Civil War Transcendence, part 299


Suddenly, Major Mosby appeared at my side on horseback.

“Lieutenant, you arrived just in the nick of time,” he loudly proclaimed over the hoorahs of our men.

Pointing downhill at the advancing Union Infantry, I shouted over the din, “Major, we need those cannon over herah or else it’ll be all for naught.”

He glanced down at the Yanks and took off toward our line of cannon.

Our men had stopped firing, but were raising such a lot of noise with their cheering that I fired my pistol in the air to get their attention.  They all looked my way and I ordered, “Dismount and every fourth man take horses to the rear. Prepare to repel infantry.”

Almost as one they looked down the road leading up to the gap and saw the advancing Yanks.  Quickly, they followed my orders and formed up as dismounted cavalry at the western edge of the Gap.

Mosby brought his line forward, and we elongated our line to cover the western part of the Gap for 60 yard on both sides of the road leading to the gap. Mosby parked the guns facing down the road.

As the men were loading all their pistols and carbine, I turned to see Mosby in a heated conversation with the artillery sergeant. I decided to join the conversation and heard Mosby yell, “What do ya mean, ya can’t shoot down the hill?”


The artillery sergeant yelled back, “I can’t decline the cannon far enough to hit the enemy.”

Mosby was turning purple with rage, when I said, “Decline the cannon as far as possible and blow out the trees above ‘em. It will provide deadly shards of wood, plus roll down some round shot with fusses. That ought to get their attention.”

Both men turned and looked at me as if I were crazy. But the idea caught their fancy as they both thought it through.

Mosby turned to the sergeant and said, “How ‘bout it?”

The sergeant nodded and replied, “Yes, we can do that.”

Mosby looked at me, smiled and said, “You got tha left wing and I got tha right. Let’s get rid of these pests and get outta herah.”

I replied, “Yes, sir.”

As I walked toward our left wing, which was on the left side of the cannon, I looked back to see if I could see Stonewall. The herd of horses at the far side of the gap was too compacted to see him.

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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