A Southern soldier begged of his captain to be allowed to answer these piteous cries, but was met with refusal: "No; it would be certain death!" He persisted, however, saying: "Above the roar of the artillery and the crack of the muskets I hear those cries for water: let me go!!"
He set out with a bucket of water and a tin cup; for awhile the bullets sang around him, but he seemed to bear a charmed life. Then, as the Federals beyond the field perceived his purpose, the firing gradually ceased; and for an hour and a half there was an armistice, while the soldier in gray, in full sight of both armies, went about on his errand of mercy.
Verily, that was the truce of God!!
And this was the kindness of our Lord. He came from Heaven to bring the cup of cold water to the dying men. Ah, that was the greatest kindness that was ever known. It was the most sublime heroism too.
But the firing did not cease when He came to us with the water from the well beside the gate at Bethlehem; His mercy toward us cost Him His life.
What shall we render unto the Lord for His loving kindness??
D.J. Burrell, pages 22-23 in One Thousand Evangelistic Illustrations, edited by Webb, A. (1924). New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers