Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. -Hebrews 11:1
"Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true." -Acts 17:11
The following is a story of an imagined participant in the Battle of Gettysburg. This battle was a turning point for the United States, and the hopes and dreams of those involved are landmarks to the heart and soul of our nation. In anticipation of our annual Gettysburg battlefield training, TJC authors have taken creative liberty to generate some of those hopes, informed by history, that resonate through generations to our present time. Our hope is that it ministers to your spirit.
The imagined thoughts of the color bearer of the 53rd Virginia, Lew Armistead’s Brigade, Pickett’s Division, starting about 1:30PM, July 3, 1863.
The first two days were a draw, now finally, we get in the fight! We’re fresh and have the best generals. I’m tired of “guarding” the rear, eating other’s dust and missing out on the action at Antietam and Fredericksburg.
Our artillery barrage - so loud I can hardly think. No living thing could live through that. Oh, here comes Gen Lee on Traveler - we’re ordered silent as to not give away our position - I nod & Gen Lee tips his cap.
And now our guns grow silent.
I call out “Up Boys, now is our time!”
Brig Gen Armistead calls to me, “Sergeant, are you going to put those colors on the enemy’s works today?” I reply, “‘I will try, sir, and if mortal man can do it, it shall be done!”. Further back I can hear Gen Pickett “Up, men, and to your posts! Don’t forget today that you are from old Virginia!.”
We move forward, in as grand a display of martial progress as if on parade. As enemy cannon takes out fellow soldiers, we close ranks and press on in sight of our objective: the stone wall near the copse of trees.
In front of us is Brig Gen Garnett is on his 2nd horse, riding in despite the danger ... now he has fallen. I see Gen Armistead still leading our brigade from the front, waving his hat high from the tip of his saber, “Follow me men!”.
Over the fence ... Escaping the double-canister shot … now over the wall with Gen Armistead ... savage fight ... not enough of us to hold this position .. I’m struck down & try to pass the colors .. Gen Armistead is down ... Yankees demand my surrender .. I have nothing left to fight, having given my all.
Daily Battle Order:
Pickett’s generals led from the front. In particular Lew Armistead’s conspicuous gallantry inspired his hardened veterans at the time, and can even inspire us today. Do you ever think, “Ah I’ll never be used. I’m always in the rear” or are you ready to answer the call when it is your time for action?
In the end, all 3 Brigadier Generals were mortally wounded and over half of 40 Pickett’s field grade officers (majors, lieutenant colonels, and colonels) were casualties. Though gallant in the execution, “Pickett’s Charge” was a failure due to strategic and tactical errors.
Are your actions grounded in the truth of God’s Word (or more swayed by social media or friends)? Sincerity of belief should Not be the litmus test.
That is, are you like the Bereans, of more noble character, who did not just accept (or reject) Paul’s teaching, but compared these new teachings to the scriptures that they had already studied & knew?
For further historical reference, conversations pulled from: https://www.historynet.com/picketts-charge-gettysburg#articles, by Robert C. Cheeks and published in America’s Civil War magazine.
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