Civil War Transcendence, part 294

Looking west from near the top of the hill, located just to the northwest of Brownsville, I determined that I could skirt the southern base of this hill and ride west for awhile on the Brownsville Road without being in sight of the Yank’s forward infantry regiments. I was still leery of where the Yank cavalry had gotten to. I decided to worry about one thing at a time.

I looked eastward in time to see Captain Edwards’ men hightailing it east through Brownsville and up the mountain trail to Brownsville Gap. I knew I had only a few minutes to get moving or get caught by the advance of the Yanks.

Nudging Stonewall and pointing him toward the aforementioned road, I held on to the saddle pommel for dear life as he lunged forward and scurried down the hillside.


We hit the road, and I reined Stonewall toward the west.  He galloped like the wind as we ate up the yardage quickly. When we came to the next set of hills, I turned Stonewall due north into a small cut between two hillocks, which hopefully kept us out of sight of the Yanks.  Following the cut between the hills, I slowed Stonewall to a lope so we could maneuver around any large obstacles.

We had proceeded about a thousand yards, when I saw Yankee cavalry on top of the hill to our east. I pulled Stonewall to a halt and remained perfectly still.  I hoped they hadn’t seen us, but one trooper looked our way and started pointing to our position.

I immediately turned Stonewall west and we took off up the western hill.  Shots rang out but we were up and on the ridgeline in seconds and hidden by woods. I looked down the western face of the hill and saw, through a cut in the trees, a road running north, so I pointed Stonewall downward on a steep trail to the road.

Once we entered the road, I turned Stonewall north and let him run full out.

After a few hundred yards, Stonewall began to slow, and I could tell he was getting tired.  His breathing was labored and he was sweating profusely. I slowed him to a lope and then a trot. He was game, but I didn’t want to exhaust and breakdown this wonderful steed.

Suddenly, I heard firing up ahead.  We came around a bend in the road and saw Confederate cavalry dashing toward us.

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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