Grandfather Knew the Power of Prayer for Battle's Wounded

Power of prayer moves grandfather from front lines to army hospital to care for the wounded.

Content Tools

This story about my grandfather was told to us by a man who had been an observer. Grandfather knew the power of prayer, particularly for those wounded in battle.

A man had been wounded and was dying. He asked the captain to pray for him before he died. The captain felt unfit to pray and asked his company, "Can any of you men pray with this man?" No one volunteered.

Then a man spoke up, "There is a man over in Company F who can pray for him."

"Go get him," ordered the captain.

The soldier soon returned, accompanied by the man of whom he had spoken. He knelt by the dying soldier and prayed. The soldiers and captain listened with tears in their eyes as the dying man, comforted, died in the arms of the one who had prayed for him.

The captain thanked the good man, and he returned to his company where he was an orderly.

The man from Company F, Ohio, was my grandfather, James Gamet Thornton. He had been a Christian since he was 17 years of age. He was soon relieved of carrying a gun and fighting and was put in charge of caring for the wounded in the field first aid stations and later in a Union Army hospital.

Probably he prayed with many other boys who were dying. He never told us much about it.

Iva Thornton Locke
Portsmouth, Ohio

Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then CAPPER’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from CAPPER’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community.