The 147th Never Loses Its Colors.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
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 recollections of Sgt. William Wybourn July 1, 1863:
We were late to the Railroad cut to support the 76th New York and the 56th New York. Our right flank was in the air and unsupported and the rebs outnumbered us with overwhelming numbers. Our comrades were dropping like flies. I watched from a distance at what was happening as I was with Major Harney as our regimental color bearer Sgt. John Hinchcliff had been shot and I grabbed the colors. The Major had ordered us to refuse the line of the rebs who had been at our right flank.
We learned that orders were given for us to retreat but before they could be given our commander Col. Miller was shot in the head. I guess it was fortunate that the commanding General Wadsworth saw what was happening and sent another aide to our Major Harney and he did not hesitate to tell us to double quick and make for safety. Well the boys were running anywhere they could and trying to get out of the deep sloping sides of this unfinished railroad cut. They tried to go down to where the slope was lower but the rebs had set up a barricade and opened fire on them. Some of our boys climbed up the rocky face of that railroad cut.
I was making for safety and got shot and fell on the colors. I guess Lt. Pierce thought I was dead because I heard him tell me to release the colors. I rolled over and said, “hold on, I’ll be up in a minute.”
I staggered to my feet with his help and continued to carry our colors thought fight. We started out with 380 men in our regiment that day, we lost 296 of them at the fighting at the railroad cut.
As I was struggling to get off the field, I heard Gen. Cutler being angry-like with Major Harney. I saw the major pointing at me bringing our colors off of the battlefield and saying, “General, the 147th never loses its colors.”
Be sure to check out Fight Like the Devil: The First Day at Gettysburg, July 1, 1863; authored by Chris Mackowski, Kristopher D. White, and Daniel T. Davis.
Daily Battle Order:
Quoting from the U. S. Army Center of Military history, “"Colors" or unit standards have historically served as a means of identifying units of the battlefield. During the Civil War, men were trained to follow their colors in battle, to "rally" around them, and generally to use them to maintain unit cohesiveness.”
Retreating is often necessary in battle, especially in a spiritual battle. We lose skirmishes daily to the enemy and we must retreat to seek forgiveness and repentance and to embolden ourselves with the resolve of the Holy Spirit to get into the fight again, but as Kingdom Men, we never surrender our colors!
SIGN UP FOR GETTYSBURG: Calling all Kingdom Men! The Joshua Commission will hold its annual Gettysburg Battlefield training 15-16 October or meet us on the battlefield on 16 October at 0830
Click the link above to sign up. Please join us in Gettysburg, experience genuine fellowship with Christian men, and equip yourself for Victory as a prince and warrior in God’s kingdom!