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DAWN SUNDAY, March 9, 1862...The Father General Rides a White Horse...

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DAWN SUNDAY, March 9, 1862...The Father General Rides a White Horse...

Post  Father General on Thu Feb 07, 2013 4:20 am

11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.

13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.


--The Book of the Apocolypse (Revelation) 19:11-15




For General Georgia, it was a lazy Friday afternoon. The Father General had just finished his obligatory and sadistic 3 p.m. torture of his own men, exposing another randomly chosen regiment to the batteries protecting Harper’s Ferry, giving the gunners free target practice. There was no telling if they hit anyone, but it was fun to watch.

Following the horror show, General Georgia conducted a brief inspection of the fortifications. The city’s garrison had been badly stripped leaving him with two green brigades plus his “Glorietta Hairifters”. The batteries remained in place, but in all, there was little left to defend against a determined Confederate assault, should it come to that.

General McClellan had done more to weaken the forces in Harper’s Ferry than any Confederate assault could have. The town should have been a regular Gibraltar, and instead, it was nothing more than a paper tiger. He routinely marched the same brigade in circles, in full view of the Father General’s spyglass, to make it appear as though his garrison was large.

He could only hope his ruses were working and that McClellan would eventually advance and end the war, before the Father General came riding up the bridge.

Surprisingly, word passed swiftly between the two sides as spies passed information back and forth, sneaking through the surrounding woods in the twilight darkness, stealthily evading pickets on both sides.

It was by this means that General Georgia knew perhaps more about the Father General than his own commander, Lt. General Hebert in Richmond.

Well compensated Union sympathizers made sure General Georgia knew quite a bit indeed.

It was on this particular lazy Friday, with spring weather improving the conditions for campaigning that the latest reports of the Father General arrived.

Once again, he was asking Richmond for permission to attack. Such reports were common, for he made the request religiously. And just as regularly, he was denied. Richmond had the common sense that the newly-minted Major General Neal lacked.

Still, he was aware that the Father General had trained his troops incessantly, and their numbers and training would make them a force to be reckoned with. Still, he calculated that the Father General was an inherent liability, and the natural defenses of Harper’s Ferry were worth quite a few men. He also knew that Washington would not allow the Confederates to get far beyond Harper’s Ferry.

But alas, this was the rub. Harper’s Ferry was weak and virtually indefensible with what he had. If the Father General ever came in force, there’d be hell to pay.

This was the conclusion that made the difference between his professional speculation and a self-fulfilling prophecy. No sooner had he concluded that Harper’s Ferry was indefensible did he decide to evacuate the arsenal there. If the Father General came, he would pay with blood – and win an empty arsenal.

The evacuation started at once with the first wagons loaded and departing before sunset.

The news traveled swiftly south. As the Father General prepared for bed, dressed in his nightgown and stocking cap, nightly prayers still ringing in his mind, an aide rapped on his tent pole, requesting entry on the basis of an urgent report.

The tired General was suddenly awake and alert, secretly hoping for a Union attack as he quickly donned his coat and trousers, for to appear decent.

Emerging from his tent a moment later, he received word that the arsenal at Harper’s Ferry was being evacuated. His initial reaction was disappointment, however he realized this could be the casus belli he sought.

Eureka! This was an excellent excuse to seize the town. But alas, he would need permission from Richmond. Tarnation!

Over the next two hours, he fired off no less than a dozen telegraphs to Hebert, requesting permission to attack and trying to state his case in staccato arguments.

Hebert did not see the telegrams until Saturday morning. Certainly, the report that the arsenal was being emptied spoke volumes. And the Confederacy needed those materials. But Hebert would be damned if Neal would handle the assault. The man only knew how to throw troops away. It would be treason to permit it!

But it would be treason to do nothing.

His hands were tied as the politicians would never agree to a command change without a very good reason, and his arguments pertaining to the man’s insanity were already tired.

Hebert spent most of Saturday trying to confer with his staff as well as with the President and the cabinet. Yet, it was Saturday and most of the officials were either departed on business or holiday, and could not be troubled with such a minor military affair. If it wasn’t news about Lee or McClellan, they didn’t seem interested. Everything else was merely a sideshow as far as they were concerned.

And so, Hebert was put off for two days, and told to report early Monday a.m. for a meeting with President Davis and his cabinet. Surely, his petty concern could wait until then?

But this was the Father General, and according to the voice in his head which answered all his prayers, the time for waiting had come to an end.

He paced back and forth on Saturday, nervous and waiting by the telegraph all day. In fact, he almost forgot to send his daily probe of the Union fortifications.

By the wee hours of Sunday morning, he was exhausted with anticipation and he broke under the strain. He resolved to attack no matter what at first light. The decision gave him enough relief to sleep for a few hours.

When the Father General awoke on Sunday morning, the telegraph still hadn’t crackled to life. Swearing off Richmond as a den of traitors and devils as great as those in Washington, he convened his council of war.

It was Sunday, and the Father General had a sermon to deliver – in the arsenal at Harper’s Ferry.

The time had come.
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Re: DAWN SUNDAY, March 9, 1862...The Father General Rides a White Horse...

Post  Uncle Billy on Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:27 pm

Gen. Georgia doesn't see what all the fuss is about. The appropriated town silverware was shipped home long ago. If the Father General has his heart set on occupying a thoroughly stripped hole in the ground, he is more than welcome. Stripped is the operative word here. The 'Hairlifters' don't use privies. Never have. It was a cold winter with little available firewood. Father General will need either a large bladder or small modesty. When the locals restock their eating utensils and rebuild their comfort stations, the general will be back. Twisted Evil

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I can make this march and I will make Georgia howl.
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Re: DAWN SUNDAY, March 9, 1862...The Father General Rides a White Horse...

Post  WJPalmer on Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:16 pm

Privies are for sissies.

The hair-locks collected in the last campaign have long since been sent west and now adorn the lodges of our people. Need a few more <admires the image of the FG>
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Re: DAWN SUNDAY, March 9, 1862...The Father General Rides a White Horse...

Post  Blackstreet on Sat Feb 23, 2013 3:13 pm

Location: General Blackstreet's field HQ tent, Confederate camp, near Harper's Ferry
Time: 3:55 am, Sunday morning

General Blackstreet was awoken by a junior aide who seemed to be full of excitement. In the gloom of a small lamp, Blackstreet could make out a small dark object in the aide's right hand. Bible. The signs were already not looking good.

"General Blackstreet sir, the Father General has requested your presence a special sermon in five minutes, in the field chapel."

Blackstreet rubbed a hand over his face and beard, before reaching for a fresh cigar, which he placed between his teeth.

"I'll be there."

Pulling on his uniform in a few seconds, in the custom of a veteran soldier, and peering outside his tent, he could see little movement, but a faint glow in the direction of the Father General's field chapel. He took in a deep breath - the air in this part of the country was so sweet, it carried the fragrances of wild flowers, sweet running rivers, and the peaty overtones of camp fires. This was his country; his life and love. This is what he was fighting to protect.

He lit the cigar, and puffed slowly as he ducked his head back inside the tent. On his table lay maps of the area, and reports from various locals and scouts, which he had been pouring over for the last few days, considering various approaches. He grabbed his hat, put it on, pulled on his gloves, and strode off in the direction of the commanding general's HQ.

As he walked past the rows and rows of tents, he thought about the men who were his brothers in arms, and his officers. As he approached the Father General's tent, he could hear whispering, and expected to find aides of the general inside. Blackstreet slowed in the last few strides, and he heard the Father General's voice call, in a quiet, excited tone that he had not heard before. He was more used to hearing the raptious cry, the gleeful shout.

"Ah - you are here, please, come, come inside at once."

Blackstreet ducked through the opening in the tent, and found the Father General kneeling at the small altar that was assembled here. Bible in one hand, cross in the other; then he rose, and looked Blackstreet in the eye. Blackstreet could see the fire in those eyes, had been stoked greater than ever.

"My dear friend, General Blackstreet, the good Lord has brought you to me, as I knew he would."

"Sir?"

"Look, here, look..."

The Father General beckoned Blacksteet to a table where a single small map lay. On close inspection, it was a poorly assembled map of the region: the town was a square, the river a wavy line. The churches in the town had been marked with small black crosses. There was little else on there, apart from a large 'X' in red. Blackstreet spoke next.

"Sir, my cartographers would be happy to provide you with better maps. This looks like it has been assembled by a child sir."

The FG turned and glared at Blackstreet. The glare turned into a smile.

"My dear General Blackstreet, do not concern yourself with such frivolous matters. It shows us the location of the enemy, and that is all we need."

"Yes, Sir."

"Now Sir, we have new instructions. We are to attack at once those hellspawn which lie over the river."

"Very good sir. I have made plans for such an operation. My Corps will be able to cross here, here, and here. The river runs shallow in these areas, and my engineers have already assembled bridges for crossing here..."

As Blackstreet spoke, he pointed at the map with gloved fingers, between which he continued to hold his smouldering cigar. He did not look up as he spoke, and so did not notice the Father General, who was not looking at the map at all, but directly at Blackstreet, with a broadening smile. Then he lay a hand on Blackstreet's arm, causing him to stop, mid sentence.

"Thank you General, that will not be necessary. I have also been given the line of march. We are to cross the river at the lower stone bridge, as this is closest to the devils. Then you are to execute an all-out attack on their position. That is all."

Blackstreet hesitated.

"But sir, I'll lose half my command before we reach their position. Let me cross here, and..."

As he pointed to the map, a small piece of ash fell from his cigar, and burned a small hole directly through one of the churches on the map. For the first time, the Father General's eyes flicked to the map, and back to Blackstreet. The smile abated.

"Sir, the orders I have received, and the line of march cannot be altered. They are set, as surely as our victory today is."

"Sir, may I know who sent these orders?"

There was a pause. A slight look of confusion on the Father General's face. Then a patronising one.

"Why, my dear General Blackstreet.... God himself of course! Who else would you have expected to have divined such a sacred course of action?"

"But sir, I..."

Now something inside the Father General seemed to snap. The smile disappeared altogether, and was replaced with a frown.

"General, there is no more discussion. You will attack today, and with all the company of heaven. Directly. Across the lower stone bridge. Any further attempt to undermine my authority, Sir will be..."

"Sir, I shall execute your orders, but I shall do so under protest."

"So be it, General, if that makes the burden lighter for you, so be it."

And with that, the Father General closed the bible he had been holding open with a clap.

"That is all, General Blackstreet. That is all."

Blackstreet saluted, and strode out of the tent, in a puff of cigar smoke.

"Courageous. But misguided. But you love all your children equally." said the Father General, and went back to his altar.
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Re: DAWN SUNDAY, March 9, 1862...The Father General Rides a White Horse...

Post  Father General on Sun Feb 24, 2013 5:16 pm

General Neal emerged from his altar tent just as dawn began to break in the east. Mounting his white horse, “Apocalypse” he asked an aide, “Have they arrived yet?”

“No sir.”

“Ride down the road and hurry them. I know they should be close.”

“Yes sir!” the aide obeyed and rode south. Most of his officers had no clue what had just happened, but none were foolish enough to ask. The Father General worked in mysterious ways.

Half of his corps were ‘cootering up, preparing themselves for battle. Rifles were inspected, cartridge boxes checked, brogans double-laced.

Turning to another aide, the Father General ordered, “Inform General Blackstreet that as soon as this morning’s sermon is done, he is to ride directly into battle. Tell him that he is to confer with me briefly – I have some pleasant surprises for him, which shall assuage his myriad concerns. Oh, I almost forgot. Please remind him that I do not permit tobacco in my presence.”

With that, the Father General made his way to the parade ground where he would deliver his morning sermon. The plan was to tell the men that no matter how well they lived, Providence would send any man with a wound in his back straight to the clutches of hell.

--

In Harper’s Ferry, General Georgia awoke prepared to spend his first morning as a temperance man. Expecting battle, the good general swore off women and drink starting around 11 p.m. the night before. He was in a surprisingly good mood, awakening much earlier than usual, surprising several aides who scrambled to secret away women, silver, and drink which they had managed to reserve to themselves.

As soon as his staff could regain its composure, he rode to the defenses overlooking the single bridge into Harper’s Ferry. The Father General would need to cross at this point to gain the town. He would ensure it came at a bloody price.

“Sir,” an aide inquired, “It’s Sunday. Do you think they will come today?”

“Son, I know the Father General better than the woman I was with yesterday. –Anne was her name, right? No matter, I know him very well. He is a very simple fellow, and if he could choose a day to make an attack, he would pick on Sunday.”

“I have no worry,” Georgia continued. “I want the Father General to come, so he will know that he has a new father in Harper’s Ferry. I intend to make like a good step-father and whip him soundly and send him to bed without supper. Of course, better it were for him to meet the Devil than the Glorieta Hairlifters… I suppose they will casually murder him if they catch him.”

The sun was coming up in the east, the direction of the expected attack. As he looked twice over the ground obscured by the rising sun, he could barely make out the twinkle of rifles on the horizon. He looked closely, squinting to make sure he was right.

It was unmistakable. They were on their way.

“Now Lieutenant,” Georgia ordered with a smile, “Find a birch tree, and cut me a switch…”
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Re: DAWN SUNDAY, March 9, 1862...The Father General Rides a White Horse...

Post  Blackstreet on Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:06 pm

As he galloped up and down rows of his men, General Blackstreet was starting to sweat. He had actually lost his officers. He had spent the last half an hour rallying around, but where were his trusty subordinates?

At last he found one of them, "Bold" Rover. He had limited experience in commanding a division, but promotion was looking like a good option for the only subordinate who seemed to have stuck around.

"General Rover - have you seen the others sir?"

"Sir, they errr. They got grievances. They sayin' this ain't what they signed up for..."

"The HELL it isn't! This is exactly what they signed up for. The enemy are there, and we must destroy them! The commanding general has determined the line of march, and we are to follow it! Where are they?"

"Under yonder tree sir."

Blackstreet turned and galloped in the direction of a particularly beautiful Oak tree which held a commanding view of the area. The town could be seen below, and looked quite serine. A group of officers were sat on the roots of the old oak, smoking an assortment of cigars and pipes.

"Generals, what in the devil's own name are you doing here? Why are you not with your units?"

"The Father General has lost his mind. You know he wants us to attack over that little stone bridge, don't you? I got no interest in doin' that."

"He wants us to attack?" Blackstreet's voice had a hint of sarcasm to it.

"Ja! Unt he is not allowink for uz to choose vere ve vant to maneuver! It's no fun like dis, ja?!" said another.

"Oh - is he giving you a direct order now? That's just... unbelievable isn't it!" Blackstreet's patronising tone increased.

"The man's mad! He's nothing short of a war criminal, and I shaln't have anything to do with it, other than observe."

At that moment a courier rode up to Blackstreet, and passed him two scraps of paper. On one, a message. On the other a map.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

"Well, I now have our final orders. You gentlemen must saddle up and ride with me now. I cannot take responsibility for what the commanding general will do to you if you remain here."

and without waiting for a response, Blackstreet rode off back towards the camp.

Once he arrived, he rode to the position where the first columns would soon be amassing. His nerves were getting the better of him. Something was missing. Smoke. He reached into his pocket, and withdrew a fine cigar. He placed it between his teeth, and started patting his pockets, looking for matches.

Suddenly, a loud bang, a puff of smoke, and the cigar went spinning off at an angle through the air. The bomb-proof General slowly turned his head. There on the ground, maybe six yards away was the Father General, smoking pistol in hand, still levelled at Blackstreet's face.

"General - do not forget - I do not tolerate tobaccah in my Army. Be so good as to refrain."

Blackstreet returned to face forward, looked at the distant treeline, and gritted his teeth.

"Yes, sir."
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Re: DAWN SUNDAY, March 9, 1862...The Father General Rides a White Horse...

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