen thus employed. The Bishops themselves, as opportunity offered, were not slow to give their services; especially is this true of the Bishop of Georgia and the Bishop of Virginia. Bishop Lay seemed in a fair way to become something like a "Chaplain General" in the Army of Tennessee. Being by the course of hostilities prevented from working in Arkansas, he gave much of his time to work in our Western Army, and naturally became a sort of head and leader for such of our Church clergymen as were serving, either regularly or temporarily, as chaplains in that army. They found much comfort and help in so able and sympathetic a counsellor; and diocesan Bishops, sending their parochial clergy for terms of a few months, were glad to commend them to his care, and to require them to report to him upon their army service. An Augusta paper of that period gives an interesting article illustrating the perils and the rewards of that arduous work:
"We are enabled to lay before our readers the following extracts from a letter of Bishop Lay to a relative in this city, not designed for publication. Bishop Lay is now employed in missionary labor with the army in Georgia under General Hood:
"'Yesterday in Strahl's brigade I preached and confirmed nine persons. Last night we had a very solemn service in General Hood's room, some forty persons, chiefly Generals and Staff Officers, being present. I confirmed General Hood and one of his Aides, Captain Gordon, of Savannah, and a young Lieutenant from Arkansas. The service was animated, the praying devout. Shells exploded near by all the time. General Hood, unable to kneel, supported himself on his crutch and staff, and with bowed head received the benediction. Next Sunday I am to administer the Communion at headquarters. To-night ten or twelve are to be confirmed in Clayton's division. The enemy are within two hundred and fifty yards of our line, and the firing is very constant. I fear it will be hard to get the men together.
"'I wish you could have been present last night to have seen that company down, all on bended knee. The reverence was so marked that one could not fail to thank God that He had put such a spirit into the hearts of our leaders.'
"We are requested to add that Bishop Lay is admirably supported in his labors by the Rev. Dr. Quintard, who as Chaplain and Surgeon ministers to the body and mind, and than whom no man is better known in the army. To serve it he has given his time, and sacrificed nearly the whole of his property.
"Bishop Lay writes of him: 'I am told that he could not leave the army; he is better than any man in it. Everybody knows him, and comes to him for counsel. There is no Chaplain comparable to him in point of usefulness, and he cannot possibly be spared.
"'It is proposed to establish an Ecclesiastical Headquarters to move with the army, to have stated services, to be always accessible, to supply books and tracts, to receive the Clergy and show them how to go to work. General Johnston earnestly endorsed this plan, and General Hood will furnish all facilities for carrying it out.'"
The Confederate States government did not come up to the measure of its duty to its army chaplains. They had no rank assigned to them, and no uniform prescribed, and were practically left to make a place for themselves, though this disadvantage was largely remedied by the personal respect and affection felt for them by both officers and men. Their pay was fifty dollars and the ration of a private soldier. This was especially hard on the Virginia and North Carolina chaplains, for before being mustered into the Confederate service they had, in the military organization of their States, enjoyed the rank of major, and their pay was one hundred and fifty dollars. Towards the end of the War, some time in 1864, their pay was by an act of the Confederate Congress raised to eighty dollars in the depreciated and depreciating currency of the time, and they were allowed forage for a horse, in case they were so fortunate as to have one. They were also allowed a small amount of stationery. It was alleged in the newspapers at the time, that the smallness of the pay, at first allowed by the Confederate government, had been due to a Member of Congress, who argued that, as the chaplain had no duty but to preach on Sunday, he might well earn his living by working during the week, acting as sutler in the army, and the like. This worthy legislator belonged to a religious sect which does not require pastoral services of its ministers, but confines their function to the one duty of preaching. This meanness in the government caused much distress to those faithful chaplains who had no private fortune; and some of the best of them were thus forced to return to parochial work, as their only means of obtaining a bare subsistence. But the poorly paid chaplain, marching on foot with the men, is not the least heroic figure of that heroic time.
Perhaps Bishop Quintard was the most effective of all our chaplains, and he is the only one who has left any adequate record of his work. 'His brief biography, published in 1905 by the Rev. Arthur Howard Noll, is in effect largely the personal narrative of his experience as chaplain, and it is well worth reading. Bishop Quintard was a remarkable man in many ways, and perhaps his many striking and attractive qualities were most fully and admirably displayed in his work in the army. He seemed to be everywhere, to see everything, and to know everybody. Quick in movement, in apprehension, in sympathy; affectionate, generous; a skilled physician and surgeon, as well as a devout and ardent Christian Priest, he made for himself a place in the hearts and minds of the soldiers of the Army of Tennessee, and by a natural, and all but necessary, transition became their Bishop when he could no longer be their chaplain. His personal narrative is of fascinating interest. Whether administering the Holy Communion to the officers and men of the Merrimac, before their famous fight in Hampton Roads; or working fourteen hours as surgeon, without cessation, after a bloody battle, amputating limbs, dressing wounds, tearing his very shirt into strips to use as bandages, and then leaning against the rail-fence and weeping like a child from sheer nervous exhaustion; or demanding an interview with the severe and sarcastic General Bragg upon "a matter of life and death," that he might speak to him of his duty to confess Christ, and bringing tears into those hard eyes, as the general in command of the army surrenders to the soldier of the Cross;--he is always the same vital, generous, brave, and loving soul, giving freely all he has to give, and getting everything which any one else has to give. He mentions baptizing six generals, and presenting a number for Confirmation; among the latter Generals Bragg, Hood, Hardee, and two unnamed, one of whom, I cannot help thinking, must have been General Joseph E. Johnston, who is mentioned as having been baptized a few days before by Bishop Polk.
One of the noblest men who served in the Confederate Army was the late Bishop Watson, of East Carolina. Though a native of Brooklyn, New York, he had lived in the South since his early manhood, and had been ordained Priest by Bishop Ives in 1845. He was one of the first of his Diocese to offer himself for service in the army, resigning one of the largest parishes in the Diocese to become chaplain of the 2d North Carolina Infantry Regiment in the summer of 1861. Frail in body, he was indomitable of soul, and during the fiercest battle he was more apt to be found among the wounded and dying between the hostile lines than in any safer place. "Mr. Watson, go to the rear with the wounded, Sir!" commanded his colonel, as the chaplain pressed forward beyond the line towards the wounded men lying in front. "I think I know my duty, Sir," replied the chaplain without pausing; and there was that in his eye which would not be turned back. I had this incident from the lips of the colonel who was thus disobeyed. [Colonel William L. DeRosset.] At the battle of Williamsburg, one of the first in which his regiment was engaged, when many dead and wounded had been left between the lines, and shot and shell still played across the bloody field, General Magruder asked: "Who is that little man there in front among the wounded?" "The Rev. Mr. Watson, chaplain of the 2d North Carolina," was the reply. "Then tell him to come and take command of the troops," exclaimed Magruder, "for he is a braver man than I am." [I had understood that this happened at Malvern Hill, but Bishop Strange tells me it was at Williamsburg.]
The Rev. Alfred M. Randolph, since Bishop of Southern Virginia, was driven out of his house, with his wife and their infant a day old, by the bombardment of Fredericksburg; and being thus without a parish became a chaplain in the army, displaying the most devoted, single-minded courage and zeal on the battlefield among the wounded, under the fire of the enemy, and in the sorer trials of ministering in the crowded field and post hospitals. The Rev. William Meredith, of Virginia, was among the most faithful chaplains, only it was said that he always forgot he was a chaplain during the battle, and took his place in the fighting line until the battle was over, when he would resume his ministrations to the wounded and dying. The Rev. Edward T. Perkins, after the War a very distinguished clergyman of Kentucky, and for many years Deputy from that Diocese to the General Convention, was a chaplain loved and honored throughout the Army of Northern Virginia. During the last days of its glorious history, during the investment of Petersburg, he would crawl during the night from picket-post to picket-post, to pray with the men on this arduous duty, and to help them by words of sympathy and cheer.
The Rev. George Patterson, chaplain of the 3d North Carolina Infantry, was one of the most faithful and beloved of all our clergy in the army, and a man of striking, not to say eccentric, personality. He acted out his strong feelings and convictions with a perfect frankness and simplicity, which sometimes produced surprising situations; but his absolute sincerity and the goodness of his honest heart carried him to the hearts of the soldiers. He read the Burial Service over Colonel H. Allen Brown, of the First North Carolina Regiment, on the bloody field of Spottsylvania, when he thought him in articulo mortis, as the exigencies of the situation would not allow of his remaining with the dying man, to whom he felt that he ought to give the last rites of the Church which he loved. One account has it that the colonel, consenting to the service, made the proper responses to the chaplain's prayers. They were both most deadly in earnest, and it is hard to imagine a nobler example of Christian faith and devotion--the heroic soldier stricken with the hand of death, as he believes, and his friend and pastor, unable to remain that he may close his eyes, yet saying over the dying man the solemn Office of the Dead, to which his failing voice cries "Amen"! In fact, Colonel Brown survived and is living today in Columbia, Tennessee; and his faithful and godly life has well illustrated that strange experience of trial and Christian fortitude.
This same "Father Patterson" was a rigid Churchman and disciplinarian. Being in winter quarters, a distinguished Presbyterian divine, attached to General Jackson's staff, thought to Episcopate mildly, by making appointments to visit the several regiments, to preach to the soldiers, and to confer with the chaplains upon their spiritual interests. In the course of this visitation he sent due notice to Mr. Patterson of a visit to his regiment. Upon the appointed day the visiting divine arrived, but found no preparations made for preaching. Enquiring for the chaplain, Mr. Patterson appeared and informed him that, as he was not aware that he had any authority to preach in that regiment, he had not regarded his notice, and did not propose to let him preach. The visitor retired discomfited, and made complaint to General Jackson. Riding through the camp a few days after this, General Jackson saw Mr. Patterson standing in the door of his tent. Drawing rein before the tent he asked if he were not speaking to the Rev. Mr. Patterson, chaplain of the 3d North Carolina Regiment. Mr. Patterson saluted his General, and replied in the affirmative.
"The Rev. Dr. ------ tells me," said Jackson, "that you refused to let him preach to your men." "I did," replied the chaplain. "Why did you object to his preaching?" inquired the General. "He could have done them no harm; and he might have done them some good." Mr. Patterson looked fixedly at Jackson for a moment, with a singularly penetrating gaze very characteristic of him, and then asked in his quick, earnest manner: "General Jackson, do you want any one to help you to command this army corps?" "No, Sir," replied Jackson very emphatically, "I do not." "Well," said Mr. Patterson, "and I don't want anybody to help me to be chaplain of this regiment." General Jackson in turn gazed at the chaplain for a moment, with perhaps a suspicion of humor in his gray eye: "Good-morning, Mr. Patterson," he said, and rode on. The story is characteristic of both men. I had it from a prominent lawyer of North Carolina, who was a soldier in Mr. Patterson's regiment.
At a famous review of the Army of Northern Virginia, in June, 1863, just prior to General Lee's advance into Pennsylvania, Mr. Patterson marched in his place with his regiment, in surplice and stole, and with his Prayer Book in hand. "When the regiment passed General Lee, he acknowledged its salute in a very marked manner, bowing to his saddlebow with bared head. When asked why he did so, he replied: 'I salute the Church of the living God.'" [I give this incident on the authority and in the written words of the late Major Graham Daves.]
The faithful chaplains, who so fearlessly exposed themselves in ministering to the bodily and spiritual necessities of the wounded and dying upon the battlefield, did not always escape injury, though it is to be presumed that they were never purposely molested.
Bishop Green in his Convention Address of 1862, after speaking of the death of Bishop Meade, thus refers to that of one of his clergy, the Rev. M. Leander Weller: "Far different were the dying circumstances of our young soldier-brother Weller. His spirit went up on high from the midst of the battlefield, but he was not unprepared for that rude and sudden call. He had gone into the ranks, and patiently borne the toils and privations of the common soldier, for the purpose of getting nearer to the hearts of his comrades in arms. After distinguishing himself for uncommon bravery and the faithful performance of all his duties, he was appointed chaplain of his Regiment, with the prospect of much usefulness before him. But the measure of his days was near its end. On the memorable field of Shiloh he fell in the thickest of the fight. Thus passed from amongst us a man in whom were blended the simplicity of the child, the purity and gentleness of a woman, the dauntless courage of the soldier, and the unaffected piety of the Christian."
In The Church Intelligencer of June 13, 1862, is this following item of news: "The Rev. L. H. Jones, of San Antonio, Texas, we learn, fell sorely wounded at the battle of Glorietta, while bending with a white flag in his hand, over the body of a dying soldier, to whom he was ministering the comforts of religion." [This brave chaplain did not die of the wound thus received, though none the less he sacrificed his life in the service. Bishop Gregg says of him: "The Rev. L. H. Jones, Chaplain of Reily's Regiment, died October last . He was assiduous in the discharge of every duty, ministering to all alike, even where danger threatened most, winning the universal confidence and affection of the command. After a long course of hardship and exposure he died, where he would have wished to die, at the post of duty."]
A very important part of Church work for the soldiers was in supplying them with religious reading and, indeed, with proper reading of any character. To meet this necessity all the different religious bodies made noble exertions. In our own communion the leader in this enterprise seems to have been the Virginia Diocesan Missionary Society. They are said to have printed and distributed many thousands of pages of tracts. Their "Soldier's and Sailor's Prayer Book" will be mentioned later.
In South Carolina a society called the "Protestant Episcopal Church Female Bible, Prayer Book, and Tract Society" had been in operation for many years. This became a useful agency in circulating Bibles, Prayer Books, and tracts among the soldiers. Most of their, work was necessarily devoted to supplying the camps and hospitals near Charleston, where many thousands of soldiers were collected; but we have evidence that they sent their benefactions both to Virginia and to the Army of Tennessee. They imported tracts from England, the old familiar works of Hannah More and Leigh Richmond; they published many themselves suitable for the soldiers: "Prayer," "Faithfulness," "Christian Soldier," "Watching and Sleeping Christianity," "The Narrow Way," "Sunday Morning Dream," "Roll Call," "A few Words to the Soldiers of the Confederate States," "Prayers and other Devotions for the Use of the Soldiers," etc. Bibles, Prayer Books, and thousands of these and other tracts, were distributed in camp and fort and hospital. Public calamities and private suffering put an end to the operations of this Society before the end of the War, but not before it had done immense service.
Bishop Quintard gives a pathetic incident, connected apparently with the work of this Society, whose agent was Mr. J. K. Sass, of Charleston, one of the most prominent laymen of South Carolina, and the Treasurer, as has been said, for Domestic Missions in the Confederate States, and also Treasurer of the General Council. Bishop Quintard states that in 1864 he prepared two small books for the use of the soldiers, one as a sort of substitute for the Prayer Book for private use, the other called "Balm for the Weary and Wounded." He says: "It was through the great kindness and generosity of Mr. Jacob K. Sass, the Treasurer of the General Council of the Church in the Confederate States, that I was enabled to publish these two little volumes. The first four copies of the latter booklet that came from the press were forwarded to General Polk, and he wrote upon three of them the names of General J. E. Johnston, Lieutenant-General Hardee, and Lieutenant-General Hood, respectively, and 'With the compliments of Lieutenant-General Leonidas Polk, June 12, 1864.' They were taken from the breast-pocket of his coat, stained with his blood, after his death, and forwarded to the officers for whom he had intended them."
Early in the year 1864 there was formed in Charlotte, N.C., "The Protestant Episcopal Church Publishing Association" for the purpose of supplying religious literature for circulation in the army. So far as can now be ascertained this Association consisted of one godly and generous layman, John Wilkes, of St. Peter's Church, Charlotte, and his rector, the Rev. George M. Everhart. Mr. Wilkes was treasurer and Mr. Everhart "Book and Tract Editor." No. 1 of its series of tracts, and much the longest of them, was Bishop Lay's "Letters to a Man Bewildered among many Counsellors." Next came a sermon by Bishop Wilmer, "Future Good." A bundle of the briefer ones, on dirty-brown Confederate paper, shows the following titles, as specimens, "Fragments for the Sick," "The Repentance of Judas," "The Doubting Christian Encouraged," "There's a Good Time Coming," "Prayers for the Sick and Wounded," two "On Confirmation," "Profane Swearing," "Repentance of David," by Dr. Pusey, "The Day of Adversity." Later we find Bishop Quintard's notable little army tracts: "Balm for the Weary and Wounded," and "Nellie Peters' Pocket Handkerchief." There were later added "The Church Catechism Simplified," a "Catechism for very Young Children and Servants," and "Tracts for Children." This Association seems to have done the most extensive work of its kind which was done by the Church in the South. Their orders came from all the States of the South, from Virginia to Mississippi. In one issue of The Church Intelligencer they acknowledge the receipt of over ten thousand dollars, contributed from different Dioceses, parishes, and individuals, for the distribution of tracts in the army and the hospitals. This was in Confederate money, and it was probably the total amount of all receipts up to that date, but even so it indicates a very considerable amount of work. In Bishop Wilmer's Address to his Convention of 1864, speaking of the difficulty of procuring religious books for the army, he says that he has made arrangements with The Church Intelligencer, published in Charlotte, for a regular supply of tracts; and after communications became so interrupted that they could not be delivered in Alabama, he directed them to be sent to Bishop Lay in North Carolina for use among the soldiers. Thus as the War went on, the Church through her faithful clergy and laity endeavored to meet its varied demands; and especially the heart of the people went out to the brave soldiers, and all their slender resources were taxed to the uttermost to meet the spiritual needs of the army.
In this connection it is proper to mention The Church Intelligencer, published in Raleigh from March, 1860, until April 1,1864, when under the increasing difficulties of the times it suspended publication. In September of the same year it was revived in Charlotte, and continued to be issued regularly until March, 1867. It is a most valuable repository of the history of the Church in the Confederate States, and may be said to have been in effect the official organ of that Church. It took its origin, in the first instance, as we learn from the letter of a most intelligent correspondent in its first number, at a conference in Richmond, during the General Convention of 1859, of the Southern Bishops associated together in the establishment of the University of the South. [I think I am not mistaken in identifying this anonymous correspondent with the Rev. Dr. Aldert Smedes, of St. Mary's School, Raleigh.] It seemed to them desirable that some Church paper should represent their great enterprise, and afford them a ready means of bringing their purposes and their work before the Churchmen of the South. They therefore conferred together in Richmond, and determined to establish such a paper. Raleigh was agreed upon as the place of publication, and two North Carolina clergymen, the Rev. Thomas S. W. Mott and the Rev. Harry F. Green, respectively "Proprietor and Editor," undertook to carry on the work. Mr. Green wrote the opening editorial, but died two weeks before the appearance of the first number. His place was supplied by the Rev. Frederick Fitzgerald. Mr. Fitzgerald, after something more than a year's service, retired to become a chaplain in the Confederate Army, and the Rev. Mr. Mott acted as editor until the suspension of the paper in April, 1864. It was the recognized official organ of the Bishops of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, and Tennessee, and of the University of the South. Its circulation extended over all the territory reached by the mail service of the Confederate States, and it contains such a collection of official reports of Bishops and Conventions, news-letters by correspondents, communications from prominent clergymen and laymen upon questions of general and local Church interest, as can be found nowhere else. Except the Southern Churchman, published in Virginia and circulating chiefly in that Diocese, and the Southern Episcopalian, published irregularly in Charleston, it was our only Church paper in the South, and presents in its contents a wide variety of interesting information and able discussion. As its means of gathering news from beyond the limits of the South became more and more restricted, by the increasing strength and efficiency of encompassing hostile armies and fleets, instead of narrowing its view to purely local interests, it took up questions of history, of Church polity, and of literature, giving original articles and sometimes translations of ancient authors. A very scholarly series upon English Religious Poetry included long and appreciative articles upon Robert Herrick, Henry Vaughan, Robert Southwell, and others; another series treated of the Apostolic Fathers Clement and Ignatius, with translations from some of their Epistles; and many articles, both original and selected, dealt with subjects less strictly ecclesiastical. And there is no lack of darker pictures of the bloodshed, poverty, and destruction which in all directions drew a steadily contracting line of horror around our devoted land.
The Church of the Confederate States has no cause to feel ashamed of its paper, The Church Intelligencer. About the time that the Rev. Mr. Mott in the spring of 1864 had to discontinue its publication, "The Protestant Episcopal Church Publishing Association" began its work in Charlotte, as has been mentioned. Upon the urgent solicitation of the Bishop of North Carolina, and of prominent clergymen and laymen of that and other Dioceses, this Association undertook to revive The Church Intelligencer, and September 14, 1864, the first member of the new series appeared, with the Rev. Professor Fordyce M. Hubbard and the Rev. George M. Everhart as editors, and the Association, i.e. John Wilkes, as publisher. Under this new management the paper, though smaller in size, maintained, and even increased, its high standard of excellence. Prof. Hubbard held the chair of Latin at the University of North Carolina, but was also an accomplished English scholar; and this little sheet, upon dingy Confederate paper, in point of literary excellence compares favorably with the best of our Church papers of today. It continued for two years and a half, under the new management, to serve a valuable purpose in the life of the Church in the South, its last issue appearing in March, 1867, seven years almost to a day from the date of its first number. During the last year of its publication the editor of a leading New York literary journal, in estimating the quality of the religious press of the United States in point of intellectual and literary ability, assigned to The Church Intelligencer a place in the first rank of the religious periodicals of the country. [I was at the time a student in Trinity College, Hartford, and remember distinctly the above statement being made to me by Professor, now Bishop, Niles, with the name of the paper and its editor, though neither he nor I can now recall them.]
The General Council at Augusta had appointed a committee to report to its next meeting such changes in the Prayer Book, not affecting doctrine or discipline, as might seem desirable, and authorized in the meantime to publish an edition of the Prayer Book for present use. They were also authorized to print, for special use in the army and navy, a compendium, for public worship, of certain parts of the Prayer Book most commonly used. The only action of this committee, so far as is now known, was to carry out the last of the above directions, by publishing a pamphlet of forty-eight pages, printed at Atlanta in 1863 by R. J. Maynard, containing, in a novel but very convenient arrangement, Morning and Evening Prayer, the Litany, the Ante-Communion, certain selected "Prayers and Thanksgivings," six of the "Selections of Psalms," the "Office for the Burial of the Dead," "Prayers to be used at Sea," and a small number of the "Psalms in Metre" and Hymns from the old Prayer Book collection. Morning and Evening Prayer were shortened by the omission of alternative forms, as, one of the forms of Absolution, the Nicene Creed, etc.; and there was introduced into Morning Prayer the "Third Selection of Psalms," and into Evening Prayer the "Sixth Selection." What is called "the Lesser Litany" was also omitted. Apparently only a small edition was printed, and it seems to have been little used or known.
The Missionary Society of the Diocese of Virginia put out a similar publication, called "The Army and Navy Prayer Book." The first edition was of 10,000 copies, and was published in 1862 or 1863, Macfarlane & Furgusson, of Richmond, being the printers; and is spoken of by Bishop Johns in his Convention Address as, "A manual of public services and private devotions taken from our Book of Common Prayer, with a selection of Psalms and Hymns--printed for the special use of our soldiers." Within a year or so after this edition had appeared, another, of 25,000 copies, was printed for the Society by Charles H. Wynne, of Richmond. This little book, bound in heavy brown paper and of a size to be carried in the pocket, contained three short services. The first service was an abbreviated form of Morning (or Evening) Prayer, with seven Psalms from the Psalter appended; the second was the Litany, with brief introductory sentences and exhortation; the third was made up mostly of extracts from the Ante-Communion Office; then followed sixteen "occasional prayers," the Office of Confirmation; and last a small selection of Metrical Psalms and a number of Hymns, mostly taken from the collection at that time bound up with the Prayer Book.
Three editions of the "Confederate Prayer Book" are known to have been printed by Eyre & Spottiswoode, of London, in 1863, upon orders from the South. They are quite different in type, size, and binding, but were evidently put out about the same time and under the same direction or supervision. They have not the formal "Ratification and Adoption" prescribed to be used by the committee authorized by the General Council of November, 1862, to publish the Prayer Book, and must therefore have been published without the sanction of that committee, and as a matter of private enterprise or zeal. They have all the same errors, the words "United States" being left unchanged in the Prayers to be used at Sea, and in the Promise of Conformity made by the Bishop-Elect, in the Office for the Consecration of a Bishop. The Metrical Psalms and Hymns appended to the book are introduced by the same joint-resolution of "the General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America."
The largest and the smallest in size of these editions, the one a 24mo, long primer, the other about a 64mo, were printed for a Richmond publisher, and have on their title-page: "Richmond, Virginia; J. W. Randolph"; but upon the reverse of the title-page we read: "London:--Printed by G. E. Eyre and W. T. Spottiswoode." The only copies of these books, which the writer has been able to see or to hear of, have been in the North, or have been brought from the North. One of the smallest of these books is included in a Catalogue of Prayer Books exhibited at the Boston Public Library in 1906, and there is appended in the catalogue a note to the effect that, "About four hundred copies were sent out in the Blockade Runner Robert E. Lee, and captured off Wilmington, N. C, and sold at prize sale in Boston, December 1863." The only copy of the larger book, 24mo, long primer, ever seen by the writer, was given to the Rev. McNeely DuBose, of Asheville, by a lady, who wrote upon an inserted fly-leaf: "This book with many others, was thrown from a Blockade runner, while being pursued by a Federal gunboat during the war of 1861-1865. It was given me by an officer of the gunboat." It is not an unreasonable conjecture that the blockade runner thus pursued was the same Robert E. Lee mentioned in the preceding note, and that part of the consignment of Prayer Books to J. W. Randolph, Richmond, were lost, and the rest captured and sold at prize sale. So far as can be ascertained, none of them came into use in the South during the War.
The third of these Confederate Prayer Books, printed at the same time by the same firm, having only their name on the title-page, and showing exactly the same errors, is intermediate in size between the two, being about a 48mo, somewhat less expensively finished, bound in dark leather, with a plain Roman Cross stamped on the front cover. These books were brought through the blockade to Wilmington, N. C, upon an order sent out by a number of North Carolina clergymen, who agreed to send a bale of cotton, or the price thereof, from their several parishes, that the cotton might be sent through the blockade and sold in England, and the proceeds invested in Bibles and Prayer Books. A memorandum of the purchase and shipment of the cotton, in the handwriting of the late Dr. Armand J. DeRosset, an eminent Churchman and citizen of Wilmington, who purchased and shipped the cotton, is extant, preserved by the late Bishop Watson. The persons concerned in this transaction were the Rev. Dr. Richard S. Mason, of Christ Church, Raleigh; the Rev. Joseph Blount Cheshire, of Trinity Church, Scotland Neck; the Rev. Alfred A. Watson, of St. James Church, Wilmington; the Rev. Joseph C. Huske, of St. John's Church, Fayetteville; and the Rev. Robert B. Sutton, of St. Bartholomew's Church, Pittsboro. Mr. John Wilkes, of Charlotte, and Dr. Armand J. DeRosset also contributed to the fund for the purchase of the five bales of cotton which were sent. This venture proved more fortunate than that of the Richmond publisher. The number of books purchased is not known, but they came safe through the blockade, and were eagerly sought for and used. Many of them were sent to the soldiers in the army, and a small number were sent to each of the parishes contributing towards their purchase. All known copies of this edition were used in the South during the War, and it was really the only edition of a "Confederate Prayer Book "known in the Confederacy. It is probable that all these books were printed from existing plates of Eyre & Spottiswoode, the word "Confederate" being substituted for the word "United" in Morning and Evening Prayer, and in the Prayer for Congress, the only places where the word occurs in the services in1' common use. If new types had been set up, the other places would probably have been noted and corrected. It was perhaps not an unhappy chance which left the word "United" in as many places as those where it was changed. It is significant of the fact that the separation of the Church in the South was only such as practical necessity made unavoidable--and that it changed as little as possible of its usages and traditions.
CHAPLAINS IN THE CONFEDERATE ARMY
List of Clergymen of the Church who served as Chaplains in the Army of the Confederate States
The following list is doubtless incomplete, but it contains the names of all whom I can find any notice of, or hear of after inquiry.
Diocese of Virginia
1. Rev. Thomas M. Ambler
2. Rev. James B. Avirett
3. Rev. R. J. Baker
4. Rev. T. M. Boyd, 4th N. C.
5. Rev. James Carmichael
6. Rev. John Cole, in Hospital
7. Rev. J. Cosby
8. Rev. R.T. Davis, 6th Va. Cavalry
9. Rev. Thomas Duncan, Md. Line
10. Rev. Wm. H. Gardner, 24th Va.
11. Rev. R. Gatewood
12. Rev. John Griffin, 19th Va.
13. Rev. J. C. McCabe
14. Rev. John McGill, 52d Va.
15. Rev. John P. McGuire
16. Rev. Randolph H. McKim, 2d Va. Cavalry
17. Rev. M. Maury
18. Rev. W. C. Meredith
19. Rev. G. H. Norton
20. Rev. Edward T. Perkins
21. Rev. Alfred M. Randolph
22. Rev. P. G. Robert, 2d La., 4th Va. Artl.
23. Rev. C. P. Rodifer
24. Rev. Aristides S. Smith, 11th N.C.
25. Rev. Thompson L. Smith
26. Rev. K.J. Stewart
27. Rev. P. Tinsley
28. Rev. Lyman B. Wharton
29. Rev. George T. Williams
Diocese of North Carolina
1. Rev. Jarvis Buxton, Asheville Hosp.
2. Rev. Frederick Fitzgerald
3. Rev. Edwin Geer, Post-Wilmington
4. Rev. Thos. H. Haughton, 50th N. C.
5. Rev. Francis W. Hilliard, Post-Wilmington
6. Rev. Cameron F. MacRae, 15th N. C.
7. Rev. Matthias M. Marshall, 7th N. C.
8. Rev. Joseph W. Murphy, 32d & 43d N. C.
9. Rev. George Patterson, 3d N. C.
10. Rev. Girard W. Phelphs, 17th N. C.
11. Rev. Bennett Smedes, 5th N. C.
12. Rev. John C. Tennant, 32d N. C.
13. Rev. John H. Tillinghast, 44th N. C.
14. Rev. Maurice H. Vaughan, 3d N. C.
15. Rev. Alfred A. Watson, 2d N. C.
Diocese of South Carolina
1. Rev. William P. DuBose, Kershaw's Brigade
Diocese of Georgia
1. Rev. George Easter
2. Rev. Wm. T. Helms
3. Rev. Telfair Hodgson
4. Rev. Richard Johnson, 1st S. C. Cavalry
5. Rev. Jacquelin M. Meredith
6. Rev. Samuel J. Pinkerton, Atlanta Hospital
Diocese of Florida
1. Rev. J. J. Scott
Diocese of Alabama
1. Rev. J. J. Nicholson, Post Chaplain
Diocese of Mississippi
1. Rev. Jno. Chas. Adams, M.D. (?)
2. Rev. Fred W. Damus, Hospital
3. Rev. M. Elwell
4. Rev. John Gierlow
5. Rev. M. Leander Weller
Diocese of Louisiana
1. Rev. B. S. Dunn
2. Rev. Geo. W. Stickney
Diocese of Texas
1. Rev. L. H. Jones, 4th Texas Cavl.
2. Rev. H. B. Monges
Diocese of Tennessee
1. Rev. Wm. Crane Gray, 4th Tenn.
2. Rev. Chas. Todd Quintard
3. Rev. John Miller Schwrar, 4th Tenn.