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Ira Sankey Delivered from Sniper

When Ira Sankey was at the height of his ministry, traveling on a steamer in the Delaware River, he was recognized by some passengers. They'd seen his picture in the newspaper and knew he was associated with evangelist D. L. Moody. When they asked him to sing one of his own compositions, Sankey said he preferred the hymn by William Bradbury, "Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us." He suggested that everyone join in the singing. One of the stanzas begins, "We are thine, do thou befriend us; be the guardian of our way."

When he finished, a man stepped out of the shadows and inquired, "Were you in the army, Mr. Sankey?"

"Yes, I joined up in 1860."

"Did you ever do guard duty at night in Maryland, about 1862?"

"Yes, I did."

"Well, I was in the Confederate Army," said the stranger. "I saw you one night at Sharpsburg. I had you in my gun sight as you stood there in the light of the full moon. Then just as I was about to pull the trigger, you began to sing. It was the same hymn you sang tonight," the man told an astonished Sankey. "I couldn't shoot you."

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