On this day in1864, the decisive Battle of Franklin was fought in and around the idyllic little town just south of Nashville. Though the forces of the Confederate Army under the command of General Hill technically won the engagement, their losses were so great that they never were able to muster a full fighting force again, thus heralding the end of the bitter War Between the States.
During the battle, Northern partisans captured E.M. Bounds, a chaplain for the Southern troops. In later years he would become renowned as a pious pastor and a brilliant theologian—perhaps best known for his many fine books on prayer. He would often reflect on how the horrific experience of war, captivity, and loss had shaped his character and tempered his virtue.
Bounds asserted, "All of life is but preparation for what comes after." Though slightly wounded, ravenously hungry, bitterly cold, and now made servile, Bounds understood that the past is but a prelude to the future and that the present is necessarily tutelage in an unending process and thus not to be chaffed at. He went on to say, "The primer of faith is never closed for the child of God. It's lessons never end. No matter what circumstances may bode, we remain under the bar of instruction forever. Every incident builds upon the last and anticipates the next."