We traveled for a while, and then Mosby leaned close to Al and whispered, “Do ya know this area pretty good?”
Al nodded in the affirmative.
Mosby added in a very low voice, “I want cha to guide Captain Jameson to tha west of Gapland and find a place where his company can both hide from Gapland’s town people and be within striking distance of tha Yank column, which will be moving east of Gapland.”
Al had been leaning in toward Mosby to hear what he had to say. When Mosby finished his instructions, Al jerked up and gave Mosby a very startled look. Mosby fixed him with a very serious gaze and softly added, “Ya think ya can do that Sergeant?”
Al gulped and whispered, “Yes Sir.”
“Good man,” Mosby murmered. “Ya better go back and get with Captain Jameson now. You will stay with his command tomorrow. When you get to the Gap tomorrow, report back to me.”
Al nodded and saluted. Then he waved at me and turning his horse around walked back along the column to find Captain Jameson.
Mosby looked at me and saw I was staring at him with an astonished expression. I really didn’t want to part with Al, especially during the fight that was gonna happen. Mosby smiled and we continued down the road.
After a while the clippity-clop of the horses’ feet on the hard pan of the road set a rhythm that was lulling me to sleep. I had to shake my head to keep from nodding off. It made me think, “When was the last time I had slept? At least 30 hours ago. No wonder I’m tired. Poor Stonewall. He must be exhausted.”
I reached down and gently patted Stonewall on the side of his neck. He snorted and kept a steady walking gait. Mosby looked at me and then at Stonewall. He gave me a questioning look. I just shrugged. Mosby turned his attention back to the road and continued thinking about what had to be done before tomorrow’s attack.
We reached the Pleasant Valley Road and filed into this veritable interstate highway of the 19th Century. Mosby signaled to one of his courtiers, who kicked his horse into a lope and headed south. The courtier must have had a prearranged message to deliver to our scouts and flankers ahead of us, because Mosby raised his hand in the air, and bringing it forward, kicked his horse into a gallop. We all followed suit. Our next phase was deployment of the companies, hopefully without the Valley populace’s knowledge.