Civil War Transcendence, part 98

I really didn’t know how tired I was, because I didn’t stir until aroused out of my coma at about 7:00AM by the Captain’s Adjutant.

He asked me if I would like some coffee, which I readily accepted. I made sure my pistols were covered up, which I had put under the flimsy pillow on the bunk, before following him in a catatonic shuffle to the fire out back of the outpost.

Coffee CupThe Adjutant poured some black brew into a tin cup from a pot suspended over the fire. It scalded my tongue, which brought me wide awake. The taste was somewhere between cod liver oil and blackstrap molasses. It was excellent for getting the morning ablutions started. Once I downed a few gulps, I had to go back to the room, get my trusty newspaper, and head to the outhouse.

After getting all of my gear together, hiding the pistols under my coat, and procuring Beau from the stable, I began my trip back to Shepherdstown using the River Road.

Beau and I wandered the River Road, stopping once by a small stream that meandered to the Potomac. I let Beau eat some of the grass that had sprung up alongside the road way, while I ate some stale bread the Captain’s Adjutant had supplied.

About two hours into the easy ride, I came to the farm house of the widow Throckmorton. I didn’t see her or either of her sons near the house or in the fields out back. But I did hear a woman’s muffled scream and men cursing from their barn.

I quickly dismounted Beau and tied him to a tree in front of the house and out of sight of the barn. Then I took out my pistols, cocked both, and skirted the right side of the house.

Coming to the back of the house, I saw there were about 8 apple trees in a row that led from the house to the right side of the barn. I jumped to the first tree and then progressed from tree to tree until I was within 10 feet of the barn.

The barn door was almost shut, but I clearly heard a gruff voice yell, “Tell us where the cash and silver is buried, or I will hit one of your boys again.”

The lady pled, “Please don’t hurt my boys.”

A groggy voice rasped, “Don’t tell him Ma.”

I heard a smack, and then the woman screamed.


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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