Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee

Chapter V: The Army of Northern Virginia: Religious revival

The Document

There was at this time a great revival of religion in the army. My father became much interested in it, and did what he could to promote in his camps all sacred exercises. Reverend J. W. Jones, in his "Personal Reminiscences of General R. E. Lee," says:

"General Lee's orders and reports always gratefully recognised 'The Lord of Hosts' as the 'Giver of Victory,' and expressed an humble dependence upon and trust in Him.'

All his correspondence shows the same devout feeling.

On August 13, 1863, he issued the following order:

"Headquarters, Army Northern Virginia, August 13, 1863.

"The President of the Confederate States has, in the name of the people, appointed August 21st as a day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer. A strict observance of the day is enjoined upon the officers and soldiers of this army. All military duties, except such as are absolutely necessary, will be suspended. The commanding officers of brigades and regiments are requested to cause divine services, suitable to the occasion, to be performed in their respective commands. Soldiers! we have sinned against Almighty God. We have forgotten His signal mercies, and have cultivated a revengeful, haughty, and boastful spirit. We have not remembered that the defenders of a just cause should be pure in His eyes; that 'our times are in His hands,' and we have relied too much on our own arms for the achievement of our independence. God is our only refuge and our strength. Let us humble ourselves before Him. Let us confess our many sins, and beseech Him to give us a higher courage, a purer patriotism, and more determined will; that He will hasten the time when war, with its sorrows and sufferings, shall cease, and that He will give us a name and place among the nations of the earth.

"R. E. Lee, General."

Infantry review

A.C.W. Home Page | A.C.W. Subject Index | A.C.W. Books | A.C.W. Links

How to cite this article

Lee, Robert E. jr., The Recollections & Letters of Robert E. Lee, http://www.historyofwar.org/sources/acw/lee_letters/chapter05g, webpage created by Rickard, J (8 June 2006),

Help - F.A.Q. - Contact Us - Search - Recent - About Us -  Subscribe in a reader - Join our Google Group - Cookies