After a few minutes of blissful silence, I stirred and asked, “Major, may I have a few sheets of paper, a pen and some Ink? I need to write my report and have a copy sent to Major Murphy. I promised him I would send him a copy of my report by courier.”
Mosby looked at me for a long time, and breaking into a grin, said, “Y’all sound like ya want to get yar stories straight before they go to tha high brass.”
I grinned and replied, “Something like that.”
Mosby chucked and yelled, “Corporal, take Captain Hager to tha headquarters tent and provide him with writing material. Also, as soon as he is finished, bring his report to me for consideration.”
The Corporal immediately pulled a flap back on the tent and said, “Captain, if you will follow me, I will take ya to tha headquarters tent.”
I dutifully stood, saluted Major Mosby, who returned my salute, and followed the Corporal.
About an hour and a half later, the report was written, accepted by Mosby and sent by courier to Major Murphy at the Martinsburg garrison.
It was late at night before I mounted Stonewall and said, “Ferry Hill, old pal.”
He snorted, and we plodded our way to the Maryland Mansion and my beautiful bride.
I don’t know what time we reached Ferry Hill, because it was too dark to see the face of my pocket watch. However, I was amazed that almost every light in the mansion was lit. I suddenly got a sinking feeling that I was in for one of Daphne’s famous tongue lashings.
As we neared the front of the manor house, I saw a figure sitting on the front porch steps smoking a pipe. He stood up when we came into view. I recognized John Lee and saw that he had a shotgun in his possession.
As we stopped in front of the estate, John Lee only shook his head and said, “I’m so glad that I’m not in yar shoes.”
I replied, “I’m afraid of what is waiting for me inside, but in my defense we did repulse a Yankee Patrol and killed, wounded or captured all of ‘em.”
John Lee just shook his head again and stated, “I da not think yar story will hold water with Ms. Daphne. She’s been worried sick ‘bout ya.”
I nodded and said, “I’m sorry ya had to wait up for me and Stonewall, but I really appreciate it.”
John Lee said, “Better give Stonewall to me, and I’ll takes care of ‘im. He looks like ya done worked ‘im to death.”
“We’ve traveled a long way and had many adventures today. That’s for certain,” I returned.
I dismounted and gave Stonewall’s reins to John Lee. Stonewall was too tire to even snort.
Then I muttered to myself, “Into tha valley of death rode tha six hundred.”
I mounted the porch steps and opened the front door of the mansion. As soon as I entered the house, Anna, who happened to be crossing the hallway from the left parlor to the right parlor, yelled, “He’s back.”
I stopped as both parlors emptied their occupants to view the prodigal son.
Daphne broke through the people in front of the left parlor and rushed toward me. She flew into my arms and gave me one of her crushing hugs.
Resting her head on my chest she said, “I was so scared that you had been waylaid. I’ve been out of my mind with worry.”
She let go of me, which allowed me to catch my breath, and backed up so she could look at me.
Then she asked in a perplexed voice, “Where have ya been?”