There is a time for everything … a time to be born and a time to die … a time for war and a time for peace. (Ecc. 3:1,3:8 NIV)
Struck by gunshot, the Captain’s gloved hand reflexively moved to the wound on his forehead. Men under his command carried him to a field hospital. He died the next morning at age 36.
The day before the battle, he shared with his commanding officer a premonition that death loomed in his immediate future. He requested that his handwritten letter be sent, along with his belongings, to his wife and three daughters who were praying for him.
His canteen, hacky sack, uniform and blood stained white glove still exist. I have seen them. This is remarkable because he died on September 20, 1863 during the Civil War battle of Chickamauga, Tennessee.
Why then, do I find myself teary eyed when I think of this incident? I can touch his humanity because Wm. Jonas Leas was my great-great grandfather.
Captain Leas’ dedication to God and country is no different than his descendents who fought in WWII, nor his forefathers in the Revolutionary War, nor present day patriots fighting in Afghanistan.
God has repeatedly called His people to battle. I believe that war sometimes brings His will to bear. The Lord has honored our belief in Him as a nation with victory in many battles in our over 235-year history as a nation.
However, individual stories of men and women who have suffered loss in these wars should not be discounted or forgotten but rather remembered and honored.
Lord thank You for blessing our nation and for those brave men and women who served You and our country. © Christy Struben 2011