William Woodhull Bennett, D.D. Chaplain, Confederate States of America

Dr. William Woodhull Bennett
Birth: May 1839, USA
Death: unknown

His wife was Virginia Jefferson Tripplett. We believe she is buried with him. She was born in March 1874 and died on August 18, 1929. They were the parents of: Elizabeth Woodhull Armstrong, Gartrude Virginia Lugenbeel, Margaret Sartwell and Dorothy Marie Robertson. Virginia Jefferson (Tripplett) Bennett was the sister of Bessie Mae (Tripplett) Burleson, who is also buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Arlington National Cemetery
Section 27, Grave  3838

Courtesy of Paula Lucy Delosh: December 2006:


Superintendent Of “The Soldiers’ Tract Association,” And Chaplain In The Confederate Army.

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In 1877, William W. Bennett, a minister who had headed the Methodist Soldiers’ Tract Association, published A Narrative of the Great Revival Which Prevailed in the Southern Armies. Bennett believed the southern army camp had truly been “a school of Christ,” where pious generals like Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee led their men both in battles and in prayer meetings. The “moral miracles” that had taken place among Confederate soldiers were the most magnificent of all time; they truly became the “‘silver lining’ to the dark and heavy cloud” of the South’s defeat.

Bennet wrote: “In the army of General Lee, while it lay on the upper Rappahannock, the revival flame swept through every corps, division, brigade, and regiment. [One chaplain explained]: ‘The whole army is a vast field, ready and ripe to the harvest…. The susceptibility of the soldiery to the gospel is wonderful, and, doubtful as the remark may appear, the military camp is most favorable to the work of revival. The soldiers, with the simplicity of little children, listen to and embrace the truth. Already over two thousand have professed conversion, and two thousand more are penitent…. Oh, it is affecting to see the soldiers crowd and press about the preacher for what of tracts, etc., he has to distribute, and it is sad to see hundreds retiring without being supplied!’

One of the most prominent Confederate chaplans that played a major part in spreading the Gospel throughout the Southern armies was William W. Bennett, D.D.  He also held the position of Superintendent of “The Soldiers’ Tract Association.”  In his book entitled ” Narrative of the Great Revival which Prevailed in the Southern Armies,” he states: “… up to January, 1865 it was estimated that nearly one hundred and fifty thousand soldiers had been converted during the progress of the war, and it was believed that fully one-third of all the soldiers in the field were praying men and  members of some branch of the Christian Church.  A large proportion of the higher officers were men of faith and prayer, and many others, though not professedly religious, were moral, respectful to all the religious services and confessed the value of the revival in promoting the efficiency of the army.”

THE GREAT REVIVAL in the SOUTHERN ARMIES, W. W. Bennett. Books on religious awakenings often mistake psychological manipulation and emotional excess for real gospel preaching and true repentance and faith. Such is not the case in this wonderful account of the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of many thousands of Confederate soldiers. Chaplain Bennett, himself one of the faithful preachers, documents many personal accounts of the gracious saving power of God throughout the Southern armies. This book truly shows that God providentially uses difficult and even deadly circumstances to extend his kingdom through the faithfulness of gospel witness.


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