“Shush!” she said quickly, “I’m listening.”
Watching her facial expressions, Uriah wondered what she was listening to and why she looked so intense. After a minute, he saw her smile.
“What do you hear, Mama?” he asked anxiously.
“I hear an …show more content…
“I’ll keep listening for directions.”
Soon, they came to another river. This river was wider than the last one was and the water was so dark that it was almost black.
Sitting there, staring into the river, Charity suddenly remembered Two Feathers’ words about the route that would take her to the ‘big, black river‘.
“We must follow the river down along the watershed and then cross it; that is where I saw your father- he should still be there.”
“We need to make camp soon- we can travel another hour and then we have to stop,” said Uriah, turning the team south to follow the snakelike river.
Early the next morning, as they prepared to break camp, the faint sounds of cannons firing, greeted their ears. Gazing off in the distance, Uriah asked, “What are we going to do, Mama?”
“We keep going,” Charity said, sharply, seemingly without any concern whatsoever for their safety.
Thinking that maybe his mother was indeed losing control of her senses, Uriah said, “Mama, don't you think that it might be …show more content…
“Killed while fighting the Confederacy, huh,” said the sergeant with a slur as if the word Confederacy was poison on his tongue.
“It doesn’t matter who he was fighting for,” Charity told him, “he was my husband, the father of my children- I‘ve come to take him home.”
“Ma'am, it’s not going to be possible; the dead have not yet been identified. As we get closer to Vicksburg, we’re finding a good many soldiers dead; and, we’ve already captured many Rebel Soldiers that weren‘t able to run; they are being transported to another location. The dead are being buried, Ma'am,” said the sergeant, talking to her as though she were dense.
“Where are they being buried?” asked Charity.
“Some are buried where they lay,” he replied. “If they‘re not too badly decomposed, they’re loaded onto wagons and taken to where the captured prisoners are held to see if they can be identified so that we can record their name before burial. We don't have the luxury of ceremony, Ma'am. Most confederates are buried in mass graves to keep down the spread of pestilence and disease their rotting carcasses are spawning.”
“What does ‘mass grave’ mean, Sergeant?” asked Charity,