“Bless Those Who Curse You”

I’ll let this Union soldier who met Robert E. Lee in the worst of circumstances tell his own story of how Lee lived out Luke 6:28  .  I think any further commentary from me might be considered to be vainly superfluous …

“I was at the battle of Gettysburg myself, and an incident occurred there which largely changed my views of the Southern people.  I had been a most bitter anti-South man, and fought and cursed the Confederates desperately.  I could see nothing good in any of them.  The last day of the fight I was badly wounded.  A ball shattered my left leg.  I lay on the ground not far from Cemetery Ridge, and as General Lee ordered his retreat he and his officers rode near me.  As he came along I recognized him, and though faint from exposure and loss of blood, I raised up my hands, looked  Lee in the face, and shouted as loud as I could, ‘Hurrah for the Union!’  The general heard me, looked, stopped his horse, dismounted, and came toward me.  I confess that I at first thought he meant to kill me.  But as he came up he looked down at me with such a sad expression upon his face that all fear left me, and I wondered what he was about.  He extended his hand to me, and grasping mine firmly and looking right into my eyes, said, ‘My son, I hope you will soon be well.'” 

“If I live a thousand years I shall never forget the expression on General Lee’s face.  There he was, defeated, retiring from a field that had cost him and his cause almost their last hope, and yet he stopped to say words like those to a wounded soldier of the opposition who had taunted him as he passed by!  As soon as the general had left me I cried myself to sleep there upon the bloody ground.”

(“Memoirs of Robert E. Lee”, by Col. A. L. Long, p. 302)

About Shawn Thomas

My blog, shawnethomas.com, provides brief devotions from own personal daily Bible reading, as well as some of my sermons, book reviews, and family life experiences.
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