Captain Charles F. Linthicum of 8th Virginia Infantry Fame Writes from Bristow, Va. on November 13th, 1860, Prior to the War when he was a Traveling Evangelist. The Revival Started at Fulton Street in N.Y.C. had been Spreading throughout the South. Exciting Christian Content!
When the war broke out Linthicum was asked by General Eppa Hunton to be his Chaplain. Charles felt however that he could still minister to the men while fighting alongside of them… and he did so until he was killed in action at the battle of 2nd Cold Harbor on June 3rd, 1864. At the battle of Gettysburg he was on the staff of General Richard B. Garnett and in Pickett’s Charge he was the only one of Garnett’s staff to survive… after losing 2 horses and being wounded in the head.
In this letter Charles is writing to his friend Lizzie Hodges. An envelope accompanies the letter and gives her address as “Barnesville, Montgomery County, Maryland”. Here is the content:
- Bristow Nov. 13th, 1860. To Lizzie, My esteemed friend I take great delight in penning you a few lines this evening after a long silence. This long delay has been occasioned by my abundant labors. Since my return to the circuit, I have been engaged exclusively in a protracted meeting in Dumfries where I am happy to say we have not had our labor in vain.
- I reached that place on Sunday night after I left home. Fortunately I did not have to preach. A Baptist minister being in the town, and finding himself minus an audience at his church, at our request came and preached in my stead. I was indeed very grateful for his services, as you may imagine when I tell that I had ridden between twenty & thirty miles and preached twice already the self same day; and more especially when I learned that the labors for the remainder of the meeting were to devolve entirely upon myself.
- Bro. Young left on Monday & from that time I kept up the meeting two weeks, preaching nearly every night, in addition to which I had the principal part of the singing & praying to do. To know, however, that God accomplishes great ends by small means forbid my growing “weary in well doing.”
- My heart was made to “rejoice with joy unspeakable” to see God crowning my labors with the desired fruits – the hard hearted sinners softened – the inquiring penitent ascending to and bringing down a smiling God through faith in Jesus, in the pardon of their sins and “saints” upon the right & the left “shouting aloud for joy.”
- Twas then I felt as if “clothed with the garment of salvation,” and could exclaim with David, “That thy name is near, thy wondrous works declare.” One case was as marvelous as it was interesting. A lady about twenty, handsome, worldly and gay, became serious in regard to her spirit’s welfare. In addition to the great struggle & effort necessary to tear herself from the world, its vanities & delusions, she had to sever the firmly wrought cord of prejudice which bound her to the enchanting doctrine of Catholicism.
- Her aunt who brought her up, spared no pains in imbibing in her mind all those foolish, idolatrous notions which they revere as sacred, and to which they so tenaciously and dangerously cling. But however strong the cord, God’s grace enabled her to sever it, and bursting loose from that and the world, she, through faith, entered the family of God & the society of his people.
- I hope the loss to the Catholic Church is gain to heaven and eternal life to one soul. Oh, Lizzie, can you have an idea how much I rejoice to see God’s work prospering in my hands. I have had doubts heretofore whether the Great Master had by His Spirit actually called me to this field of labor. Doubts have gone, while I rejoice in the salvation of others, I have rejoicing in myself.
- I became a little hoarse during the revival, but it has left me so that I feel well, physically as well as spiritually. I must close this letter as you are growing tired of reading, but I feel like writing all night, though I have to start on a forty mile journey in the morning, and it is necessary for me to take a little rest. I am very busy with my Conference studies. Give my love to all and believe as ever, Your true friend, Charles
#L11-13-60VA – Price $225