Civil War Transcendence, part 283



We headed up the road to Crampton’s Gap for a ways until we were out of sight and the columns of troopers couldn’t hear us.

Mosby stopped and said, “We gotta hit ‘em early or late. The Black Flag swindle is no longer viable. With Owen’s prior information that something was gonna happen, they would have seen right through it.  I want those Yankee cannon more than I want to cripple the Yank column.  The Yanks are gonna go through Gapland and we can’t attack through the town. It would cause civilian death and destruction. I’m for attacking late, but the question is ‘how late?’”

I pondered the situation and then said, “Attack when the whole kit and caboodle are in Gapland and before the artillery enters the town, since they are the last of the Yank column. Then our units can bottle ‘em up in the town and give our artillery men time to take the Yank cannon and get ‘em up to Crampton’s Gap. Once our artillery men have control of the cannon, then we can break off and get the men up to the gap, too.”

“The only company that will have a hard time getting up to the gap will be Captain Jameson’s. He’s west of Gapland.  Ya told all the Captains to do what comes natural if there is trouble. He could go south and hit the roads going back to our camp south of Sharpsburg, or go south all the way to Weverton on the Potomac then go east and try to link up with us later.”

“I told Captain Edwards, our southernmost blocking company, that he might have to extend further south before he will be able to hit the head of the Yank column. So he should be flexible to do the right thing.”

“Our northernmost company under Captain Reedy can actually help Captain Greenley’s men to hit the artillery train.”

Mosby turned and said, “Good. You see the way to make this happen. I was hoping you understood how the combined force of Greenley and Reedy is a plus for us. I want you to go with Greenley, when I give ‘em the okay to move out. I want you to make sure those cannon get up to the gap.”

I nearly swallowed my tongue, but replied, “Yes sir.”

With the plans for the attack transformed, we walked down the road to the waiting men.


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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