Wednesday, April 18, 2012

T. E. Story #24

"Well, take what time you need to get your feet on the ground.  I am sure that our life styles have been different, however, now we will be working together so there is a certain amount of each of our lifestyles that must be shared.  More wilderness training on my part and a little more social / political training on yours.  In order for you to use the rank of Major effectively when it is an emergency, there is a certain amount of that "lifestyle" that must be endured, just as with me learning how to build a fire without a lucifer!  However that will all come later.  Right now, as soon as we get to Washington City I will have to make my report on the status of the river project as I have left it.,  for no other reason than to insure that Congress knows why I left it and in what condition I left it to my relief.  I am also sure that there will be a sit-down with a Congressional Representative in order to satisfy him in regard to any questions that he may have about my report.  Col. Abert will be with me to insure that this remains a secret project.  While I am involved with this, You will have some time to get your uniform squared away, and buy us at least four horses and find a proper place to stay between forays.  Get the saddles and tack as you think best together with the gear needed for a fairly long term camp (one to two weeks) on the road, and being the novice at this outdoors effort let us be somewhat sympathetic to my comfort.  I am much more pleasant in the morning when I have slept well and have a good breakfast inside me (Grin!).  We will each have a room at the Willard's Hotel until you find us a place to stay.  I have made those arrangements by telegram to Col Abert's office.  However, we will meet after dark in my room.  If we meet during the day, unless there is an emergency we need to keep our friendship a secret at least until the war comes, if it does."

Rummaging through my small bag, I turn to Hezzie and say, "Here is $200 in gold."  I pass the money to him wrapped in a small cloth bag.  "That should get us horses. saddles and tack as well as a start in finding a place to stay permanently.  I will co-sign any rental or lease contract that you agree to, keeping in mind what we need for the horses, and for us as well.  Since I am not big on sleeping in barns I say again my bit about sleep and breakfast.  My thoughts about the first foray are as follow:  Considering the relative positions of Richmond, Virginia and Washington City, I think our best routebag would be to move directly South to Richmond along the Main Road mapping the way as we go.  We have some old maps that we can use for improvement.  This will be a training set-up for you and a useful piece of mapping to begin our portfolio with.  On the return, we will come back by way of the railroad, following the tracks on horseback into Washington City.  The next foray will be down the Peninsula along the coastline and then up the James River.  However, before we leave,will we will both give a good look-see to all the maps that we have presently and become familiar with what we are looking for and how much things have changed.  You will be keeping a notebook as well I for the first trips South.

Lastly I will need some second-hand outer clothes so I look like a farmer or at least a country dweller.  A small farm wagon probably would be a help as well.  We should have a tool box on the outside of the wagon, (with tools) as well as a water barrel.  Between the water barrel on one side and the outside tool box on the other, I would like to have a secret box built and fastened under the wagon bed.  The box should be in two parts, one part for extra guns and ammunition, the other part for explosives.  Black Powder and dynamite for now, maybe later nitro.  Both box parts should be lockable.  I am not sure what weapons that you have, however, I will need a rifle and a big knife and there should be a shotgun in the wagon boot just for emergencies like!.  I think that's about all for now Hezzie.  When we get to the outskirts of Washington City, I will get off the train and get a ride into Washington City.  You stay on the train and get off at the main station.  I will met you tonight at Willard's Hotel."

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