A brave and godly Captain in one of our Western regiments told us his story as we were taking him to the hospital. He was shot through both thighs with a rifle-bullet–a wound from which he could not recover. While lying on the field he suffered intense agony from thirst. He supported his head upon his hand, and the rain from heaven was falling around him. In a little while a little pool of water formed under his elbow, and he thought if he could only get to that puddle he might quench his thirst. He tried to get into a position to suck up a mouthful of muddy water, but he was unable to reach within a foot of it. Said he, “I never felt so much the loss of any earthly blessing. By and by night fell, and the stars shone out clear and beautiful above the dark field, and I began to think of that great God who had given his Son to die a death of agony for me, and that he was up there–up above the scene of suffering, and above those glorious stars; and I felt that I was going home to meet him, and praise him there; and I felt that I ought to praise God, even wounded and on the battle-field. I could not help singing that beautiful hymn:
‘When I can read my title clear
To mansions in the skies,
I’ll bid farewell to every fear,
And dry my weeping eyes.’
“And,” said he, “there was a Christian brother in the brush near me. I could not see him, but I could hear him. He took up the strain, and beyond him another and another caught it up, all over the terrible battle-field of Shiloh. That night the echo was resounding, and we made the field of battle ring with the hymns of praise to God.”
Originally posted 2009-06-16 20:38:45.