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 Category:  General Fiction
  Posted: January 5, 2020      Views: 87
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Take a look at my latest published novel Silent Hand Of God found on Amazon. Ben Colder Author.

He is an accomplished novelist and is currently at the #12 spot on the rankings.

He is also an active reviewer and is holding the #97 spot on the top ranked reviewer list.

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Chapter 11 of the book She Walks In Beauty
A blessings in disguise
"The barn" by Ben Colder

The story is about two brothers during the Civil War. One brother is Confederate partisan, the other a farmer who is drafted into the Union Army. One gives his life for the other. True history.

Maddox summoned for Judith and asked for her presence when making the agreement.

She spoke firmly, "Captain Maddox, you are a paying guest in my home and nothing more. I refuse to take part in your scheme and now, if you will excuse me, I'm needed in the kitchen!"

Needing dawn and the rain to stop were vital. Maddox surmised travel was treacherous and water probably rushed over the Miller Creek bridge. Henry's kindred plus loyal neighbors no doubt would interfere if captured during the day.

Miles away at Carter Town, John Carter stood inside the doorway of his four-bedroom log home watching the rain wash away the vegetable garden. Maw Carter stood on the porch with hands on her hips murmuring, "I know the good Lord knows what He's doing, but I sure wish he'd have mercy on our garden."

At the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Thomas Watkins and Will Anderson sat beneath a ledge near a small fire realizing they weren't going anywhere. The dry creek bed was now a swift running stream.

The Taylor farm was far from being restored except for Ellsworth Taylor making a comfortable place for his elderly father.

To some, the rain was a cursing and to others it meant replanting however, everything was at a standstill.

Caroline Glass was home looking out the window thinking about Thomas, but her grave concern was for her father, Dr Glass, whom two days overdue returning from Wheeling.

Nature's storm cells were reaching all the way into Ohio and Kentucky. In Northwest Virginia, the ongoing war was at bay and in most parts causing scouting patrols on both sides to spend time finding shelter.

In the Watkins barn a light barely visible peeped through withered wood.

Henry spoke, "We either have company sheltering in our barn or Trooper forgot to snuff out the lantern again."

Arming himself, he went to see to the matter. Two McNeil Confederate Rangers lay sleeping on a pile of hay.

A nudge to the bottom of tattered boots aroused the men to their feet.

The weapon received attention. "What yea aiming to do with that thing? We ain't bothering nothing, we're Just trying to get in out of the rain."

A faded butternut grey cap announced the scene.

Henry asked," Who are you fellows and why are you here?"

The men were silent not knowing what to expect.

The occasion ended when Trooper entered the barn chirping, "Momma said to invite whoever it is to breakfast."

Henry lowered the revolver and escorted the men to the house.

During hot biscuits and gravy, the questions arose concerning aspects of war.

Considering the men were confederate, Henry asked, "Have either of you ever heard of Captain Thomas Watkins?"

They looked at each other and smiled, "Robin hood? Yea, we've all heard of that fellow."

Hidden concern quickly turned into sociability as Henry told of their relationship.

"We met your brother this past April when scouting for Gen. Grumble Jones and from a distance, you and he could pass as twin."

Among many, the fight between Union General Ringgold's Pennsylvanian Cavalry and the McNeil Rangers was hardly a secret.

One man spoke, "The Robin-Hood came a little late that day. We took several prisoners and five wagons along with twenty-five horses."

Henry remarked, "I take it you men are Mosby Rangers."

A sharp reply, "No sir, we ride with McNeil and proud of it. Back in February, General Lee said some very nice words about us when we captured a well-guarded supply train. That's when we met your brother and his bunch after they captured two peddler wagons. He gave us several sacks of beans and lots of coffee."

The book continues with Surprise!. We will provide a link to it when you review this below.

Author Notes
On April 6, the Rangers clashed with the Ringgold Battalion, Pennsylvania Cavalry at Burlington, Hampshire County, taking twelve men prisoners, and capturing five wagons and twenty-five horses.
In Winter-Spring 1863, the McNeill Rangers performed scouting duties for Confederate cavalry under Brig. Gen. William E. "Grumble" Jones and John D. Imboden and provided assistance when they raided northwestern Virginia between April 24 and May 22, 1863, General Robert E. Lee wrote, "The success of Captain McNeill is very gratifying, and, I hope may be often repeated."
On February 16, the McNeill partisans captured a guarded supply train and received General's Lee praise for their actions, "This is the third feat of the same character in which Captain McNeill had displayed skill and daring."
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