“Let this be a sign among you, so that when your children ask later, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?‘ then you shall say to them, ‘Because the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, when it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off,.’ So these stones shall become a memorial to the sons of Israel forever.” Joshua 4:6-7
In 1862 the confederates had invaded Maryland (a Union state) and been pushed back at Antietam. When General McClennan failed to follow-up, President Lincoln sacked him for his inaction – doing nothing to gain a major Union victory in late 1862. Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside was appointed by President Lincoln as his replacement. The president wanted action and a victory!
Burnside had never commanded at that level in battle and didn’t want the position. However, Burnside devised a good plan to cross the last significant natural barrier between Richmond & Washington (the Rappahannock river). The town of Fredericksburg had (& has) a very strong rail connection heading north and at the time was lightly defended. The Union was experienced in building pontoon (temporary) bridges for getting men, horses, artillery and supplies across (where existing bridges had been destroyed). Burnside ordered on 06NOV the pontoon bridging equipment and men. A solid plan, (based on quick movement and deception). On 17NOV, the Union army faced a token resistance of 500 confederates near Fredericksburg. A screw up in Washington held up the delivery of the floating bridges until the end of the month. By that time, Lee had moved his entire army of Northern Virginia to face Burnside near Fredericksburg. The element of surprise was gone and the confederates had strongly prepared their positions, which looked down from height onto the battlefield. For Burnside, anxiety led to fear which led to many wrong decisions. Burnside stuck to his original plan, ordering suicidal charge after charge, which accomplished nothing except many, many Union casualties. Days later, under the shadow of night and fog, the Union retreated to the northern side of the river, defeated and dishonored.
We have all been here, a good idea thwarted, circumstances we couldn’t control leading to anxiety which causes us to make bad decisions and then try to put the blame and guilt on everyone except ourselves. We leave the field defeated and dishonored. As I was writing this DBO I went back to my orders and saw I had misinterpreted them. I was discouraged because I thought the DBO I wrote a good one. I was confused and anxious, I wanted to get this done. I began to pull back to those things that have comforted me, my secret passions that God has given me victory over. Fear was taking over and I knew guilt and shame would be close behind.
I thought of the victory and the One who gave me strength. Crying out to Him, I regrouped, studied the order carefully, and proceeded knowing that those who read this would be strengthened…including me. It was the honorable thing to do.
Daily Battle Order:
What are the stories of those victories we leave for our children? Samuel named his stone Ebenezer, “the stone of help”. Do you have a memorial set up for your victories that the Lord has won for you? Can you name 12 victories? Stop dwelling on the defeats, there is no honor in that, take it from me. Dwell on the victory and the One who gave those victories to you. Set up your stones where they can be seen so like Joshua, you can tell your children what those stones mean to you.
Teach them victory, teach them honor.
Register at Fredericksburg Battlefield Information -Kingdom Men, we will be mustering at Fredericksburg Battlefield on June 25-26. Friday-Sunday; for those able to participate Saturday only, you will receive the benefits of the TJC Battlefield training. Let’s “PRE-DECIDE” to train together!
Please note – A portion of every registration is being matched by a donor, so that Joshua Commission can support the Mighty Oaks Foundation” and “Door of Hope”. Mighty Oaks helps warriors overcome the ravages of veteran suicide. The Door of Hope comes alongside men and women struggling with abortion decisions.
Your participation ripples far beyond the battlefields of 1862.