Saturday, September 07, 2013

Sweet Saturday Samples - September 7, 2013

Welcome back to Sweet Saturday Samples. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen difficulties, the list and link to it will not be available for a while. I hope our hostess soon gets to a place where she can do it again. I will continue to provide a sample each Saturday.

In this sample, Ben Owen has been battling with the Yankees up and down the Shenandoah Valley under General Early's command. He has just been wounded.

Why is it always my leg? he thought, fighting to reach something to tie around the wound. This wasn't the inconsequential leg injury he had suffered before. This one was bleeding to beat the band, and he had to stop it.

He found his belt would do to wrap around the leg above the flow. Now he had to get out of the field before the Yankees renewed their attack, pressed forward, and captured him.

He struggled to his feet, bearing his weight upon his musket. The leg was not broken, he was relieved to discover. He looked around him. A body or two lay in the field below, but the losses weren't great this time. His company had left him, it appeared, as he was the only one of his fellows still here.

Hunched over, he dragged his unresponsive leg and the rest of himself toward a hill covered with broken apple trees. Not the best cover, but perhaps it would serve until he located his company or someone who could take him to a surgeon to stitch him up. Once he achieved the shelter of the trees, he would allow himself to rest and survey the ground.

Fortunately, the rails of the fence surrounding the orchard were missing, so he didn't have to make a struggle to climb over. He found a spot high on the side of the hill where he could keep watch for anyone passing, and sat down with his back against a trunk. He promptly fell asleep.

Night came before he awoke. He could see campfires of the Federal troops off in the north, but the hill impeded his sight to the south. How far could the company have retreated before it stopped to regroup?

He checked his leg. The bleeding seemed to have ceased, and he loosened the belt so the flesh would not die. Good. The wound was crusted over, and the flow of blood did not seem to begin anew.

Where was he? He couldn't be far from Mount Jackson, or maybe his own home, but in the darkness, he had lost track of his precise location. Who still had an apple orchard that hadn't been entirely cut down for fuel?


I hope you enjoyed this sample from my work-in-progress, Gone For a Soldier, set during the American Civil War. Thank you for visiting. I love to read your comments, so if anything in the sample compels you to speak up, rest assured that I eventually read what you write and will reply, if needed. Questions? I'm open to them, too.

Please come back next Saturday for another sample. Thank you!

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