Civil War Transcendence, part 246

 

The Yanks turned toward me and stopped cold in their tracks when they saw our guns aimed in their direction. They quit firing, but didn’t really know what to do.  They knew the odds were stacked against them, but needed some impetus to surrender. Al and his men provided that motivation by loudly cocking their pistols. The Yanks jerked their heads back to view Al’s men with their leveled weapons.  One by one, the Yanks began to lay down their arms.

I yelled, “Al, disarm them and gather their weapons.” Al dutifully went about the task with his rank.

246 hand cannon

I looked at my men and said, “Keep aiming your weapons on the Yanks until they have been totally disarmed.”

I viewed my rank of men and saw no one was wounded or missing. I glanced at Al and his men. They were minus one man.  I told the trooper at the end of my rank to bring the man that Stonewall ran over back to the porch.

The Yanks were disarmed and were made to sit down on the porch. We distributed their canteens to them and let them see we weren’t the ogres that had been reported in their newspapers.  I asked the ranking Yank NCO, a second sergeant, to follow me off the porch and to the side of the house.

Once we were alone, I began “Sergeant, we will be leaving pretty soon. We will parole you and your men and allow you to bury your dead and tend to your wounded, but, unfortunately, you will have to travel by foot back to your camp. Will you abide by the articles of war in that you won’t disclose anything you have seen or hear during our fight?”

The sergeant looked at me with an awed expression. Then saluted and stuttered, “Of course sir. We appreciate the considerations.”

I returned his salute and then offered him my hand. He looked astonished, but grabbed my proffered appendage. I looked him in the eye and said, “Good luck to you sergeant.”

He was so taken by the genuine hope that he was at a loss for words.  We shook and he went back to his men.

I turned to see Al right behind me. We walked out of earshot of the Yanks. Then I asked, “How bad is your missing man?”

“He’s dead.”

I nodded and replied, “Do we still have his horse?” Al nodded in the affirmative.

“Then tie him on his horse and we take him with us and will bury him later.”  I continued, “Al, let’s take the Yankee weapons with us. We are going to leave the Yanks here. Hopefully, they won’t make it back to their camp before we hit the Yank column.”

Al nodded and turned to take care of business.

Suddenly, from the direction of our main column a troop of our cavalry came roaring up the road.

 

 

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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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