The roundup of the Rohersville Station population took about two hours. A few trekkers wandered in from down south where the Trego Road, which was the road we had been traveling, merges with the main Valley Road. These travelers were detained with the rest of the herd and housed in a church in the middle of the town. The total count was about 94.
The children thought it was a holiday and traipsed around the church aisles as if in a parade. The men and women were in a state of shock. They just sat in the pews with a dazed look and eyeballed each of our troopers when they added additions to the assembly.
Finally, one of the townsmen stood, shushed the children and led the congregation in prayer. After a round robin of petitions to the Almighty, they all felt better. Then the one who had led the invocations for divine deliverance, asked to talk to the officer in charge. Major Mosby was sent for and responded by asking the headman to come outside the church. Once the men were face to face, the town leader sternly asked, “What do you plan to do to us?”
Mosby, exuding all the charm of a Southern Officer, smiled and replied, “We plan to keep you here until tomorrow afternoon. At which time all of you will be freed to return to your homes. No one will be hurt if the town’s people will bear with us and stay in the church until tomorrow.”
The leader puffed up and then asked, “By what right do you detain us?”
Mosby’s face turned stolid and he retorted, “By tha right of occupation by a superior force, and make no mistake that if force is necessary to maintain order until we leave, it will be applied.”
The man was shocked with the forceful response, and he actually took a step backwards.
Mosby stepped forward to the point that his face was about six inches from the town leader’s, and in a low but guttural voice hissed, “Now get back in thar and tell your people to cooperate and no harm will come to ‘em.”
Fear and foreboding crossed the leader’s face as he hurriedly nodded and reentered the church.
Mosby just looked at me and Al, shook his head and muttered, “Civilians.”
At that moment, Captain Greenley rode forward, saluted and reported to Major Mosby, “Sir, I believe we have all the inhabitants corralled in the church.”
Mosby looked at him and interjected, “Captain, do you believe or know that you have the whole town in the church?”
“Sir, I know we got everyone in that thar church.”
Mosby just uttered, “Umph. Then he turned to one of his courtiers and said, “Find Captain Reedy and have him report to me at once.”
The courtier saluted and rode back down the line to find the second company commander.