Emerging Writers. Historical Fiction by Mary Ann DiLorenzo
Journeying Back to What Used to Be. Part 21.
“Hey Johnny!” Sam called across the still barren fields and the new day had begun. Johnny set down his coffee and stepped off the porch to meet him halfway. Nice warm day it’s fixing to be today, Johnny mused as he tramped across his land.
“Morning to you Sam, what’s got you so rarin’ to go?”
“Well, I was wondering if you could stop by our place tonight for supper. We invited Frankie and his new bride and we thought you might want to join us. Maybe swap some old war stories, what do you say?”
“That’s the best offer so far today, I’ll be there.”
“See ya at six!” And off Sam went to tell Becky she’d have another guest for supper, though Johnny wasn’t much of a guest anymore. He had become part of the family and it often made him smile. Where would he be without the love of Sam and his family, Johnny pondered once again.
And as he walked back to the porch to finish his coffee, he also thought of Frankie and the leg Frankie lost at Gettysburg. Instinctively, Johnny touched his temple where a Federal’s bayonet had left a scar during that same battle. War stories, yup, reckon we will tell a few tonight, and Johnny thought of it all again.
The War. It had never left him, will likely never leave him. And then he heard the drums again, the shots again, the cannon again, the music again and he was back there again. Gettysburg had been the bloodiest battle of that war they all said and Sharpsburg was the bloodiest single day. Johnny had fought at both and survived. Johnny remembered then of those he went to war with, those many he saw die beside him. Yup, war stories tonight.
The marches, sometimes tens of miles a day in the rain, in the heat, during the night, sometimes having shoes, most times not. Being shot at by pickets, marching in silence to not alert the Yankees, almost asleep and getting hit in the face by tree branches as they continued marching on through it all. When they weren’t fighting or marching, they were in camp or entrenched in sieges or on picket detail. Camp life was full of boredom and longing for home and fearing the next battle. War stories. And Johnny knew it would be a long, long time before he would come to terms with it all, if he ever did.
Journeying Back to What Used to Be. Original historical fiction that follows a Confederate soldier back from War. Delivered in brief vignettes, the series depicts this defining time in the history of our nation. Follow this Civil War Story About Going Home.
Journeying Back to What Used to Be, Part 21 (This one)