From Chaplain Alan Farley
(Hon Chaplain, 290 Foundation
BEING READY TO PREACH
2 Timothy 4:2, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”
To the Confederate Army must go the distinction of having the first colored chaplain service white troops. He may, indeed, have been the first colored chaplain to see service in America.
A Tennessee regiment had sought diligently for a minister to serve as chaplain, but, as was the experience of many other units in the Confederate Army, had been unsuccessful. It was suggested the “Uncle Lewis,” a devout servant who accompanied the regiment, be asked to conduct a religious service. The soldiers were so well pleased with the service that they asked him to continue to serve as chaplain from about the time of the Battle of Shiloh to the end of the war.
During this time he was credited with bringing the regiment to two or three seasons of revival. A newspaper correspondent, in describing one of his religious services, wrote, “He is heard with respectful attention, and for earnestness, zeal and sincerity, can be surpassed by none.” To the men of the regiment, and to the editors of the newspaper reporting the story, the service of the colored chaplain was a matter of great pride.