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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Gettysburg and the Christian Commission

Edited with an introduction by Daniel J. Hoisington


Following the battle of Gettysburg, the United States Christian Commission provided spiritual and physical care to thousands of wounded and dying soldiers of both armies. More than three hundred volunteers came to the battlefield, leaving a legacy of “a thousand little nameless acts.”

In his introductory essay, Daniel Hoisington explains the pivotal role that the Christian Commission played at Gettysburg and its lasting effect on evangelical Christianity. Delegates included J. B. Stillson—Dwight Moody’s mentor, George Junkin—Stonewall Jackson’s father-in-law and staunch Unionist, Rowland Howard—brother of General Oliver O. Howard and later Secretary of the American Peace Society, and George Duffield—composer of the hymn, “Stand Up! Stand Up for Jesus!”

The book includes important contemporary accounts of the battle’s aftermath, including the first complete publication of the diary of John Calhoun Chamberlain, one of the first delegates at Gettysburg and brother of the hero of Little Round Top. Jane Boswell Moore’s letters provide a glimpse of women’s work among the soldiers. Andrew Cross’ official report describes the carnage of battle as “a most fearful judgment of God upon a nation and people.” In a postwar story, George Peltz tells of a return to the Second Corps Hospital eight years later on a final mission of mercy.

". . . especially welcome for integrating the religiously inspired work of a prominent voluntary agency into broader accounts of this much-studied battle." --Mark Noll, Books & Culture

"Gettysburg and the Christian Commission at Gettysburg offers a varied overview of a neglected aspect of the care of the wounded at Gettysburg. This study is highly recommended. Its unique perspective provides an understanding of the roll of the U. S. Christian Commission at Gettysburg as a case study of its contribution during the Civil War. " -- Michael Russert, Civil War News

On H-Net, David Raney wrote about Gettysburg and the Christian Commission, saying: "Hoisington has enriched our understanding of the United States Christian Commission, one of the least-known and least-understood participants in the American Civil War."

From: edinborough.com

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