Page:Confederate Veteran volume 01.djvu/21

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CONFEDERATE VETERAN.


volumes reached the heavens; such an expression as never yet came from the throats of Mine men, but from men whom the seething blast of an imaginary hell would not check while the sound lasted. " The battle of Chickamauga is won. " Dear Southern mother, that was the Rebel yell, and only such scenes ever did or ever will produce it. "Even when engaged, that expression from theCon- federate soldier always made my hair stand on end. The young nun and youths who composed this un- earthly music were lusty, jolly, clear-voiced, hardened soldiers, full of courage, and proud to march in rags, barefoot, dirty and hungry, with head erect to meet the plethoric ranks of the besl equipped and best fed army of modern times. Alas' now many of them are decrepit from ailment and age, and although we will never grow mid enough to cease being proud of the record of the Confederate soldier, and the dear old mothers who bore them, we can never again, even at your bidding, dear, dear mother, produce the Rebel yell. Never again : never, never, never." RELIGION IN THE SOUTHERN ARMY. JUDGE TURNEY ON" MR DAVIS. Tin: jurist's or/.v/o.v of the fallen < inrFTAiy. In a speech at ( darks vi lie. Ten n., Judge Turney said he did not care to make a speech except to keep him- self identified with the immortal idea of constitutional gO eminent. This was not altogether an occasion of mourning. The South had much to he thankful for, Her grand leader had lived long, enough to see the* intense- hatred and slander horn of the war pass away, and to know that the divisions among his own people were healed, and all believed that he acted upon conscientious and upright judgment. He spoke of Mr. Davis as a comrade as well as a .statesman. He had seen him risk his life on two battlefields. He remembered seeing him at the first Manassas, and he felt outraged that the great guiding brain of the Confederacy as he considered Mr. Davis, should take such risks. Again, when the noble Hatton fell Mr. Davis was on the field. He saw Hatton 's troops go into the fight, and, noting Hatton at its head, Mr. Davis said : "That brigade moves in handsomely, hut it will lose its commander." Mr. Davis thought for others but not for himself. He thought Mr Davis the ablest defender of consti- tutional law in the Union. From his sacrifice he could come to no other conclusion than that Mr. Davis believed in the justice of the South's cause as he believed in the Christian religion. He had absolutely no doubt of the right of a State to go out of the Union when the terms of the Union were violated. His State papers would live as long as Jefferson's. He was the equal of Jefferson, Calhoun and Webster, and superior to all who lived when he breathed his last. Mr. Davis was immortal. He would live while man- hood lasts. [From the New York Evangelist.] Dear Dr. Field: I have just read- your article on Stonewall Jackson in Harper's Magazine, and it is as if I had been to a good church service. Indeed, I could baldly have shed so many tears under a sermon. When you speak of the religious spirit in the South- ern army, it takes me hack to Dalton, and the great Johnston-Sherman campaign. That you can see the truth so clearly, through the many mystifying glasses through which you looked before coming face to face with us, amazes me when I read from your pen, that is always so kind and just. There has never been, even in the army of Crom- well or G ust a v us Adolphus. a stronger religious feeling than there was in the army under Joseph E.Johnf That great commander, who strengthened the con- fidence of his men while on retreat, was confirmed in the Episcopal Church by one of his Lieutenant Gen- erals, Bishop Polk. That day was a sort of half holi- day in the army. Hut it was to tell you of the experiences among the boy soldiers that I intended to write, and to tell you of my o 11 personally. Late one afternoon 1 asked to go with me, to a se- cluded spot, a young comrade, who had been my schoolmate, classmate, and intimate associate, whose conversion a few days previous had causedhis face to be ihanged so that hg exhibited a meekness which was not natural to him. He was thoroughly convert- ed. 1 sought an interview with him, that I might get comfort. We left our place of conference just before dark, to go directly to tlfe night service. It was a new camp near Dal ton, and just before the beginning of that campaign of one hundred days' fighting over the one hundred miles back to Atlanta. After the sermon I was off in the dark in an agony of prayer that something would arouse me to realize the uncertainty of life. Mv friend had remained in the altar place, talking ami praying with penitents. Suddenly there came a heavy, dull thud, like the fall- ing of a tree in the forest, as indeed it was, an old oak that had been burned off at the roots. Rut the tragi- cal part of it was. that it struck in its fall a file of young ni( n who were in its path, of whom ten were killed by the stroke, anil lay dead in a row under the huge trunk. They were all bright young fellows, full of life and promise of the number was this life-long friend, whose sweetest counsel had been given me just before that service. I was his only watcher that night. Profanity, which is so common among soldiers, was almost entirely given up. There were no scoffers at the religion that had such a hold upon the army. Thank you, Dr. Field, for the tribute to Stonewall Jackson, and for all vour generous and courageous words about the South" ! S. A. C. • The above was written as a private letter. Its ap- pearance in print was a surprise, and this reproduc- tion is rather accidental.