Rev. B. C. Ward, pastor of a Congregational church in the village of Geneseo, Illinois, conceived it to be his duty to forsake the pulpit for the field. He received authority to raise a company of infantry, but proposed to enlist clergymen only. An appeal to his clerical brethren, published over his own signature, called upon "the fighting stock of the church militant" to prove to the world their willingness to "seal with their blood what they have talked in their pulpits," and closed with this extraordinary passage:
“Much as we have said and done to prove our loyalty, we have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. Shall we now, at the call of Christ, come out from behind our velvet-cushioned barracks, whence we have so often hurled bold, indignant words at the giant iniquity of the age, and meet it face to face with the hot shot of rifled artillery, with the gleaming bayonet, or with clashing sabres in hand-to-hand encounter?"
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