Confederate States Army revival

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The Confederate States Army revival was a series of Christian revivals which took place among the Confederate States Army in 1863. It is generally regarded as part of the Third Great Awakening.

Benjamin R. Lacy suggests that the revival began in the camps and hospitals around Richmond, Virginia.[1] The revival began in the Army of Northern Virginia in early 1863.[2] In March 1863, for example, a new chaplain arrived at the 41st Virginia Infantry regiment and found the beginnings of a revival.[3] The revival was encouraged by Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee and by the middle of the 1863 it had spread to all the Confederate armies.[4] Mark Summers argues, however, that Jackson and Lee were exceptional as far as enthusiasm among the officers went, and rather than a "top down" revival (the traditional Lost Cause of the Confederacy view), it was much more "bottom up", as thousands of religious tracts were distributed among the soldiers. Summers suggests that due to the Union blockade, the soldiers had little else to read.[5]

According to the Confederate chaplain J. William Jones, by the end of the war, 150,000 soldiers had been converted.[4][6] Kurt O. Berends argues that the revivals were a major cultural event.[7]


  1. ^ Lacy, Benjamin R.. "The Revival in the Confederate Army". Retrieved 26 February 2013. 
  2. ^ "The Confederates Get Religion". Retrieved 26 February 2013. 
  3. ^ Henderson, William D. 41st Virginia Infantry. H.E. Howard, Inc., 1986, ISBN 0-930919-26-2, pp 35-37.
  4. ^ a b Duewel, Wesley L. (2010). Revival Fire. Zondervan. p. 128. 
  5. ^ Summers, Mark. "The Great Harvest: Revival in the Confederate Army during the Civil War". Religion & Liberty 21 (3). Retrieved 26 February 2013. 
  6. ^ Murphy, Jim (1993). The Boys War: Confederate and Union Soldiers Talk About the Civil War. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 60. 
  7. ^ Berends, Kurt O. (1998). "'Wholesome Reading Purifies and Elevates the Man': The Religious Military Press in the Confederacy". Religion and the American Civil War. Oxford University Press. p. 135.