The Crossed Hands of God

The World War I Diary and Letters of Eugene William McLaurin

Edited by Jerry R. Tompkins

Foreword by Jay Winter

The Crossed Hands of God

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  • ISBN: 9781498221375
  • Pages: 178
  • Publication Date: 9/4/2015
  • Retail Price: $23.00
Web Price: $18.40
BUY FROM AMAZON.COM
Web Price: $18.40

The Crossed Hands of God

The World War I Diary and Letters of Eugene William McLaurin

Edited by Jerry R. Tompkins

Foreword by Jay Winter

paperback-logo

PAPERBACK

  • ISBN: 9781498221375
  • Pages: 178
  • Publication Date: 9/4/2015
  • Retail Price: $23.00
Web Price: $18.40
BUY FROM AMAZON.COM

About-

Born on a Mississippi farm, Pvt. Eugene McLaurin had reached 30 years of age when his unit began its advance on the Western Front. McLaurin's diary, written during nine weeks before the Armistice, records the horrors he encountered during his assignment to burial detail, of bodies torn apart, and burial rituals interrupted by gunfire or the occasional stealth attack by a German fighter plane, its engines muffled before emitting its deadly machine gun fire.

In spite of his modest rank, McLaurin was a Presbyterian minister qualified to be a commissioned officer. Instead, he was assistant to the battalion chaplain whose admiration for his assistant's courageous service under fire would result in his attempts to secure a commission for his aide, including appealing to the US Congress.

The Crossed Hands of God consists of a biography of McLaurin, his diary, letters to his fiancee from his induction through six months of occupation duty in Germany, and the tracing of his career from gentle parish minister to professor of systematic theology, eventually becoming an eminent linguist in biblical languages.

Endorsements & Reviews-

"As the 100th anniversary of the Great War is marked, many are reviewing its origins, strategies, tactics, and consequences. This volume of a 30-year-old Texas pastor's diary and letters as he served as a stretcher-bearer in northern France provides an up close and personal perspective of the war. By sharing these documents Jerry Tompkins has opened for us a window into both the innocence and the horror of one soldier's experience, and for this we are in his debt."
--James S. Currie, pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Pasadena, Texas, and Executive Secretary of the Presbyterian Historical Society of the Southwest

"This book is a fascinating read! Tompkins' compilation of Eugene McLaurin's World War I journal and his letters to his future wife are a superb contribution to those who, like me, have a scant sense of (a) the brutality and rhetoric of that war at that time, and (b) the persistence of love and commitment that nonetheless prevailed. Most importantly, these writings . . . provide one snapshot of the formation of character--what it looks like, then and now."
--Theodore J. Wardlaw, President, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

"I found The Crossed Hands of God to be a great read that taught me many new things about the 315th Supply Train of the 90th Division during WWI. This book is a must-read for any persons interested in the events of WWI . . . [T]hese candid accounts take the reader right into battle to reveal the true costs of war up close from a rarely seen point of view as a stretcher bearer."
--Tyler S. Alberts, Historian - 90th Division Association

"Eugene McLaurin's love letters to his fiancee, Myrtle, during World War I, are just as revealing of the man's nobility and sense of honor as his diary entries describing the daily horror in the 1918 killing fields of France."
--Tom Timmins, a McLaurin neighbor in Elysian Fields

Contributors-

Jerry R. Tompkins
Jay Winter

Bio(s)-

Jerry R. Tompkins is a native of Elysian Fields, Texas, and has served as a pastor, a seminary vice-president, and an executive of a church-related child-care and family agency. His earlier book was D-Days at Dayton: Reflections on the Scopes Trial. Tompkins and his wife, the former Marcia Davis, are the parents of two daughters and two sons.

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