Brandy Station, Virginia

Star raced on, tears blinding her as she went. She dashed them away roughly with her sleeve. Not now, she told herself. There is no time for tears now. Taking a deep breath, she steeled herself to the task at hand. Fleetwood Hill was before her.

Lord, please let my guess be right, she prayed as Iris pounded up the gentle slope, and let the general be here. Beneath her, she could feel Iris struggling.

“I know you’re tired, girl,” she coaxed. “Just a few more minutes and you can rest.”

At the Miller’s house on the top of the hill there were only a few men, sitting on horseback, waiting. Couriers. I guessed wrong, she thought dismally. She didn’t recognize the major who came forward to greet her.

“Where’s General Stuart?” she demanded.

“He’s a bit busy right now, ma’am. I’m his new assistant adjunct-general, Henry McClellan,” he said pleasantly. “May I help you, Miss . . . ?” He stepped closer, and his mouth dropped open. She knew what he was going to ask next. She held up a hand to forestall him.

“Starla Anderson. Tell General Stuart that there are Yankees coming up from Stony Ford. At least a division. They’re only a few minutes away from Brandy by now.”


–from An Uncivilized Yankee