The spirit of the Christian Religion pervaded the armies of the Confederacy. The vast majority of our soldiers were its nominal adherents, and thousands of them were professors of the faith. Its influence was felt in almost every regiment. In the quiet of camp, during the march and on the eve of battle its sacred services imparted fortitude under hardship and heroic courage for the day of conflict. From the Commander-in-chief to the humblest private in the ranks a reverent respect was paid to its ministers and its ordinances.
We have seen Robert E. Lee, unattended by even a sergeant, go afoot through the mire to the soldiers’ gathering for worship, and sitting in the midst of them devoutly listen with them to the preaching of God’s Word, and mingle his prayers and praises with theirs. (Thomas J. “Stonewall”) Jackson was proverbially a man of prayer. He led his fiery and resistless columns into the tempest of battle with hand uplifted to heaven in token of dependence on God, and supplication for His blessing. It deserves to be mentioned that that great soldier before the breaking out of hostilities taught a humble Sabbath-School at Lexington, the pupils of which when his remains were taken there for burial followed them with every mark of affection to their last, quiet resting-place. I desire to record it, amidst the affecting solemnities of this funereal occasion, that during an extended experience as chaplain I never encountered a sick, wounded or dying Southern soldier who rejected the Christian faith, or treated its proffered consolations with contempt.
Let us then accept from them as in some sort martyrs for religion as well as for liberty the solemn obligation to maintain the Christianity which sustained them amid the privations of a soldier’s life and the anguish of a soldier’s death. Deo Vinidice
Special thanks to Dr. Ron Romburg for sharing this with us on this Memorial Day weekend.