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Black Confederate Chaplain, Louis Napoleon Nelson…

Posted by Pete | Posted in News | Posted on 08-09-2015

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This post is from “Rebel Yell”, General John Herbert Kelly, Camp 1980, published by Southern Press, 829 Kirk Road, Gordo, Alabama and sent on to hesterbooks.com by Daniel Hall. This is a very nice article and I never knew that the Confederate soldiers had a black Chaplain….But it says here that he preached to the dad gum Yankee sinners as well…..Pardon me, I just had to say that…..  Note at the end of the article, “he had a Confederate Flag draped over his coffin”.

 

Black Chaplain of the Confederacy
Louis Napoleon Nelson

Louis Nelson was a private on Co. M, 7th Tennessee Cavalry. Louis went to war with the sons of his owner, James Oldham, as their bodyguard. He first served as a cook, then a rifleman under the command of General Nathan Bedford Forrest and finally a chaplain. He would stay on as chaplain for the next four campaigns leading services for both Confederate and Union soldiers. He later on said this ” number of Yankee soldiers joined during a worship service and after its conclusion, all shook hands and went back to fighting.”
The September 10, 1863 issue of The Religious Herald, Louis had enjoyed a reputation among the men of being devout during which time he was chaplain, the regiment experiences two revivals. The Religious Herald correspondent describing his service wrote, ” He is heard with respectful attention and for earnestness, zeal, and sincerity, can be surpassed by none.”
To his Tennessee Regiment, as well as the reporter who wrote the story, the service of their black chaplain was ” a matter of pride.”
Louis couldn’t read or write, but had memorized the King James Bible. He never had a guide line to follow, his pulpit was the battlefield, his heart was his Bible. He spoke with great passion and changed people’s spiritual lives because it came from the heart.
After the war he attended 39 Confederate Reunions and countless number of funerals he would attend and speak at. In the summer of 1934 at the age of 88 he passed away. His funeral, which included a huge military procession, and a Confederate Flag draped upon his coffin…… Gone was this Great and Mighty Man of God…. Gone but not forgotten….

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Comments (5)

Great story Danny! Thanks for sharing.

Yes, it is a good story and one that I had never heard before…good job, Danny….

Uncle & Otis
I’m glad y’all like the story, it is a good one… A very good friend of mine, Tim Gilbert was the one that put the story together. I only passed it on to Uncle.
There are many more stories about black Confederate soldiers, I’m talking about them carrying muskets, Bowie knives on their hips, ready to fight the invading Yankees.

Well, please let Tim Gilbert know that we appreciate him putting the story together and how much we enjoyed it. Thanks for sending it on to hesterbooks.com. Pete

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