Civil War Transcendence, part 242


I looked around for her, but she was truly gone.  I was really angry. I felt that she had taken advantage of my trust.  So I made a vow, “If I ever see her again, I am not going to get near her and I’m not going to let her get near me.”

I rapidly walked back to camp.

I made it to the Captains’ meeting just in time. The five company commanders were given their marching orders and the line they were to occupy in our cavalcade.  Captain Greenley was the commander of the force with which I was to work. Our mission was to take the Union Cavalry outposts.  Major Mosby made it perfectly clear that I was to be obeyed in any command I gave.  The Major also said that Sgt. Al Madigan would be my liaison with the column and would probably be delivering orders from me and the Major.  Mosby ended the meeting by ordering that we move out in 15 minutes.

I got with Capt. Greenley when we vacated the Major’s tent. He pointed to his company, which was already mounted and within shouting distance of the camp.  I told him I would be on the C&O Path at the edge of the camp and waiting on him.

I saw Al was at the picket line with the horses and our replenished supplies. He handed me Stonewall’s reins as I walked up. I sighed and said, “Well, here goes nothing.” He grinned and we mounted.

242 cavalry

We rode to the edge of camp and were soon joined by Capt. Greenley and his company of about 85 men. As we rode out of camp we were soon joined by Major Mosby, his aide and a few courtiers.  The other four campanies fell into line in their assigned positions.

Once we made enough distance that all the companies had departed the camp, the Major looked at me and ordered, “Take us to Pleasant Valley.” Then he held his hand up and shouted, “Forward yo.”

As the order was relayed down the line, the Major spurred his horse and we began a slow lope south on the C&O Path.  Al and I took the lead and rode about a hundred yards in front of the column.

We made it to where we could turn east and leave the C&O Path, and after a few hundred feet, hit the Harpers Ferry Road.  This was the first test, as far as I was concerned, because I didn’t know if the Yanks we ambushed had reformed and tried to come this far north.  Al was uneasy also, but we made the turn to the right (south) and got on the Harpers Ferry Road.

As we passed through the small hamlet of Antietam I turned, caught Capt. Greenley’s eye, and motioned for him to join us. I had a feeling I had missed one of the vital problems of our plan.



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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