Character Qualtities of Lucy Buck

Rachel in front of Bel Air, Lucy Buck's House

During the Civil War, Lucy Buck lived in Front Royal, VA. She kept a journal, which contains a good description of the battle of Front Royal. Since there are few examples of godly characters today,we should look at what some of her character traits were, and also the biblical basis for those traits. We will discuss her love of family, bravery, and trust in God.
One of her character traits is her love of her family. This is a biblical trait to have, because the Bible says in John 13:35: "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."1 One example of that in her journal is how much she enjoyed the letters from her brothers while they were fighting in the war, like when she wrote,
We were sitting by the candle in Grandma's room tonight when Father came from the office bringing a paper and two letters ... I was almost beside myself with joy at their arrival particularly when upon reading Irvie's we learned that he had been promoted to the rank of captain ... Dear boy! I hate the idea of his being exposed to the dangers conseqent upon active service and am so sorry he and Alvin will be seperated, but he has one kind Protector as Omnipotent to save on the field of battle as in the quiet of home, and as Alvin has gone onto Bragg's army ... I sincerely hope he may succeed for he richly deserves it to, I'm sure.2
This also shows her trust in the sovreignty of God as well as her love for her family. We see another example of this is when she wrote,
Father came in this evening bringing a letter from dear Irvie ... Poor fellow, he was in the late dreadful battle – how glad I am thatwe were unconscious of it till it was all over. He writes very despondingly and seems almost to wish himself back with Alvin whom he says has returned thither. He says our friends all escaped unhurt and almost as if by a miracle. The battle must have been much more deadly than we had thought for. Must write to him soon.3
This show that she was not only concerned for the safety of her brother, but also for her friends. From these examples we see how important her family was to her, and her love for her brother.
Another character trait we wll discuss is her bravery. God frequently reminds us in the Bible not to fear because he is our protector, such as in Deuteronomy 31:6:
Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.4
Here we see why it is good to be brave and have courage. An example of Lucy Buck's courage and love of strangers is when after the battle of Front Royal happened she wrote,
We descended all of us to the basement for protection ... The house was exposed to a cross fire and we were all really in much more danger than we were at the time aware of – at any rate I could not bear the idea of being entombed ingloriously in the cellar while our deliverers were gallantly endangering their lives in our defense – it was not to be thought of for an instant – I must witness if not assist in the struggle. So Nellie and I went on the porch with a pitcher of water with the contents of which we refreshed our soldiers as they would ever and anon stop in their chase weary and thirsty ... I did not feel the least fear as the missiles of death screamed and shrieked around – the sound was rather pleasantly exhilarating and I watched the discharges with positive enjoyment – did not for one instant doubt our success in driving the varmints out.5
Here we see that she was not afraid even in times of great danger, but was ready to comfort the soldiers as much as she could.
The last trait we will discuss is her trust in God. This is a good character trait because God is our protector and defense, so we should trust in him like the Bible says in Psalms 5:11:
But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee. 6
We see how Lucy Buck exhibits this when she said,
Our army seemed to have melted away or were within the coils of a mighty serpent that must soon crush them – oh it was all disheartening enough! – and I have wondered how we ever struggled through such depths of gloom. But the day I trust has gone on our midnight, how it has all so changed I do not understand, but surely God has been with us. 'Tis he that arrested the tide of Union successes and nerved and inspired our men to such deeds of daring heroism. Oh! – may we never forget to whom we owe it all and weakly give to erring impotent man the need of thanksgiving and praise that belongs but to the Maker!7
Here we see that she is thankful for what God has done, and realizes that it could not have been done without his help. This is clearly an example of her belief in the sovreignty of God.
We have seen how Lucy Buck exhibits three specific charachter qualities which are love of family, bravery, and trust in God, through her words penned in Sad Earth, Sweet Heaven. These are important qualities to have because of their biblical basis, which we have also discussed. Young ladies should try to emmulate these qualities in their lives today.

1 John 13:35, KJV
2 Buck, Lucy Rebecca Sad Earth, Sweet Heaven (Buck Publishing Company, Birmingham, Alabama: 1993) p. 158-159
3 Ibid p. 171
4 Deuteronomy 31:6 KJV
5 Sad Earth Sweet Heaven, p. 79
6 Psalms 5:11 KJV
7 Sad Earth Sweet Heaven, p. 138


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