Civil War Transcendence, part 168

I pulled out my pocket watch and, in the bright moonlight, was able to discern it was nine o’clock. As I rode toward the bridge I was halted by the sentry. We employed the regular rigmarole for passing a picket post, which included me giving the password, “Shenandoah.”

I had a few words with the Sergeant of the Guard, alerting him that I might run into some Yanks on the other side of the Potomac River and, if I did, I would be coming back across the bridge in a hurry. He said he would be on duty until midnight and would personally keep a lookout for me.

I thanked him profusely and cantered across the bridge.

Once on the Maryland side of the Potomac, I didn’t waste any time and galloped Hattie’s horse up the steep slope to the top of the hill and turned left toward Ferry Hill and my beloved. I arrived at the Douglas mansion’s front entrance and was immediately accosted by Ezra, who walked out the front door with his proverbial shotgun pointed straight at my head.

I quickly raised my hands and choked out, “Ezra, please be careful. It’s me, Hager.”

Ezra lowered his weapon and apologized, “Sorry, Mistah Hager. Just being careful.”

I responded, “No offense taken. Are the ladies of the house still up?”

“Yes, sah. They are in the left parlor,” he revealed.

I rejoined, “I’m gonna take my horse around to the stable and see if John Lee can have him ready for me in case I have to leave hurriedly.”

“Yes, sah. That is good thinking ’cause the Yanks been up and down the road to Sharpsburg for the last five hours,” he said.

I nodded and took Hattie’s horse to the stables and found John Lee. He wasn’t asleep yet and promised to have him ready to go at a moment’s notice.

Remembering being nearly shot for my abrupt entrance the last time I walked in the back door, I knocked loudly to alert anyone on watch. Sure enough, I heard the voice of a servant demand who I was. I gave my name and he told me to come on in. Upon entry there was a servant whom I had never met sitting at a table with a big dragoon pistol resting in his lap. We nodded at each other, and I headed to the parlor.

The ladies had been informed by Ezra that I was here. I saw both Mrs. Douglas and Daphne looking out the door of the parlor as I came into the hallway. Daphne rushed into my arms and we held each other close. Mrs. Douglas gave a sigh of resignation and went back into the parlor, allowing us to fervently kiss. Breathlessly, we broke from our embrace with both of us gasping for air. I had one of those poignant moments of clarity and asked myself, “Why don’t you breathe when kissing?” I broke from my silly revelry and looked deeply into Daphne’s eyes. They were like deep hypnotic chocolate pools, and again I felt I could lose myself in those orbs. I actually shook my head to clear my thinking.168 couple

She didn’t seem to notice, but asked,” Why didn’t you tell me you were a government agent?”

I responded, “Don’t believe all you heard from Major Mosby at the town meeting.”

She raised her eyebrows and said, “Please, you must explain.”

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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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