Christ in the Southern Army
Flag - In God We Trust
There have been many spiritual revivals in the United States such as the first great awakening and then the revival that took place under the preaching of George Whitefield. The second great awakening around 1800. There was also the Cane Ridge revival in Western Kentucky. but one such spiritual refreshing in our history came during one of the darkest hours of our existence as a nation. In fact the Lord saw fit to providentially send this revival to our people during the time when we were the most divided in terms of politics, education, culture, economics and religious faith. This was during the military conflict that we know as 'The War for Southern Independence' of 1861 - 1865.
At this time in our national history, the regions of the North and South were quite different from one another in many ways. For several decades preceding the war, the natural development of these two regions seemed to go in somewhat opposite directions. The South developed as an agrarian and rural society, while the North was more industrialized and urban. The southern political leaders advocated a more traditional interpretation of our national Constitution while the northern leaders followed a more liberal view. One of the most obvious differences was in the area of religious belief and social philosophy. Some of the established churches and prominent ministers of the North seemed to be more influenced by the unscriptural philosophies of Deism, Pantheism, Unitarianism, Humanism and rationalism which was a carry-over from the recent "reign of terror" of the French Revolution. These philosophies had invaded the educational institutions such as Harvard & Yale Universities.
At this same time most churches and Christian ministers of the South held to the more traditional Calvinistic view and practice of Scripture that had been passed down from the Protestant Reformation. It just seemed inevitable that the people of these two regions of the same country would eventually come to a parting of the ways or at least a clash of political, cultural and religious philosophies. Instead it came to a head in the form of a military conflict which resulted in more deaths than all other American wars combined. In all American wars from the Revolutionary War through Vietnam – the total U.S. military casualty count was 639,557. During the “The War Between the States” between 1861-1865 the total casualty count was 665,850.
During this time of national crisis when seemingly our nation was the most divided, the Lord in His sovereign mercy saw fit to send a mighty spiritual revival to the Confederate army of the South with such powerful results that it would still be felt to this day. The spiritual impact of this great revival helped to solidify what we still call the "Bible Belt." The revival that took place would affect many of the officers and common soldiers of the three main divisions of the southern army, but mainly The Army of Northern Virginia of which General Robert E. Lee was the commanding officer.
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