They were all found guilty, and sentenced to be shot. After the sentence, the general allowed them to draw lots, and selected a few in this way for execution. Those selected by the fatal lot were scheduled to be shot the next morning. Tried, condemned, and waiting the execution of penalty, their condition was a sad one.
Among the number thus waiting in despair was a middle-aged man, a man of family, who was in deep distress at the fate which awaited him. During the evening a young man, a neighbor of the condemned, and who had himself been of the number arrested, but had escaped the fatal lot, came in and made the astonishing proposal to this man that he would take his place and die in his stead. He said, "I have no family to mourn my loss. I trust I am prepared to die; and I am willing, for the sake of your family, to die for you. The general says he will consent to the change, and accept my death in place of yours as satisfactory to the law."
The generous offer was accepted by the surprised and overcome man, and the substitute remained under the guard until the morning came. With the morning the young man was lead out upon the parade ground with his fellow prisoners. A company of soldiers with loaded guns, faced them, and at the command, "Fire!" he fell, dying voluntarily for another.
Major Whittle, page 25 in One Thousand Evangelistic Illustrations, edited by Webb, A. (1924). New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers