Saturday, April 17, 2010

Few Sunday's Left

In 1864, April 17 was a Sunday. There were very few Sunday's left for many soldiers, both blue and gray. Religion was important to many of the soldiers and services were usually well attended. Church gave the soldiers something solid to lean on to as they prepared for the horror that all knew was days or weeks away.

From a soldier in the 86th New York: "Attended muster in the chapel. Sermon by Chaplain Bradner of the 126th Regt. PM a communion was on. Also 4 of my friends were baptized by Rev. Mr. ___(chaplain) of my regt. Evening attended prayer meeting, had a good meeting."

"Sunday School and church service today as usual." jotted Elisha Hunt Rhodes of the 2nd Rhode Island in his diary.

Another heard a sermon by Dr. Durya of New York. "He handled the Infinite in a rather easy way, but he had a good manner & an excellent voice for singing."

Many had inspections and dress parades, a normal Sunday event. But generally most of the men stayed in their 'homes' if possible, for it was another rainy day in Culpeper.

In a short time, the chapels would be torn down, the tenting folded and returned to the Christian Commission. The Army of the Potomac would move from cabins to tents in preparation for the work ahead.

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