Thank the Lord for the 2nd Amendments to the U.S. and C.S. Constitutions. In about three minutes, there were six men who came back to where I was standing with shotguns and squirrel rifles, and one man had a blunderbuss.
I asked the crowd that had gathered to get out of the street and indoors. As the crowd was scattering, I saw Jonah and Jeremy Sage coming toward me. Quickly shaking hands with them, I handed each a Colt pistol and said, “We got some Yanks in town that tried to blow up the bridge, and we are going to get them.”
They both got a grim look on their face and Jonah said, “The Templars are with you.”
I smiled and said, “Good.”
I said to the assembled posse, “We are going to divide up into two groups of four on each side of the road. We are going to walk toward the Yanks, and I will tell them to surrender. If they don’t, I want you to open fire on them. Is everyone willing to do that?”
I got nods of assent from some and yeses from others. Everyone had a chance to realize that they could be killed or wounded in the coming confrontation and their ardor had cooled.
I said, “Okay, divide up and let’s go.”
The men divided up, but there were five on one side of the street and three on the other. The three-man group, which included Jonah and Jeremy, was on the left side of the street. The five-man group was on the right side of the street. I got in the middle of the road, pulled two pistols from my belt, cocked them and signaled to move forward.
We rounded the corner and started up German Street toward three mounted Yanks coming toward us with about four of their fellow troopers’ horses in tow. The troopers were about a block and a half away and were paying a lot of attention to their animal charges behind them. One of the troopers looked around and saw us. He said something to the others and they turned around to see what the problem was. The trooper that was in the middle halted his horse, and the others followed suit.
I continued to walk toward them and, gratefully, so did our groups of men. It took a minute for the troopers to size up the situation, and they didn’t like what they saw at all. One of the troopers let go of the reins of the horses in his charge and reached for his pistol.
I shouted, “Don’t do that. You are under arrest for the attempted destruction of our town’s bridge.”
The trooper in the middle laughed and said, “We are under military orders, and you have no authority to arrest us.”
I said, “You wanna bet?”
We continued moving toward them because we needed to get in range for the shotguns to be effective, plus it was unsettling to the Yanks. All of a sudden I heard the cocking of shotguns, squirrel rifles and pistols.
The Yanks dropped the reins of the horses in tow and turned to gallop away from us, but the horses in tow blocked them. I began running toward the Yanks and yelling for them to surrender. They finally broke through the blocking horses, but we had gotten close enough to have some of our weapons be effective.
It seemed as if there were about five explosions, almost in unison, and then about eight shots that followed in rapid succession. I fired, first one pistol and then the other, at the fleeing Yanks. Two fell from their saddles about 30 feet from where they turned to escape. We hit the third Yank, but he didn’t fall from his horse until he had traveled about two blocks.
The citizenry of the town began to come out from the buildings that lined German Street and approach the downed Yanks.