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In Their Own Words

March 12, 1864

Religious Revival Among Civil War Soldiers

A Georgia soldier in Tennessee wrote home to his wife about a revival type religious feeling amongst the soldiers - and how it affected him personally.

“…Thank God for health, strength, food and rearmament. … Dear, I am in the best of health and spirits. I still retain my cheerful manner and look for light out of darkness. I have enjoyed more of the power and joy of religion for several days past than usual. We have very good meetings night and day. We have made considerable improvement in the brigade since Brother Haygood, the missionary to our brigade, has been here. He is a good preacher and a good man. Last Sabbath we had sacrament, we have a good time but when I thought of my dear wife so far away from the sacrament board while I was knelt down by a log away here in East Tennessee. I busted forth in anguish of tears, perhaps some one thought I was a fool but God knows thy grounds and counts thy tears… You cannot imagine with what joy thrilled my heart when you wrote me in your letter that Tommy could almost say his prayers himself. That is right my dear, teach him the good and the right way and all will be well. …”

Source: Ronald H. Moseley (ed.), The Stilwell Letters: A Georgian in Longstreet’s Corps. Army of Northern Virginia (Macon: Mercer University Press, 2002), pp. 243-244.