Captain Samuel D. Stewart
Civilians had gathered along the roadside to cheer on the advancing army. It made the men feel good. A beautiful girl standing beside the road shouted, “Keep moving. You’ll capture every one of the Yanks; they’re running for their lives.”
The regiment raised a cheer to her. Joe Thompson shouted back at her. “We’ll catch those rascals and skin 'em, ma’am. Will you cook 'em up for us?”
Everyone broke into laughter. The girl blushed and then managed a smile.
They had already passed at least thirty broken-down wagons that had been abandoned by the Union army. Their spirits were beginning to soar. The weather had turned off warm. It was a beautiful Indian summer day. They were actually working up a sweat as they marched.
They marched on up the road, their pace beginning to pick up. Mack Keenum knew they were getting close to the Union army. He could feel the tension building. Soon, they arrived at a beautiful brick home on the left side of the road.
Joe Thompson pointed toward the house and asked, “You boys know whose house that is?”
“Before this war, I ain’t never been outside Tuscumbia,” Tom Barrett gave a toothy grin. “How you think I’m a gonna know who lives way up here?”
“It’s William Harrison’s home,” Joe said. He looked at Tom’s blank face, and then asked, “You do know William Henry Harrison, don’t you?”
“Never heard of him,” Tom shook his head. “Should I know 'im?”
“He was just the president of the
once,” Joe chuckled. United States
Mack looked amazed. He asked, “Is he home now?”
Joe laughed. “No, he’s been dead for years. That’s where he used to live.”
Mack shrugged and looked at Tom. They both smiled at each other. They loved the way they got on Joe’s nerves with their ignorance. Not everyone had the opportunity to go to school and get an education like Joe had. Most of them had to stay home and work on the farm. Mack still remembered what his dad had told the teacher who had tried to get him to send his children to school. “Those boys don’t need no schooling. They gettin’ all the schooling they need from me on this here farm,” he’d said.
Up ahead, they could see the Union rearguard on the hills. Before they got within range of their guns, the line made a sharp turn to the right. They were moving east.
Joe said, “Boys, looks like we’re flanking 'em again.”
They marched east a ways and hit another road running north. Someone said it was the Lewisburg Pike. They turned north there and started toward the hill just north of them. There were no Union soldiers on the hill over here. It’s a good thing someone’s using their head today, Mack thought.