About the book: Compassionate Soldier illuminates fascinating yet largely unknown stories of men and women whose humanity led them to perform courageous acts of mercy and compassion amid the chaos and carnage of war. Arranged by war from the American Revolution to the Iraq War and global in perspective, it features extraordinary stories of grace under fire from valiant soldiers and noncombatants who rose above the inhumanity of lethal conflict and chose compassion, even knowing their actions could put their lives and liberty at risk.
Included are the stories of Patrick Ferguson, a British officer during the American Revolution who had the chance to kill George Washington but refused to shoot a man in the back; Richard Kirkland, a Confederate soldier during the Civil War who took water to wounded Union soldiers during the battle of Fredericksburg; and Oswald Boelcke, a German WWI flying ace who was one of the most influential tacticians of early air combat and was known for making sure the airmen he shot down made it to the ground alive.
These and other inspirational stories illustrate that even in the midst of the unspeakable horrors of war, acts of kindness, mercy, compassion, and humanity can prevail and, in doing so, expand our conventional thinking of honor and battlefield glory.
My review: This is a really great book! I really loved reading stories that I'd never heard from some of these battles that I've heard of in history classes all of my life. I loved the new perspective that this book gave me.
I wanted to share a little bit about one of the stories that really touched me. It's about a woman named Edith Cavell, she was a young British nurse. She believed in the Florence Nightingale method of nursing. That was basically having a clean hospital, nurses being clean and letting in the outside air. All of these things were kind of rare at the time. She was matron of a hospital in Belgium, which ended up being on the wrong side of the German lines in World War I. Anyway, Edith was a brave woman. She ended up using the hospital to hide a lot of soldiers from the other side of the war and not only did she hide them, she ended up helping them get to Holland and eventually to England. And we're not talking just a few soldiers either, the number was somewhere around 1000. The Germans got suspicious and started taking out the underground network. Something I found amazing about Edith was that as she saw members of the network, who I'm sure were her friends, be arrested and dealt with by the Germans, she did not go into hiding or try to get away at all. She stood her ground and continued on with her normal activities. She ended up being executed by a German firing squad for her part in getting these soldiers to safety. What an amazing woman! I hope I can be a little like her and try to always stand up for what I believe is the right way to be or the right way to act.
I really enjoyed all of the stories in this book! Jerry Borrowman has a way of writing historical events in a way that makes it seem almost as if you were there. Make sure you make the time to read this one!
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Purchase links: Amazon - Deseret Book
About the author: Jerry Borrowman is an award-winning author of historical fiction and nonfiction. He has written about World Wars I and II, the Great Depression, and the Vietnam War. He is the recipient of the George Washington National Medal from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge. Jerry and his wife, Marcella, raised four children and live in the Rocky Mountains.
Labels: Jerry Borrowman, nonfiction, Shadow Mountain Publishing