Baptists and the American Civil War: May 30, 1863

revivals_confederatesSouthern Baptist army missionary A. E. Dickinson today writes of revivals in Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia.

I have within a few days received the most cheering accounts from the Army of Northern Virginia. In almost every regiment protracted meetings are in progress, and souls are being born into the kingdom. Last Sabbath, Rev. N. B. Cobb, of North Carolina, baptized five in Ransom’s Brigade, Rev. Mr. Betts two, and the chaplain of the Fourteenth North Carolina five. The meetings in this brigade are becoming more and more interesting every day, and Brother Cobb informs me that ‘quite a number have been converted since last Sabbath.’ In Wright’s Brigade, a great work of grace is going on. Last Thursday, Brethren Hyman and Marshall, chaplains of the Twelfth and Forty-ninth Georgia Regiments, baptized twenty-six. The chaplain of the Fortieth Virginia reports thirty penitents in Heth’s Brigade. Brother Barrett, chaplain Forty-fifth Georgia, Thomas’s Brigade, reports from fifty to one hundred who are seeking the Saviour. Since the battle of Chancellorsville, he has received seven for church-membership. In the Twelfth South Carolina, twenty-five are reported as having made their peace with God. A quarter-master in Armistead’s Brigade writes me that a good work has commenced there, and that nothing is so much needed as men to preach Jesus. A Baptist minister from Pickett’s Division says that ‘in every brigade in that division protracted meetings are being held, and a solemn and deep religious influence pervades many hearts.’ Rev. Bernard Phillips, our colporter at Winder Hospital, informs me that ‘a precious revival is being enjoyed at that post. Two were received for baptism last night.’ Brother Phillips is assisting in a protracted meeting, at which many are crying to God for mercy. The cry is for the Gospel. In some of these protracted meetings, the voice of a minister has scarcely been heard. Will not fifty of our pastors throw themselves, for a few months, into this great work? ‘Send us tracts, colporters, and evangelists.’ Will not the Churches give with a munificent liberality, of their possessions, that the board may meet these pressing demands?

“A. E. Dickinson, Superintendent, etc.”

Source: John William Jones, Christ in the Camp: Or Religion in Lee’s Army, Richmond: B. F. Johnson, 1887, pp. 309-310 (link)