For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:6, 7 KJV
It was not common for Civil War soldiers to fight for both the North and the South, but it did happen. But, to fight for the South in the Army and the North in both the Army and the Navy, only one man achieved this.
British born John Rowlands was an illegitimate child who became an orphan at four. Subjected to physical abuse, at fifteen he ran away working on a ship bound for the United States. New Orleans was his embarkation. He was found by American, Henry Hope Stanley, who adopted the lad giving him his name. When John, now Henry’s father, left for Cuba on business, the last time they saw each other, his namesake encouraged him to hold fast to Christian principles and be “fearless in all manly things.”
When the American Civil War broke out Stanley found himself with the 6th Arkansas Regiment, CSA, at the battle of Shiloh in April 1862. Knocked down by a Union bullet, he discovered he was saved by his belt buckle. Captured on the field he was transported to Chicago’s Camp Douglas. Swearing allegiance to the USA, he joined the Union Army, but before he had an opportunity to fight he became sick with malaria and was discharged. In 1864 he joined the Union Navy serving on the USS North Carolina and Minnesota. He did such a marvelous job keeping the ship’s record that his writings were published and he became a roving reporter in the Wild West, writing about and becoming friends with Wild Bill Hickock, Generals Winfield Hancock and William T. Sherman.
James Gordon Bennett of the New York Herald hired Stanley as the paper’s special African correspondent. Henry Stanley covered the Abyssinian Expedition, and the war in Spain, before being commissioned in 1869 to find the English missionary-explorer David Livingstone, who had not been heard from for several years.
Henry Morton Stanley famously found Livingstone and spent considerable time with him but was unsuccessful in convincing him to leave Africa and return to England. Stanley dedicated his life to serving Africa by developing Christianity and civilization throughout its vast and unexplored interior.On April 18, 1874, Henry Morton Stanley was one of the pallbearers for the funeral of Dr. David Livingstone at Westminster Abbey. Stanley was given the foremost position on the right. Shortly after that the Daily Telegraph of London and the New York Herald united to fund an expedition to Central Africa under the leadership of Henry Stanley: “To complete the work left unfinished by the lamentable death of Dr. Livingstone; to solve, if possible, the remaining problems of the geography of Central Africa; and to investigate and report upon the haunts of the slave traders…”
In 1899, at the age of 58, Stanley was knighted by the Queen. He died May 10, 1904 at 63 years old. He was the most famous convert of Dr. David Livingstone, one of the greatest explorers of all time, and one of the most effective campaigners against the slave trade.
Lord, you called me to follow you, to do your work, and to preach the Good News. Help me to accomplish this glorious task with utmost faithfulness and determination until my final breath.
True pioneers never cease in their divine task of declaring with their words, their actions, their might and strength God’s love for the world and will, to their dying moment, be faithful enlisting disciples who will carry on after their departure. -Dennis L. Kutzner