Sunday, March 30, 2008

P. R. Wrightsman

P.R. Wrightsman was the youngest minister in his congregation in Tennessee and was away from home studying to be a doctor in 1862 during the Civil War. After some young men of the congregation were imprisoned by the Confederates for failing to serve in the military, the congregation called a special meeting and chose Wrightsman to go to Richmond to seek their release.

Wrightsman traveled to Richmond on a train full of Confederate soldiers when a minister of another faith discovered his stand against the war and insisted "This war is different." Wrightsman stood his ground. When he discovered his challenger believed that God had inspired George Washington to go to war, Wrightsman asked him if he thought so why would he fight against that same country Washington founded. The anger expressed by both the minister and the soldiers put him in jeopardy, but he arrived unharmed and fulfilled his mission.

Over the course of the next few years most of his property was taken by Confederate soldiers. He recalled how late in the war when the soldiers ...came for the last horse they rode up with threats and curses. Their language and manner impressed me that they came with intent to kill me. Part of the squad went to the field for the last horse and part remained with me under their charge. I just stepped inside the stable, stood with my hands upwards, and prayed to my heavenly Father, saying, "Dear Father, save me from these men. Have mercy upon them, and turn them from their evil course, and save thy servant."

I never exercised stronger faith in prayer than at that time. It seemed as if I was speaking face to face with my blessed Lord. When I stepped out to the soldiers I felt that God had answered my prayer, for I could see the Satanic look going down out of their faces like the shadow of a cloud before the bright sunlight.

The soldiers then said to me, "Mr. Wrightsman, can we get some bread?" "O yes," said I, "we are commanded to feed the hungry." I went at once to the kitchen and requested my sisters to cut off a large slice of bread, and butter it for each of them. They did so and I took it out into the yard and handed a slice to each. They thanked me for the bread, bowed their heads, mounted their horses and rode away, taking my last horse with them, however. Feeling sure the Lord had saved my life, I felt happy, "thanked God and took courage." This occurred in the summer of 1863...."

Source: Frank Ramirez, Tercentennial Minute for April 13