By Carroll Silvera
The Union Army was outnumbered, out flanked, and outfoxed by Lee. The Southern gentlemen did not give up! Lee had sent Hampton with two-thirds of his mounted force. Sheridan had given the order to retreat. Jamie had turned from the blood and gore of the man whose head he had severed and prepared to run for his horse when the heat burst in his leg. The burning had turned to searing pain; he had stumbled to the ground. He heard the Sergeant Major shout at him. “Come on, General!” Jamie had seen the sergeant’s extended hand and reached for it. The blood and sweat that coated each man’s hand made it impossible to grip.
“Get out of here!” Jamie had shouted at him. “Go! I can make it.” He had risen, staggered, watched with near surreal interest as his company in the command of Sheridan had thundered off.
All the years he had spent fighting in the Foreign Legion, he had never been wounded. Now in his own country, he found himself being dragged and fettered to a Confederate prison. The man who marched in front of him had fallen too many times for the patience of the Southern gentlemen. A round hole had gone into the man’s temple, quickly exiting on the opposite side of his head.
They stood now at the crest of a barren landscape that was the newest prison constructed by the Confederates: Andersonville. He meant to survive; if not for himself, then for Elisabeth, for their children, for his hopes, his dreams.