We reached the head of the column and reported in to Major Mosby.
He asked, “What next?”
I replied, “We ride to the mouth of the gap on the east side of this chasm and halt. Al and I have a mission to disarm the Yankee contingent at Mount Briar, which will insure our safe passage through the next gap in the Blue Ridge Mountains.”
The Major just briskly nodded and said, “Carry on.”
Al and I rode ahead to the mouth of the gap. Al produced his spyglass, and we both looked at the Yank contingent at Mount Briar.
After a few minutes I asked, “What do ya think?”
He mulled it over for a few minutes and remarked, “Well, tha numbah of Yanks ain’t changed too much. Thar are ‘bout four now, whereas thar were ‘bout two before. I spec we can still take ‘em ‘thout too much trouble.”
“You think our ruse will still work?” I queried.
“I reckon it can, if’n we get tha drop on ‘em when we first get thar.”
I sighed and said, “Okay.”
We waited for the column to catch up. Major Mosby rode up leading our contingent after about 30 minutes. He stopped the column about 50 yards shy of the eastern mouth of the gap and rode toward us with his ever present Sergeant. Al and I saluted and Mosby returned our salutes.
“Well, gentlemen what now?” he asked in an exacerbated tone.
“Sir, do you have binoculars?” I asked.
“Yes. Yes, of course I do,” he retorted.
I pointed off to our left toward a small hamlet and informed him, “Well, Al and I are going to ride into the Yankee camp over thar and capture them. Please keep watching with your binoculars. When we wave at you, take the column straight ahead across that open ground keeping the small creek to your right. You can see the Trego Road straight ahead. Turn right on that road and it will take you through the small gap in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Keep following that road and you will come to Rohersville Station. Stop the column there and we will join you to guide the rest of the way south to our ambush site.”
The Major gave us and incredulous look and replied, “You two are gonna capture those Yanks? How many are tharah?”
“Just four,” I said.
“Uh huh!” he snapped.
“Sir, we have a plan,” I assured.
The Major just looked up and said, “Heavens help us.”
I flushed and asked Mosby’s sergeant, “Sergeant, could you direct Captain Greenley to join us?”
The Sergeant looked at Mosby for his acquiescence. The Major sighed and gave a reluctant nod to the Sergeant, who immediately rode toward the cavalry company leading the column.
I had hoped that the Major would have had more confidence in my methods of completing the phases in our mission, but such are the ways of commanders in charge.
In about 15 minutes Mosby’s Sergeant, with Captain Greenley in tow, joined us for the last of the needed briefing for Phase II.