Civil War Transcendence, part 20

This was just what I needed; a dog bite in the supposed 19th century without any antiseptic available!

I took off my T-shirt, tore off an arm of the cloth, and wrapped it around the place on my arm that hurt the most.  I put the tattered shirt back on and leaned against the tree.

I hugged my upper body with my arms to generate some warmth and dozed off.

I awoke with a start not knowing how long I had been out. I was shaking and knew I had to get a move on to keep warm. So, I reluctantly got to my feet, and feeling light-headed, began to follow the ruts in the main road leading westward.

I wanted to get to the Potomac River before sunrise, and it seemed like it was taking forever to get there. At one point, just outside of Sharpsburg, the moon came out, and I could see the Grove Plantation off to my left.  There were a few scattered houses along the trek, but not very many.

At one point in the road I could see a house off to my right and heard two dogs barking.  I continued on my way, and with the light of the moon, I found and picked up two large rocks from the road. I heard the dogs barking as they ran down to the road.  By this time I was sick of dogs and mad as a hornet!

When the dogs broke out of their farm lane and headed toward me, I raised a hell of a banshee squall and threw one rock in the face of the lead dog.  It hit him a glancing blow on the right side of his head. He went down in a heap, and the second dog, thinking retreat the better part of valor, veered off to the right into some trees lining the road.

I didn’t wait around to see what might happen. I couldn’t run anymore. I was too tuckered out. I just kept a steady walking pace.

View from atop Ferry Hill

Photo from Western Maryland Regional Library – http://www.whilbr.org – shows the view of Shepherdstown from atop Ferry Hill.

After what seemed like an eternity, I came to where the road went down a steep hill to the left. To the right of the road in the early morning light, probably just about 30 minutes before daybreak, I could see a very large two- or possibly three-story house.  I suddenly remembered that this must be Ferry Hill where Henry Kyd Douglas, Stonewall Jackson’s Aide, lived.

Just then, I heard some distance singing in the direction of the road off to my left.

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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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