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332 Pennsylvania Ave. 

Washington, Jan. 4, 1862

My dear Sir,

My letter of last week with a printed copy of the Bill has no doubt reached you. I have been occupied this week with members of the Military Committee in reference to this subject. It appears that there was a strong opposition to that section of the Bill, which states that the words "of a Christian denomination" be erased, and that there was great danger that the entire subject would be postponed to avoid discussions and debates on unimportant subjects. The Military Committee have, therefore, so amended the Bill that it does not appear like a positive repudiation of the Christian religion, which most Christians believe would be a national sin and bring with it great calamities. The Chaplains of Congress have recently said as much in their prayers. The Bill as amended does not contain the above section, but has another that means the same, namely that "the Chaplains must be of a religious denomination", which will open the office to us without offending the religious prejudices of the Christians. The Bill will in a few days be read the third time in the Senate and then be sent to the House, where I shall watch it too.

You can communicate these facts to yr friends, but not print them in the papers, as these conferences were confidential. As soon as the Bill has passed both Houses, I will give you a free account for publication, from which you will learn that it has cost me a great deal of labor and constant vigilance. The Military Committee are of opinion that in the amended form it will pass easily. I continue to attend the camps and Hospitals.

Respectfully yrs

A. Fischel 

Fischell Letters