Civil War Transcendence – part 68


We made the two blocks to the Confederate Outpost in nothing flat. I jumped down off Sampson and ran to the front door of the small building.

An armed soldier at the door brought his musket from the Order Arms position (the butt of the weapon on the wood porch and the bulk of the weapon resting next to the right side of his body) to a menacing Port Arms position, with the musket held diagonally across his body. He also moved in front of the door to prevent me from entering the building.

“What cha want hearah?” he demanded.

“There’s Yankee Cavalry down the River Road about 4 miles headed this way,” I blurted out.

That brought a Captain out of the building. He looked me up and down and asked, “Well sir, did you actually see this hearah Yankee Cavalry?”

I told him yes and quickly gave him the particulars of what happened.

“Would you be willing to lead us to the place you last saw this hearah cavalry?” he asked with some dubiousness.

I professed that I would most gladly do so. He immediately called out the guard and told the adjutant to have his horse saddled and to telegraph the garrison’s cavalry contingent to meet us on the River Road in 20 minutes.

With the orders given, the Captain asked me if I would like something to drink. I asked if I could see to my horse first. He acquiesced.

I took Sampson to a water trough next to the Garrison Outpost. I didn’t let him drink too much. He was still breathing hard and was frothy. I asked the soldier at the door if there was a horse blanket that I could use to wipe down my horse. He said yes and returned quickly with an old blanket.

I got almost all the froth off Sampson. He stood contentedly as I administered to him.  I let him have one more quick drink of water before our return trip.

The adjutant returned with the Captain’s saddled horse, a beautiful roan mare.  Sampson whinnied his approval, and the Captain and I had a good laugh.  We mounted, and the Captain asked if I was armed. I mentioned that I had been given a colt revolver by the lady at the farm. He nodded, and we set off back the way I had previously traveled.

We arrived at the beginning of the River Road, but the Confederate Cavalry Contingent wasn’t there, yet. While waiting on them, I asked him his name.

“John Mosby,” he replied.

I almost fell out of my saddle.


Mosby's Rangers

“John S Mosby & Men” from The Photographic History of The Civil War in Ten Volumes: Volume Four, The Cavalry.
Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.


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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