The War for Souls
With its own national association (www.cwreenactors.com) and magazine (www.campchase.com) serving an estimated 50,000 re–enactors in the U.S., Civil War re–enactment thrives today. However, until a few years ago, the re–enactors who worked so painstakingly to replicate each detail accurately often overlooked an entire group of participants. On the battlefields and in the camps, these men fought a different war—the war for souls—and some paid the ultimate price. They were the roughly I ,200 to 1,400 Confederate chaplains, 3,000 Union chaplains, and 5,000 Christian Commission volunteers.
Alan Farley (pictured above with his family, in costume) won't let reenactors forget the chaplains or the faith that animated them. Farley, an evangelist who began attending these events as a child in 1984, now portrays General Lee's chaplain—and presents the gospel—at Virginia reenactments. Over the years, Farley and The Re-enactor's Missions forJesus Christ (www.rmjc.org) have successfully pushed for Sunday morning worship services at re-enactments. They argue that any accurate Civil War portrayal must include the deep currents of Christian devotion and revival in both sides' armies.
Dear to Farley's heart is the National Civil War Chaplains Research Center and Museum, a 10,000-square–foot exhibit space projected to open at Liberty University in Lynchburg in fall 2007.
Pool of Siloam discovered
In fall 2004, workers repairing a sewage pipe in the old city of Jerusalem discovered the edge of an ancient poo1. Israel Antiquities Authority officials believed it to be the biblical Pool of Siloam&mdashwhich John's Gospel names as the place where Jesus cured a blind man. Now further excavations ...