Chaplain in Gray: Abram Ryan

Chaplain in Gray: Abram Ryan

By: H.J. Heagney
Published by: P.J. Kennedy & Sons
Publication Date: 1958
Series: American Background Books (Lives of Catholic Heroes and Heroines in American History)
Series Number: 6

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Chaplain in Gray tells of a young poet-priest's decision to return to the South from his teaching post in Brooklyn at the outbreak of the Civil War in order to join the Confederate Army as a chaplain. With him to enlist went his sixteen-year-old brother Dave who was to share many of his wartime adventures. With General Jeb Stuart's forces in Virginia, in the battle of the Wilderness, at Chancellorsville and in other engagements, Father Ryan and his brother were in the thick of the fighting. As chaplain, the priest ministered to the fallen soldiers of both sides, yet never swerved in his loyalty to the Confederacy.

With heavy heart he saw the Southern fortunes decline, and, after Lee's surrender, lived through the bitter days of Reconstruction. When, during the yellow fever plague, the North generously sent aid to stricken Southern cities, he became reconciled to the Union and henceforth dedicated his life, writings and travels to binding up the wounds of a divided nation. Although his well-known poems "The Conquered Banner," "The Sword of Lee," and other songs of a lost cause show a young patriot's fierce allegiance to the Confederacy, one of Abram Ryan's greatest works, "Reunited," expresses the spirit of his subsequent activities.

No biography of Father Ryan exists, yet from records, wartime correspondence, and talks with many people who knew the poet-priest in their childhood, the author has reconstructed the main events of an exciting and influential career, and brings to life a colorful historical figure.

From the dust jacket

Chaplain in Gray: Abram Ryan  Reprint

Chaplain in Gray: Abram Ryan
Reprinted in 2016 by Hillside Education
Available formats: Paperback
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