There is always a place to consider a soldier’s faith as he goes off to war.  I’ve mentioned my great-uncle before, and clearly while he was in training at Camp Lee, Virginia, it was a part of his life.  He copied a number of things down on Y.M.C.A. stationary, and among the things he saved was a sheet from the Army Y.M.C.A. which had the above title–“What God Says to His Soldiers.”

Clearly this listing of Bible verses was promoted throughout the war, and from what I can see, was also used in the Second World War and into the Vietnam Era in the early 1960s.  It appears not to have been originally promoted by the Y.M.C.A., but the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (W.C.T.U.), which at the time of the Great War was promoting the prohibition of alcoholic beverages, and indeed, that would soon be the law of the land.

While there is a serious nature to these verses, there is a little humor involved as well, as is evidenced by the first verse for Reveille.

REVEILLE–Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.–Eph. 5:14.

ROLL CALL–I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.–Isa. 43:1.   And He calleth His own sheep by name.–John 10:3.

ATTENTION–Look unto Me, and be ye saved.–Isa. 45:22.

QUICK MARCH–I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.–Phil. 3:14.

HALT–Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord.–Ex. 14:13.

STAND AT EASE–I will give you rest.–Matt. 11:28.

WHEN ON GUARD–Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.–Mark 14:38.

WHEN IN CAMP–The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them.–Ps. 34:7.

WHEN FIGHTING–Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life.–1 Tim. 6:12.

WHEN WOUNDED–They they wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.–Isa. 40:31.  In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.–Isa. 30:15.

WHEN A PRISONER–Fear thou not: for I am with thee: be not dismayed: for I am thy God.–Isa. 41:10.

IN THE HOUR OF DEATH–Let not your heart be troubled, ye believe in God, believe also in Me.–John 14:1.   When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee.–Isa. 43:2.  I will never leave thee.–Heb. 13:5.

THE LAST POST–Watchman, what of the night?–Isa. 21:11  I heard a voice from heaven, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord–that they may rest from their labors.–Rev. 14:13.

IN THE GRAND REVIEW–Well done, thou good and faithful servant . . . enter thou into the joy of the Lord.–Matt. 25:21.

Blair Tarr is the Museum Curator of the Kansas State Historical Society. He oversees the three-dimensional collections of the Society, but has special interests in the Civil War, Wichita-made Valentine diners, and Leavenworth's Abernathy Furniture. In the last few years he has also done a lot of cramming on The Great War. He is a past president of the Kansas Museums Association and the Civil War Round Tables of both Kansas City and Eastern Kansas. He is currently a board member of the Heritage League of Greater Kansas City.