Civil War Transcendence, part 252

 

 

I looked at the body of the man I had shot as his fellow prisoners transported him off the road and felt a queasiness in my stomach.  Al followed my gaze and volunteered, “Let’s go see Mosby.”

Without looking him at him I uttered, “Yeah.”

We both turned our horses to the south and, following the road out of Mount Briar, galloped toward the Blue Ridge Mountain Gap.

We caught up with Major Mosby in no time, just before the head of the column entered the Gap.  As we rode up, Mosby put his hand up to halt the column.

“Well, Lieutenant was that a shot I heard back down tha road?” he queried.

“Yes Sir, there was a moment of indecision on the part of the Yanks, which we quickly rectified,” I reported.

This brought a smile to his face. Then he turned serious and commanded, “Where do we go from herah?”

I pointed at the fissure ahead of us, and we rode forward out of earshot of the column.

252 Pry Farm

Once we were alone, I stated, “Sir, we are going to go through this gap and follow the road south toward the hamlet of Rohersville Station. When we reach that small burg, we will need to take the town captive. Once we have all the town’s people in custody, we can rest and wait for night to continue south. When we leave, we will detach the northern blocking force to hold that town until tomorrow, when the Union force passes south across the valley on the Pleasant Valley Road. They can’t see us because of the intervening hills between Rohersville Station and the town of Rohersville across the valley. We will need to put a lookout on one of the hills to keep a watch on the Yanks, and once they are out of sight, then our cavalry can ride south and hit the Yanks’ rear guard when we ambush the main train.”

Mosby reared up in his stirrups and craning his head, looked down the road. He pointed at a small lane that veered off toward Pleasant Valley Road.  “What about that road? Won’t tha Yankee cavalry send a scouting party to check it out when thay head sawth?”

“Sir, the lane is hemmed in with thickets and trees on both sides. I doubt two horses could ride abreast on that path. There is a fork in that lane about half a mile from our present position that can be held by a very small detachment against a much larger force.”

Mosby uttered, “Umph! Well we’ll just have to ask tha Almighty to protect us in that regard, but, just to be on tha safe side, send 5 men down therah to hold that fork at all costs.”

I turned to Al, who nodded his head and rode off to find Captain Greenley and give him the new orders.

I pulled out my pocket watch and looked at the time. It was 3:30 PM. We had made great time. Our luck had been good.  I looked heavenward and muttered, “Please let this work.”

Then I looked at Mosby, who had been watching me.  He just grinned.

 

 

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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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