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hergeneralingray_w11068_medHere’s an excerpt from Her General in Gray.  Autumn had asked Sib about the Civil War. This is his poignant description of Antietam:


She urged him back down on the sofa.  “You look comfortable.” Taking a deep breath, she plunged, “Sib, tell me about the battle where Beau supposedly shot you.”

antietam_11454_lg“It’s scarcely a bedtime story, and there’s no supposedly about it.” He closed his eyes, his voice grating low but surprisingly distant as if he hadn’t fought in the conflict.  “September 17. 1862, Lee met George McClellan near Antietam Creek in Sharpsburg, Maryland in the first battle fought on northern soil.  It was the bloodiest single day in American history.  More than 22,000 casualties.  Beauregard made sure I was one of them.

“Most of the first part of the battle was fought in farmer David Miller’s cornfield, then came the bloody head-on attacks against our center. Our reinforcements arrived late…” He spoke haltingly. “After the Union soldiers had pierced our line. The area was later called Bloody Lane.”

“I had lost the Black but had a good mount.  A tall, stout gray.”  He opened his eyes.  “That’s enough, Autumn.”

Tears clung to her lashes, threatening to drizzle down her cheeks.  “Oh my God.”