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appealing.Another recommendation was that all troops be required to attend moral or religious instruction at least once each week. Not many enlisted men attended chapel services, and he believed that it would be advantageous for them to do so. He also believed that it would be beneficial to the command, for he saw a correlation between large church attendance and less drinking, less profanity, and fewer men in the guardhouse. He opined that the moral condition of the troops was “not favorable as usual” or “as might be expected among men removed from all the restraints of Christian society surrounded by an easily accessible cordon of drinking and gambling saloons.” 67 Neither of his recommendations became a reality during his tenure; the second never did.
Badger apparently drew larger congregations in services held off post. On Sunday afternoons he conducted services for government employees and people living nearby who were unwilling to attend on the post. Those services were held in a room in San Angelo, on the north side of the North Concho River. The post surgeon wrote that Badger was probably the first person in that place ever to publicly use the name of the Deity in reverence.' Between his Sunday services Chaplain Badger visited the hospital wards and supervised a Sunday school. When there were black troops on the post, he “preached to and aided” them with their services on Sunay evenings. He reported that they preferred the evening hour and would not attend morning services."
His time and energy were also occupied with other duties. He supervised the post education program. The children and some white enlisted men attended school during the day and the black troops during the evening, but he found that the circumstances of frontier life often rendered these classes “ineffectual.” Book shipments from the East were sometimes delayed, and classes for the enlisted men were often interrupted when they were away on a scouting party, or some other operation, or on military details." He was also the post librarian. When he first arrived at Fort Concho, there was no library-no books, no periodicals, and no suitable room; upon attempting to establish one, he encountered "discouragements.” It was not until September 1872—16 months after his arrival--that the post council of administration provided funds for a few newspaper subscriptions Finally, in November 1873 the council began to furnish funds for books. 22
Chaplain Badger had reason to become frustrated and discouraged with the progress of his work. His monthly reports indicated that he did experience frustrations, but they never showed evidence of discourage
ment. He continued his work as chaplain, schoolmaster, and librarian, and also served as post gardener, post treasurer, and manager of the post bakery." Colonel Benjamin H. Grierson, however, who came to Fort Concho in April 1875 as commander of the 10th Cavalry Regiment, apparently did not care for Badger or his ministry. Four months after Badger's death, after receiving word that Chaplain George W. Dunbar would be assigned to the post, Grierson wrote to his wife:
I am sorry that this Chaplain Dunbar has not a loud call to go
many souls, his own included.74
Grierson's remarks not only reflected his opinion toward Badger but toward all chaplains. Fortunately, when Dunbar arrived at Fort Concho, he did make a favorable first impression on his commander. After attending a Sunday morning service, the colonel again wrote to Mrs. Grierson:
The Chaplain preached quite a good sermon. He has an easy
hereafter get to playing the Old Soldier.?
Though Grierson's comments reflected unfavorably upon Badger by comparison, others thought differently. In the summer of 1871 the post surgeon made an entry in his monthly record that Badger was "very zealous in every duty” and managed the post garden efficiently.** Four years later, when the chaplain was 68 years old, his bishop visited Fort Concho and preached in the Sunday morning and evening services. Afterward, he reported to the Protestant Episcopal Church Board of Missions that Fort Concho was the “favored garrison of Western Texas, for it has a chaplain who is also a churchman” and “by his life and teachings keeps before the eyes of those about him the great, saving facts of the Gospel.” ” And just weeks before Badger's death, Brigadier General
E.O.C. Ord, who was not known for his praise of chaplains, wrote that Chaplain Badger was “so worthy & excellent an officer that I deem him entitled to much consideration.
Another post chaplain, Mark L. Chevers, was the only chaplain who served in the South at the same post before, during, and after the Civil War; he was stationed at Fort Monroe, Virginia, from 1838 until his death in 1875. He was also the only Army chaplain known to have ministered to Jefferson Davis during his two-year imprisonment at Fort Monroe. But though his career is so marked, not much more is known about it. He apparently never wrote about it, nor did anyone else. His career has attracted attention only because of the Davis connection.
Davis was incarcerated from 22 May 1865 until he was released on bail 13 May 1867. He was captured on 10 May in Irwinsville, Georgia, by forces from the Fourth Michigan Cavalry Regiment, accused of treason and participation in planning the assassination of President Lincoln, and quietly taken to Fort Monroe. Soon after his arrival there, Chaplain Chevers visited him in his cell, but nothing was known about what transpired between them. Chevers did not mention anything about Davis in his monthly reports to the Adjutant General. Only two brief references were made regarding his ministry to Davis.
The first was contained in an 8 June 1865 message from the the War Department to the commanding officer of the District of Fort Monroe, and indicated that Chevers visited Davis at least once during the first 18 days of his confinement. That message informed General Miles that Secretary of War Stanton “desires you not again to admit Rev. Dr. Chevers, chaplain at Old Point, to see Mr. Davis without special instructions to that effect.” One can only speculate as to why that order was given, but the ostensible reason was that Stanton was concerned about security. General Miles obeyed the order; there was no record of another Chevers visit to Davis. 80
The other reference was in a letter Davis wrote to his wife on 21 August 1865 wherein he said that he was "under many obligations” to the surgeon and the chaplain. Most of those obligations were probably to the surgeon, who saw Davis regularly, rather than to Chevers, who saw him only during the first 18 days of his confinement. One could only make an educated guess as to what Chevers' ministry to Davis was during those days. The letter seemed to indicate that their conversation focused on how faith in God's grace could sustain Davis and his family during his
imprisonment. Davis told his wife that he had received the prayer book she had sent, advised her not to be "alarmed by speculative reports” concerning his health, and urged her to put her "trust in Him." He said that she could rely on his fortitude, that God had given him “much of resignation to His blessed will,” and that she should remember “how good the Lord has always been” to him and “how often he has wonderfully preserved me.” Although Davis did not become a church member until he joined the Protestant Episcopal Church at age 52, he was very religious, and comments such as those were not uncommon in his correspondence to his wife. 81
Other religious ministrations to Davis during his imprisonment were provided by Dr. Charles F. E. Minnigerode, the rector of St. Paul's Protestant Episcopal Church in Richmond, Virginia. The Davis family joined St. Paul's during the war years and was worshipping there on Sunday, 2 April 1865, when Davis was handed General Lee's message advising him to evacuate Richmond. After Davis was confined for slightly over six months, the rector requested and received permission from Secretary of War Stanton, to visit him, and on 11 December 1865 he was with Davis for six hours, administered the sacrament, and conversed with him “principally on religious matters.” 82
Three days later Dr. Minnigerode wrote to Stanton about his visit and requested permission to visit Davis on a recurring basis, saying that his visit was “productive of real good to the prisoner” and that "an occasional repetition” of his visit "would be both edifying to him and in perfect harmony with the human views of the Government.” That request was also approved, and he received permission to visit Davis twice each month “as a spiritual adviser and for religious purposes,” but only after he had signed a parole. $8
The terms of the parole provide further evidence of Secretary of War Stanton's concern for security and his reluctance to allow anyone, perhaps even Chaplain Chevers, to visit Davis.
I, Charles Minnigerode ... do hereby pledge my word of honor
Dr. Minnigerode apparently kept the terms of the parole and visited Davis every two weeks. Davis undoubtedly mentioned Chevers to him, and the two Episcopal priests must have crossed paths.*5
Not much was known about Chaplain Chevers' other ministry at Fort Monroe. He was, at least in terms of writing, a man of few words. His monthly reports to the Adjutant General were extremely terse. He always reported that his duties were “chaplain and superintending the Post School,” but he never commented about them. He reported the number of deaths, burials, marriages, and baptisms, but said nothing else. He did remark about his religious services and sermons, but it was always the same stock comment: “Religious services and sermons twice each Sunday, attended by the officers and their families with few exceptions, and the soldiers. There are many more soldiers present at the evening services than in the morning.” The same was true of his remarks about the moral condition of the post: “Moral condition of the troops fair—some cases of intemperance. Am not cognizant of gambling or profanity.” Since Chaplain Chevers was an experienced post chaplain who must have been familiar with the behavior of soldiers, that comment about their moral condition must have been an indication of his sense of humor, rather than
When Chaplain Chevers died in 1875, he was eulogized as one who faithfully and conscientiously performed the duties of his office, and as one whose "long life of purity and gentleness, endeared him to all with whom he was brought in contact, and in a remarkable manner” brought credit
upon the Army chaplaincy for “nearly half a century.” Evidently, there were those at Fort Monroe who appreciated him and his ministry, just as Jefferson Davis had during his first 18 davs in prison.
Osgood E. Herrick, who succeeded Chaplain Chevers at Fort Monroe, had also served as post chaplain at Key West, Florida, from November 1864 to September 1869. Before his appointment he was the rector of St. Paul's Protestant Episcopal Church in Key West, where he demonstrated his loyalty to the Union by using the prayers for the President and Congress of the United States in his services. Even though Key West was occupied by Union forces during the war, that required some courage, because much of his congregation as well as the population of Key West were in sympathy with the Confederacy. The Union forces, however, appreciated both his loyalty and ministry, especially his ministrations during the great yellow fever epidemic of 1864; during the