Civil War Transcendence, part 19

I must have jumped about three feet in the air. The dog caught me completely by surprise.

I was so scared that I didn’t have enough time to even yell. I had just backed up, come up on the balls of my feet (as I had been taught in Aikido) and extended my arms out in front of me in preparation for the attack.

In the moonlight, I estimated the dog to be of medium build – about 35 to 40 pounds – long haired, and not scared of me at all. He went directly to the attack.

Snarling DogI put my left arm out for him to bite on, and when he did, I plunged the fingers of my right hand toward his eyes.

I must have made contact with one of his eyes because he yelped, let go of my left forearm, and ran squealing back under the house porch from whence he came. With that blasted dog howling to high heavens, it was bound to waken the household and create a search to see what had happened to the dog.

I had no time to lose.  I began running toward the street that I envisioned would be there and – thank the Lord – it was. I turned onto the road, and I began a steady pace to get to the western side of town as quickly as possible. My adrenalin was definitely pumping.

I ran four blocks before I started to give out.  I heard a few dogs bark, but none came toward me.  I didn’t realize that there was a small hill that I had to climb at the end of the road, and I was so worn out I had to stop running. However, breathing heavily I kept up a fast walk, I reached the top of the hill. The road dead-ended into a farm road running north to south.  I turned left on the southern branch and hoped to high the main road going to Shepherdstown.

The moon had gone behind a cloud, and it was so dark, that I almost missed the road I wanted. The only thing that saved me was stumbling in a rut on the main road.  I turned right and headed west to Boteler’s Ford.

I tried to keep up a fast-paced walk, but after what seemed like an hour (which was probably only a few minutes) I knew I had to stop and rest; else, I wouldn’t make it to my destination.  I found a tree next to the road, sat down, and leaned against it. I felt something trickling down my arm.

I was bleeding.

About Civil War Reflections

Vernon has been a Civil War buff since childhood, but had been inactive in Civil War history for over two decades. However, in the early 1990s his interest was rekindled after watching Ken Burns’ “Civil War Documentary” on PBS. He particularly became interested in the Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg) and decided to learn more about this epic struggle.
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