I turned to Mr. Sage and began, “Jeremy went to Sharpsburg and was captured. They must be moving to Boonsboro. What is the fastest way to get to Keedysville?”
“The fastest way would be to cut over to Red Hill Road and come into Keedysville from the southwest,” he offered.
I looked at Jonah and asked,” Can you deliver the Yanks’ horses to Major Mosby in Sharpsburg?”
He looked dubious for a moment and then must have decided on a plan that would accomplish such a feat. He looked me in the eye and vowed, “I can do that.”
“Good. Take the roads south from here and don’t go into Sharpsburg, but take Miller’s Sawmill Road and cross the river at Boteler Ford. That would hopefully keep you clear of Yanks that are probably in Sharpsburg or at the middle bridge over Antietam Creek.”
“Will do,” he affirmed.
Turning to Mr. Sage I directed, “I will follow you and I will take charge of the Captain. If you hear a shot, it’s because he has tried to escape.”
This brought a startled look from the Captain.
I turned to Jonah and said, “Good luck. If you run into any Confederate pickets, ‘Turkey in the Straw’ was the last password they were using.”
We shook hands and he dismounted to get his herd set up for the journey to Major Mosby’s camp. I turned to Mr. Sage and asserted, “Let’s go get Jeremy.”
We left in a cloud of dust and rode like bandits with a posse on their tail. We made it to the outskirts of Keedysville in about an hour-and-a-half of alternating loping and walking. I was hoping the Yanks who captured Jeremy were meandering along and hadn’t made it to Keedysville yet.
We stopped just south of town, and I asked Mr. Sage if he knew anyone that lived along the main road through town to Boonsboro that he could trust. He said he did. So, I asked him to go into town and see if they remember any Yanks escorting a boy in a wagon toward the Boonsboro Road. He took off like a shot.
The Captain had recovered some of his moxie and quipped, “Do you really think you can help this boy escape?”
“No,” I responded and then added “but you will.”