December 14, 2008

The Angel of Marye's Heights

When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him... Then the king will say to those on the right... 'I was thirsty and you gave me to drink...'
Then the righteous will answer him and say, 'Lord, when did we see you ...thirsty and give you drink?'...
And the kind will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.'
~ Matthew 25:31-32, 35, 37, 40

Sergeant Richard Rowland Kirkland was enlisted in the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. He fought with his fellow soldiers on December 13th in one of the bloodiest battles of the entire war, repelling the Federal Army of the Potomac. In the closing of the battle, and all through the night, Sergeant Kirkland listened to the cries of agony and pleas for mercy from the Federal soldiers lying wounded on the battlefield.
The cries continued on into the next day, many begging for water.
At last Kirkland could stand it no longer. He approached his commander, General Kershaw, and asked for permission to bring water to the suffering men. Kershaw replied, asking Kirkland, "Don't you know that you would get a bullet through your head the moment you stepped over the wall? ..."
Kirkland responded with these words, "Yes, I know that I may, but if you will let me, I am willing to try it." The General could not refuse this gallant and earnest request and allowed Kirkland to go out on his mission of mercy. He was greeted as expected with bullets from the Federals on the other side of the field, but once he began administering aid to the wounded men, they ceased fire. Both sides watched and cheered, and after Kirkland had done all that he could do, he returned to the Confederate lines.
Sergeant Kirkland went on to distinguish himself at Gettysburg and later fell on the field at Chickamauga. He truly followed out the orders of Our Lord, Kirkland's chief commander,
'But to you who hear I say... love your enemies and do good to them.
Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.'

~ Luke 6: 27, 35, 36

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I love the music, I love the image, it perfectly illustrates the brotherhood of our Fellow Americans Fighting one another, North and South.


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