Subject: Memories of Gettysburg – Chapter 10 Preface: This is a love story between gay youth and adults. There are vivid descriptions of consensual sex between the characters so the usual warnings apply. The story is completely ficticious but is built around the true events of the American Civil War. In that regard I have tried to be as accurate as possible. Thanks to all those who have responded to my story to date. Please keep the emails coming to ail. I answer them all, even those with criticisms. Please consider donating to Nifty. I’s important that we keep this precious resource alive. Enjoy! Memories of Gettysburg Chapter 10 Jordan rose quickly thanking his pa for waking him. He raced to the pasture and whistled for Cloud offering him the carrot he held in his flattened hand. Retrieving the saddle from the barn he slung it over Cloud’s broad back and did up the saddle strap once more. Adding the reins he pointed the animal towards town. It was dawn, Independance Day, July 4th, 1863. He soon enough came across the garbage of war. He saw empty ammunition boxes strewn everywhere. A discarded musket leaned against a fence post. He passed a waggon smashed beyond repair resting on its side. Jordan felt badly for a dead horse that lay bloating in the morning sun. He reached the Rose farm and was sorely tempted to turn in. He knew the chance of finding the Roses, at least alive, were nil. He’d be wasting precious time he needed to find a doctor for Andrew. He pushed on. He approached the town with some trepidation expecting to find the smouldering ruins that pa had predicted. Instead looking ahead he could see the church steeples standing as proudly as they ever had. Jordan furrowed his brow in puzzlement and moved on. In fact as Cloud entered the main street Jordan had yet to see a single instance of damage anywhere. It was if the great battle had occurred a thousand miles away. The town had been spared! Jordan was more than grateful for he realized that the doctor no doubt was still alive. Mind you the town showed no sign of celebrating the national holiday either. Not one patriotic decoration did he see. What few people he saw appeared to be in a daze. It was if the whole town was holding its breathe to make absolutely sure the battle was really over. Pa was to learn later that General Lee, the fine southern gentleman that he was, had given strict orders to his troops to spare the town and its citizens. The Union forces wern’t goimg to fire on their own kind either so the town was saved. In the end a single stray bullet pierced a door and killed a woman in her own home. She was the only known civilian casualty within the town of Gettysburg. It was still early morning but Jason headed straight to the Richards residence. He banged loudly on the door expecting the family may still be in bed. A young boy with an unruly crop of red hair soon appeared. Lucas was happy to see him. “Oh hi Jason, how are you?” “Hi Lucas, I’m fine. Look I need your dad real bad. Is he here?” “Nope, but mother is. I’ll get her for you.” Lucas disappeared before Jordan could respond. “I havn’t seen hair nor hide of him for two days,” she admitted. “He told me he was heading to Cemetary Ridge to help the Union cause.” That was more or less what Jordan expected to hear. He thanked the woman and pointed Cloud towards the southwest side of town. It wasn’t long before he found himself in the midst of the entire Union army. The surrounding hillsides were smothered in hundreds of tents. Thousands upon thousands of soldiers were going about their business. He could smell breakfast in the air. They had just achieved a great victory yet there was no euphoria. The cost had been too high and the soldiers knew there was still work to be done before they could claim final victory. Jordan figured Ben was out there somewhere among the masses. Cloud slowed as Jordan peered into every face hoping the next one he saw would be his brother. He pondered whether or not he should do a serioua search for Ben. He realized that such an undertaking could take hours and Andrew was waiting. He kept moving. The hospital tents were not difficult to find. He came across a line of injured soldiers, hundreds of them. Some were holding an arm or dragging a leg but most of them were laying on makeshift stretchers or simply laying in the grass. Jordan saw more blood that day than he thought possible. The line threaded its way leading Jordan directly to three tents perched on top of a small hill. He tethered Cloud and climbed to the first tent. “State your business,” the sentry barked. “I’m looking for Doctor Richards,” Jordan replied. The sentry raised his hand and pointed to the third tent. “He’s in there.” He explained his mission to the third sentry and then added, “Tell him Jordan O’Reilly is here to see him.” The sentry soon returned and told Jordan to wait. He waited ten long minutes before a very tired Dr. Richards appeared wearing a large blood spattered apron. He appeared to have aged ten years. “I’m happy to see you survived the battle son but be quick about what you have to say. You can see I am extremely busy.” Jordan leaped right in with all the passion he could muster. “Sir, I’ve got a wounded soldier at my home. He’s hurt something awful! He needs a doctor real bad or he’ll die!” Doctor Richards frowned. “I’m sorry Jordan. You can see I’ve got more patients here than I can count. I can’t ignore them and go running off to save just one patient somewhere else. Desperate now Jordan blurted, “But you promised sir!” Doctor Richards did not answer. He pursed his lips and then turned towards the tent. The sentry lifted the flap for him to enter. The tears were already streaming down Jordan’s face. He had failed yet again. The pain was just too much! Just as Dr. Richards was about to duck his head he stopped and turned. “Look Jordan,” he stated, “There is a chance. We sent a telegraph wire out this morning to Philadelphia and to Pittsburgh begging them for doctors. There is a train coming this afternoon. I’m hopeful there will be doctors on board. If they come I’m going home to bed but I promise you I will visit your farm first. All right?” The escort kocaeli doctor gave Jordan a small salute then disappeared into the tent. Jordan pointed Cloud homeward satisfied he had done his best. As per usual ma treated Jordan as if he had been gone a month. She held him to her bosom. “Seems Andrew has really taken a liking to you son. He keeps asking for you.” Jordan quickly went to Andrew’s bedside and held his hand once more. Andrew weakly opened his eyes and smiled. “Kiss me,” he said. Jordan hesitated for he knew his mother was watching. What would she think? What would she say? He decided to cross that bridge later. Andrew needed him and he wasn’t going to let him down. He reached over and carressed Andrew’s lips with his own. Andrew smiled again and closed his eyes. Jordan was scared because it was obvious Andrew was extremely weak. He literally yelled at Andrew. “You hang in there you hear! The doctor is coming!” Andrew took several deep breathes. Each one seemed to hurt him more than the one before it. He slowly turned his head towards Jordan and murmured, “As long as you promise to stay with me I’ll be okay.” That moment was a turning point for Jordan. He realized that the deep affection he felt for Andrew was more than that now. It was love! Oh how he yearned to see Andrew healthy again. But it was better than that. Even in his weakened state Andrew had reached out to him. He knew that in Andrew’s eyes he was his saviour. Later that afternoon ma in an aside to Jordan stated, “Son I really don’t know what’s keeping that boy alive. He’s so weak.” Jordan grinned. “I know why he is alive ma. The reason is us. Between your nursing and my kissing we are both keeping him alive.” Ma gave Jordan a big hug. Meanwhile pa was puttering around the farm tending to the chores once more. Joshua was with him. He had his own horse now. Her name was Moonbeam. Joshua in fact had made himself indispensible. He constantly rode back and forth between the farm and the cave helping both parents. It seemed the more responsibility he was given the more he wanted. It was impossible to tire the ten year old out. Pa arrived at the cave about three o’clock with the doctor. Jordan gave a huge sigh of relief. The doctor quickly ducked his head, entered the cave and got to work. “Now before I begin I have to follow army regulations. I need his full name and the unit he was with.” Jordan had decided beforehand that Andrew’s true identity would remain a secret. Now he was being forced to admit the truth. He pondered whether or not he should use a false Union identity. However if he did that it would be too easy for the Union forces to check the records and find he was lying. The consequences could be brutal. No he thought, it’s best we tell the truth. “He’s with the Fourteenth Tennessee Vounteers sir,” Jordan ventured. “What!” the doctoe sputtered, “He’s a rebel?” Jordom spoke meekly in response. “Yes sir, he is a rebel.” But then he quickly added, “But he’s only a child and he didn’t deserve what happened to him. He’ll die without your help!” The doctor stared Jordan down. “Are you asking me to get shot?” “Of course not sir, but I’d appreciate anything at all that you can do for him.” The doctor turned his head and stared at Andrew for a moment before turning his attention back to Jordan. “If I was of right mind I would be walking out of this cave right now. The only reason I haven’t is because I admire you Jordan. You did some fine work with Lucas and yes, I did make a promise.” He smiled and concluded, “Let’s get to work!” Ma had already removed the poultice so Doctor Richards could examine the leg. After mere seconds he shook his head and turned his attention to Andrew’s side. “Ah yes, there is a piece of shrapnel here. It has to come out. Mrs. O’Reilly I need some hot water lots of bandages and something wooden for the boy to bite on.” Jordan had seen and heard enough. In fact he had seen far too much in the last couple of days. He was not prepared to watch a painful operation on a boy he loved. He strode out of the cave and wandered off towards the creek. He followed the creek for a while stopping only when he came to the swimming hole. He stared at the water recalling all the fun times he had there. He remembered the times he and Ben used to run and jump together into the deepest part of the pool. He remembered the crazy drunk games that he played with Joshua. He remembered too the time he and John soaped each other up after they cut up the firewood. They were good times. He slowly turned back to the cave. The operation was over for he found Doctor Richards talking to ma beside his horse. “It’s an absolute miracle that the boy is still alive,” he said, “He’s lost a way too much blood. He should be dead. I don’t understand it.” “The Lord works in wondrous ways,” ma proclaimed. Spying Jordan’s return Doctor Richards turned towards him. “Ah Jordan, I’m glad you are back. I was telling your mother there is nothing I can do about the leg. He is too badly injured. Infection always sets in, in a wound that bad. Infection kills and the only way to stop it is to take the leg off. He’s too weak today. We’ll wait ten days. If he is still alive we will take it off then. I have instructed your mother to get as much fluid and food into him as you can to make him strong enough for the operation.” The doctor reached for Jordan’s hand and shook it. Through misted eyes Jordan thanked the doctor profusely. The doctor loaded his saddle bags, tipped his hat and was gone. No sooner had the doctor rode off Jordan clutched his mother and cried out in anguish, “Oh ma even if Andrew does survive, he’s going to be a cripple. How awful!” Ma patted her son on the back. “There, there son, don’t you go worrying none. He’s not going to be a cripple, not if I can help it. I’ve seen my poultices work wonders on bad injuries before. They didn’t get infected none either! You wait and see.” It would be decades before antibiotics were discovered. What ma could not have known was that the mold that grows penicillin loves sphagnum moss. Each time she changed the poultice she was giving Andrew a fresh dose of antibiotics. Ma also recognized kocaeli anal yapan escort the value of the growing bond between her son and Andrew. She knew Jordan’s affection stirred the juices in Andrew’s body and gave him the will to live. She never saw the bond in a sexual way and even if she did it wouldn’t have mattered. In her world everying was preordained. It was God’s will and who was she to argue with that. She set up a mattress adjoining Andrews bed so that Jordan could be with him twenty four seven. Ma’s cooking didn’t hurt none either. Like everyone else Andrew loved her food. Day by day his appetite grew stronger and so did his body. “Your ma is a great cook,” Andrew said as he finished yet another bowl of rabbit stew. “The best!” Jordan agreed. On the third day Andrew sat up for the first time. It was only for a little while but it was a start. Andrew insisted on a sensual kiss from Jordan at least three times a day. He didn’t care who was watching or what they thought. He was very open about his emotions. If they weren’t kissing the boys were holding hands or staring deeply into each other’s eyes. Neither spoke of their longing for each other. It wasn’t necessary. They both knew. Ma was true to her word in attending Andrew’s leg. She changed the poultice three times a day now. She looked carefully each time for signs of infection. There were none! The wound in his side, now sealed with cat gut was healing nicely too. Andrew got excited on the fourth day. He could feel his toes! He wiggled them to show ma. Pa continued his steady banter on the progress of the war. “Gettysburg was a great Union victory ma. We got the rebs on the run now. If Lee is smart he’ll sue for peace. I reckon this war is about done. Another two weeks, a month at the most and it should be over.” In fact pa had learned the entire Union army was heading south to chase the rebels. President Lincoln urged them on looking for a final decisive battle to end it all. The Union forces were already replacing many of their losses with new recruits. The South on the other hand had already been bled dry. There were precious few new recruits. Still, the confederates were a proud group who still felt their cause was just. The war ground on. The O’Reilly clan wasn’t entirely happy. Andrew didn’t like it but Jordan excused himself one day and rode out to the road. He intended to investigate the Rose farm but after just a few steps he reined Cloud in. The prospects of what he might find were too gruesome to contemplate. Instead he just stared down the road……….waiting ……… hoping. He slowly turned back. As each day passed ma grew more worried about Ben. At the end of the week pa returned from town with a single letter. It was stamped U.S. Army but unlike previous correspondance the writing on the cover was not Ben’s. The entire family held their breathe as pa slowly opened the letter. Pa read, “We regret to inform you that as a result of the Battle of Gettysburg, your son Benjamin O’Reilly, is listed as missing in action”. “NO!” ma screamed and she fell to the floor. Pa, tears streaming down his face, lifted her up and placed her on the bed. “Does that mean Ben ain’t never coming home?” Joshua cried as he sought the comfort of his father’s arms. “I’m afraid so son.” Jordan was more pragmatic. “Missing? He can’t be missing. He knows Gettysburg. He lives here. He would just walk home wouldn’t he?” “No son he can’t . You see after every battle there are always a few soldiers who for one reason or another can’t be identified. They are placed into graves marked name only known unto God. No, I am afraid we have lost him.” Jordan flung himself on his mattress and began to soak a pillow with his sobs. Andrew as painful as the gesture might have been, rolled over and grasped Jordan’s hand. As the curtain came down on another day each member of the family grieved in their own way. The next morning ma was surprisingly chipper. “Ben is alive!” she proclaimed. “I know he’s alive! I can feel it in my bones.” “Don’t you start running around like a silly goose,” pa warned. “Silly goose nothing,” ma replied, “Ben spoke to me in my sleep last night. He called out to me. I reckon he’s in a hospital in town. I’m going to Gettysburg today to find him and that’s a fact!” Pa went to open his mouth but then stopped. He knew ma got into these moods from time to time and once she did there was nothing he could say or do that would change her mind. He knew he had to drive her to town if for no other reason than to get this inane idea out of her head. Ma changed all of Andrews bandages before she left. She made sure Jordan was watching so that he could do the job in her absence. Post battle Gettysburg had become one gigantic hospital. Patients by the thousands were crammed into every nook and cranny. Every public building, every meeting hall, a seminary, the churches, and the schools had all been turned into hospital wards. Doctors had come from miles around to aid in the effort. While the nursing profession did not yet exist, dozens of town ladies gave of their time to assist the doctors and the patients where ever they could. For the first time Joshua was asked if he would do all of the chores today. He was more than willing. He jumped onto Moonbeam and headed for the barn. Jordan knew it would take Joshua most of the day to complete the itinerary. Meanwhile he and Andrew had the cave to themselves. As was his habit Andrew needed his morning pee. Jordan figured he was strong enough to pee on his own now yet Andrew insisted Jordan help him. In fact he asked Jordan to hold it for him while he peed. Jordan was not going to turn down that request! He held the penis gently as Andrew emptied his bladder. When the job was finished he was in no hurry to put it away. He revelled in its silky softness. Jordan looked into Andrew’s face and the boys traded smiles. He could feel Andrew’s boyhood expand in his hand now. He gripped it with several fingers luxuriating in its warmth. “Nice,” Jordan said simply, “Real nice!” Andrew was eager for more. “Come to bed with me please.” Jordan responded by izmit yabancı escort slipping off his pants and crawling in to bed with him. He was careful to lay on Andrew’s good side. “Kiss me.” Andrew demanded. Jordan rolled on to his side facing Andrew. Being careful not to put any weight on the boy, Jordan bent over and kissed him passionately. Some time passed before Jordan felt a small hand reach down and grasp his hardness. Andrew released the kiss and moaned, “Ohhhhhhhh.” Jordan knew that with Andrew’s condition there would be little more in the way of sex that day. However the ice had been broken. There would be better days ahead, Ma hadn’t realized just how many patients there were that day in Gettysburg and how spread out they would be. While pa visited the Gettysburg Compiler office and picked up some supplies, ma proceeded on foot. Because of the excessive activity going on outside each door the hospitals were easy enough to spot. Approaching the first building she spoke her business to the sentry just inside the door. She was shown a list containing the names and their units of every patient in that building. She checked the list twice before moving on to the next ward. It took ma all day and into the early evening before she was finished. She reckoned she had read through some seven thousand names. Not once did she see the name O’Reilly. If pa figured ma had had her fill he was sadly mistaken. “They made a mistake someplace,” she insisted. “I know he’s there. I’ll check again in a couple of days.” Pa shook his head and stayed silent. It had been ten days since Andrew had been operated on. True to his word Doctor Richards arrived at the cave about noon. He was amazed. “I’ve never seen a boy with such grevious wounds recover so quickly! He’s in fine shape for the operation.” Ma grinned smugly. “I think ya better check his leg first before you pull your saw out.” The doctor pulled the blanket back and his jaw dropped. “What the ……… How ………..? I dont’ believe this!” he stuttered. The doctor spent several minuted examining the leg again and again. He had a hard time accepting reality. Try as he might he could find no sign of infection. “This is impossible! Never in all my years have I seen such a terrible wound heal so well without any complications! It’s a miracle”. Andrew added, “If you tasted ma’s cookin you’d know why I ‘m doing so good.” Ma just smiled, happy with herself. She probably should have left it at that but she pressed on. Ma was hoping the doctor had some word for her about Ben or perhaps at least a word of advice as to how she might find him. With a pained face he expressed no knowledge of his whereabouts and had no further advice either. Doctor Richards gave his final synopsis. “Well I’m happy to say I’m just about done here. You just keep treating Andrew the way you have been doing. It has obviously been working.” As he was closing his bag he turned to pa, “Let me have a private word with you outside if you don’t mind.” Pa obediently followed Doctor Richards to his horse. “Look there is a tiny possibility I have good news for you. I didn’t want to give Mrs. O’Reilly any false hope. You know how sensitive woman folk can be.” “Go on,” pa encouraged. “I haven’t seen him but I understand there is a patient that we haven’t been able to identify. He’s in rough shape but he is expected to survive. He can’t write and he can’t speak due to an injured throat so we don’t know who he is.” “Can I see him?” pa inquired. “Of course.” He handed pa a piece of paper. “Here is where I will be tomorrow. Come and see me and we will go and take a look.” Ma continued to rant about her quest to find Ben that evening. This time it did not upset pa. In fact he smiled inwardly. Perhaps, just perhaps, ma wasn’t so crazy after all! It didn’t surprise ma at all when pa announced the next morning that he was returning to town for a spell. After all she knew pa needed his latest fix on the various troop movements. What she didn’t know was that pa had a hidden agenda. Joshua rode off to the barn once more. He was as eager as ever. With pa out of her hair too ma went to packing. She figured it was time to move back to the house. Andrew was well enough now that Jordan could look after him alone in the cave, at least until the war was over in a months time or so. “It’s time for me to do some proper cookin,” she declared. Jordan couldn’t wait to show Andrew what great bread she baked. Andrew was well enough that he could now carry out a reasonable conversation without getting tired. The boys were talking quietly at the side of the room. “I guess when you’re better and all you’ll go back to Tennessee? “No I won’t,” Andrew said defiantly. “I ain’t never going back there.” “What about your pa?” “I hate my pa and he hates me. He never called me Andrew. He called me Sissyboy. I reckon he made me join the army so’s I could get killed.” Andrew was crying now and Jordan reached out to console him. “I’ m sorry Andrew, I didn’t mean to upset you.” “It’s okay,” Andrew snivelled. Jordan had no intention of continuing the conversation. It was Andrew who felt otherwise. “After the war I was hoping I could live here,” Andrew said quietly. “You mean with us?” “Oh I wouldn’t be a burden to ya. I promise. I’m used to farming and all. You’ll see. I’ll work hard, real hard.” Jordan couldn’t wipe the smile of his face. It was the best proposition he had heard in a month of Sundays. But then he thought seriously of some problems. “What happens if your pa comes looking for ya?” “I dunno. Maybe I could change my name.” “To what?” Andrew thought for a moment and then replied, “Andrew O’Reilly sounds kinda nice.” The boys grinned their pleasure. Ma interrupted the boys with two bowls of her squirrel soup. “I’m sorry I ain’t got no bread for dipping but just wait. When I get back to the house I’ll fix that good and proper. Meanwhile Joshua is bringin me a fine supply of fresh rabbits and squirrels. I do declare he can shoot as well as Ben now.” The boys chowed down again. The soup was great even without the dipping bread. The meal was interrupted by the sound of a galloping horse. “What in tarnation?” ma exclaimed. She ran outside to find pa jumping of his horse. He ran to ma, picked her off her feet and swung her around. “Land sakes, put me down,” she screamed. “You crazy goose!” pa yelled. “You were right all along. It’s Ben! He’s ALIVE!” Send all comments and suggestions to ail.

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