Traditional Stories


THE JOHN STUMP FAMILY

In the War Between the States most of the Stumps favored the freedom of the states from national interference. When the war actually began, with the exception of a very few, they chose the side of the Confederacy and fought throughout the war. The Reverend John Stump, my grandfather, though sympathetic with the Southern cause, tried to remain neutral, as was the case of many, and as a result suffered maltreatment from both sides.

During the war the Reverend Mr. Stump was engaged in an evangelistic series of meetings at the old Bethlehem Baptist Church. He was being assisted in the services by his brother-in-law Daniel Huffman. A Confederate soldier named Burroughs came home on furlough and was attending the meetings. One night a body of Union soldiers surrounded the house and at the close of the service proceeded to search the congregation. They found the rebel hiding under a woman's apron. It appears they only gave the woman a good tongue lashing, but they arrested both preachers with the Confederate soldier. They took them to Glenville and started them to work on the prison work-gang erecting a blockhouse for a fort and a prison. All week they worked as prisoners of war. On Saturday evening the Reverend Mr. Huffman approached the captain asking if they would be permitted to preach while they were in prison. The captain said, "We have services every Sunday morning and that he would be pleased to have them preach at these services as often as they wished." Uncle Daniel, as everybody later called him, ran quickly to the Reverend John Stump, his brother-in-law, with the good news, as he called it. It was said that John Stump looked at him with a disgusting expression on his face and said, "If there's any preaching to this gang of cut-throats, you'll do it yourself, I'll die before I'll preach to such scoundrels."

On Sunday morning Uncle Daniel rose to bring the message. He spoke from Isaiah 16:3, "Take counsel, execute judgment; make thy shadow as the night in the midst of the noonday; hide the outcasts; betray not him that wandereth."

Uncle Daniel Huffman was never termed a big preacher. He was considered in those days an exhorter, but an awful good man. But my grandfather, John, to his old days, said he never heard such a sermon come from the lips of man, be great or small.

At the close of the service the captain came up to both of them with tears running down his face and said: "Men, go home. You have no business here. That kind of preaching is far better for homefolks than an army which has to fight." They came home and were never molested again by the Union army.

Source: The Stumps, by the Reverend Ofa E. Stump.


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