10 March 1863 Young's Point Soldier's Letter (about Slaves' Prayer Meeting)
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10 March 1863 Young's Point Soldier's Letter (about Slaves' Prayer Meeting) :
March 10th, 1863
I received your letter today dated March 29, 1863. I was very glad to get so long a letter from home. I perceive by its contents that the folks up North are nearly all trying to get religion. I wish you all good success & sincerely hope all that come forward will be faithful to the end even unto death.
I will tell you a little about the revivals the Negroes are having when we were out on the scout. I visited several plantations & talked with the Negroes about religion and one hut I came to they were having a prayer meeting. There was an old man, his wool white with age praying. I never heard a better prayer in my life. I stood at the door & when he got through they asked Massa in. Well just for the curiosity of it I went in & talked with them a while. I asked them if they ever had any books & the old man said they had one book he did not know the name of it. Then I told him to get it & let me see it so he went to an old box & got it & it was a Bible. I read several verses to them & it almost seemed as though they would go crazy. They sung & shouted Bress de Lord, bress de Lord, bress Massa for reading thy brib for us. And these poor creatures went on & they got more & more excited until the just danced & jumped up & down & shouted everything they could think of. I asked how long they had had these meetings & they said only since we heard our Masters say the Yankees were coming to kill them & it is just so all over the country. On one plantation another fellow & I threw 43 pairs of handcuffs into a well. If I have any chance to send one home I should have done it One place where we stopped some of the boys were laughing 7 an old woman told them they had better be praying than laughing. I should think from the way they talk their Masters had told them they were all going to be killed when the Yankees came. Hardly a smile is on one of their faces. They are frightened to death.
(Isaac T. Bishop)
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