Military Chaplains

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Military chaplains have served on the battlefield since the beginning of the history of the United States. During the American Revolution, pastors enlisted to motivate or to shame their congregation. During World War I and II, the Korean War and Vietnam chaplains served in the trenches with the soldiers. During the Civil War, preachers were in the churches trying to raise morale for the communities of both the North and the South. On the battlefield over 5,000 members of the United States Christian Commission, itinerant preachers and 3,400 commissioned chaplains tended to the spiritual needs of soldiers (Wilcox). Abraham Lincoln and the leadership of the Union understood the importance of religion on the battlefield and embraced the idea…show more content…
Due to this need the War Department authorized the appointment of regularly ordained ministers as chaplains. Each regiment was authorized 1 chaplain and the selection of the chaplain was for the most part the responsibility of the churches, and as long as they met the basic requirements set by the government they were recognized. At first the government said that the chaplains had to be an ordained minister and had to be of a Christian denomination. This brought forth a lot of protests from many of the Jewish leaders and after discussing the issue, this was changed on 17 July, 1862, then saying “any religious denomination” (White). On 17 July, 1862 Congress also passed another law that stated that any clergyman that wished to become a chaplain must also provide credentials from their denominational body which showed the clergyman’s ability to hold the position as a chaplain. Terms of service ranged from 3 to 9 months and at times up to 3 years. A Union chaplain received 100 dollars a month, rations, and feed for their horse…show more content…
They also helped take care of the sick and the wounded, recording events of the units, or buried the dead after a battle was over. Their job was not glamorous, but it was taken very serious. An event took place during 1863 and 1863 that was known as the “Great Revival.” This event took place in both the Northern and Southern Armies and according to J. William Jones, Confederate Chaplain; ten percent of the soldiers in the Army of Northern Virginia accepted Christ (Leidner). Jones also said that the soldiers would form “reading clubs” and pass a worn Bible around, sharing the Gospel

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