Civil War Transcendence, part 72



She had brown eyes that you could drown in. Her ebony hair was in long tresses, pulled back, and captured under a blue riding hat with a short brim. Her face was egg-shaped with a nose that wasn’t too long or too short and a mouth that turned up at the corners, giving her a perpetual smile. Her complexion was as white as confectionary sugar but the single most striking factor about her countenance was that she was the spitting image of my wife when she was about 16 years of age.

Image from Civil War Reflections:  Honoring the Battles, Soldiers and Spirits.  Copyright 2012, Time Travelers, LLC

Image from Civil War Reflections: Honoring the Battles, Soldiers and Spirits. Copyright 2012, Time Travelers, LLC

I looked at this woman as if I had been hit by a thunderbolt. I know I probably had the most ludicrous slack-jawed expression on my face.  My heart was racing as I sat there on Sampson holding the lady’s horse and looking into her face. All the recent hellacious trials and tribulations just welled up in me and tears came to my eyes. Here was the love of my life and in this moment I realized how much I missed her and my old life.

I was shocked when the lady, who had started to cry, said in the most beautiful Virginia Southern drawl, “Oh thank you sir! From the bottom of my heart, thank you!”

I was a little choked up myself, but was able to croak out, “Please don’t cry. I can’t stand it when you cry.” I said the words as if I knew her, because she looked bewildered and asked, “Do I know you, sir?”

I answered, “Yes, I have known you all my life.”

Our strange repartee was interrupted when Captain Mosby galloped up to join us.  He uttered, “That Yankee officer had the fastest horse I have ever seen.”

His sudden presence jolted me back to the present. It took all the self-control I could muster to gather my emotions, which I had been wearing on my sleeve, and shove them back into my heart. It hurt me to the core of my being, but I was able to do it.

Captain Mosby solicitously asked the lady if she was alright. She looked at me and, dabbing a handkerchief that had suddenly appeared in her hand, answered,“Yes, thanks to the actions of this gentlemen.”

She smiled at us and said,“I owe you the greatest debt. Will you both please join our family for dinner tonight?”

The Captain and I both looked at each other and answered almost in unison, “I would be delighted.”

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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