Emerging Writers. Historical Fiction Part 5, by Mary Ann DiLorenzo
Journeying Back to What Used to Be, Part 5.
“Maybe I should have taken that Yankee’s offer and sold this place,” Johnny debated with himself. The Yankee carpetbaggers had been by yesterday offering him a fire sale price. Johnny couldn’t see how he was ever going to be able to rebuild the place, get it working again, at least he couldn’t see it now, with that Yankee offer stuck in his head. Oh, it was a poor offer, but those Yanks knew the Southern folks had no legs to stand on, not anymore, and the Yanks were buying up land all around the South. With the money, Johnny could start over somewhere else, get back into the land of the living a lot quicker than staying where he was.
“Can’t quit now,” Johnny decided, “Ma stuck it out and tried to make a go of it. I’ve gotta do my best too.” And that was that, he was staying. Somehow he’d get what he needed to make the place a functioning farm again. “It would be an uphill battle, for sure, with those Yankees ready to swoop down and pull the rug out from under as quick as they can,” Johnny thought, but he was going to try anyway.
Try against all odds-- Johnny remembered suddenly of Gettysburg and that July afternoon. They called it Pickett’s Charge, Lee’s attack on the fortified Union center at Cemetery Ridge, Longstreet didn’t want to do it, he knew it would be a slaughter, but Lee must have thought his Southern boys could do anything. The majesty of that charge, Johnny would never forget it, the Southern boys all in a line, bayonets gleaming in the early afternoon sun, as they marched across that open field to the Federals and Cemetery Ridge. Then one after another of the Confederates were mowed down by the Union fire until only a handful were left. Johnny got close to the wall, he almost made it, somehow. Remembering now, Johnny touched his temple where a Federal’s bayonet that day had left a scar.
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