Thursday, July 11, 2013

end of the campaign

hello, people nearly two weeks in the future.

i've been working on my posts about the cross family in the civil war, and also some other things and i've just been letting my posts run out ahead of me because later this week (my time) i'm going on a short vacation to nova scotia and i may not have internet access at all.

so it's the afternoon of 1 july and i have been sitting here at my desk for many hours over many days trying to sort out where the cross family was during the civil war, or at least the men of the cross family who fought in that war.

you know, because i happened to have walked by their headstones two months ago.

and i thought: wow. there are some stories there.

and there are.

but i can't just look up a few facts and figures to tell you the story, and i'm not in the habit of writing historical fiction. so to sort out all the threads and tell you about this one family i hadda make a huge detailed timeline and map, with every movement reported in all of their service records.

and i don't want to give too much of a spolier, i guess, not all of those guys make it to the end of the war.

so after painstakingly going through all the maps and placing them best i could according to the records and following them from muster in to the one muster out, i'm looking at a map of appomattox courthouse and suddenly i have a much keener appreciation for the weariness of the men.

just sitting at my desk assembling the details of these few threads a feeling of relief and sorrow washes over me and i don't know what to do but cry.

i was in appomattox courthouse, once.

ok, twice.

the same week.

i was in pretty rough shape and i'm driving around that first time, looking for a safe place to stay and i come into town and it all looks very strangely familiar and i cannot figure why i have seen this before but then i realize: THE PHOTOGRAPHS.

i have seen all those photographs of appomattox courthouse and there it is, looming up out of the dusk at me.

some days later i went back on purpose, doing a civil war battlefield tour which you might think is a questionable move for an emotionally fragile person far from home, but it was an interesting thing, and an absorbing thing and it's what i would have been doing if i had been in better shape.

and i didn't mean to talk of it except when i was there i went to visit the cemeteries, both the union and confederate.

i took some pictures.

and i think now, all this time later, i will wish to show them to you.

so i'll put that on my list.

right now, (now, present my time, two thirty in the afternoon on the 1st of july) i'm going to go take care of the laundry and think about maybe a bike ride and in an hour or two i'll start to try to assemble for you the story of the crosses.

later on maybe i'll make banana-mango bread. i'll pack for my trip.

but right now i am looking at the map of appomattox courthouse, and

nope, i'm not going to finish that sentence.


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