Western Fiction posted January 13, 2022 Chapters: -1- 2 


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The first chapter in an exciting new novel

A chapter in the book Tin Stars and Yankee Gold

Tin Stars and Yankee Gold

by Earl Corp


Chapter 1
 April 20, 1865 
Near Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia
 
It had been a wet spring. The field that Mosby’s Partisan Rangers had camped in had almost instantly become a quagmire due to the amount of personnel and animals in such a small area.
 
A drizzle had been coming down all day, but morale wasn’t bad in the bivouac site, the foragers had liberated two cows which were now turning on a spit. This would be the first meat many of the troopers had had in a month.
 
The unit’s commander, John Singleton Mosby, was working on some reports at a field desk in his tent. An orderly stuck his head in and said, “Suh, a courier is here from Gen’rul Lee to see the Cunnel.”
 
“Send him in,” Mosby replied.
 
A youngster no more than 16, with straw-colored hair, in a butternut-hued shirt stepped in and saluted.
 
“Gen’rul Lee’s compliments, Suh.” He fished in his pouch and retrieved the document. He then added, “I’m to wait for a reply, Suh.”
 
Mosby took the dispatch, then hollered for his aide, “Lieutenant Myers!”
 
Myers appeared in the doorway.
 
“Yes Suh.”
“Take this young man to the cook’s wagon so he can get a meal and some coffee.”
“Yes Suh,” Myers said and motioned to the courier to follow him.
 
After the pair had left Mosby broke the seal on the envelope and began to read:
Commanding General, Army of Northern Virginia
To all field commanders:
At noon April 21, all hostilities are to cease and all units are to gather at Appomattox Courthouse and surrender their arms to the Union Forces.
Signed under my hand this day April 20 1865,
 
Robert E. Lee
Commanding General
 
Mosby had been expecting this since the army had gone into winter headquarters in December. What he wasn’t expecting was the added personal note Lee had written.
 
John,
Since the Federals have a standing order to hang anyone in your unit, your troops are released immediately and are not to come to the surrender. Go with God’s blessing.
Robert
 
“Lieutenant Myers!”
“Yes Suh.
“Would you please tell the courier I have a response for General Lee. Once you’ve done that locate Sergeant Tyler and Corporal Ford for me,” Mosby said.
 
“Yes Suh, I believe Sergeant Tyler and Corporal Ford are at the picket line.”
“Fetch’em for me, please.” 
“Yes Suh.”
 
Myers headed away to do what he was ordered. A few minutes later the courier appeared back at Mosby’s tent.
 
“Thanks for the grub, Suh, that the first square meal Ah’ve had in Ah don’t know how long”
 
“You’re very welcome son,” then Mosby further asked,” Do you know what was in this dispatch?”
 
“Yes Suh.”
 
“How do you feel about it?”
 
“It’s a damn shame, Suh, we wuz winnin’ until last year,” the courier replied. Then asked, “Is there a reply, Suh?”
 
“Tell the General thank you for his courtesy, with my compliments, and I will comply to the letter.”
 
Mosby then stuck out his hand and said, “Good luck son, maybe we’ll meet up again in days to come.”
The courier took Mosby’s offered hand and shook it.
 
“Thankee, Suh.” Then he saluted, turned and exited the tent.
 
Lieutenant Myers stuck his head in the tent and said, “Suh, Tyler and Ford are here.”
 
“Send them in.”
 
Sergeant Daniel "Boone" Tyler and Corporal Brady Ford entered the tent and saluted.
 
“Tyler and Ford reporting as ordered, Sir,” Tyler said.
 
Mosby returned the salute and looked at the pair. Tyler was over six feet tall with dark hair and shoulders wider than an ax handle. Ford was closer to five feet and ten inches with curly red hair on a compact muscled frame. Ford was the older of the two and found himself riding herd on the quick-tempered Tyler.
 
The duo had been trail partners since before the war. They had ridden to Virginia from Kansas to join Mosby’s outfit. They had originally ridden with Quantrill’s Raiders in Missouri. They had left Quantrill the night before the fateful raid on Lawrence, Kansas that resulted in the massacre of 150 civilians.
 
Neither Ford or Tyler had anything against shooting Yankees, but they drew the line when it came to cold-blooded murder of civilians.
 
“Boys, I’ve just received the word we will be surrendering tomorrow,” Mosby began. “General Lee and the rest of the army will be surrendering and turning over their weapons to the Yankees, we will not.”
 
Mosby reached into his bottom desk drawer and pulled out a bottle of 1824 Napoleon brandy.
 
“I was saving this to toast our final victory, but it looks like survival is all the victory we’re gonna get,” Mosby said.
 
He uncorked the bottle and took a swig then handed the bottle to Ford who upended it and drank deeply. He then handed the bottle to Tyler who took a deep pull on the bottle. Tyler passed the bottle back to Mosby who lifted it in a toast to Ford and Tyler.
 
“Much obliged, Colonel, it was a pleasure serving with you,” Ford said.
 
“The honor was mine,” Mosby said.
 
“What are you boys planning to do?” Mosby asked.
 
“We figgered on heading back to Kansas, if the Yankees allow it,” Tyler said.
 
“The yanks ain’t got any say in the matter, as of right now you boys are free to go," Mosby said. “At least you will be when this bottle is empty.”
 
Mosby then reached into his desk and handed each man $200 in U.S. currency.
 
“Consider this your mustering out pay.”
 
In October, Mosby’s Rangers had captured a supply wagon that happened to have a Union paymaster traveling with it. The unit had been on the move and Mosby hadn’t had an opportunity to turn the money over to higher headquarters.
 
Tyler eyed the money which represented the most he’d ever seen at one time in his life.
 
“Thanks, Colonel,” he said.
 
“You boys earned it, I wish it was more. Safe journey and God’s speed,” Mosby said as he lifted the bottle in a salute.

 



A First Book Chapter contest entry

Recognized

#30
January
2022


Buckle up Buckaroos, this is the first chapter in the exciting new book Tin Stars and Yankee Gold.
Cast of Characters
John Singleton Mosby- Confederate commander of the Partisan Rangers
Daniel "Boone" Tyler- Kansas boy who had cast his lot with the losing side of the Civil War. Goes by Boone.
Brady Ford- Longtime mentor to Boone. Had taught the younger man to ride, rope, and shoot
* This first chapter is based on historical fact with some poetic license taken. I hope you enjoy it
Pays one point and 2 member cents.


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