Emerging Writers. Historical Fiction Part 11, by Mary Ann DiLorenzo
Journeying Back to What Used to Be. Episode 11
“Sam, you think I should have sold the place to them Yanks when they came around? How can I work that place by myself? There’s no one left here ‘cept for the town folks. Where am I gonna get the help to do it?”
“Now Johnny don’t go thinkin’ that way! Plenty of them town folks could use some work for a fair wage. Don’t give it up yet.”
“Suppose you’re right Sam. I promised myself I’d give it a try. Gotta be easier gettin’ that farm running again than soldierin’ was. Safer anyways.”
It was the first winter of the war, Johnny remembered. Cold as all get out it was on the western side of the Potomac. The Georgians weren’t going anywhere anytime soon. The snow and the rain seemed endless. They couldn’t keep warm, they couldn’t keep dry, they weren’t moving, waiting on the Federals to move. “I’ll take a grueling march or two in the hot sun right about now,” Johnny thought at the time. He almost looked forward to picket duty that one night. But that one night, unbeknownst to him, he would tussle with two Yanks all by himself on the picket line.
It was another rainy night and the captain thought one on the line was enough, the Yanks weren’t moving after all. So there Johnny found himself, dozing off as the hours wore on, the slow quiet rain lulling him to sleep. But then two Yanks were there in front of him and he was awake fast enough! In a flash he got them both with his old hunting rifle.
With his heart pounding, he stood there and listened, were there more coming? All he heard were men from his own regiment finally coming up to help. No more Yanks came, they must have been stragglers. Johnny got no sleep that night after he was relieved of picket duty and the others took their turns. He thought about how this was the first time he really faced death in this crazy war, it was still so early, he never really thought of this when he ran off to war jubilantly excited not too long ago. “It’s real now, for sure,” he mused. Those were the first two Yankees Johnny killed and war hit home for him.
Follow this Civil War Story About Going Home.
Journeying Back to What Used to Be, Part 11 (This one)