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Primary Sources for the 1st Connecticut Cavalry

Philadelphia Sunday School Times, April 2, 1864

Letter from Annapolis Junction.


THE following letter from Chaplain Warriner, addressed to Mr. Griffith, Chair-man of the Maryland District of the Christian Commission, shows clearly and forcibly how invaluable the Commission proved to at least one chaplain in his earnest faithful Christian labors:

My Dear Sir :—Allow me to send you a word of greeting from the First Connecticut cavalry.

I write to encourage you and all the friends and patrons of the Christian Commission to persevere in your noble work, and to assure you that your labor is not vain in the Lord. At Hall's Farm, Va., before we came to Baltimore, I was the only chaplain for a time in the cavalry brigade stationed at that place. This led me to extend my field of operations and visit with books and papers those regiments and detachments not provided with chaplains. The material for these contributions came from the Christian Commission. I met with many cordial greetings on my first tour through the different regiments, but at night returned very weary to my tent and was thinking over the experience of the day, when all at once, fine voices with an instrument struck up a cheerful serenade before my tent. I knew I had heard some of those voices in the camp of the Fourth New York cavalry that day, and soon my ears caught the beautiful strains of a hymn which we had found in the papers I had distributed.

They had learned that very day to sing the hymn, and had come a distance to serenade the chaplain “for giving them something to read.” I mention this only to encourage those who fear the soldiers do not appreciate or profit by the papers, Bibles, tracts, and hymn books which are furnished by the Christian Commission.

During our stay of more than a year in Baltimore, we enjoyed the benefits of regular supplies from the rooms of the Christian Commission; and every Sabbath morning, the appearance of papers and tracts announced the return of the Lord’s day, and served to prepare the minds of the soldiers for the religious service.

The regiment was stationed at Camp Chesebrough, in Baltimore, and there we erected at our own expense, a neat and commodious chapel. No one would have thought that soldiers would have taken hold of such an enterprise with so much enthusiasm. Some of the men while employed in building barracks, worked on the chapel during twilight, after the regular day's work was finished. We cannot think that soldiers are lost to all that is pure and noble, when on the camp they occupy for a transient period, they erect a sanctuary for the worship of the Most High, and present the humble offering to God—with the voice of prayer and hymn of praise. It reminds us of the tabernacle in the camp of Israel, a place of divine manifestations, and a centre of pure and hallowed influences. In that little house of God, several have knelt in penitence, and found pardon and peace. To them the spot will ever seem a Bethel; a sacred place—

Privileged beyond the common walks of virtuous life—
Quite on the verge of heaven.“

The dedication was an occasion of great interest. The Rev. G. De La Matyr, chaplain of the Eighth New York artillery, assisted in the services.

One of the most impressive and interesting scenes I ever witnessed, was a communion service in camp. None who were present will ever forget it. It was affecting to see the pious veterans whom the Lord of Hosts had defended in many a battle, and shielded in many a fierce temptation, coming forward in the presence of their comrades leading the young converts to the table of the Lord.

We leave the little chapel to the First Maryland cavalry, who take our places on the camp, and we hope it will continue to be used for religious services.

The regiment is now en route for the Army of the Potomac. We hope, however, we are not going beyond the reach of the agents of the Christian Commission.

Yours very truly,
Chaplain 1st Conn. Cavalry.


1st_connecticut_primary_sources.txt · Last modified: 2019/06/04 17:42 by admin