Primary tabs


Religion in the 78th.

[Special Correspondence of the Whig and Republican.]

Headquarters, 78th Reg. Ill. Vol's

New Haven, Ky. Jan. 22, 1863.

Mr. Editor: — A few words in regard to the state of religion and morals in this regiment will be more than acceptable to many of your readers who have husbands, sons and brothers here, in whose moral well-being they are deeply interested.

I may begin by saying, that in this regiment of course, as in every other, and every where else, "sin abounds." The prevailing forms of immorality with us are profanity, obscenity and Sabbath desecration. In two or three companies, whose commanding officers are dissipated, intemperate practices prevail to an alarming extent. Jayhawking, once practiced in a limited degree, has been pretty effectually frowned out.

Our religious services in seven of the ten companies, have been well attended. In the other three companies there are a few who show a proper regard for sacred things.

Some of our men who professed piety at home have made sad shipwreck here; but a majority of professors of religion are struggling nobly and successfully against temptation and their Christian energies and affections are being invigorated by the exercise. The principles and behavior of some of our officers are quite unfriendly to the growth of piety among the men. Were our regimental and company officers all as deeply interested in the spiritual welfare of the man, as some are and ought to be, ours would be one of the most moral and best regulated regiments in the field I think.

We have been detailed as bridge guards on the Louisville & Nashville Railroad, and previous to the capture of Co's B and C, and the late Morgan raid, we occupied ten different posts. Thus divided and scattered it has only been possible for me to make the "grand rounds" about once in three weeks or a little oftener, and in some of the companies there are no religious exercises excepting when I visit them.

Just at this moment a courier has arrived with the intelligence that we are to take the field, and with an order that we be ready to move on short notice. Ours will hereafter be the camp, the march, and the bloody conflict; but thank God we will be together, and as in Union there is strength, I hope the change may be for the better both with regard to the service we render to the country, and the obedience we owe to God.

We have felt — and more especially since we have been so subdivided, the want of some outward bond of union among Christian men in the regiment, and of some organized system opposition to prevailing vices. We have accordingly formed an association at each of the stockades, known as "The Christian Association of the 78th Reg't Ill. Vols.

Our basis of Union is the following pledge, which is the preamble to our Constitution:

"For the purpose of preserving our Christian integrity, and promoting each other's usefulness and growth in grace, we, the undersigned members of the 78th Reg Ill. Vol., do hereby band ourselves together, promising scrupulously to refrain from all unnecessary use of intoxicating liquors, from the use of profane and indecent language, from Sabbath desecration, from falsehood and licentiousness; and promising further that we will attend punctually, whenever it is practicable, on the preaching of the Word of God, and such other means of grace as may be within our reach; and promising further, that we will pray one for another, that we will faithfully caution and admonish one another, and that we will kindly and thankfully receive cautions and admonitions one from another in regard to any breach of, or departure from the terms of this agreement."

These associations are all formed on the [unknown] with the view of consolidating when we are brought together. [Unknown] once in two weeks, and some of them every week, to receive members, transact business, and to discuss some practical question in Christian morals, interspersing these with other exercises of a devotional character. — These meetings are generally interesting and profitable to all who attend them; and the influence of the association on the morals of the regiment is already quite obvious. Having to make arrangements for removal, I must close thus abruptly, requesting the prayers of the Christian public in our behalf.

R.F. TAYLOR, Chaplain.
Macomb Journal please copy.