203 wagon wheel“What do you mean, I am?” the befuddled Captain demanded.

“You are going to get him released into your custody and we are going to ride away,” I asserted.

The Captain looked at me with a withering smile and declared, “You’ll never get away with it.”

“You better hope we do, because if anything goes wrong, you are going to get a bullet in the head,” I stated with absolute sincerity.

The Captain gave me a smirk, but he didn’t refute my statement. I believe he knew I was just looking for a way to send him to the great beyond without being called a murderer.

We waited about 30 minutes before we saw Mr. Sage hightailing it toward us. He pulled his mount to a halt and bellowed, “They just passed through Boonsboro. In fact, I saw the rear of the unit on the east side of town. There were three Yanks. Two were on horses. One was driving the wagon. Jeremy was in the back of the wagon. He was sitting down. I couldn’t tell, but I think he must have been tied up.”

I thought for a moment and asked, “How do we get east of Keedysville without going into town?”

“We can ride south of town and come up on the Boonsboro Road.”

“Are there any wooded areas that abut the road from the south?” I asked.

“Only one.”

“Well, let’s go and hope to heavens we get there before they do,” I uttered.

Off we went in a whirlwind of dirt and dust riding like the devil. I looked back and saw the Captain leaning over the front of his saddle trying to keep from falling, which would have been fatal. It seemed we have been riding for an hour, but it must have been just about 15 minutes. We entered the woods that abutted the Boonsboro Road and looked back to the west. In the distance we could see the front of the wagon.

I pulled a pistol with my right hand and untied the Captain’s hands with my left. He immediately began to massage his hands to get the circulation back. I was to the Captain’s right. I told Mr. Sage to come up on the Captain’s left. I told the Captain, “Look at me.” He did.

I cocked the hammer of my pistol, pointed it at his nose and through gritted teeth announced, “You will tell the troopers you have been sent here to take charge of the prisoner and report to a special camp in Pleasant Valley for his interrogation. Do you understand?”

“Yes, but what if they don’t believe me?” he whined.

“You better make it believable, Captain, or else you won’t be playing hero to all the girls back home,” I quipped.

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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