Thursday, May 3, 2012
T. E. Story # 74
Yes, you are right. Josh was a little shaken. However, I think than Dan has to remember that we spent some time in a cave wondering what was going to happen, yesterday, and I don’t think Josh is completely over it quite yet. Dan startled me as well. It is good to have such detailed watchmen though, and I am very pleased at the effort that you two have put out to keep us safe as we proceed. I am sure that Josh will get over his trauma as soon as he gets a big bowl of your delicious beans and rice in his belly! I know for a fact that Col. Abert would never have approved this mission had he known the extent of this plot that almost overtook us. You and Dan have managed to do what the Army could not do, even though some of your procedures are only allowable during wartime (Grin!!). We will proceed down to the off-road and into the abandoned farm house. I have been working on a detailed map similar to the one that we have just left, and I think I will have it done by tomorrow night. I want to stay at the farm until I can finish the map and make copies for both you and “JJ”. As you have said both of you will need a map to keep track of us and where you have to go to carry out your part of the plan. Considering the attitude of the people here in the South I will not go into Fredericksburg. What I principally want to see is the river, the bridges and locate the two fords that are down river. If you and Dan want to go in and make some notes that is fine with me, but I an somewhat nervous about the town. In regard to the signs on the wagon, we can touch them up a little bit when we are at the farm, and rehang them . That is no problem, but even though both you and Dan were watching , as I mentioned I was not sure that both of you had gotten back to the Ferry, and I decided that the better part of valor was caution. The only people that we missed was the Water's house and that was more of a place for the ferry crews to stay than a family house, even though there may be a family somewhere in that place. At the bottom of the hill we reach the off-road track to the farm. In the distance we can see dimly the lights from the house where the two ferry crewmen went. We move slowly into the forest and we can see ahead a field lit by the moon's radiance. Just a half-moon tonight but there is enough light to see the road. The woods are cool this time of the night, and a small breeze riffles through the broad-leafed trees overhead. The road is a two track line and there seems to be a lot of high grass and weeds in the middle of the track. We reach the ranch as we come out of the woods. I would have to estimate that the woodland here is about a quarter mile deep, before we reached the farm's now fallow fields. Beyond the fields stands another woodland black against the night sky. The outline of the trees indicate both broad-leaf and needle trees in that woodland. "JJ" meets us as we exit the woods and Dan has disappeared. That boy is both quick and quiet. "JJ" points out an old barn and we drive the wagon in and then unhitch the horses and lead them to stalls. Josh will water and feed them while I get out my letter book and drawing pack to take in the house. I will be working late tonight on my journal and the next map. I will ask "JJ" to get some supper started, and as soon as we eat, then we can all get together, and have a little confab about what has occurred and what our plans are for the next few days . Essentially we will go to the Rappahannock River, from the ferry to Aquia, Stafford C. H., and Falmouth this is the lower part of the Telegraph Road. Col. Abert particularly wanted to map that road. We will sketch the bridges there and then we will search downriver from the town for the two fording places which are said to be there. From here we will head back West to Falmouth and take the Northwest Road to Alcock, Skinner's Store, Waggerton's Store, Palten Junc., and then turn southeast through Garrisonville and back to Aquia. From there we will turn North , back onto Telegraph Road (the northern part) and head toward Dumphies, Scabsco Mills, and Occoquan. That will be the end of that map. By that time, I should have a third map finished which will take us to Alexandria and then on to Washington City. That is the current plan. What do you all think?