CIVIL WAR TRANSCENDENCE, Part 219

I must have turned ashen because Hattie said, “Jim, ya have the look of death on yo face. What’s wrong?”

I turned to her and said in a barely audible voice, “I just been conscripted.”

She gasped, “What? How can they do that?”

“Believe me, they can do it,” I exclaimed.

I turned to the Corporal and asked, “Where were you given this message and where am I supposed to go?”219_1LT_CSA

He looked hesitantly at Hattie as if he didn’t trust her. I probed, “You know what these papers bestow on me?”

He turned red and hesitantly answered, “Sort of.”

“Well, I am now a Lieutenant in the 3rd Virginia Cavalry.” I pointed at Hattie and stated, “This lady has saved my life and nursed me back to health. I trust her with my life. Now, where did you get these orders and where am I supposed to go?”

Hattie turned to the Corporal, put her hands on her hips and with a smirk on her face tilted her head in askance of the information I had demanded. The Corporal lowered his head in chastisement and uttered, “I’s south of herah at our camp along tha C&O at Major Mosby’s camp when I got the orders to find ya and that’s where ya supposed to go.”

I turned to Hattie and entreated, “Let’s keep this amongst ourselves. I might have to send a request for your help in the near future and I needed you to know what is going on.”

She beamed from ear to ear and affirmed, “Jim, you can count on me.”

“Thanks Hattie. I really appreciate you.”

She turned red as a beet and then uttered, “Well, I need to get y’all some food on the table, cause ya probably won’t be eating good for a while.” She then puttered off to fill our plates.

I told the Corporal, “I got shot at when I arrived here. It was by the grace of God that I didn’t get my head blown off. I want you to cover me while I saddle my horse and as soon as we’ve eaten we’ll beat feet to Mosby.”

He looked at me with a funny expression and I quickly said, “Sorry, I’m using ole Arkansas jargon. I mean we will hasten to the Confederate Camp on the C&O.”

After hearing the explanation, he nodded in comprehension.

The Corporal upholstered his pistol and went out the door toward the barn. I hurriedly followed, and in no time I had Goliath saddled and ready to go.

We went back in the house and ate what I hoped wasn’t my last meal. I made up my mind if it was going to be a dying man’s last repast I was going to make it a banquet. Well, I stuffed my body with so much food that I had to make a trip to the outhouse before we set out to report to Mosby.

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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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