Friday, September 9, 2016

The Second Battle of Greenbrier, installment four


The people of Greenbrier have been put on notice that a battle is imminent and they must make haste to protect their livestock and valuables. They briskly set about to make their way to neighboring settlements, for untold hours or days.

Their last experience of this sort was not but two months earlier.  This time, all know their role and are quicker and more efficient at packing their things, rounding up animals, and loading carts and wagons.

There is a sense of urgency though no panic among the townspeople.

They have limited time as they can already hear distant cannon fire to the east.

As much of the household as can be bundled into quilts, sacks, and rolled into rugs are carried to the wagons.  The children have already been sent ahead to Keedysville, well out of the path of the armies.

Elmer Poffenberger's oldest boys are charged with seeing after his and Mr. Mumma's cattle.

Old Mr. Newcomer and a handful of other men are staying behind to try and safeguard homes and outbuildings.  After hurried goodbyes he watches as his twelve-year-old granddaughter drives a team of his best Belgians to refuge.  Even in the hurried moment he feels some pride in the abilities of the girl.

It is each for the other as neighbors assist neighbors in the evacuation.

By  two o'clock everyone who is leaving is on the road.  It was only  a scant three hours before that a lone Federal cavalryman warned them of the coming fight.

The residents of Greenbrier will be safe, but they are greatly anxious about what scenes of disruption, destruction, hardship, and suffering will greet them upon their return.

Soldier on!


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