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Faith in the Fight
01-12-2018, 11:12 AM (This post was last modified: 01-12-2018 11:13 AM by Gene C.)
Post: #1
Faith in the Fight
Full title "Faith in the Fight - Civil War Chaplains"

Published in 2003, it consist of 126 pages of text and notes with about 125 pages of Rosters of Union and Confederate Chaplains

The book consists of two essays
1. Union Military Chaplains by Benedict Maryniak
2. The Chaplains of the Confederacy by John Brinsfield
and
Two chapters of personal reminiscence from diaries, letters and speeches
1. Confederate Chaplains in Their Own Words
2. A Yankee Chaplain Remembers

Fairly interesting, much of the chapter material deals with the organization (and lack of) the position of Army Chaplain, qualifications, duties, etc., which I found a bit dry. The personal experience of these men was the most interesting part of the book.

"Civil War army chaplains immersed themselves in the experience of war - its methods, its human costs, and moral ambiguities - knowing in advance that they attempted something fundamentally impossible, yet necessary and highly important. To be an army chaplain meant submission to chaos while
nevertheless retaining faith in order and meaning. Every day held experiences that tested not only the chaplain's physical stamina but also the beliefs that were the underpinnings of his entire being."

Many of the chaplains were the ministers of the soldiers home congregation or community. They may have even known many of the soldiers before the war broke out. It was often the chaplains unpleasant duty to write to the parents of a soldier who died during the war, here is a copy of such a letter...

"It is my painful duty to announce to you the death of your son, Thomas Maddox, a sergeant of Second Kentucky Regiment.
He was killed in the battle of Hartsville, December 7, 1862. One ball entered his arm, another his breast, a third his mouth, which being partially opened did not in the least disfigure his face.
I have known Tom well and intimately ever since he entered the army. I never knew a better boy nor one whom I loved more. The contamination of camp life never reached his pure and lofty spirit. I never knew him to do a wrong. I never heard him speak an unkind word. He lived in the fear of God and kept his commandments.
He was brave as the bravest, and a smile of heavenly sweetness rested on his countenance at death.
As sure as the Bible is true and religion a divine reality, his spirit rests with the sacramental hosts of God's elect. I bid you not sorrow as those who have no hope, for he shall live again when the light of the resurrection morn illuminates the earth. Death shall restore him immortal. May this blessed hope console your hearts in your sad bereavement! May the God of all grace comfort your hearts as only he can!

Yours respectfully..."

I was able to purchase my copy for $1 at my local Library book sale.
It is available on Amazon
https://www.amazon.com/Faith-Fight-John-...+the+fight

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
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01-12-2018, 06:18 PM
Post: #2
RE: Faith in the Fight
Good post Gene
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01-12-2018, 06:47 PM
Post: #3
RE: Faith in the Fight
Agreed. And, one of those Union chaplains was right here in Southern Maryland serving as the priest of an Episcopal congregation that was 99% pro-Confederate. The assassination nuts among us will remember his name, Rev. Lemuel Wilmer, because Dr. Mudd stated that Booth and Herold asked him for directions to Parson Wilmer's place. This was either a Mudd misquote or Booth trying to implicate a man that he knew was a good Union man. BTW: Rev. Wilmer's appointment as a chaplain for the Union army came from Edwin Stanton. Ever wonder if the reverend might have been a spy for the Union in the thick of Maryland's Confederacy?

P.S. Rev. Wilmer's old church still stands, and he is buried beside it.
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Today, 09:17 AM (This post was last modified: Today 09:42 AM by David Lockmiller.)
Post: #4
RE: Faith in the Fight
(01-12-2018 11:12 AM)Gene C Wrote:  Full title "Faith in the Fight - Civil War Chaplains"

It was often the chaplains unpleasant duty to write to the parents of a soldier who died during the war, here is a copy of such a letter...

"It is my painful duty to announce to you the death of your son, Thomas Maddox, a sergeant of Second Kentucky Regiment.

He was killed in the battle of Hartsville, December 7, 1862. One ball entered his arm, another his breast, a third his mouth, which being partially opened did not in the least disfigure his face.

I think that the last line quoted above was unnecessary and not beneficial to the family. "He died of multiple gunshot wounds" would have been satisfactory and much kinder to the feelings of the family.

"So very difficult a matter is it to trace and find out the truth of anything by history." -- Plutarch
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