CIVIL WAR TRANSCENDENCE, part 239

“One, we will have to station blocking forces at various points other than our main point of attack, which will diminish our forces for the ambush,” I stated.

“Where would ya put tha blocking forces?” the Major challenged.

239 spyglass

“Probably three places,” I began. “First, where the Lower Bridge Road meets Mills Road, just south of Sharpsburg. Second, we will have to take captive a Union contingent at the town of Mount Briar and leave a blocking force there. And third, we will have to take the whole town of Gapland and move them out of their houses and hold them out of range of the attack. As you can see Gapland is on the Valley Road and directly across from where our artillery position will be hidden.  Also, our southern blocking force will have to stop all traffic moving north on the Valley Road.”

He nodded at my assessment. “What’s tha second problem?” the Major queried with an amused look on his face.

“Well, we will have to have a plan for the blocking force at Mount Briar to be able to capture the Yankee contingent without firing a shot.”

“Yeah, for surah” he concluded. “Tha third problem?” he inquired with raised eyebrows.

“Well, to keep us on time and allow us to get into position before morning, we will need to take a short cut across open terrain south of Mount Briar on soft ground, which might not be hard enough to support our cannon, especially if it rains between now and tomorrow night.”

The Major just stared at the map and murmured to himself. Finally, he said, “Okay, what’s tha forth problem?”

“Once we move into Pleasant Valley on Trego Road, our contingent will have to pass through Rohersville Station on the way south and, no doubt, the town’s occupants will see who we are and possibly alert the Yanks coming out of Boonsboro,” I asserted.

“Hmm,” the Major uttered as he looked at the map. I turned and saw that Al was looking over my shoulder and was also staring at the map.

I was dying of curiosity by this time and couldn’t contain my silence any longer. “What is the fifth problem?” I probed.

The Major just looked up from the map and grinned at me.

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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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