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The Spirit Divided: Memoirs of Civil War Chaplains: The Confederacy Hardcover – April 20, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 316 pages
  • Publisher: Mercer University Press (April 20, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865549648
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865549647
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,121,999 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By arieliondotcom on August 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dr. Brinsfield begins the book by thanking his wife for allowing him time to spend time in the company of heroes (through reading their firsthand materials he used to write this book). What he neglects to say is that he, too, is a hero as a (retired) Army chaplain. (I know because I have the honor of serving such heroes, chaplains and chaplain assistants, every day.) And as a Southerner himself as well, no one could be better suited to write this book.

The joy of the book is that we, the readers, get to experience that same feeling of actually spending time with these Confederate chaplains because so much of the book is firsthand material (diaries, letters, journals) of the chaplains involved. It is like a quality bracelet where the additions that Brinsfield makes to give context, while golden, only make the jewels of firsthand accounts from the "Civil War" chaplains (complete with their original spelling and grammar) all the more sparkling.

As a "recovering Yankee" who came to the South kicking and screaming from the land of real pizza (New York/New Jersey) I didn't expect to find much here where I thought there would be attempts by the writers to justify the unjustifiable, slavery. However, to my surprise, I find that it was much more about preserving states rights and personal hearth and home to these chaplains and the soldiers they served than it was about slavery. I was reminded of the Scripture (Joshua 5:14) where Joshua, on a mission from God, runs into a "man" set for battle(Whom he worships without objection from the man, which suggests it's really a pre-incarnate form of Jesus). Joshua asks "Whose side are you on, ours or the enemy's?" to which the Man responds "Neither. I am here as the Commander of the LORD's Hosts.
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Format: Hardcover
The Spirit Divided: Memoirs Of Civil War Chaplains, The Confederacy is a collection of the personal testimonies of chaplains who served during the American Civil War. A surprising amount of hidden depth in human character is presented; many Confederate chaplains write that they opposed secession and submitted to it only when it became clear that war was inevitable, some were active in ministry to black slaves, and some spoke out against the neglect and abuse of those held in slavery before and during the war. While the efforts of individual chaplains may seem easily overlooked amid the institution of slavery and the support it received from religious as well as secular circles, they do reveal that social conscience was not entirely lacking amidst Southern chaplains. An engrossing selection of primary sources, which orders the testimonies according to their context: chapters address memoirs of reporting for duty, ministering at camps, on campaigns, ministry to encourage and lift spirits, ministry at the close of the war, post-Civil War memoirs of ministry during an era of rebuilding. A valuable testimony of the hardships and crises of conscience faced by those who tried to serve both God and man in difficult times.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Pipeline Texan on April 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Doing some research on Southern Chaplains and the spiritual movement the Lord brought about during 1862-63. This book gets into the "hearts" of the men who served "in the cloth" with the men in the ranks. I believe that the "seeds" sown during those war years were the Lord's sowing that came to full growth/maturity in the awesome Pentecostal spiritual awakening in 1900 and the next few years following.

These "seeds" matured and manisfested in the lives of the sons and daughters of those Civil War soldiers. This book is good soil for a sincere believer to plow into to see the hand of God at work on the battlefield. The personal testimonies are often heart-moving and easy to read, with just enough facts to keep one's interest flowing, and imparting true inspiration to the reader.
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By Oz on January 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a Civil War buff and Army Chaplain with a minor in History in college, I found this to be a great book. It is interesting, yet very readable for anyone interested in the Civil War, Civil War diaries or everyday life as well as great scholastic work by Dr Brinsfield. Great book on Civil War chaplains. I am sure the companion volume is as good.
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