Monday, January 21, 2008

Ameria Must Pray - Sherman's March to the Sea

It was 1864 and near the end of the Civil War and Sherman was making his sixty mile march to the sea. To end the war quickly Sherman was using a scorched earth policy destroying everything in his path. While the destruction was terrible this tactic would end the conflict soon.

As they marched many of the regimental bands were playing "Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow." The men sang the song as they marched along; the song they had heard in their churches back home. Unwittingly Sherman would write in his diary a line that would later become another most popular hymn: "God will take care of them." In the same diary he would make a statement that would become known for decades: "War is hell."

In the South, General Robert E. Lee took every moment to encourage his men to pray. He would often dismount his horse and join his troops in their prayer meetings.

In the weeks after the Battle of Gettysburg, when Jefferson Davis, as he had on so many other occasions, called on the Confederacy to observe a day of "fasting, humiliation, and prayer." General Lee sent out order to his men that "all military duties except those absolutely necessary be suspended" on that day.

Both men were believers and men of prayer and fasting. How strange it is that this war pitted Christian against Christian!