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| Category: || General Fiction |
Posted:|| January 15, 2020 Views: 77|
Chapter 13 of the book She Walks In Beauty
A special breakfast guest
by Ben Colder
Judith Langston, a Lincoln supporter. She wanted statehood, but opposed violence.
Family classical write; 7-8- grade level, 73% reading ability.
Breakfast time inside the boarding house and every guest were seated at the table.
Entering the structure through the back-entrance, Thomas stopped at the kitchen door. He ordered a worker to fetch a long rope and bring it to him when he called.
Fearfully, the worker agreed.
Thomas asked, "are those Yanks eating breakfast?"
The worker responded," Yass Sur!"
Seconds later, two pistols cocked into the firing position when Thomas entered the dining room.
Noticing Captain Maddox was seated at the head of the table in full uniform without sidearms, Thomas spoke, "Captain, if you and your companions will get up and come with me then there will be no need for further interruption."
Understanding the disadvantage, the men complied as he marched them outside to the front porch making them strip to their underwear.
He called to the kitchen help, "Bring that rope!"
Maddox remarked, "Now see here, you're not going to hang us in front of all these witnesses, are you?"
Thomas marched the three off the porch to a big Elm tree. "Captain, I'm going to leave you and the others tied to this tree until I figure out what to do."
Maddox growled, "So you deserted our army and joined the Rebels, you're worse than an infidel. If I get the chance; I'll see you get the firing squad."
Thomas chuckled, "That's just it, Captain. Who says you'll get that chance?"
Maddox and the others worked hard to free themselves as Thomas had breakfast.
Judith watched as the men tried getting free. Lowly, she spoke to Thomas through the screen door, "You know Maddox thinks you're Henry."
Between bites he responded, "Yea, I know."
Camped near Bear Ridge was several McNeill Rangers. Earlier, Thomas had seen their campfire on the way to the boarding house.
Speaking to Judith, "See those men stayed tied until someone comes for them. Their clothes, I tossed into your cellar."
Judith blasted, "Now, Thomas Watkins, you know I don't hold to no violence and if you're sending some of your men to get these fellows there will be fighting and you know it!"
Thomas mounted his horse chuckling, "Now, Now, Miss Judith. It would be hard for a fellow to fight a war in his long- johns with no weapons, wouldn't it?"
Judith went storming inside the house shouting to the hired help, "Roscoe! Get out there on that porch and make sure those men stayed tied until someone comes for them."
Meanwhile at the McNeill camp, a faint sound of a banjo strumming echoed down the mountainside as Thomas Watkins paused his mount just long enough for the sentinel to give the challenge.
The guard spoke, "Well, if it ain't the Robin Hood, where's your merry men?"
The remark brought a smiling response, "Home, doing chores like we all should be. Is John in the camp?"
A soldier in charge shouted," Let him pass!"
A cordial reception brought several comments learning John McNeill was not present.
The two scouts Henry had befriended was present which eased the ambiguity.
John McNeill and the others were somewhere near Romney which now occupied the area.
Will Anderson came to awareness as Thomas remembered telling him Romney was in Federal control.
Thomas remarked, "I've got a present for you. There are three Yanks tied to a big Elm tree in Judith Langston's front yard. Some of you might wished to take them off my hands before she sets them free."
Four men to do the task was chosen, but before leaving, Thomas replied, "The one with legs like broomsticks and red hair is Captain Maddox, a Yankee Provost Marshall, he came to the valley to arrest my brother."
An invitation to a hot cup of coffee and listening to a fellow play the Banjo offered a taste of peace; something he had not known since leaving the Glass residence.
Someone asked, "What should we do with them Yanks?"
Thomas remarked, "That's up to you. Do whatever you wish however, that Captain Maddox thinks I'm my brother, I would like to keep it that way."
Miles to the North, in secret, several people in the town of Romney welcomed Confederate scouts from general Imboden's command.
After the Gettysburg retreat, the Shenandoah and other valleys were occupied by Confederates until large numbers of Federals began regaining the area.
Union General Ringgold's cavalry had shown superiority and for a few days occupied the town.
Molly Anderson Will Anderson's mother relished having her only son home. When learning of his presence, the entire Scott-Irish community planed a private celebration.
Thomas Watkins 37
Dr. Glass 64
Caroline Glass 29
John Carter 60
Bertha Butcher 38
Gladys (Trooper) Watkins 12
Violet Watkins 13
Will Anderson 29
On June 7, the Rangers raided Hampshire County and seized Romney on the Northwestern Turnpike.
During the Gettysburg Campaign the Rangers foraged for the Army of Northern Virginia, sending 740 heads of sheep, 160 heads of cattle, and 40 horses.
On July 22, Confederate scouts were reported to be moving in the direction of Romney following the assignment of General Imboden to the Valley District. After the retreat from Gettysburg, Confederates occupied the Shenandoah and South Branch valleys for a month or two until the Federals began to move in the area in large numbers. During the following months, Romney may have changed hands several times without official record.
On August 4, the Ringgold Cavalry again occupied the town.
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