Civil War Transcendence, Part 54




Well the good breakfast that I expected didn’t pan out.  It definitely didn’t meet the standards of the breakfasts I got from Hattie’s table. There was some kind of sludge they called mush. I got a bowl of it and had to add a lot of honey to get it to taste passable. I mean that figuratively and digestively.

I also had two biscuits that were about 4/5 done, which means that the middle parts were still doughy.  I added some butter and honey to them also. There was some cool milk on the table. I hadn’t tasted unpasteurized milk since growing up in Pine Bluff, AR where I dined with friends who served milk fresh from their dairy cow.

With my guts growling due to the alien food I had ingested, I got my bags, had Beau saddled up and rode east to Harpers Ferry.  Beau was sort of used to me by now, and we meandered for only two hours before we reached our destination.

I checked Beau into the local livery stable on Bolivar Heights. This was a ridge on the southwest part of town that looked over the main part of town and the Potomac River.  I got directions to the local newspaper office from the livery stable owner and walked down the steep hill from the top of Bolivar Heights to the bottom of the hill, which ran into the main street where the newspaper office was situated.

I entered the newspaper office and asked to see the owner. A man came forward and introduced himself as Mr. Matthews. I introduced myself and asked if he had any back-issues of the paper from the previous year up to today’s date. He suspiciously asked why I needed to look at them. I stated that I was the new school teacher in Shepherdstown and wanted to have the correct information when I taught current history for my class in the fall. He seemed to rely on my answer and directed me to a back room of the office which had stacked newspapers by year from 1857 to the present. The newspaper was printed on a weekly basis, except for Extra Editions, which were plenteous due to startling current news events.

I dug into the papers, beginning with 1860, and only perused the articles that dealt with the presidential election of 1860, the secession of the Southern States, the forming of the Confederate States, and the War from 1861 to the present.

It was most illuminating.

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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