To emphasize my statement to the Yanks, Al and I both cocked our pistols.
This must have given an emphasis that had been missing because the four Yanks let their carbines drop slowly to the ground.
I raised my arm in the air hoping Captain Greenley saw my signal. Then I told the Yanks, “Raise your hands over your head, unbuckle your belts with your left hands and let the belts fall to the ground.”
This was an awkward maneuver for the Yanks, which is why I had decreed it. It took a moment for them to obey, but once they had complied, I ordered, “Now step back three paces.”
Again they complied, but at the last backward step one of the Yanks that I had the drop on tried to pull a small Colt from a pocket in the front of his shell jacket. However, the pistol’s hammer must have caught on the side of the pocket because he was tugging on it when I fired.
The bullet caught him in the middle of his forehead and he was thrown backward off his feet to land in a heap. The three remaining Yanks all cringed and ducked down. I just gaped at the crimpled Yank whose youthful opened-eyed gaze was fixed upon the cloudless sky.
Al quickly yelled, “If ya don’t wanna follow your friend to eternity, ya bettah do as y’all are told.”
The Yanks quickly stood up with their hands high in the air as each hazarded a fearful glance of apprehension at their dead comrade.
I was shocked at what I had done, but had enough presence of mind to re-cock my pistol. This got the yanks’ attention and brought looks of dismay from the three left standing.
I said in a raspy voice, “Just do as y’all are told and we won’t have any more unpleasantness.”
All three nodded their acquiescence.
I felt Al glance at me quickly out of the corner of my eye to see if I was too shocked to react if another of the Yanks tried anything, but he had the good sense to not question me. I gathered my Qi (energy) and animated my core being, which had struggled with the loss of life due to a futile attempt by the youth on the ground.
I heard the sound of hoof-beats in the distance and thanked Heavens that relief would soon arrive. We kept watch over the Yanks until Captain Greenley arrived.
His first words were, “What happened?”
Al volunteered, “One of tha Yanks tried to get cute and got hisself kilt.”
Captain Greenley growled at Al, “Did ya do it?”
“No,” I answered. “I did.”
The Captain looked at me for a long moment.
I finally looked him in the eye and said, “Your 10 troopers will take charge of these Yanks and hold this position. (I pointed to the gap in the Blue Ridge.) You need to have a lookout at the gap. He will be able to see over to the Pleasant Valley Road and tomorrow when the Yank column has passed to the south, this troop will parole the three Yanks we have taken captive here minus their horses and ride down the Trego Road to join with our Northern blocking force to assault the Yanks’ rear guard.”
The Captain nodded and then rode off to brief his troops.
I turned to look for Mosby and the main column. I was relieved to see them already crossing the open plain to our south headed for the Blue Ridge Gap.