Civil War Transcendence, part 257


By the time the town’s people of Rohersville Station had been rounded up and housed in the local church and our discussion with Major Mosby had taken place, it was about 5:30 PM.  Daylight had started to wane when Mosby call one of his courtiers forward, “Corporal, ride to all 5 company commanders and have em immediately join me herah for Officers’ Call.”

The Corporal saluted and rode off.

Al and I dismounted, along with Mosby, and we walked a little ways to get back circulation in our lower extremities. Almost immediately, the Captains and their Lieutenants began arriving for the Officers’ Call. It only took a few minutes for all the Officers to arrive. They knew better than to keep Mosby waiting.

Once everyone was assembled, Mosby said to gather ‘round.  We all formed a circle around him. Mosby knelt down, and taking a stick, drew a line in the dirt, scratched an arrow pointing north alongside the road and stated, “This herah is tha Valley Road.”


Then he drew a line to the left of the first line, made a large square in the line and said, “This herah is tha road we’s on and tha square is where we sit now.” He extended the line that represented the road we were on and merged it with the Valley Road line, which indicated where our road joined the Valley Road south of our present position.

Extending the line representing the Valley Road about a foot, he made another square and stated, “This herah is tha town of Gapland.”

Next, he drew a line north of Gapland to the right and a line south of Gapland to the right, and continuing both lines, he merged them and continued them for a ways. Then he looked up and said, “These herah lines represent two small roads that branch ofen tha Valley Road, merge to our east and go up ta South Mountain through Crampton Gap.”

Then he further extended the line representing the Valley Road to the south.

He continued, “We are gonna wait til nightfall and proceed down ta tha merger of our road and tha Valley Road. We will continue silently ta tha first road to our east. At that point Captain Owens and Captain Edwards will turn on that road and continue east til they are behind some hills that can conceal their presence from tha Valley Road. Captain Owens will deploy his men behind those hills. Captain Edwards will continue south staying behind any obstacles that’ll mask his company from tha Valley Road for about a mile. Then he’s gonna reenter tha Valley Road and continue south about three-quarters of a mile and set up a blocking force ta detain any traffic coming up tha Valley Road. Captain Jameson before we get ta tha first road going to tha east and up ta Crampton’s Gap, I’m a-gonna send your company ta tha west ta skirt some hills that’ll mask y’all from Gapland.  We are gonna detour tha Yanks from entering Gapland so we’ll have em ta tha east of tha Valley Road and out in tha open.”

“When I believe it’s tha right time, I’ll give the command for Captain Owens to attack tha Yankee column. When y’all hear tha shooting, tha rest of y’all come a-runnin’. Captain Jameson, you’ll have to ride east through tha town of Gapland and hit the Yanks in their western flank. Captain Edwards you’ll ride nawth and hit tha Yanks head on. Captain Reedy, you’ll have ta keep tha Yanks in view when they pass through Rohersville, which is ta tha east of our position herah at Rohersville Station and, keeping your company hidden from tha Valley Road. Gradually filter your company down ta where our present road and tha Valley Road merge.  Without being detected you’ll follow tha tail end of tha Yank column. When you hear tha firing begin, you’ll hit tha rear guard of the Yanks.”

“Our mission is twofold.  Ta cripple tha Yank column so they’ll return to Boonsboro and grab their artillery. I have a contingent of artillerymen to spike four of tha six Yankee cannon, attached tha needed teams of horses to two of tha remaining cannon and take em up through Crampton’s Gap.  Ultimately, we’ll cross South Mountain and meet up with General Turner Ashley on tha other side for a ride nawth ta threaten Fredrick City, Maryland.”

Mosby stood up and looked around the circle at his officers.



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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