The Christian revival preaching and saving was continuing in Fredericksburg when, despite the very cold air on Sunday morning, March 5, sixty-six men of the regiment were baptized wholly or partially in the freezing Rappahannock River.

“The Baptist immersed twenty-one soldiers this morning,” Spartan Band diarist William H. Hill recorded. “The Methodist immersed nine and sprinkled thirty. The Presbyterians sprinkled seven.

“The meeting continues with a large audience and a large number still at the mourners bench.”

But the war was not far from anyone’s thoughts. Hill noted:

“The enemy were marching large numbers of troops up and down the river today. From their movements, it is the general opinion that active operations will soon commence on the line.”

There was thunder and hail that evening. Hill wrote that hailstones were an inch deep in the street.

About Dick Stanley

Retired Texas daily newspaperman
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