They Have Never Heard of the True Church

Crown of thorns woven by Varina Davis for her husband. Now in Confederate Memorial Hall in New Orleans, the object formally hung in the study of Jefferson Davis, above a photograph and autograph inscription of Pius IX, sent to the president while he was prisoner at Fortress Monroe.
Crown of thorns woven by Varina Davis for her husband. Now in Confederate Memorial Hall in New Orleans, the object formally hung in the study of Jefferson Davis, above a photograph and autograph inscription of Pius IX, sent to the president while he was prisoner at Fortress Monroe.

Perhaps this is the night for prayer meeting, for the parsons taking advantage of this period of calm are indefatigable in their efforts to draw the soldiers together to sing psalms and assist at prayer; hundreds and thousands respond to their call & the woods for miles resound with the unscientific but earnest music of the rough veterans of Lee’s Army; in doleful contrast to the more enlivening notes of the initiated, the chorus of the ‘mourners’ may often be recognized, for conversions among the non religious members of the army are of daily occurrence and when they establish themselves upon the ‘mourners’ bench, it is evident to all how deep and loud is their repentance. There is something very solemn in these immense choruses of earnest voices, and there are, I am sure, hundreds of these honest soldiers truly sincere in believing that they are offering their most acceptable service to God; for they have never heard of the True Church, or if they have, their attention has not been sufficiently drawn to the right which She alone has of teaching mankind the only true mode of worship. Some of the parsons or chaplains are very zealous and persevering in assembling the soldiers to prayer, especially the chaplain of the eleventh Va, and the seventh. The chaplain of the eleventh Regt. held in high esteem by all, whether members of religion or not; for, they say, in times of action, he is as bold as the bravest and is to be seen in the first and fiercest battles consoling and assisting the wounded. Florence McCarthy of Richmond, Chaplain of the 7th Inf. is also distinguished for his preaching and zeal among the soldiers. They say he told his congregation the other day, that when they heard the doors and windows of the church slamming while the minister of God was preaching, they might be sure that the devil was at work trying to hinder the faithful from listening to the divine Word. Some might very naturally presume from this that his Satanic majesty was most at large during the blustering month of March than at any other time in the year. Joseph Durkin, S.J., ed., John Dooley, Confederate Soldier: His War Journal.

Published by Christian Clay Columba Campbell

Christian Clay Columba Campbell is a Roman Catholic of the Anglican Use. As Senior Warden of the Cathedral of the Incarnation (Orlando, FL), he organised the process by which the parish accepted the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, petitioning to join the Catholic Church. The Anglican Cathedral is now the Church of the Incarnation in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. Personal queries should be directed to me at eccentricbliss dot com.

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