Civil War Transcendence, part 86


We all followed Mrs. Newcomer’s gaze to Mr. Newcomer, who seemed to come to a decision.

As Ahab retrieved his empty soup bowl and adroitly replaced it with a dinner plate, Mr. Newcomer looked at me and stated, “Mr. Hager our family would again like to extend our thanks to you and Captain Mosby. If there is anything we can ever do for either of you, please don’t hesitate to ask.”

Captain Mosby beamed from ear to ear and bowed his head toward Mr. Newcomer and then Mrs. Newcomer. Then he declared, “I know that I speak for Mr. Hager and myself, when I say, ‘we were just doing our duty.’ However, we are so glad that it resulted in the return of your daughter without injury. We appreciate your friendship and commendations. If you ever need our assistance, please feel free to call on us.”

I was flabbergasted at Captain Mosby’s acceptance of Mr. Newcomer’s appreciation and avowals of our service in the future, but who was I to go against tradition?

86 raise a glass

I said, “Here, here.”

Raising my glass, I really laid it on thick when I toasted, “May God always hold this family in his protective hand.”

I think I caught Captain Mosby by surprise with that utterance. But, he gamely picked up his wine glass and we both looked in turn at Mrs. Newcomer, Mr. Newcomer, Daphne and then the boys before drinking to their familial security.

In response to our toast, Mrs. Newcomer had tears in her eyes. Mr. Newcomer simply nodded his appreciation. Daphne blushed, and the boys rolled their eyes.

I happened to glance at Ahab. He had been deftly exchanging everyone’s soup bowls for dinner plates. He felt my fixed stare alight on him, and looking up, he gave me a swift knowing grin.  Then, he continued to distribute the dinner plates.

Roast Beef, creamed corn, melted cheese over cut up cooked potatoes, some kind of cabbage dish, green beans and bacon, fresh cooked biscuits and gravy were individually presented by Ahab and Bessie, the black servant lady, for us to shovel on our plates with large silver spoons or forks.

Needless to say the Newcomer boys lit into the victuals with the gusto of a hound dog. There was plenty of food and wine for all of us. I didn’t partake of too much wine, since it always hits me pretty hard. I didn’t want it to loosen my tongue and spoil the Newcomer family’s present image of me.

However, the meal’s piece de resistance in my estimation was the blackberry cobbler. I hadn’t tasted anything as delicious since eating my Grandfather’s blackberry cobbler back in Alabama, when I was a boy.

Which opened up another question for me:  Since my Grandmother was here, was my Grandfather in this time period also?

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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