Wednesday, April 18, 2012

T. E. Story #31

Getting up early in the morning I needed to go into Washington City and review the map index in the mapping room that Col. Abert had set up.  Hopefully I can find a map or two which delineates the route we are to follow in a more complete format.  I found Hezzie already awake and explained to him my absence for the day and asked if there was anything that we needed while I was in the city.

Having talked with Hezzie and being sure he would pass on the information as needed, I saddled my horse (the one that Hezzie had selected for me), and put my uniform in my saddlebags.  I preferred to make the trip dressed as a farmer to get used to the clothes which felt a little loose and floppy.  I guess I will get over it..  The broad brimmed hat also was a bit floppy but kept out the sun nicely.  The hat together with my green glasses, and I was almost unrecognizable.  I rode across the farm away from the city in order to hit the road into town in a obscure turn under the shade of three trees.  There were three huge boulders there that I had seen while looking over the farm.  They were right next to the road with a gravel / broken rock break between them.  That would be the ideal place to enter the main road and would make back-tracking harder.  Once I gained the road, I went forward at a canter headed for the main part of the city and the military drawing rooms.  However, first to the hotel to change into my uniform and my heavy green riding cloak.  

I reached the hotel and went in to the desk and informed the clerk that I needed to use the Men's washroom.  He gave me a very hostile look and grudgingly pointed out the washroom door.  I think I passed my first test.  This was the desk clerk who had checked me in to the hotel only two days previously.  I hurriedly changed into my uniform and and then put on the green cloak.  I got my horse and took it to the nearest stable and asked the stable boy to feed and curry the horse, and give the saddle a good waxing.  I asked him if he knew how to do that and he grinned and showed me the can of wax, and said it was one of the things that he had been trained for and was supposed to do in the stable.  A dollar for the feed and currying and a dollar for the saddle wax job.

I walked the four blocks to the three story military building where the final drawings were made using the engineering notebooks.  The map archives were there as well.  I entered the ground floor and checked in with the guard in the small lobby.  I signed myself in and briefly reviewed the visitor's page.  I noted to the guard that he had not had a very busy day as there was only one signature before mine.

"Yes sir', the guard stood and saluted.  "This guy," he pointed to the name, " is a kind of weird old guy.  He was a civilian but he was like it was a secret thing that he was coming here.  I wasn't sure that I should let him in but the Officer of the Day said it was okay.  Of course the OD didn't bother to look, but my job is to do what the Lt. has to say."  I fingered the name on the list, Gether Agnane.  Hmmmm, I thought ,strange name, probably an immigrant from perhaps somewhere in eastern Europe.  

I said ,"Thanks," to the guard and started for the stairs .

The guard called after me,"You can't miss him up there, he is dressed all in black."    

Well, Jack, I had a few minutes while Margaret takes a short nap.  She and I both have doctor's appointments tomorrow.  The foot doctor for me on an inspection tour to be sure the foot is healing and no infection.  The bone surgeon will be for Margaret.  The break in her arm is close to the shoulder, so any kind of a cast is difficult to set up.  He may just keep her hand and arm clamped close .  They say the usually this kind of a break will heal with the arm strapped down.

What did you think of the AAR, and the suggestion List to the NEB President?

It looks like I will be able to make five of the planned events here in New England.  James Duarte will probably only make four.  Then we have to sort out the work party days for Fort Trumbull.  I'll have to ask James to come up with the suggested dates for those.  Usually five or six for the whole season.  I got another plan done last night and today got seven back issues of the "On The Trail" magazine.  It is supposedly for reenactors but for the Rev war period pretty much.  Good stories though and some good diagrams for making things for the kit.

All the Best to You and Yours;
Respectfully, Your Good Friend;'

Jim Mathews

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