Civil War Transcendence, part 315


Even though it was daylight, Zeke, Skeeter, Stonewall and I slept like the dead.  We were bushed, and I believe Major Mosby left us alone so we could catch up on our rest.

In the late afternoon, I was aroused by one of Mosby’s courtiers telling me to report to the Major’s headquarters.

I reluctantly threw off my blanket, and adjusting my slept-in clothes, went to Major Mosby’s headquarters.  He was at the dining room table looking over the maps that were under investigation early this morning.  I saluted the Major, and he returned my salute.

He said, “Thanks Jim for tha scouting report. Sounds like y’all had quite a time on yar foray north.  What d’ya think tha Union force in Middleton will do next?’

“Well, Major, I believe tha Yanks will get word of our forces being in tha area, and if their commander has any brains at all, he’ll abort their rendezvous at Burkittsville and try to intercept us. They won’t want us striking to tha north.”

The Major nodded his agreement and said, “Tha General and I feel tha same way.”

“By tha way, Major, how many men do we have?” I inquired.

“’bout 850 counting tha two artillery crews we brought plus tha three artillery crews that tha General brought,” he replied.

“You know Major, if we were to inflict a substantial beating on tha Union force in Middletown, we could throw a whole dampener on tha Union advance from Washington City,” I added.

The Major grinned and added, “I like yar thinking, Jim.”

“Well, have y’all found ground on which ya would like to fight?” I inquired.


“Yep! Come look at the map,” he directed.

I joined him at the table to view the regional map.

Pointing to the area between Middleton and Frederick City, he said, “This is tha biggest obstruction in tha area, Braddock Heights. It lies between Middletown and Frederick City. We can use it to mask our movement to Frederick from tha Union forces in Middleton.

“However, we don’t know if there are any Union forces in Frederick. It is a substantial city, which leads us to believe there is some kind of a garrison there.

“What we need is a cavalry contingent to ride into Frederick on a raid. We believe it will do two things. One, it will make any Frederick Union garrison send a telegraph message to tha Union force in Middletown of our presence. Two, tha Yanks in Middletown will abandon their southern movement and come to Frederick.

“Tha rest of our forces will make its way to tha pass on Braddock Heights and hit tha Yanks as they approach tha Heights on tha National Pike. That ought to put a hitch in tha Yanks plans in this section of tha country. What do y’all think?”

I nodded at tha logic, looked at tha Major, and grinning broadly, stated, “Looks like ya need a young ‘un crazy enough to raid an unknown Frederick City garrison.”

He smiled in response and said, “Gather what’s left of Greenley’s old command and get goin. Take tha Ballinger Creek Pike from here straight into Frederick. We will be right behind ya on tha Cap Stine Road, but we will be angling west toward Braddock Heights.”

“Major, do ya think ya’ll can get our cannon up to tha top of Braddock Heights before tha Yanks get there?” I asked.

“We’ll give it a try. If’n we don’t, we figure some way of whippin ‘em,” he heartily responded.

We shook hands. I saluted and exited the headquarters at a trot. Zeke and Skeeter hadn’t been complacent while I was gone. They knew we would probably be going out again, so they had our horses saddled and ready to go.

I smiled broadly at their aggressive endeavors and commended, “Thanks men.”

Then I added, “We have got us a raid to perform.”

They grinned from ear-to-ear.  Stonewall sounded his ‘here we go again’ snort.


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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