Inspiration 4 Everyone
Empowering People Through Positive Inspiration




Charlie Coulson, The Christian Drummer Boy

By Dr. M. L. Rosvally
The following story is a true account, taken from an old, out-of-print
book called, "Touching Incidents And Remarkable Answers To Prayer." It
was compliled by S.B. Shaw and published in 1894. Grab a cup of hot
chocolate, gather the family together, and read this one out loud to
everyone. We believe it will touch your hearts as much as it has touched
ours. We serve a truly faithful God!

I was a surgeon in the United States Army during the Civil War. After
the battle of Gettysburg, there were hundreds of wounded soldiers in my
hospital. Many were wounded so severely that a leg or an arm, or
sometimes both, needed to be amputated.

One of these was a boy who had only been in the service for three
months. Since he was too young to be a soldier, he had enlisted as a
drummer. When my assistants came to give him chloroform before the
amputation, he turned his head and refused it. When they told him that
it was the doctor's orders, he said, "Send the doctor to me." I came to
his bedside and said, "Young man, why do you refuse the chloroform? When
I found you on the battlefield, you were so far gone that I almost
didn't bother to pick you up. But when you opened those large blue eyes,
it occured to me that you had a mother somewhere who might be thinking
of you at that very moment. I didn't want you to die on the field, so I
had you brought here. But you've lost so much blood that you're just too
weak to live through an operation without chloroform. You'd better let
me give you some."

He laid his hand on mine, looked me in the face and said, "Doctor, one
Sunday afternoon, when I was nine and a half years old, I gave my heart
to Christ. I learned to trust Him then, and I've been trusting Him ever
since. I know I can trust Him now. He is my strength. He will support me
while you amputate my arm and leg." I asked him if he would at least let
me give him a little brandy. Again, he looked at me and said, "Doctor,
when I was about five years old, my mother knelt by my side with her
arms around me, and said, 'Charlie, I am praying to Jesus that you will
never take even one drink of alcohol Your father died a drunkard, and
I've asked God to use you to warn poeple against the dangers of
drinking, and to encourage them to love and serve the Lord.' I am now 17
years old, and I have never had anything stronger than tea or coffee.
There is a very good chance that I am about to die and to go into the
presence of my God. Would you send me there with brandy on my breath?"

I will never forget the look that boy gave me. At that time I hated
Jesus, but I respected the boy's loyalty to his Savior. And when I saw
how he loved and trusted Him to the very end, something deeply touched
my heart. I did for that boy what I had never done for any other solder
-- I asked him if he wanted to see his chaplain.

Chaplain R. knew the boy well from having seen him frequently at the
tent prayer meetings. Taking his hand, he said, "Charlie, I'm realy
sorry to see you like this." "Oh, I'm all right, sir," Charlie answered.
"The doctor offered me chloroform, but I told him I didn't want any.
Then he wanted to give me some brandy, which I didn't want either. So
now, if my Savior calls me, I can go to Him in my right mind."

"You might not die, Charlie," said the chaplain, "but if the Lord does
call you home, is there anything I can do for you after you're gone?"
"Chaplain, please reach under my pillow and take my little Bible. My
mother's address is inside. Please send it to her, and write a letter
for me. Tell her that since I left home, I have never let a single day
pass -- no matter if we were on the march, on the battlefield, or in the
hospital -- without reading a portion of God's Word, and daily praying
that He would bless her."

"Is there anything else I can do for you, my lad?" asked the chaplain.
"Yes -- please write a letter to the Sunday School teacher of the Sands
Street Church in Brooklyn, New York. Tell him that I've never forgotten
his encouragement, good advice, and many prayers for me. They have
helped and comforted me through all the dangers of battle. And now, in
my dying hour, I thank the Lord for my dear old teacher, and ask Him to
bless and strengthen him. That is all."

Then turning to me, he said, "I'm ready, doctor. I promise I won't even
groan while you take off my arm and leg, if you don't offer me
chloroform." I promised, but I didn't have the courage to take the knife
in my hand without first going into the next room and taking a littel
brandy myself.

While cutting through the flesh, Charlie Coulson never groaned. But when
I took the saw to separate the bone, the lad took the corner of his
pillow in his mouth, and all I could hear him whisper was, "O Jesus,
blessed Jesus! Stand by me now." He kept his promise. He never groaned.

I couldn't sleep that night. Whichever way I tossed and turned, I saw
those soft blue eyes, and when I closed my own eyes, the words, "Blessed
Jesus, stand by me now," kept ringing in my ears. A little after
midnight, I finally left my bed and visited the hospital -- a thing I
had never done before unless there was an emergency. I had such a
strange and strong desire to see that boy. When I got there, an orderly
told me that 16 of the badly wounded soldiers had died. "Was Charlie
Coulson one of them?" I asked. "No, sir," he answered, "he's sleeping as
sweetly as a babe."

When I came to his bed, one of the nurses said that at about nine
o'clock, two members of the Y.M.C.A. came through the hospital to read
and sing a hymn. Chaplain R. was with them, and he knelt by Charlie's
bed and offered up a fervent ann soul-stirring prayer. Then, while still
on their knees, they sang one of the sweetest of all hymns, "Jesus,
Lover Of My Soul." Charlie sang along with them, too. I couldn't
understand how that boy, who was in such horrible pain, could sing.

Five days after I performed the operation, Charlie sent for me, and it
was from him that I heard my first Gospel sermon. "Doctor," he said, "my
time has come. I don't expect to see another sunrise. I want to thank
you with all my heart for your kindness to me. I know you are Jewish,
and that you don't believe in Jesus, but I want you to stay with me, and
see me die trusting my Savior to the last moment of my life." I tried to
stay, but I just couldn't. I didn't have the courage to stand by and see
a Christian boy die rejoicing in the love of that Jesus who I hated. So
I hurriedly left the room.

About 20 minutes later an orderly came and found me sitting in my office
with my hands covering my face. He told me that Charlie wanted to see
me. "I've just seen him," I answered, "and I can't see him again." "But,
Doctor, he says he must see you once more before he dies." So I made up
my mind to go and see Charlie, say an endearing word, and let him die.
However, I was determined that nothing he could say would influence me
in the least bit, so far as his Jesus was concerned."

When I entered the hospital I saw he was sinking fast, so I sat down by
his bed. Asking me to take his hand, he said, "Doctor, I love you
because you are a Jew. The best friend I have found inthis world was a
Jew." I asked him who that was, and he answered, "Jesus Christ, and I
want to introduce you to Him before I die. Will you promise me, Doctor,
that what I am about to say to you, you will never forget?" I promised,
and he said, "five days agon, while you amputated my arm and leg, I
prayed to the Lord Jeuss CHrist and asked HIm to make His love known to

Those words went deep into my heart. I couldn't understand how, when I
was causing him the most intense pain, he could forget all about himself
and think of nothing but his Savior and my uncoverted soul. All I could
say to him was, "well, my dear boy, you will soon be all right." With
these words I left him, and 12 minutes later he fell asleep, "safe in
the arms of Jesus."

Hundreds of soldiers died in my hospital during the war, but I only
followed one to the grave, and that was Charlie Coulson. I rode three
miles to see him buried. I had him dressed in a new uniform, and placed
in an officer's coffin, with a United States flag over it.

That boy's dying words made a deep impression upon me. I was rich at
that time so far as money was concerned, but I would have given every
penny I possessed if I could have felt towards Christ as Charile did.
But that feeling cannot be bought with money. Alas, I soon forgot all
about my Christian solider's little sermon, but I could not forget the
boy himself. Looking back, I now know that I was under deep conviction
of sin at that time. But for nearly ten years, I fought against Christ
with all the hatred I had, until finally the dear boy's prayer was
answered, and I was surrendered my life to the love of Jesus.

About a year-and-a-half after my conversion, I went to a prayer meeting
one evening in Brooklyn. It was aone of those meetings where Christians
testify about the lovingkindness of God. After several had spoken, an
elderly lady stood up and said, "Dear friends, this may be the last time
I have a chance to publicly share how good the Lord has been to me. My
doctor told me yesterday that my right lung is nearly gone, and my left
lung is failing fast, so at the best I only have a short time to be with
you. But what is left of me belongs to Jesus. It's a great joy to know
that I shall soon meet my son with Jesus in heaven.

"Charlie was not only a soldier for his country, but also a soldier for
Christ. He was wounded at the battle of Gettysburg, and was cared for by
a Jewish doctor, who amputated his arm and leg. He died five days after
the operation. The chaplain of the regiment wrote me a letter, and sent
me my boy's Bible. I was told that in his dying hour, my Charile sent
for that Jewish doctor, and said to him, 'Doctor, before I die I wish to
tell you that five days ago, while you amputated my arm and leg, I
prayed to the Lord Jeus Christ for you.'"

As I heard this lady speak, I just couldn't sit still! I left my seat,
ran across the room, and taking her hand said, "God bless, you, my dear
sister. Your boy's prayer has been heard and answered! I am the Jewish
doctor that Charlie prayed for, and his Savior is now my Savior! The
love of Jesus has won my soul!"


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