Friday, October 17, 2008

Revival in the Midst of War

A selection from a letter by a Confederate soldier, Tally Simpson, written to his sister Mary, April 10, 1863. Tally Simpson, along with his brother, Dick, enlisted in the army for the Southern cause in April 1861. Dick was discharged from service in July 1862 because of severe illness. Tally was killed in the battle of Chickamauga, September 20, 1863.

The revival still continues, and several hundred of Barksdale’s men have been converted, and many more are still anxious about their soul’s salvation. I saw, the other day, about twelve young men baptized in [the] Baptist faith. The pool is under the pulpit, and all to be done is to lift off the floor of the pulpit, where the preacher stands every Sunday, and there is the pool of the proper size. The evening was very cold, and it went very hard with the poor fellows. It was a touching sight, and I could not help thinking of the account given in the New Testament when Jesus was baptized by John. My prayers ascended to Heaven in behalf of the young converts, and Oh! how I wish we all, friends and relatives, and in fact every one, were in the Arc of Safety at this moment. I believe if we were all Christians this moment the war would close immediately. But as our nation is wicked, God will chastise it severely ere He stays his hand.

Far, Far From Home: The Wartime Letters of Dick and Tally Simpson, 3rd South Carolina Volunteers, edited by Guy R. Everson and Edward W. Simpson, Jr., Oxford University Press, 1994, pp. 213-14.

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