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A True Man Fights the Good Fight

During the War of 1812, General Andrew Jackson marched more than two thousand Tennessee volunteers from Nashville to New Orleans. With bravado they fought the decisive Battle of New Orleans. The fighting took its toll on Jackson's troops, but sickness proved to be the deadliest and most dangerous enemy. One hundred fifty soldiers became gravely ill, fifty-six of whom could not even stand.

Dr. Samuel Hogg asked the general what he wanted him to do. "To do, sir?" Jackson answered. "You are to leave not a man on the ground." It wasn't official code of conduct yet, but Jackson embodied the military motto "Leave no man behind."

Andrew Jackson ordered his officers to give up their horses to those who were sick, and the general was the first to do so. Jackson marched 531 miles on foot. Somewhere between New Orleans and Nashville, he earned the nickname "Old Hickory," the same name under which he would campaign for president fifteen years later.

Before winning the White House, the seventh president of the United States is alleged to have fought as many as thirteen duels, which explains the thirty-seven pistols in his gun collection. I'm not advocating the reintroduction of dueling, but it does reveal something about Jackson's character-Old Hickory wasn't one to shrink from a fight, especially when honor was at stake!

Jackson said, “I was born for the storm. And the calm does not suit me.” When the sea is calm, anyone can captain the ship in that situation. But when a perfect storm threatens to capsize your marriage or drown your dreams, you must play the man. A true man doesn't sit back. He steps up and steps in. He fights the good fight, even when it seems like all is lost. Why? Because a true man is born for the storm.


Mark Batterson, Play the Man (Baker Books, 2018), p. 119-120

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