Monthly Archives: March 2010

LOVE, HATE, AND PIETY ON THE BATTLE-FIELD.–

A Rhode Island soldier, utterly exhausted, stepped aside to rest a few moments under the shade. There he found a gasping and dying Southern soldier, and put his almost exhausted canteen to his parched lips. The dying soldier–an enthusiast in his cause–with high excitement gasped out: “Why do you come to fight us? We shall utterly annihilate you. We have ninety thousand men. You can never subjugate us. We have a series of batteries beyond which will destroy all the armies you can bring.” The Rhode Island soldier proceeded to state–and how strange and how tremendously real the discussion then and so!–that the object of the war was not the subjugation of the South, but the preservation of the Union. “And now,” said the manly fellow, “I have given you water from my canteen, when its drops are more precious than diamonds. If you had found me in this state, what would you have done?” The eyes of the dying man gleamed, as the soldier said, like those of a basilisk, and he replied, “I would have put my bayonet to your heart.” In a few moments he went into eternity, and the Rhode Islander resumed his place on the battle-field.

But there were also instances of Christian feeling exhibited on the battle-field, one of which is very affecting. A wounded Federal soldier was hastily carried to a wood, and placed by the side of a dying Georgian. The Georgian, evidently a gentleman, said to him, as they lay bleeding side by side. “We came on this field enemies–let us part friends;” and extended to him his hand, which the other grasped with the reciprocal expression of friendly feeling. They were both Christian men, and they lay with clasped hands on that bloody field, until the hand of the noble Georgian was cold in death. How beautiful that scene, amid the horrors of the battle-field! Who shall say, in view of it, that because of this strife between the North and South, they can never again clasp hands in mutual friendship and esteem? Who shall say that the time shall not come, when, on some well-fought field, they who met as enemies shall part as friends, and peach and restoration and mutual esteem ensue?

Another incident was sublime, and shows how close Christ Jesus is to his people, wherever they may be. A strong, tall man from Maine received a minie ball directly in his breast; and with the outstretched arms and the upward leap which is said often to mark such a death, he exclaimed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”

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TO THE WOMEN OF THE SOUTH.–

The Memphis Appeal of April 21, 1861, contains the annexed communication:

“While the man in every part of the country are arming themselves and mustering in squadrons to resist the invasion and oppression threatening our beloved land, let us emulate the enthusiasm of our husbands, sons, and friends in the cause. Many of our daughters are already active in the service with their needles. Let the matrons of every city, village, and hamlet form themselves into societies, called by some appropriate name, pledged to take care of the sick and wounded soldiers of the Confederate army, whenever the changing drama of war shall bring them in their neighborhood; to take them, if necessary and practicable, to their own homes. Let the organizations be commenced at once, with officers appointed and known, to whom the officers of the military companies may communicate the wants of the soldiers, and call upon for aid when the time for action shall come; and Baltimore has taught us how soon it may come. I offer myself for the work. Will not some matron with more time take the lead, and allow me to serve in a subordinate capacity? Let the women of the entire South join and spread the organization till not a spot within the Southern borders shall be without its band of sisters, pledged to the work and ready for it; and thus shall every mother feel assured, in sending her sons to the field, that in time of need they shall have the tender care of some other mother, whose loved ones are in the patriot ranks at other points, and our soldiers feel sure that true hearts are near them wherever they may be.

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