Civil War Transcendence: part 29


About five feet from shore, I started to fall forward and hit the bank with half of me in the water and half of me on dry land. I looked up and, with blurry eyes, saw the mill I had spotted from the Maryland side. Then I blacked out.

I awoke to someone shouting. They were calling for help and trying to pull me to shore. I felt myself being pulled out of the water. Then I blacked out again.

The next time I awakened, I was in a small bed. I drifted off into a fitful sleep.


I woke to a faint breeze blowing over my face. The one window in the room was open. There wasn’t any glass in the window. It was just two large shutters hinged with homemade pieces of leather that opened inward and rested flush with the inside wall. I heard birds singing, insects chirping and the flow of the river as a background melody.

I stirred and found I was in a bed with a blanket over me. When I moved, the bed made a weird sound. I sat up and put my feet on the floor. I pulled back the blanket and found I was naked as a jaybird.  I kept the blanket pulled around me and took inventory of the room.  My arm felt funny.

I pulled the blanket back to look at my left arm. There was a lump of some unknown substance tied to my left wrist with a long slender cloth.

I untied the cloth using my right hand teeth, and a piece of green material fell into my lap.  It had been tied to my wrist where the dog had bitten me.

I looked at my wrist. It was still lacerated, but the cuts were starting to close and scab over. I picked up the green glob and examined it. I swear it looked like moss that grows on the north side of some trees. I remembered an old John Wayne movie in which the doctor used it to keep a wound from getting infected. The thing I remember most from this type of medicinal cure was not to scratch the wound when it started to heal.

I then began to take inventory of my surroundings.


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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