In 1961, Edgar Franklin Loughmiller was buried in Fairlawn Cemetery. To many people, he was just a cowboy, but to my grandmother, he was Uncle Ed.
At the age of 24, he stood only five foot, seven inches tall, with dark blue eyes and brown hair. This rugged ranchman’s lifestyle embodied the American individualism of the day; he was scared of nothing. When war broke out with Spain in 1898, Uncle Ed traveled to Guthrie, O.T. (Oklahoma Territory) where he enlisted in Troop D of the 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry. His service would last only 137 days.
Lead by Colonel Theodore Roosevelt, the regiment’s nickname was the Rough Riders. As tensions grew between Spain and the United States, the Rough Riders were ordered to Cuba to capture its capital at Santiago. After landing in Cuba, they were met with fierce resistance. Weeks later, their fame came when they charged directly into the guns on Kettle Hill, which is commonly known as San Juan Hill. Their lives would never be the same, for over one hundred of the men were killed or wounded. Like Teddy Roosevelt, these men had become a legend in their own time.
Uncle Ed survived Cuba, and in 1955, the Oklahoma Historical Society quoted him in a story that they printed about William Pollock who was the son of a Pawnee Indian chief. “In an engagement the bullets were flying fast, and everyone was lying down except Pollock who was standing behind a tree. Our Lieutenant, Dave Goodrich of the auto tire family, tried to get him and order him to get down, but the fire became too hot for him to reach him. And he decided to let the Indian fight in his own way. Goodrich said Pollock was firing deliberately and making every shot count.”
Church, how’s the battle going? Are you not aware of the struggle? It is not an intellectual debate over coffee, nor is it a battle of human strength (1 Samuel 17:47). It is a life or death battle that is changing lives for an eternity (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). It is the same battle that the faithful have been waging since the beginning of time (Hebrews 11). It is the same unseen battle that Paul warned about in his letter to the Ephesians (Ephesians 6:10-20).
Take courage Church, for our King is scared of nothing! He tented with his disciples for a few short years, yet he is more than a legend. Can you not see him standing in the lead, taking deliberate aim at Satan, and leading us on to victory (Matthew 4:10,11)? Christian, are you up for the task?
“Were not the right one on our side?
The man of God’s own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is he.
Lord Sabaoth is his name.
From age to age the same,
and he must win the battle.” Martin Luther