How could we get into Baltimore and do damage without it resulting in death to the local populace or our raiders? I thought on it long and hard and came to the conclusion that Baltimore was too far behind enemy lines to accommodate a one-day raid that would cripple commerce.
So, I began to look at other targets, but nothing came to mind other than another landmark in Washington City. It finally came to me that the U.S. Treasury was located next to the White House. So instead of scaring Lincoln, why not burn the White House after getting all the occupants out and letting them see the destruction?
This could result in one of two outcomes. One is fear of how we were able to penetrate deep into Union territory and destroy portions of the U.S. Capital. Two is that it could make the North madder than a wet hen and strengthen their resolve.
I began to make specific plans for the foray. Our logistics required that we have some kind of tools to disassemble the treasury machines; that we have some sort of accelerant for the fires we would be setting; that we wear Union cavalry uniforms; and that our horses have U.S. brands on them. In addition, we had to carry the accelerant in our saddle bags and our tools on our horses. We couldn’t afford to have a pack animal. We had to move fast.
The most important part of the logistical supplies had to be the accelerant. What could we use? I came up with the idea of Greek Fire, which was used back in the 7th century AD by the Byzantine Empire. However, to this day no one has been able to replicate it. So, I needed to see if Kann Mer Ray liked our plan and could provide us with portable hand held Greek Fire weapons. If we were able to show Lincoln that the South had this advanced weapon, it might lead to the war being brought to a halt.
I went to work on the Washington area maps that I was able to accumulate from the cavalry over the last few months. I determined the distance from Harpers Ferry to Georgetown, where the C & O Canal Path becomes Bridge Street, was about 120 miles. I needed to know how many Yankee camps and posts were along the C & O byway in that 120 mile stretch. So, I boarded Stonewall and rode to the telegraph office.
When I entered the office, the private stood and saluted. I returned his salute and asked him to send a message to Major Mosby about the Yankee emplacements along the C & O path south of here and toward Washington City.
I got an answer almost immediately from Major Mosby that he would find out and send a message via the telegraph with the data. Before I left, I glared at the private and made it quite clear to have someone come to Ferry Hill with the message from Major Mosby; and not let anyone else see it, no matter if they were of the military or civilian persuasion. The private gulped and nodded vigorously that he understood.
I left the telegraph office, mounted Stonewall and rode north out of town about a mile where no homes or barns were visible. I dismounted and let Stonewall mosey. Then, trying my best to visualize Kann Mer Ray in my mind, I mentally stated, “I need to speak with you.” No acknowledgement came to me, so I tried it again. I guess the second time’s the charm sometimes, because I received a mental answer, “I will be with you momentarily.”
In just a matter of seconds a greenish glimmer appeared a few feet in front of me and then Kann Mer Ray appeared in the flesh, so to speak. Unfortunately, San Cirr Ray was with him.
I nodded at the male and gave a quick glance to his assistant, but without acknowledging her. I could feel the heat of her anger from the slight and almost smiled, but was able to stifle it at the last moment.
I believe that Kann Mer Ray had enough of our one-upmanship contest because he said, “If we are going to be able to help this planet and save lives, you two must work in harmony.”
Looking at me he stated, “Jim, if you would be so kind to let yourself believe in the project we have proposed, and that we are here to help you, I would appreciate it.”
Turning to San Cirr Ray, he uttered, “Cirr, Jim has more than proven himself worthy of being our human agent in this endeavor. He has eluded Druids and has killed to protect his friends and family. I believe you need to show him some respect and quit dallying with him.”
San Cirr Ray looked at Kann Mer Ray for a long time. It seemed she was running through a list of details in her mind. Finally, she turned to me and said, “I apologize for the dalliances. I have to admit that you intrigued me. Your actions do speak louder than words.”
She came to stand in front of me, raised her hand toward me and asked, “If you will forgive my foolishness and work with me to accomplish our mission, I would be most thankful.”
I was astonished at the warmth and feeling of her words and emotion. I gulped and grasped her hand in friendship and stuttered, “I accept your apology, but only if you will accept my apology for being such a stubborn mule.”
She smiled and said, “Done.”
I grinned, and Kann Mer Ray gave a sigh of relief. Even Stonewall got in on the act with one of his famous whinnies.