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General Lee At Prayer Meeting During A Battle

( Originally Published 1902 )

REV. J. WILLIAM JONES, of Lexington, Virginia, makes the following reference to the religion of General Robert E. Lee:

" He always attended public worship, if it were in his power to do so, and often the earnestness of the preacher would make his eye kindle and his face glow. He frequently attended the meetings of his chaplains, took a warm interest in the proceedings, and uniformly exhibited an ardent desire for the promotion of religion in the army. He did not fail, on many occasions, to show his men that he was a sincere Christian. When General Meade came over to Mine Run, and the Southern army marched to meet him, Lee was riding along his line of battle in the woods, when he came upon a party of soldiers holding a prayer-meeting on the eve of battle. Such a spectacle was not an unusual one in the army then and afterwards—the rough fighters were often men of profound piety—and on this occasion the sight before him seems to have excited deep emotion in Lee. He stopped, dismounted—the staff officers accompanying him did the same—and Lee uncovered his head, and stood in an attitude of profound respect and attention, while the earnest prayer proceeded, in the midst of the thunder of artillery and the explosion of the enemy's shells."

The General-in-Chief of the army and the private soldier are on the same level in prayer before the God who ruleth over all.

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