Happy Friday, everyone! I’m back from the Southwide Independent Baptist Fellowship and let me tell you, it was amazing! God is so good, and the services were so encouraging. Plus, we were able to give out information about FBN and sell some of my books!
Today I am returning to my series on Soldier Life. In case your new, the Soldier Life series (click here for last post) is a series currently dealing with the American War Between the States. The purpose of this series is to help out fellow writers and researchers, helping them avoid the hunt and peck method for information that I experienced 😊 I do occasionally recommend some books on the topics I cover, but I generally try to give basic info on the topic, along with some not so well know information. Today, we’re talking about Chaplains.
What is a Chaplain? A chaplain is a preacher, for the army 😉 Their job was to minister to the soldiers the same way a pastor would. Let’s check out some of those jobs.
Preaching. Obviously as a man of God, it was the job of the Chaplain to preach the word of God to the soldiers. Many units canceled unnecessary duties on Sundays to support the church services. In the Confederate Army starting in 1862, revival broke out in camp. With this came daily services in many places and an increased soulwinning effort. This lasted until the war ended and was the last great revival our Nation has seen.
Counseling. During war, many men take time to look at their lives, seeing things that need to change. The chaplain was often the one they turned to with spiritual questions.
Ministering to the wounded and dying. We all know that scene in a film were the preacher is called in to pray with the dying man, usually using the Lord’s Prayer or Psalm 23 to comfort. That’s not far from the truth. While they may not have only used those portions of scripture, the scene was seen frequently during the war. Also, Chaplains hovered near the surgery tents to pray with the men before losing a limb or undergoing operations.
Singing. There were no song leaders hired in the army😆 While some of the men in camp could serve in this capacity, it often fell to the chaplain to lead the singing in camp services.
The Shoulder to Lean on. While a comrade in arms, a family member or even the doctor often filled this role, the chaplain was more times than not the man to turn to when you were struggling mentally, spiritually, physically and emotionally.
Librarian. Not literally, but if you needed something to read, find your chaplain 😉 They collected donations from citizens to provide reading material for the troops: Books, Bibles, Newspapers, Tracts, whatever you could think of.
A Few Books You Should Check Out:
Christ in the Camp by J. William Jones (Robert E. Lee’s personal Chaplain). This book focuses on the Religion in the army, not on the causes of the war, though it briefly touches on this. No matter who you think was right in the War Between the States, you should read this book!
Chaplains in Gray by Charles Pitt. Another good one! This book is shorter than the first book, but every bit as informative!
Hope this helps you in your pursuit of knowledge 😊
Have a Blessed Day!
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Christian. American. Southern. Author.
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