Did Your Civil War Ancestor Turn to His Faith for Comfort?

Parham, like many others during the Civil War, reflected on eternal matters for comfort. Thus far, we have seen Parham refer to Divine Providence as the reason he and comrades survived through battle. He referred to a fallen mess mate as a Christian. In a letter not yet posted, we will see Parham write of his hope that, should he not survive the cruel war, he will one day be reunited with family in heaven where there are neither wars nor rumors of wars.

Poore Boys In Gray

Richmond, Va. St. John's Church. (Library of Congress photo) Richmond, Va., St. John’s Church. (Library of Congress photo)

The Union grip on Petersburg in early 1865 had made the men of the Army of Northern Virginia near captives behind their defenses. They were often exposed to the elements in severe weather. They did not have enough to eat. And death daily stalked them.

Brothers John and William Poore and their comrades might have found some comfort in the nightly prayer meetings that had been a feature of army life since the war began. As weary and hungry as they were, soldiers sought refuge in their faith at these meetings.

This aspect of the lives of soldiers, in both gray and blue, is too often overlooked by historians. Faith is important for understanding how John, William and the other men bore up under such privations and for understanding the actions they took after the war.

For hundreds of other brave…

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