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America's Christian Army
Christianity in the American Revolutionary War


Abstract
OF THE ARTICLE THAT WILL SOON APPEAR HERE


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Why is it none of the defining moments of American history were undertaken as atheists, but in fact were engaged in as Christians?

The commander-in-chief directs that divine service be performed every Sunday at eleven o'clock in those brigades [in] which there are chaplains; those which have none [are] to attend the places of worship nearest to them. It is expected that officers of all ranks will by their attendance set an example to their men. While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian. The signal instances of providential goodness which we have experienced, and which have now almost crowned our labors with complete success, demand from us in a peculiar manner the warmest returns of gratitude and piety to the Supreme Author of all good.
óGeorge Washington, General Orders, Fitzpatrick 11:342. (May 2, 1778.)

The first difficulty to be overcome existed in Boston itself. Cushing, the speaker, who had received a private letter from Dartmouth, and was lulled into confiding in "the noble and generous sentiments" of that minister, advised that for the time the people should bear their grievances. "Our natural increase in wealth and population," said he, "will in a course of years settle this dispute in our favor; whereas, if we persist in denying the right of parliament to legislate for us, they may think us extravagant in our demands, and there will be great danger of bringing on a rupture fatal to both countries." He thought the redress of grievances would more surely come "if these high points about the supreme authority of parliament were to fall asleep." Against this feeble advice, the Boston committee of correspondence aimed at the union of the province, and "the confederacy of the whole continent of America." They refused to waive the claim of right, which could only divide the Americans in sentiment and confuse their counsels. "What oppressions," they asked, in their circular to all the other towns, "may we not expect in another seven years, if through a weak credulity, while the most arbitrary measures are still persisted in, we should be prevailed upon to submit our rights, as the patriotic Farmer expresses it, to the tender mercies of the ministry? Watchfulness, unity, and harmony are necessary to the salvation of ourselves and posterity from bondage. We have an animating confidence in the Supreme Disposer of events, that he will never suffer a sensible, brave, and virtuous people to be enslaved."
George Bancroft, History of the United States, Vol.3,
Chapter 34: The Boston Tea-Party, August-December 1773, p.443 - p.444


http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/mgw:@field(DOCID+@lit(gw170227))

The George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress

George Washington, November 27, 1779, General Orders

The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745-1799. John C. Fitzpatrick, Editor.--vol. 17
Head Quarters, Moore's House, Saturday, November 27, 1779.
Parole Landaft. Countersigns Lexington, Leeds.

The Honorable the Congress has been pleased to pass the following proclamation.

Whereas it becomes us humbly to approach the throne of Almighty God, with gratitude and praise for the wonders which his goodness has wrought in conducting our fore-fathers to this western world; for his protection to them and to their posterity amid difficulties and dangers; for raising us, their children, from deep distress to be numbered among the nations of the earth; and for arming the hands of just and mighty princes in our deliverance; and especially for that he hath been pleased to grant us the enjoyment of health, and so to order the revolving seasons, that the earth hath produced her increase in abundance, blessing the labors of the husbandmen, and spreading plenty through the land; that he hath prospered our arms and those of our ally; been a shield to our troops in the hour of danger, pointed their swords to victory and led them in triumph over the bulwarks of the foe; that he hath gone with those who went out into the wilderness against the savage tribes; that he hath stayed the hand of the spoiler, and turned back his meditated destruction; that he hath prospered our commerce, and given success to those who sought the enemy on the face of the deep; and above all, that he hath diffused the glorious light of the gospel, whereby, through the merits of our gracious Redeemer, we may become the heirs of his eternal glory: therefore,

RESOLVED, That it be recommended to the several states, to appoint Thursday, the 9th of December next, to be a day of public and solemn thanksgiving to Almighty God for his mercies, and of prayer for the continuance of his favor and protection to these United States; to beseech him that he would be graciously pleased to influence our public councils, and bless them with wisdom from on high, with unanimity, firmness, and success; that he would go forth with our hosts and crown our arms with victory; that he would grant to his church the plentiful effusions of divine grace, and pour out his holy spirit on all ministers of the gospel; that he would bless and prosper the means of education, and spread the light of christian knowledge through the remotest corners of the earth; that he would smile upon the labours of his people and cause the earth to bring forth her fruits in abundance; that we may with gratitude and gladness enjoy them; that he would take into his holy protection our illustrious ally, give him victory over his enemies, and render him signally great, as the father of his people and the protector of the rights of mankind; that he would graciously be pleased to turn the hearts of our enemies, and to dispense the blessings of peace to contending nations; that he would in mercy look down upon us, pardon our sins and receive us into his favor, and finally, that he would establish the independence of these United States upon the basis of religion and virtue, and support and protect them in the enjoyment of peace, liberty and safety.33

[Note 33: In the General Orders this resolve was condensed by sundry omissions.]

A strict observance to be paid by the Army to this proclamation and the Chaplains are to prepare and deliver discourses suitable to it.34

[Note 34: The Varick Transcripts of Washington's General Orders in the Library of Congress has the following note at this point: "The Army marching by Divisions and Brigades into Winter Quarters."]


The General most earnestly requires and expects...of all officers and soldiers, not engaged on actual duty, a punctual attendance on divine service, to implore the blessings of heaven upon the means used for our safety and defense.
óGeneral Orders. Fitzpatrick 3:309. (1775.)

The honorable Continental Congress having been pleased to allow a chaplain to each regiment,...the colonels or commanding officers of each regiment are directed to procure chaplains accordingly, persons of good characters and exemplary lives, [and] to see that all inferior officers and soldiers pay them a suitable respect and attend carefully upon religious exercises. The blessing and protection of Heaven are at all times necessary, but especially so in times of public distress and danger.

óGeneral Orders. Fitzpatrick 5:244. (1776.)

Divine service is to be performed tomorrow in the several brigades or divisions. The commander-in-chief earnestly recommends that the troops not on duty should universally attend with that seriousness of deportment and gratitude of heart which the recognition of such reiterated and astonishing interpositions of Providence demand of us.

óGeneral Orders. Fitzpatrick 23:247. (1781.)

The commander-in-chief orders the cessation of hostilities between the United States of America and the king of Great Britain to be publicly proclaimed tomorrow at twelve o'clock,...after which the chaplains with the several brigades will render thanks to almighty God for all his mercies, particularly for his overruling the wrath of man to his own glory, and causing the rage of war to cease among the nations....

The proclamation...must afford the most rational and sincere satisfaction to every benevolent mind, as it puts a period to a long and doubtful contest, stops the effusion of human blood, opens the prospect to a more splendid scene, and, like another morning star, promises the approach of a brighter day than has hitherto illuminated the Western Hemisphere; on such a happy day, a day which is the harbinger of peace, a day which completes the eighth year of the war, it would be ingratitude not to rejoice!
óGeneral Orders. Fitzpatrick 26:334. (1783.)

All of these General Orders were clearly religious, and thus show that Washington did not labor under the myth of "separation of church and state" as advanced today by the ACLU.


Subject: The Christian Militia
From: kevin4vft@aol.com (KEVIN4VFT)
Date: 05 Dec 1998 02:51:33 EST

A policeman in Texas was fired because he wore a small Cross on his uniform

In article <19981204222440.27490.00000164@ng-cc1.aol.com>, edarr1776@aol.com (EDarr1776) writes:

>I said:  >The guy was hired to work as a cop, a government job.  As you know,
>the
>>Constitution -- in this case, Texas' constitution, too -- prevent government
>>employees from activities that tend to endorse one religion over another.
>
>Kevin said: 
>>No, I emphatically do not "know" this.<<
>
>Right.  No matter how often you are told or presented the facts, you refuse
>to "know" this.

Don't just assert "it's a fact." Quote the constitution for us, Ed. Highlight the words "employee" and "endorse" in your quotation, just to make it easy for us.

>>> There is nothing in the Constitution
>nor in the first 100 years of Constitutional history which indicates that
>the government must not advance Christianity. History is replete with
>examples of the government advancing Christianity as a matter of official
>policy. The idea that the Founding Fathers' chief object in view was to keep
>a mere government employee from wearing a cross is ludicrous.<<<
>
>Is it?  Can you tell me what the regulations were for such wear in
>Washington's army?

There were no regulations against endorsing religion. That's my point.

In 1775, Congress selected one of its members, Geo.Washington, to organize the local farmers and militia groups into an army to resist the world's greatest empire. Washington's first order to his troops came in July, and was consistent with the spirit of the Founders and Congress. In that order Washington trusted that

. . . every officer and man will endeavor so to live and act as becomes a Christian Soldier, defending the dearest rights and liberties of his country.
(The Writings of George Washington, John C. Fitzpatrick, ed., (Washington: US Govt Printing Office, 1932) vol V p. 245. From his General Orders of July 9, 1776.)

That his troops display Christian character was important to Washington, and on May 2, 1778, he charged them:

To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian.
(Writings, vol. XI, p. 343, General Orders, 5/2/78)

Washington's directives for his troops to display Christian character were reminiscent of those given to the Minutemen by the 1774 Provincial Congress. On Dec.10, 1774, Congress reminded the Minutemen that:

You . . . are placed by Providence in the post of honor, because it is the post of danger. And while struggling for the noblest objects -- the liberties of your country, the happiness of posterity, and the rights of human nature -- the eyes not only of North America and the whole British Empire, but of all Europe, are upon you. Let us be, therefore, altogether solicitous that no disorderly behavior, nothing unbecoming our characters as Americans; as citizens and Christians, be justly chargeable to us.
Richard Frothingham, Rise of the Republic of the United States (Boston: Little, Brown & CO., 1872) p. 393

Congress recognized that God led the Christian militia to victory in the battle of Saratoga, and on 1 Nov 1777, Congress proclaimed a national thanksgiving in which it explained:

Forasmuch as it is the indispensable duty of all men to adore the superintending providence of Almighty God, to acknowledge with gratitude their obligation to Him for benefits received and to implore such further blessings as they stand in need of; and it having pleased Him . . . to crown our arms with most signal success: It is therefore recommended [a day] . . . for solemn thanksgiving and praise; that with one heart and one voice the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts, and consecrate themselves to the service of their divine benefactor; and that together with their sincere acknowledgments and offerings, they may join the penitent confession of their manifold sins . . . and their humble and earnest supplication that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot out of remembrance [and] . . . to take schools and seminaries of education, so necessary for cultivating the principles of true liberty, virtue and piety, under His nurturing hand, and to prosper the means of religion for the promotion and enlargement of that kingdom which consisteth "in righteousness, peace and joy in the holy ghost" [Romans 14:17]
Journals of the American Congress: from 1774 to 1788 (Washington: Way and Gideon, 1823) vol II, 1777, pp. 309-310, Nov 1, 1777

The militia were motivated to revolt against Great Britain not out of a secular spirit of anarchism: there was an Archist involved. One Crown-appointed British governor wrote back to Britain complaining that:

If you ask an American who is his master, he'll tell you he has none. And he has no governor but Jesus Christ.
Hezekiah Niles, Principals and Acts of the Revolution in America (Baltimore: William Ogden Niles, 1822) p. 418.

Today, the US Supreme Court says it is "unconstitutional" to teach Christian morality to students. The CIA deals drugs. And in light of the facts of history, the Texas policeman's desire to wear a dippy cross on his uniform is like a man who hasn't had a bite to eat in weeks, hungrily devouring a tiny piece of moldy bread.


George Bancroft, History of the United States Volume 4, 1774-1776
EPOCH THIRD America Takes Up Arms for Self-Defence and Arrives at Independence From 1774 to 1776
Chapter 11: Effects of the Day of Lexington and Concord, The General Rising, April-June 1775
p. 174-175

New Hampshire agreed to raise two thousand men, of whom perhaps twelve hundred reached the camp. Folsom was their brigadier, but John Stark was the most trusty officer. Connecticut offered six thousand men; and about twenty-three hundred remained at Cambridge, with Spenser as their chief, and Putnam as second brigadier.

Rhode Island voted fifteen hundred men; and probably about a thousand of them appeared round Boston, under Nathaniel Greene. He was one of eight sons, born rear the Narragansett bay in Warwick. In that quiet seclusion, Gorton and his followers, untaught of universities, had reasoned on the highest questions of being. They had held that in America Christ was coming to his temple; that outward ceremonies, baptism and the eucharist, and also kings and lords, bishops and chaplains, were but carnal ordinances, sure to have an end; that humanity must construct its church by "the voice of the Son of God," the voice of reason and love. The father of Greene, descended from ancestry of this school, was at once an anchor-smith, a miller, a farmer, and, like Gorton, a preacher. The son excelled in diligence and in manly sports. None of his age could wrestle or skate or run better than he, or stand before him as a neat ploughman and a skilful mechanic.


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