“Fr. Whelan, a Catholic priest from Savannah came in and spoke words of cheer to the condemned and prayed for the forgiveness of their crimes. This lone priest was the only minister of the Gospel that ever came into the prison to speak a kind word or set aright our misguided souls. He made regular visits to the prison, consoled the dying and anointed the dead of his faith. Too much praise cannot be accorded this reverend gentleman for trying to turn sinners to Christ; but in the Last Day, Heaven will cry out for vengeance on ministers of other denominations for their indifference toward their kindred confined in prison.”
Charles Fosdick, Company K, 5th Iowa Volunteers
Hattip to commenter Jim Schmidt. Faithful readers of this blog will recall my post Priest of Andersonville in which I related the story of Father Peter Whelan, a Roman Catholic priest and Confederate Army chaplain who, on his own initiative, ministered to the tens of thousands of Union prisoners of war at the infamous Andersonville prison in 1864.
Such selfless love in the midst of the bloodiest war in American history deserves to be remembered, and I salute Deep Water Productions for producing a film on Father Whelan. Here is their website. I have advised my bride of 28 years that it would make a suitable birthday present for me come February.