Earlier today, I had a second conversation with Mr. Nelson Winbush. Mr. Winbush is a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and we discussed, among other things, his grandfather's service as a Confederate Chaplain. I'm hoping the conversation I had with Mr. Winbush today will lead to another very interesting post about his story in the near future.
Mr. Winbush is quite the gentleman and always ready to share memories of his grandfather's stories about "the War." Today he told me that his grandfather, Louis Napolean Nelson, told him that on several occasions, "The Yankee soldiers joined the Confederate soldiers for a worship and preaching service and then, after the service, returned to their lines and began fightin' again." As I wrote in my most recent book:
In fact, “Uncle Lewis,” as he was known to a particular Tennessee regiment, may have been the first black chaplain [to preach to whites] in America. His reputation was that of a “devout servant,” and due to the shortage of white chaplains, he was asked to conduct religious services. Records indicate that the army credited his efforts with bringing about several “seasons of revival” and a newspaper correspondent wrote, “He is heard with respectful attention, and for earnestness, zeal and sincerity, can be surpassed by none.”
Today, Mr. Winbush noted that though his grandfather was originally asked to serve simply as a substitute chaplain, his service continued due to the wonderful results of his preaching. He added that his grandfather could neither read nor write, but had memorized large portions of Scripture which enabled him to preach with confidence and power.
Mr. Winbush is a retired school principal and holds a master's degree.