"A Brief Account of Religion
"It is said of David Avery of Gaysboro Vermont, that he was “everything Washington wanted in a chaplain.” Avery had served as Captain of a group of his parishioners, bringing them to Cambridge at which time they were assigned to Col. Sherburn's Rgt. and Avery became a full time chaplain. He was reported to be:
“Intrepid and fearless in battle, Unwearied in his attentions to the sick and wounded; nursing them with care and faithful to their souls as if they were of his own Parish.” He had a “Love of Country so strong that it became a passion, was cheerful under privations, ready for any hardship, and never lost, in the turmoil of camp, that warmth and glowing piety which characterized the devoted minister of God.”
He frequently rode beside Washington and often ate with him. At the attack on Trenton, he picked up a fallen musket and fired upon the Hessians.
The most important function of the chaplains was, however, to conduct Sunday services including a Sermon of a practical nature that would meet the needs of the men (or of the Army) at the time. Services were usually held at 11:00 in the morning. The Reverend A.R. Robbins reports in his journal that:
“The music march up and the drummers lay their drums in a very neat style into rows one above the other; it often takes five and often the rows are very long, Occasionally they make a platform for me to stand on and raise their drums a number of tiers.”
Normally services were held in the open. Rev. Gano was not in camp at Valley Forge during the Winter, because he realized that the men could not be expected to stand in the open for services (Bolton, 162). Having services was considered of great importance, however, and at Newbury at the Winter Encampment of 1780-1781, the army erected the usual huts “and one larger than the rest for a place of public worship on the Sabbath. Here three services a day were held, the chaplains from each Brigade preaching in rotation.”