Слике страница


brothers-children of one God-heirs together of those blessings
purchased by the blood of gallant men—a heritage of freedom,
justice, independence, glory!

His oration served to recognize the sacrifices of the Union loyalists and the aspirations of the blacks, as well as to reinforce reconstruction. In his memoir, however, he viewed it as an instrument of reconciliation, saying that the references to General Lee were “gratefully appreciated” and that many of the Southern papers expressed admiration for his sentiments of good will at a time “when the Northern press was breathing out denunciation and demanding the execution of the leaders and the confiscation of Southern Land.” He also said some people had severely criticized the oration. 48

Pepper's Army ministry came to a close in 1869 when the four black infantry regiments were consolidated into the 24th and 25th Infantry Regiments (Colored). The consolidation meant that there were four chaplains for only two positions and for any position that might become vacant in either of the black cavalry regiments, the 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments (Colored). There were five post chaplain vacancies at that time, but it was not Army policy to transfer regimental chaplains into the post chaplaincy. Therefore Pepper, one of the two junior infantry regiment chaplains, was declared supernumerary, and he requested and received a leave of absence until a position became vacant in one of the black regiments. When a vacancy finally did occur in the Tenth and he received orders to report for duty, his wife was seriously ill from a premature child birth, and he submitted his resignation. Later, when his wife's health improved, he attempted unsuccessfully to have his resignation revoked; he then attempted to re-enter the Army, but was again unsuccessful. 49

Suspecting that someone in the War Department believed his reconstruction activities had been done at the expense of his legal duties as a regimental chaplain and had therefore blocked his re-entry into the Army, he submitted testimonial letters on his behalf from several influential friends. One was from General Miles, his former commander, who appreciated the work of Army chaplains and said that he knew of “no position where a minister is required to exercise more faith and patience than in the Army, where they receive little or no syrnpathy from those around them.” Miles wrote that Pepper was a public-spirited man who never allowed outside affairs to interfere with his official duties, always preached once or twice each Sunday, visited the sick in the hospital and at home, and distributed large quantities of literature to

9 51

the soldiers. Miles also said that the "fruits of his labors in the cause of education in North Carolina will continue to develop long after our names are forgotten,” and that Pepper proclaimed “equal justice and freedom for ALL” at a time "when few other men dared.” Governor Holden wrote that had it not been for "such men as Chaplain Pepper, the privilege of the ballot, the right to hold office,” would not be “enjoyed by the colored man today.” Six Congressmen made similar comments. All of these testimonials, however, were to no avail.50

Finally, Pepper wrote to General Sherman at the War Department for assistance, but Adjutant General Edward D. Townsend, who summarized his case for Sherman, added a note to his summary: Chaplain Pepper did not serve proper to his office from date of his appointment as regimental chaplain 'til his discharge, except for a very brief period.” Pepper's suspicions proved to be correct; someone in the War Department, namely Townsend, had been blocking his re-entry into the Army. The general apparently did not appreciate his ministry in the social and political realm. Pepper was never reappointed, though he was still attempting to re-enter the Army as late as 1889.52

Other regimental chaplains were also stationed in the South, but they made no claim that their duties were light and apparently did not try to extend their ministry into the social and political realm. Instead, they devoted their time and efforts to the traditional ministry of chaplain and educator, the latter duty being the most time-consuming. John W. Schultz, the first and only chaplain of the 38th Infantry Regiment (Colored), had served with his unit from 1866 to 1869 in Kansas, New Mexico, and, very briefly, in Texas. When the Thirty-eighth consolidated with the Forty-first to become the 24th Infantry Regiment (Colored), he became the first chaplain of the Twenty-fourth and served with his new unit on the Texas frontier. There he established and conducted a school for black infantrymen and their children until he was forced to resign in 1875.53

Two regimental chaplains received their appointments as a result of their loyalist activities in Louisiana. Bishop Leonidas Polk, Episcopal bishop of Louisiana from 1841 to 1861, believed in slavery and secession; when the war began, he declared an “independent diocesan existence" for his church in Louisiana, signed the call for a separate Protestant Episcopal Church of the South, and joined the Confederate Army as a major general."* Some of his rectors dissented, however, including Elijah Guion and D. Eglington Barr.


Elijah Guion became the rector of St. Paul's Protestant Episcopal Church in New Orleans, shortly after Admiral David G. Farragut's Union fleet captured the city in April 1862. Although he was loyal to the Union, it was not until 10 April 1864 that he restored to the liturgy of his church the prayers for the President and Congress of the United States and “incurred the displeasure and opposition” of his congregation. His congregation abandoned him, and with no means of support, he applied to the Union Army for a chaplain commission and was appointed in February 1865 to the First New Orleans Volunteers.5

In the meantime, D. Eglinton Barr, whom Bishop Polk appointed rector of St. John's Protestant Episcopal Church, Baton Rouge, in 1860, made no secret of his Union sympathies. Once the war broke out, he refused to bear arms against the Federal government or drill with the state militia on the grounds that he was a minister of the Gospel. Not surprisingly, he felt forced to flee to New Orleans, where he began to minister to Union troops in the camps and hospitals. In September 1864 he was captured at his home by a Rebel scout and taken behind Confederate lines, where he was accused of furnishing information to the Federals and of being both a “Lincoln Yankee” and a chaplain to a black regiment. For three months he was held prisoner, and his money, property, and private papers were taken from him. He was courtmartialed and almost hanged, but he finally escaped and returned to New Orleans where the officers of the 81st U.S. Colored Infantry Regiment elected him the regimental chaplain.“

Although the backgrounds of Chaplains Guion and Barr were similar, their approach to ministry differed when they encountered adversity. Guion's ministry of 15 months to the First New Orleans Volunteers took him throughout the city, where he held services for troops at the regimental headquarters, camp of distribution, and “Police Jail.” 57 Shortly after he and his unit were mustered out in June 1866, he was appointed chaplain of the 41st Infantry Regiment (Colored) and went to his new station at Fort Clark, Texas. There he was discouraged by what he found. Fort Clark had no facilities for a school or religious program, and it appeared there would be none for a long time. Moreover, while the regimental headquarters was located there, the companies were scattered and many miles apart. Under those circumstances, he found it increasingly difficult to do what was expected of him. In June 1868 he finally requested a transfer to a post chaplaincy at Brownsville, but Assistant


Adjutant General Townsend disapproved the request." When the 38th and 41st Infantry Regiments were consolidated in 1869, he was declared supernumerary with duty in Galveston; there he served until December 1870, when he was assigned to the 10th Cavalry Regiment in Indian Territory.

Chaplain Barr appears to have ministered to the 81st U.S. Colored Infantry Regiment immediately before his capture and after his escape, although his official records show he was actually appointed as regimental chaplain in September 1865 and served in that position until October 1866. During those 13 months he conducted a Sunday School and held Sunday and weekday religious services in the camps and hospitals. He visited the sick regularly, gave them religious tracts and papers which he had received from the Protestant Episcopal Tract Society and the Christian Commission, wrote letters for them, and cheered them in their troubles. In the evenings he gave both religious and secular instruction. Believing that oral religious instruction “is soon forgotten,” he used catechisms to fix it "more firmly in the mind.” Two "efficient teachers” helped him instruct the enlisted men to read and write, and though class attendance was irregular due to the duties of the men, he believed that the instruction was “more successful than could be expected.” He was also encouraged by the moral and religious condition of the regiment, saying that "much of the vice and error incident” to the men's “former mode of life is gradually disappearing.” He reported that the marriage tie was being “regarded in a different light” and “superstition and animal excitement” were being replaced by a “more rational understanding of their duties to God, the Regiment, and themselves.” 60

When the 39th Infantry Regiment (Colored) was being organized in 1866, Chaplain Barr applied for and received an appointment as the regimental chaplain. It was an appropriate appointment, because in addition to his duties with the Eighty-first, and at the request of the officers of the Thirty-ninth, he had been assisting the newly organized regiment. Moreover, the Thirty-ninth was organized mostly with recruits from the Eighty-first whom he had taught to read and write. His ministry to both regiments was much the same.

When his regiment was consolidated with the Fortieth to form the 25th Infantry Regiment, Chaplain Barr became the new unit's first chaplain. While the regiment was stationed in New Orleans, he began a school for the enlisted men, holding evening classes in his quarters for


those whose duties made it impossible to attend during the day. When the regiment moved to Texas, he found conditions similar to those encountered by Chaplain Guion, but apparently he did not become discouraged. He continued his classes, but inadequate facilities forced him to conduct them in the open air, the stable, the kitchen, or his quarters. Again, attendance was irregular because of the poor facilities and the demands made upon the men. He also conducted a school for the children of the post. He remained with the Twenty-fifth until forced to resign in 1872. When his resignation became public, he received a letter of appreciation for his work in public education from the Department of Education of the State of Texas. 62

Other regiments were also stationed in the nation's largest state. Texas was not only a former member of the Confederacy, but also a frontier state with an extensive Mexican border. More troops were required and stationed there than in any other Rebel state, and they formed what was more an Indian-fighting and border-patrolling force than an occupational army. Chaplain Norman Badger, one of the chaplains who ministered there, served at Fort Concho from March 1871 until his death in June 1876.

Badger, who was 59 years old when he reported for duty at Fort Concho, entered the Army during the Civil War. He served as chaplain at the Joe Holt General Hospital in Jeffersonville, Indiana, from July 1864 to September 1865, and at Taylor Barracks in Louisville, Kentucky, from September 1865 to March 1871.63 He found a real challenge at Fort Concho. Although the fort was four years old, it had no building designated for a chapel, and Chaplain Badger held his services in such places as the hospital ward, the post trader's bar room, a mess room, a barracks, a tent, the schoolroom, and his quarters. His services always conformed “as nearly as practicable to those of the Episcopal Church with a Sermon.” 64 During his tenure at the isolated post, his congregation came from a military population that fluctuated between 144 and 525 officers and men; a few families, mostly those of officers, also lived on the post. Except for special holiday services, chapel attendance ranged from 10 to 51 and generally averaged about 25 to 30. When the attendance was exteremely low, he explained it by the inclement weather, a reduction in the post military population, or the location of the services. He always sought to increase attendance and in this connection recommended construction of a building to house a chapel, school, and library; he believed that a comfortable building for such purposes would make worship more

« ПретходнаНастави »