The Scranton tribune. (Scranton, Pa.) 1891-1910, April 12, 1894, Page 7, Image 7

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kjby(hahies 8. Lewis m.quar I
Whan the troop had disappeared up
Hie dusty highway, Kenton returned to
tiv nouM to say goodby to its Inmates,
and bait an hour later he had turned
bn (ice southward, satisfied that bo bud
K cured all iutonuutioa possible (or u
icout to pick up. The fanner posted
biiu as to where be would likely strike
the Confederate ontpoata and warned
him what highways, to avoid, but on
that very day McC'lellan was pushing
his cavalry forward and seizing now
territory. At 4 o'clock In the afternoon
as Kenton, who had been traveling in
the fields and under cover of the forest,
was about to ciuss a highway he beard
the click, click of a carbine, and a voice
called to him:
"Halt where you arc, or you aro a
dead man'."
It was a Federal vldette, dismounted
and posted among the bushes which
(ringed the highway, Kenton looked
up to find himself covered bj a carbine.
Both wen on the tame tide of the road,
lie had approached the vfifette in tear,
and bad ho exercised more vigilance
would have detected bis presence in
time to avoid him, The men were nut
over so (set apart when Kenton got the
iiiinuions to bait.
Many of the, Federal troops were still
dressed in the gray uniforms supplied
by their respective stares, whili the
Confederates had a variety of uniforms,
and It Was difficult to detect one side
hi in the other. The vidette had florid
his duty in balling the prowler, but be
wus net suru what sort of game be bad
' Throw up your bauds'.'' he com
manded as be advanced.
Kenton obeyed. He was armed only
with a revolver, and as that was hidden
from fight he appeared defenseless,
.'Now, then, who are youV" asked
the Federal as he came to a halt scarce
six feet away.
"luiiaut ask you th same question,"
replied the SCOUt, making a great effort
to appear cool and indifferent.
"I know you might, but 1 yuess you
won't! Answer my question!"
"I have information to give."
"What is it?"
" Which side aro you on?''
"Oh. it makes a difference, does it?
Well. I'm a Confederate, What's your
Kenton looked about lam in an un
easy manner as if h bad fallen into a
trap and contemplated making a bolt to
.'"Say, you look like a reb. butactliko
IT Yank, " laughed the man us he loW-
ered bia carbine, "I guess you've got
news, and I guess you want to go to
Will you kindly tell me which way
to go to strike headquarters?"
"I'll do better'u that I'll go with
you to the picket post and see that you
ure passed along. Have you been scout
ing?" "Yes."
"Seen any iebs?"
"Plenty of them."
"Well, come along, and I'll ride
down the road with you to the post.
We are posted along here in hopes to
catch a reh gcout who's been sneaking
along our front for two or three days.
What did you say your name was?"
"Kenton. ''
"And mine is Fisher. Hear anything
about wb'jn we are going to move?''
"Not a word, though the army seems
to be all raadv."
j .
"It is ready, and why McClellan
doesn't push down and walk all over tho
"Throw up yowhanthP' ht tommanXUA
u k advanced,
Confederate army is a puzzle to ine.
Seeina as if he was waiting to let them
get a good rendy. Everybody is giving
him hail Columbia, but I suppose he
knows wiiat he's about. What com
mand do you belong to?"
The pair had been slowly walking
side by side down to where the cavalry
man's horse was bitched to the limb of
u tne. 'Die Federal bad quite accepted
Kenton as belonging to his aide and was
planning to do him a good turn by
guiding him to the reserve. Kenton
must avoid that. Ho had hoped to do it
by strategem, and be bad excuses al
ready on his tongue when asked for bis
command. Answer ho must, but as ho
did not know the exact location of u
1- .1 1 1 LI- .
?,iigitr i itiicihi leiiu.-ui ma iuihwer
would probably betray him. He was
hesitating when the trooper repealed:
" What regiment do you belong to, and
a here is it stationed?"
"I'm independent," replied tho&eout
as be suddenly snatched at the carbine
dial twisted it out of the other's grasp,
"Now throw up your bands! Uphigli
r' F flm. vn:i hiivi, n MValva: tint: if
you drop your hands by so much as an
inch I shall fire on you! Forward!
March into the woods!"
"By George, but you don't tell nio
yon are a rebel!" exclaimed tho aston
ished and bewildered cavalryman.
"I don't know yet whether 1 amor
fiot." replied Kenton. "I'm a irgiu-
ijn and in the Confederate army, and
whether we are labels or patriots is a
question 1 haven't ( styled. Keep to the
"And you may be the very rebel scout
we were hoping to capture'. "
"You are ptetty near right about
that. Keep right on I'm coming! Now
halt and keep your hands still up!"
" What are you going to do with uie?"
asked the man as he was disarmed and
permitted to face about,
"How far is it to the nearest Confed
erate outpost?"
"About two miles down this road"
"How many videttea between us and
the boat?"
"Three-or (our, Yon are not going
to kill me cut hero in cold blood?"
"You may rest easy on that ncoro,"
replied Kenton. "A year hence war
will mean devastation, destruction,
murder and assassination, but men's
hearts not brutalized yet. 1 must
teach the Confederate outpost, but 1
can't do it by lb" mad."
"I don't think you could fool all the
others as you did me," said the cavalry
man, with a sickly smile.
" rhe question is what to do with you?
If I set you at liberty, you'll raise an
".Oueaa I would iu (act, I know 1
And 1 have nothing to tie you up
with until 1 can get safely away."
"That's so, You remind me of the
chap who caught the bear and dasu't
b t go."
"1 must take you along with me to
the Confederate outpost. We shall cut
across the fields and woods to reach it. go ahead, and I will follow. It is
"I'm no foul!" bluntly interrupted
the Federal. "When I'm down and the
Other teller has got his thUinbs in my
eye and my nose in his jaws, I know
enough to cave. You won't have to
Shoot me, and 1 want to ask a favor of
"Don't walk mo in a prisoner."
'I'll see about that. Let's go ou."
They stiack through the woods, cross
ed an old field, skirted a meadow and
entered another piece of woods. As they
were traversing this they came upon a
negro cutting firewood, and he informed
them that the Confederate outpost was
only iU rods below them on the high
way. "At this stage of the game one pris
oner more or less is of no earthly ccn
Beqoence," eaid Kenton as be looked at
ih. cay.iirymaa. "I'm going to let you
"And I've concluded to he taken pris
oner and seut to Richmond," replied the
"For what reason?"
1 "Plain as a pumpkin on a gatepost.
If I go back without my arms, what
, can I say? I'd just have to admit that
a Johnny reb came along and played
me for a sucker and got the best of me.
That would mean lidicule and disgrace
f forever. If I don't go back until tx-
I changed as a prisoner. I'll be all right.
' I'll sort o' give out that I was tackled
j by about six of you, you know."
"1 am Sony that I was obliged to de-
' rfive you to save myself." said Kenton
after a moment of thought, "and there
is no need to disgrace you'. Here me
I your weapons, and you are free to re
turn to your post. The war has not fair
ly begun yet, There will be hate uud
bitterness and rancor after awhile, and
there will be fewopportunitiestoeitend
! courtesies. "
"Say, Johnny, that's a square deal !"'
' joyfully exclaimed the Federal as he I
I received his weapons, "and I want to
shake hands with you! Put it there!
Can't tell but what'We may meet again
before this row is over, and if we do I
hope it'll come my way to do the fair
thing. So long to you!"
Kenton watched him out of sight aud
(ben walked down to the highway to
find himself at the post of a vidette. He
IV OS directed back to the reserve, his
pass examined, and ho was then within
the Confederate lines and ready to push
on to Manassas and Jackson's head
qua! ters. When his information lnnl
been laid before the stem faced mini,
wiiose title of "professor" had been
j changed to that of "general" within u
few brief months, he'quietlyjaid:
"You have done, excellently. My
Command is ordered into the valley. 1
shall bavourtla-r need of your services
in this line, but you may return to your
company at present."
part of tho soulb witnessed so
much of the wreck and misery of war
as the Shenandoah valley. Its high
ways, fields and fotests, its houses, barns
and sheds, its every breeze by day and
night for three long years, echoed the
fierce shouts of contestants and tho
groans of wounded men. Nature made
it ii garden. War converted it into a
vnst graveyard.
The Federals hnd begun their march
up the valley from Harper's Ferry.
Jacnoo was ordered over In bur tho
j way. Historians may write with pre j
I udico and politicians sienk in bitter
: iicps. lilt us be fair and conscientious,
even if we cannot be neutral. Jaok
! son's first battle was on the broad fields
of Kernstown. All historians who have
i written lor tho future have pronounced
him a wonderful man in the science of
war. Before his command was fairly in
tiio valley Koyal Kenton ami others
were far ahead, -conting for informa
tion. Their reports decided Jackson on
moving swiftly up and attacking the
Federals as they reached KerttStOWn,
i He was beaten back and fairly routed,
i lint that was to be tho first and only
As Jackson's own brigade swept for
' ward into the fight Kenton was in tho
i tanks of the Shenandoah guards. On
his right was Stevo Brayton, on his left
Ike Baiter. He had known but little
of liiu company since detailed for scout
duly. He divined that Captain Wyle's
bitterness bad Intensified, and that tho
prejudice against mm among niscuni
rades had rather, increased with his ab
sence. He bad been detailed from his
company, and his return to it as Jack
Son ordered an advance and everybody
knew that a hattlo would bo raging
within a couple of hours proved hid
metal in tho eyes pi all. Add yet not
over a dozen men in the company had a
nod or a word for him. Ike Baxter, un
der tho tutorship of bia master, was car
rying out a plan to drive him out iu dis
grace. "He un's yere fur no good, and yo'
kin lay to that I" Ike bad whispered
from man to man. 'Jist yo' fellers
keep yo'r eyes open! I'm gwino to do
it, and if he an tries to play tho traitor
I'll put a bullet straight into his car
cass! Mebbe be un kin fule Ginural
Jackson, but he on can't play no Yan
kee tricks on me!"
As they mul ched forward on the high
way Steve Brayton fouud opportunity
to suy :
"liok yere, Kenton. Ike's goin to
play yo' some onery trick if the chance
comes, and yo'd better be ready fur him.
He uu hates yo' like plzen, and he un's
try in to make all tho rest do the same."
"lam aware of that, " replied Ken
ton, "but can von tell me the reason
lor it?"
"Reckon thnr ar' sevoral. In tho
fust place, yo' didn't happen to be bo n
down yere, while Ike Baxter and tho
lest of us critters did. In the second,
yo' took the shine out o' the officers at
Bull liuu. In the third, as nigh as I kin
make out, thar's a gal iu the case.
Looks to me like Ike bad been hired to
talk agin yo'. At any rate, lie's got the
boys all stirred up. uud yo'd better be
keerfnl not to git too fur ahead of the
j crowd in case we DSV a lout down yere!"
"How does it happen that you are
iniot down on me With the rest?" asked
"Reckon tbar ar' several reasons in
i that too. l'ustlv, yo' could hev got
away to the Yankee inmy if yo' had
wanted to. Yo' didn't, and that's a
nnrty good sign yo' un ar' all right.
Neztly, yo've got pluck, and I like a
plucky man. Mo' nextly, the mo' men
we liev the less chance of my bein hit
myself. Lastly, I've seen Captain Wyle
and Ike Baxter with their heads together
about yo', and I've heard that both
yo' and the captain was sweet on
the same gal. aud I've sorter put two
and three together and made seven. I'm
goin to be right alongside o' yo' in this
tout, 'cause I like yo'r way o' fightin,
but yo' jist mind what 1 tell yo'l The
bullet which hits yo' today is liable to
come from our side!"
Jackson's command, numbering not
quite tl.OOD men, made, a rapid march
of 40 miles down the valley to strike a
blow at General Shields' command of
8.000. They were waiting for the Con
federates, Jackson attacked at once.
Even while the rear of his marching
column was still two miles mvuy he at
tacked. It was a tierce and bitter light.
j As daylight began to give way to twi
1 light on that dismal March afternoon
I the guards were ordered to charge a
battery which was making a portion of
I the Confederate line untenable. They
I dashed forward to be met by a volley
which killed or wounded a dozen men,
I and a swift move on the part of a Fed
I eral regiment resulted in tho capture of
nearly one-half of tho others. An hour
later Jackson was retreating. He hud
been defeated.
Ike Baxter was among tho wounded.
With others he was taken to the field
hospital to be cared for, while the an
wounded were inarched to the rear and
placed under guard. Ike had been hit
in the shoulder. While his hurt was
being dressed he said to the surgeon:
"If a Yankee deserts to our side and
tights cgin yo' tins, what happens to he
un if yo' captnr' bim ?"
"He'd be shot!" was tho blunt reply.
"Buts'pOSin he uu also played spy
fur our side?"
"He'd be hung instead of shot! Do
you know of such a case?"
"Reckon I do, and I feel it my dooty
I to ten yo auout mm, Jist tell yo r
giueral to inqunr among the prisoners
fur a man named Kenton Royal Ken
J ton. He un's a Yankee deserter aud a
i spy fur Oineral Jackson!"
"But why do you tell if it?" queried
the surgeon,
" 'Cause it ain't a fair deal."
Half an hour later Kenton was taken
' before General Shields under tho charge
, made by Baxter. The latter had over
reached himself. Had onlv the two
been eaptured it would have been a dif
ferent matter, but there were SO of the
guards who gave testimony in favor of
Kenton, though it came from most of
th ' in grudgingly. A search of his per
Son brought to light a pass trout Gen
eral Jackson in which ho was mentioned
as a scout.
"WhiR" you are cleared of the
charge, " said the general after a long
examination, "how does it come about
that you, a northern man. are found iu
tho Confederate ranks?"
"1 enlisted ifi the cause of Virginia,
my adopted state," was the reply.
"But tho cause of Virginia was and
is unjust. 9b is guilty of treason.
Kvery one of yon under arms inu traitor
to the government. The principle is so
plain that no one need doubt."
"But there are doubts, sir.
A largo
proportion of the iuirrtn r:i peOpIO nro
doabthlli uud sonic of !!; nioMt inlliu;n-
tinl of tho Dartbem piper contend for right of secession."
The general couhl not gaiiisriy tlint.
Thw Kovuriiim'iit v.-iis rushing troops
Into the held, and battles Were being
fought, but the principle was still being
discussed, and men eminent as jurists,
stdtei men and journalists were still di
vided. Kenton was dismissed to be re
turned to his fellow prisoners. Only
eno guard accompanied him.
Half way between headquarters and
tbo spot where the prisoners were be
ing held under guard they encoun
tered two men bringing in u wounded
man on u sir, tcher. The victim proved
to bo tbo Kuurd'a brother. For a mo
ment he i org a his prisoner, and when
ho hud recovered from his excitement
over tho discovery he no longer had a
prisoner. Kenton bad walked off into
tbo darkness and made good his escape.
And now us tho night drew ou apuee
and the cold rain steadily beat down
upon the battlefield purtiesof men went
forth in search of the wounded. They
cured not for the dead. At the front
tbero is but little sentiment or sympa
thy for the wounded, They arecared for
because many of them will recover to
light in tome ether battle, They were
found in the njeii fields, in the futrows
half full of water, in the deeper ditches
skirting tbo forest, among Iho trees and
bushes dripping with tho rainfall.
Some cried out iu the darkness with tile
broken voices ol lost ohildren; others
prayed or cursed or wept. And hero
and there, with their faces buried in the
grass or dirt or with faces upturned to
the sky of night und eytj half open,
were dead men, a thousand or moie.
The morrow would do for them, Tho
dead of a battlefield ask nothing. The
living give them u covering of a few
Inches of Upod soaked soil, and give
that grudgingly.
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