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John Tregaskis.

Souvenir of the re-union of the blue and the gray, on the battlefield of Gettysburg, July 1, 2, 3 and 4, 1888. How to get there, and what is to be done during the year online

. (page 29 of 29)
Online LibraryJohn TregaskisSouvenir of the re-union of the blue and the gray, on the battlefield of Gettysburg, July 1, 2, 3 and 4, 1888. How to get there, and what is to be done during the year → online text (page 29 of 29)
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proposed to give a general absolution to all the men before going into the
fight. While this is customary in the armies of the Catholic countries in
Europe, it was, perhaps, the first time it was ever witnessed on this conti-
nent, unless, indeed, the grim old warrior. Ponce de Leon, as he tramped
through the everglades of Florida, in search of the Fountain of Youth, or De
Soto on his march to the Mississippi, indulged in this act of devotion.
Father Corby stood on a large rock in front of the brigade. Addressing the
men, he explained what he was about to do, saying that each one could re-
ceive the benefit of the absolution by making a sincere act of contrition and
firmly resolving to embrace the first opportunity of confessing their sins,
urging them to do their duty well, and reminding them of the high and
sacred nature of their trust as soldiers, and the noble object for which they
fought, ending by saying that the Catholic Church refuses Christian burial
to the soldier who turns his back upon the foe or deserts his flag. The
brigade was standing at " Order Arms." As he closed his address every man
fell on his knees, with head bowed down. Then stretching his right hand
towards the brigade. Father Corby pronounced the words of the absolution :
" Dominus noster Jesus Christus vos absolvat et ego, auctoritate ipsius, vos
absolve ab omni vinculo excommunicationis et interdicti in quantum possum
et vos indigetis, delude ego vos absolve a peccatis vestris, in nomini Patris,
et Filii, et Spritus Sancti. Amen. " The scene was more than impressive,



it was awe-insj)iring. Nearby stood Hancock, sun-ounded by a brilliant
throng of oi!icers, who had gathered to witness this very unusual occurrence,
and while there was profound silence in the ranks of the Second Corps, yet
over to the left, out by the poach orchard and Little liound Top, where
"Weed and Vincent and Ilaslett were dying, the roar of the battle rose and
swelled and re-echoed through the woods, making music more sublime than
ever sounded through cathetlral aisle. The act seemed to be in harmony
with all the surround iiigs. I do not think there was a man in the brigade who
did not offer up a heartfelt prayer. For some it was their last ; they knelt
there in their grave-clothes — in less than half an hour many of them were
numbered with the dead of July 2. Who can doubt that their prayers were
good ? What Avas wanting in the eloquence of the priest to move them to
repentance was supjilied in the incidents of the fight. That heart would be
incorrigible indeed that the scream of a Whitworth bolt, added to Father
Corby's touching ap]:)eal, would not move to contrition. — Major Haverty's
Illustrated Catliolic Almanac.



BABY'S SHOE.



The following incident is told by Adjutant Thomas J. Courter of John
M. Wheeler, Post No. 94, Dej)artment of New Jersey :

John 31. Wheeler fell during the battle of Banks' Ford, a jmrt of the
Chancellorsville campaign. May 3, 18G3, and died in the hands of the
enemy. His wife and only baby boy were ever in his thoughts. Once when

one of those ''boxes from home " came to the front, and to our tent and

we always shared our boxes of good things together — and the knick-knacks
and the little articles for comfort that loving hands had made were being
unpacked, he found a little baby shoe. The wife wrote that as they Avcre
packing the box the little fellow toddled across the floor and threw it in,
and they would not take it out, but lot it go down to papa in the army.
"^ The shoe was found near the heart of the wounded man, when cared for
by the surgeon.




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able du. iig the Re-Unior. of 1888. see Article Hi. of this Book.






Online LibraryJohn TregaskisSouvenir of the re-union of the blue and the gray, on the battlefield of Gettysburg, July 1, 2, 3 and 4, 1888. How to get there, and what is to be done during the year → online text (page 29 of 29)