Book Excerpt: Off To Fight

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otflargeGeorge Adams has joined with the Army of Northern Virginia.  To pass the time while they await their call to action, George and the boys engage in a snowball fight to pass the time.  He is soon to make a discovery which will change his life and the way he looks at the developing war.

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George reached down, made another snowball and placed it down  next to Eric.

“Great,” Eric said gleefully, “we’re just like the artillery boys. You supply the ammo and I’ll do the firing. Keep up the good work. They seem to be falling back.”

The snowball fight was becoming larger as news of it spread throughout the Army of Northern Virginia.   Boys from the Virginia regiments had come in to re-enforce George?s but some other soldiers from Texas and Georgia had joined the opposition.

“It’s becoming everyone against Virginia!” George cried.

“I’m gunna try to make it across the field to Bobby,” Eric said suddenly. “You cover me.”

“But,” George argued as Eric darted out from the cover. Instantly a mass of snowballs descended on Eric and he fell backwards a few steps.

“Cover me!” He yelled back to George.

“I am,” George said laughing, “I am.”

George threw as many of the snowballs as he could at the other boys. Three or four were hit and stopped for a second but it made no difference. Eric was bombarded from all sides by snowballs. They hit him in the legs, in the stomach in the head and even on the butt. George couldn’t help but laugh.

“Stop, stop!” Eric cried out, waving his hands as he stood.

Ten, twenty, thirty snowballs all fell upon Eric as he collapsed in a heap. A cheer went up from the other side while Eric lay on his back in the snow.

“We ain’t giving up yet!” George heard Bobby yell. “Fire!”

Snowballs from George’s side of the field flew out at the other side. The boys staggered and started to fall back but not before three of them had grabbed Eric by the feet and dragged him towards their side.

“We got ourselves a prisoner,” they said laughing.

“George, help!” Eric screamed as he was being dragged. He arched his neck and looked back towards George. “Don’t let these awful boys take me. Save me! Save meeeee!”

George laughed at Eric?s antics.

“I suppose I should help him,” George thought to himself. “Besides it will be fun sneaking behind “enemy lines.”

George walked backwards slowly with his head down so no one could see him then turned deeper into the woods. He decided that the best way to help Eric was to swing out a little into the woods then come out behind the South Carolinians and surprise them. He began to walk slowly at first, being afraid that people would hear him but then he picked up the pace when he realized that the snow was hiding a lot of the noise of his movement. “If only his feet weren’t so cold,” he thought.

George heard a noise up ahead. He stopped suddenly. Was another soldier out here too?

“Crack,” a twig snapped and a figure moved.

“Gotcha!” George yelled as he hit the figure in the head with a snowball.

Whoever it was must have been surprised because he fell down almost immediately. George rushed forward.

“Uhhh, ah-uh, ah-uh,” George heard. He stopped and listened some more.

“The person was crying! What kind of a soldier was this?” George thought.

“Hey don’t cry,” George said in an annoyed tone as he approached the figure. “It was only a snowball.”

The person continued to cry. George knelt down beside him. He was quite small. Too small to be a soldier. “Perhaps a drummer boy,” George thought.

“I said don’t cry,” George repeated as he turned the figure over from his crouched position.

“Huh?” George exclaimed as he fell backwards in surprise and stared open mouthed at the small girl who was slowly backing away. She was dressed in what looked to be a dress but it was so torn and tattered that her skin shown through and her body vibrated viscously in the cold.

“You’re a girl?” George said slowly.

She said nothing to George but the look of terror on her face and in her deep blue eyes told George that this was no ordinary girl.

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