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A Sermon: Preached before Brig.-Gen. Hoke's Brigade, at Kinston, N. C., on the 28th of February, 1864, by Rev. John Paris, Chaplain Fifty-Fourth Regiment N. C. Troops,
upon the Death of Twenty-Two Men, Who Had Been Executed in the Presence of the Brigade for the Crime of Desertion

Title

A Sermon: Preached before Brig.-Gen. Hoke's Brigade, at Kinston, N. C., on the 28th of February, 1864, by Rev. John Paris, Chaplain Fifty-Fourth Regiment N. C. Troops,
upon the Death of Twenty-Two Men, Who Had Been Executed in the Presence of the Brigade for the Crime of Desertion

Description

In this first hand account of a large hanging of deserters in North Carolina, a Reverend gives a sermon about this "horrible crime" following the executions. Parris says that this sermon will not be used to honor those who died in any way, but should be seen as a sermon to benefit soldiers who are still living. Parris opens up this sermon with a description of the Apostle Judas, and states that he is by far the most infamous deserter in history. The Reverend asks the audience what Judas lost, and answers his own question by saying: His life, his dignity, his reputation, his soul, his all. The comparisons of deserters to Judas, as well as Benedict Arnold (A famous deserter) displays the great disapproval of desertion in the Confederate army, and paints an image of just how desperate those who chose to desert must have been since it was so frowned upon. Reverend Parris continues by saying that if one is a true Christian, than he is also a dedicated Patriot, and would never desert. The most compelling sentence in this sermon comes when Parris says his vocabulary isn't broad enough to come up with words that would fully describe the hate he has for those who desert, and that if his brother had done so, he would see to it that his name was changed.

Creator

Rev. John Parris

Source

Parris, John. "A Sermon." Speech. A Sermon: Preached before Brig.-Gen. Hoke's Brigade, at Kinston, N. C.,. North Carolina, Kinston. 28 Feb. 1864. Documenting the American South. University Library, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hil. Web. 16 Apr. 2012. <URL: http://docsouth.unc.edu/imls/paris/paris.html>.

Type

Event

Original Format

Speech

Text

You are aware, my friends, that I have given public notice that upon this occasion I would preach a funeral discourse upon the death of the twenty-two unfortunate, yet wicked and deluded men, whom you have witnessed hanged upon the gallows within a few days. I do so, not to eulogize or benefit the dead. But I do so, solely, for the benefit of the living: and in doing so, I shall preach in my own way, and according to my own manner, or rule. What I shall say will either be true or false. I therefore request that you will watch me closely; weigh my arguments in the balance of truth; measure them by the light of candid reason, and compare them by the Standard of Eternal Truth, the Book of God; what is wrong, reject, and what is, true, accept, for the sake of the truth, as responsible beings.

Of all deserters and traitors, Judas Iscariot, who figures in our text, is undoubtedly the most infamous, whose names have found a place in history, either sacred or profane. No name has ever been more execrated by mankind: and all this has been justly done. But there was a time and a period when this man wore a different character, and had a better name. A time when he went forth with the eleven Apostles at the command of the Master to preach the gospel, heal the sick and cast out devils. And he, too, returned with this same chosen band, when the grand, and general report was made of what they had done and what they had taught.

But a change came over this man. He was the treasurer of the Apostolic board; an office that warranted the confidence and trust of his compeers. "He bare the bag and kept what was put therein." Possibly this was the grand and successful temptation presented him by the evil One. He contracted an undue love for money, and Holy Writ informs us "the love of money is the root of all evil;" so must it ever be when valued above a


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good name, truth or honor.

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Citation

Rev. John Parris , A Sermon: Preached before Brig.-Gen. Hoke's Brigade, at Kinston, N. C., on the 28th of February, 1864, by Rev. John Paris, Chaplain Fifty-Fourth Regiment N. C. Troops, upon the Death of Twenty-Two Men, Who Had Been Executed in the Presence of the Brigade for the Crime of Desertion, Civil War Era NC, accessed June 22, 2017, https://cwnc.omeka.chass.ncsu.edu/items/show/353.