A prayer-book sits in the dark corner of a cabinet waiting to be found, to be made famous. After all, it’s leather-bound, has 500 pages and is only 4 x 2.5 inches.
Can you imagine?
Yet, it is the spiritual engravings and old inscriptions that create the mystery.
Union Pvt. Philip Bader took this prayer-book from “a dead Secesh Confederate soldier” after the Battle of Rich Mountain on July 11, 1861. (Walt Lesser)
Carey and Jennifer Flinn are pokin’ around the nooks and crannies of the new family home in 1970 when the book is discovered. The girls ease it from the shelf and carefully open the cover. It has a strange title: The Path to Paradise or The Way of Salvation with the “Approbation of the Most Rev. John Hughes, Archbishop of New York.”
The little mystery maker is published in 1857; it holds two inscriptions in old brown ink: Philip Bader, a Private in the 19th Ohio Infantry and Presented to Mary Drumm by Philip Bader. Taken on the Battle Field at Rich Mountain from a Dead Secech Soldier.
And there it is.
The tiny little prayer-book is an artifact of historical and spiritual value. It is stored in the family safe; nestled there through the years while Carey and Jennifer marry and life goes on. Until … Dion Howells’ curiosity begins to bubble.
Carey’s husband coaxes Terry Hackney of the Rich Mountain Battlefield Foundation to do some snoopin’ … Terry puts him in touch with the owners of the book.
This is where things get touchy. The book is not for sale. The families have a serious “commitment to make this world a better place.” They set out to find a “home” for the little prayer-book, and they did.
It is snuggled on a shelf at the Beverly Heritage Center, West Virginia, where it remains on exhibition.
May Your Glass Always Be Half Filled
There is more surprising information at: http://www.civilwarnews.com/archive/articles/2012/august/prayer-081201.htm