We sat our horses for a while until Al rode up. He saluted Major Mosby and reported, “Captain Greenley is detaching five troopers to go down that therah road (pointing at the small path leading off to the left from the road we will be taking into Rohersville Station) and hold the fork at all costs.”
Major Mosby returned Al’s salute and just uttered, “Umph, good.”
It didn’t take but about five minutes until the troopers rode to our position. A corporal was in command and, not knowing who to salute first, just saluted the bunch of us and stated, “Corporal Jackson reportin’ for duty.”
I returned the salute and piped up, “Corporal, we need you to go single file down that small path (pointing at the aforementioned lane branching to the left of our road) to a fork in the road and hold that position at all costs. You will stay there overnight. Tomorrow, or the next day, there might be a Yank cavalry scouting unit that could try to come up that lane. Don’t let them get by!”
The Corporal gulped and stammered, “Yes, yes Sah.”
He just sat there looking at me for a moment until I commanded, “Move.”
That broke his daze. He turned to his men, raised his hand and commanded, “Follow me in single file.” The small contingent rode off.
Once they had disappeared down the small lane, Major Mosby raised his hand and bellowed, “Forward.”
We rode south and I involuntarily shivered. From this point there would be no turning back. We were fully committed.
I was really surprised by the fluid execution of our plan to capture Rohersville Station’s population. As we approached the first smattering of houses, Mosby turned and motioned for Captain Greenley to come forward. Greenley saluted once he had joined us. Mosby returned the salute and ordered, “Take your men and have all the inhabitants of these houses we are approaching plus all the houses in Rohersville Station rounded up and brought to a central church, meeting house or livery stable.”
I suddenly had a bad thought. The Yankee column wasn’t due until day after tomorrow. We would have to stay here for a day and a half without being detected.
As Captain Greenley led his men on the mission given by Mosby, I breached the subject of discovery. Mosby smiled and said, “Lieutenant, you aren’t the only one with a spy network. The Yanks will be moving in the morning down Pleasant Valley, not the day after tomorrow. We need to be in position by morning’s light for our ambush.”
I just stared at him with my usual slack jawed gaze, which brought a chuckle from the Major.