Take Me Home

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Take Me Home

20 January 1995

"The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord
is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? {Psalms 22:1}.

If only I could but visit that time and place that was the Ole South, before the Yankee Barbarians destroyed it!  If but for a moment I could pause, and partake of the soft breeze, grace and majesty of my heart's true home, like a long ago paradise of flowers, cotton fields, hanging trees and song birds, a sweat smelling savor.  A time of Christian Southern Gentlemen and their Ladies Fair, their majestic columned plantation homes, happy children playing before them.

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Confederate Warriors suited for battle, in long gray lines, defending our Southern homeland!  Like a weary warrior returning for a respite from the ravages of war, but for a moment, I would return to that time filled with the splendor, grace and the nobility, a collective memory buried deep within the heart of the South.  It is after all possible to retrieve such a civilization, in the modern context of our times!
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Click to here, hear the

 Ole Miss Band

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“Duty is ours; consequences are God’s.” - General Thomas J. ‘Stonewall’ Jackson

There have been few military generals in history; godlier then was General Thomas J. ‘Stonewall’ Jackson!  Upon being called to serve his State and Nation, Virginia and the Confederate States of America, and prior to departure he sat down with his wife Mary Anna ‘Morrison’ Jackson.  Together they read from II Corinthians 5:1, where it says, “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”
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“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.  My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.”  {Psalms 127: 1}.  Thomas J. ‘Stonewall’ Jackson and his wife Mary Anna ‘Morrison’ Jackson were very devout Christians, a couple that lived their faith.
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CHAPTER ONE
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By George McCullum
There are those of us who honor the Ole South and the Confederacy, who cherish our history, heritage, culture and yes our nation, but more then this, we might be called romantics regarding that particular moment in time, commonly known as the Antebellum South.  In the hearts of such people the Ole South and the Confederacy still lives, like a flower laying in ruin during the cold winter months, only to break out in full blossom in the spring.  This was my state of mind as day after day, year after year, having witnessed the Confederate Cause reborn in 1990, only to become stalemated within a decade.
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It was Saturday 21 April 2012, my wife Alice and I had returned home from our long awaited visit to the Botanical Gardens of Columbus Georgia, and we had just finished unloading the car.  The distance between Columbus and our home in Florida is approximately a half days drive, so we left the motel that same morning after a shower and breakfast.  There was plenty of dirty laundry, so my wife took a little time and put a load in the cloths washer, we then settled down for a cup of coffee and a modest size biscuit cake.  While sipping on our coffee we spoke of our small vacation trip, such as it was, then our conversation turned to our ole friend Richard Nelson, and his wife Allison.
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Our two families had attended many reenactments of the War for Confederate Independence, along with a number of rallies and ceremonies along the way, and we both shared the same vision of a liberated and restored Confederacy.  Rich was somewhat of an armature historian, and especially enjoyed those strange and unusual stories of events, which took place in the more recent past.  Among his favorites has long been ‘The Philadelphia Experiment’, which is the name of a U.S. Naval Military Experiment said to have been carried out at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, sometime around 28 October 1943.
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It is alleged that the U.S. Navy destroyer escort USS Eldridge was to be rendered invisible, or cloaked to enemy devices!  The Philadelphia Experiment had also been referred to as Project Rainbow!   Regardless of the name the official answer has always been that the story is a hoax!   The U.S. Navy having long maintains that no such an experiment ever took place, and besides, the details of the story contradict well-established facts about the Eldridge, as well as the known laws of physics.  Further so the Navy states, the story has simply been exaggerated by those in conspiracy theory circles, having big imaginations.
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However Rich had since concluded the federals were incapable of the truth, and decided to do a little investigating on his own!  The argument from the viewpoint of those who believe the entire story to be a hoax, is that there were no witnesses, howbeit certain facts could not be ignored. 
Suddenly my Cell Phone, lying on the table in front of me begun to ring, it was my ole friend Richard Nelson, known to the two of us simply as Rich!  ‘George, he said, got a call from Etta Middleton, the Spinster of the Okefenokee Swamp!’  I paused for a moment, ‘who Rich?’  Rich responded right back, ‘you remember George, the combination housekeeper and secretary for Professor James ‘Grumble’ Jones!
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’Rich, I thought this Grumble Jones was only a rumor, that no such person ever existed?’  Here this George, Spinster Etta says it is urgent that we come, that the Professor is the last living witness to the Philadelphia Experiment, and officially he died onboard the Eldridge during October 1943.  She says he fled from the federals and disappeared, and for 69 years the government has claimed there is no such person.  ‘What does she want with us Rich!’  He’s now 92 years old, he is up and about for now, but that he is not expected to live much longer, we’ve got to pay him a visit George.
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‘Alright Rich, if you feel it is important, meet me over hear so we can make the trip together!’.The night passed without further ado and as planned, bright and early the next morning, just about sunrise, Richard Nelson knocked on my door!  After making sure the ladies would be alright, Rich and I were off heading across Highway 10, and up Highway 441 into Georgia.  We turn off on 177, a two lane road parrelling the east bank of the Suwannee River!  The directions we received to the Grumble Home was given over the telephone, so we were using a hand drawn map to find our way.  We slowly approached an ummarked narrow overgrown dirt road that was little more then a pathway, one we would have never spotted, save for a couple of unusual trees serving as a kind of signpost.
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After spotting the clump of trees described by Spinster Etta, Rich pointed toward them, ‘over there George, about 50 yards ahead to the right, Etta said to slow down and enter carefully, the road is somewhat tough to maneuver.’  O.K. Rich, here goes nothing, I feel like we are about to enter an unexplored no man’s land!  After making the turn we drove slowly down a winding road, the vegetation dragging against the undercarriage of the car, as we passed over numberous pot holes, rocks and who knows what else.  As we moved deeper into this strange  backcountry we came to a fork in the road, and according to directions we took the right hand fork.
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CHAPTER TWO
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Just about now Rich expressed a little concern as to whether we had made the correct turnoff, maybe we should find a place to turn the car around and go back.  But after driving down the right fork in the road for what seemed like several mile, we still hadn’t found a place safe enough to turn around, but no matter, there in the distance we both could see the house.  It looked like an an old Antibellum style home, a accedpt that it was a one story structure, covered with moss and vines, the large collumns, barely seen from the vegetation.  The whole scene looked like something out of an Alfred Hitchcock horror move, and I figured ole Alfred would have loved this place.
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I stopped the car for a brief moment, so as to get a clearer look at what we where in for, Rich and I glanced at each other then again at the house just ahead.  Rich had very little to say, outside of staring at the scene, ‘wow’ George, is this place real or are we both experiencing the same nightmare?’  I did not turn to answer Rich face to face, but merely added my own awe struck comment, ‘maybe Rich, we will wake up and find out, none of this ever happened!’  Finally I very slowly slipped my foot off the break and onto the gass pedal, moving very cautiously forward, Rich swallowd hard, and as for myself, all I could do is stare ahead, wondering within myself, what comes next?
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We slowly moved forward, as we got closer I could see off to the right side of the house and to the rear, the open doors of a garage, also overgrown, but what caught my eye was just in side the open door, and in plain view, a most beautiful classic car.  It appeared to be a 1956 Ford Crown Victoria, but amazingly it looked  to be in ‘like new’ condition.  It was as out of place as would be a white swan on the desert, and I couldn’t help but wonder, how it got way out here in on the edge of the Okefenokee Swamp, on the backside of nowhere. We approached and spotted a place, which was as clear as could be found in this forsaken place, stopped the car and turned off the ignition.

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Rich and I looked out the front window of the car, and I instinctively knew he was thinking similarly as I, should we really do this, maybe it would be better to turn about and get out of here, while the getting was good.  However, after a few moments we both finally got out of the car, and walked up the creaky steps toward the door; there was an large old style door knocker, which Rich took a hold of and making a nervous attempt at announcing our presence.  His use of the doorknocker was effective all right, making a loud echoing knock, the old doorknocker squeaked like an old rusty door hinge.  We both stood silent, looking at the door and waited for some kind of response!

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After what seemed like hours, but was probably only five minutes, the door began to open, and an old woman, perhaps 75 years of age or more appeared.  ‘Come on in she said, the Professor is expecting you!’  We both entered and followed after her as she led us into the foyer, then off to the right and into a large room, which appeared much like such a room might have in the Ole South.  We stopped in front of Grumble Jones, who was seated in an easy chair reading a book; he closed the book, and laid it down on a stand beside his chair, then looked up at us.  ‘Who have you here Etta, ask the ole Professor, we later learned the title was only an honorary one?’
 

We both stood slightly behind Etta, one to her right side and the other to her left, as she pointed to each of us in our turn, while calling out our names, Mr. Richard Nelson and George McCullum to see you, Professor.  Etta slowly back away leaving us three men alone, until only moments later a black man dressed as a servant approached and spoke to Ole Grumble, speaking in the long ago Negro dialect, ‘Yes Massa.’   Mozz, the Professor commanded, show these two gentlemen suitable quarters where they may freshen up; the black man looked in our direction, while giving us the signal to follow him.  As form, I wasn’t so sure why the Ole Negro accent and mannerism, nor the fashion of his dress, but I fully intended to ask, when the opportunity presented itself.
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Shortly after we were shown two very nice rooms next to each other, and connected by a door from the inside, and upon entering Mozz explained to us the situation, the schedule as well as the routine of the day.  All that being done, Mozz himself open the door for me to ask the question that had been on my mind, when he ask of us, ‘Is there anything else you need?’  Yes Mozz, there is something, ‘Is your accent and mannerism for real, or is it a put on for the sake of the job?’  Mozz looked at both of us and began to speak in a normal 21st century tone; ‘my real name is Paul Hays and I am from Macon Georgia, the Professor hired me many years ago, when I was a young man.
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CHAPTER THREE
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The Professor treats me very well, but it is his wishes that I act in such a manner for the sake of our meager few guests, and I am paid well for putting on like we are back in the Ole South, so I’ve stayed on and made my life here.’  Rich and I both glanced at each other then at our black friend, ‘Paul, tell me, what about that new looking 1956 Ford Crown Victoria out there in the garage.  It couldn’t have been sitting out there very long, whose is it and how did it come to be way out here near the swamp?’  Well, responded Paul, may I call you Rich?  The car was given to me just yesterday, and only the Professor knows how it come to be here or how a band new 1956 Ford, could exist in 2012.
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I was out there this morning checking it over, the keys were in the ignition, I found the registration, title and insurance papers in the glove box, all made out in my name.  I am sure the Professor knew my favorite classic car is the 56 Crown Victoria, and he even got the color right, white over red; his only explanation was that it was for my years of faithful service.  I am fixing to go outside after a short while; at that time I’ll cover it over and close the garage door!  It was Rich’s turn to ask a question, and so he did, ‘Paul, how could a brand new 1956 car be setting out there, 56 years after the date of its manufacture?

Paul shook his head, ‘I have no idea, accept I am somewhat of a mechanic and I checked the car over carefully, including the odometer, it has only 23 miles on it, and the odometer hasn’t been altered.  I smiled as I thought over in my mind, how it could all have come about, I then turned to our newly acquired black friend, ‘thank you very much Paul or should I revert back to Mozz?’  He reached out and shook both of our hands, then turned and walked toward the door, looking back at us with a big grin on his face, ‘Yes Massa’ he replied, as he closed the door behind him.  I couldn’t help but believe that somehow the mystery of the new Victoria held the key as to why we were here!


The time seemed to fly by until we were invited to join the good Professor for the evening meal, which was quite sumptuous given that we were near the swamp, and in an area that only an alligator would love.  We all gathered around a well-furnished table that would have been the pride of any home, and we were served steak, baked potatoes, peas, as well as choice of coffee, milk or tea.  Professor Grumble, did according to Christian Southern tradition, and offered the grace before the meal began.  My friend Rich, who while normally most polite, was nonetheless a wee bit on the bold side, and it was he who after a few brief comments by the Professor, opened up with a question.


Professor Jones he asked, why are we here and what exactly is it that you have to show us, that lead you to inviting us into your home, or is the answer reserved for a later time?  The ole Professor look first at me then at Rich, you may call me Grumble if you like!  I know enough about you two youngsters to know what makes you tick, and I know some small bit about your hopes and dreams.  You are both romantics about the Ole South and the Confederacy, and while you’ve always known you cannot turn back the clock.  Still in the view of you two gentlemen, nothing would suit you more!

Well, what if I told you I could indeed turn back the pages of time, and send both of you back for a visit!  I just had to add my two cents, Grumble, what else do you know about Rich and myself?  ‘Well responded Grumble, I know the two of you are reasonably familiar as to the time period of the Ante-Bellum South and the Confederacy, and you have both done many reenactments of the war.  You have attended many social functions, after the fashion centered around, the War and Pre-War period!   Well Colonel George McCullum and Major “Rich” Richard Nelson you are for the sake of this journey, Commissioned Officers of the Army of Georgia.

George you have expressed many times in your writings, a wish to take, what you refer to as a respite!  Well, according to your wishes I shall send you home, back to the Ole South and the early days of the Confederacy, at a time when the air was filled with the promise of victory and of Confederate Independence.  You are both Cavalry Officers, and at the present time you are out of uniform, so upon finishing your meal, I recommend you return to your rooms, there you will find all the necessities, which are even now being laid out.’  Rich gave the biggest smile I’ve ever scene on a human face, one more question Grumble, What about horses, if we are Cavalry Officers.

Grumble him self smile then replied; ‘they’ll be waiting for you upon your arrival back in 1861, with saddles and other accoutrements.’  I myself look at Rich, then at Grumble, there is another issue, that of our wives, I for one do not wish to go off somewhere for an extended period of time, and leave my wife Alice worried about our whereabouts.  Grumble himself now was the one with a smile on his face, ‘no need to worry, no matter how long you remain in the past, you will return to this vary day.  Neither of you, will be gone for more then an hour or so in present terms, even if you remained in the past a week or more.  So Allison and Alice have no need to worry!

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CHAPTER FOUR
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After finishing our evening meal and returning to your rooms, we found everything we needed, just as Grumble had said, including Cavalry Uniforms, swords, boots, as well as leatherwork.  Also included for each of us were Smith & Wesson Nichol Plated 44 Magnum Model 629 automatic Pistols, with an 8-3/8ths inch barrel, holding six rounds, plus if one chooses, an additional cartridge in the barrel.  The holsters were made to look much like those common to 1860, but designed for a quick draw and firing.  This meant the holster was built to hold the pistol secure but low slung, with a leg tie down, the two of us had to wonder if maybe Ole Grumble had watched to many westerns.
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Neither of us could figure out how Ole Grumble managed to put together all this equipment, and all according to our size, let alone a couple of weapons that may well have amazed an experienced Gunnery Sergeant.  Be that as it may we made our preparations, and met Grumble down stairs in the sitting room as he had directed; all this was so unbelievable, inasmuch as if Grumble was giving us the straight truth, we were about to make the journey of a lifetime, and both Rich and I knew it.  As we walked across the sitting room Grumble approached from the opposite side, ‘I see you are both ready, come with me!’
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Rich had one more question, which had concerned me also, ‘Grumble, exactly who are you, and what brought you to this place so far from civilization?’  Well, stated Ole Grumble, I’ll make it brief, since the time sequence has already been programmed!  I was onboard the USS Eldridge in 1943, so I am both a witnessed as well as having lived through the experiments!  The Navy still denies the experiments ever took place, but I assure you they most certainly did, I am the last living witness of the horror inflicted on the Officers and Men of the Eldridge.  And I saw much more then I was supposed to see and survive; I only managed to survive because I was thrown overboard!

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They’ve spent decades trying to locate and silenced me, so I decided to go into hiding and spend my life proving the 1943 Philadelphia Experiments actually took place, howbeit they somehow managed to fowl the whole thing up.  Rather then own up to the tragedy they decided to covered it up, silencing any surviving witnesses, of whom all but myself have somehow disappeared without a trace, making it seem as if none of they never existed.  It was as if these men simply vanished, disappeared from the face of the earth!   Grumble had no sooner finished speaking when we entered into a backroom, which was obviously a part of the original structure.
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Both Rich and I could see all manner of libratory equipment, which appeared to be of a sort I’d never seen, whatever Grumble was working on, it sure wasn’t chemistry nor was it a medical breakthrough.  There was a desk positioned at the far left side of the room as we entered, and a strange looking structure, which in some ways reminded me of a car wash.  Accept that there didn’t seem to be an exit on the opposite end, only a blank wall covered with coiled copper tubes and wires!  In the center of the room was a large table, and beside the table stood the elderly Spinster Etta Middleton as well as Paul Hays, known to us as Mozz.
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Spread out on the table was the blueprints for the strange looking structure with all the copper tubing and wiring, as well as a series of printed pages stacked in a loose pile at the end of the table nearest the desk.  While Rich and I scanned over the room, Grumble smiled and began to inform us of what was going on, ‘Etta and Paul are my assistance, their duties as servants is more or less an extra-curricular activity, and of course for show, when and if we receive guests.  You weren’t previously told, but both of these people hold Masters Degrees in their own respective fields.  The 1956 Victoria parked in the garage resulted from an experiment; we brought it here through that machine over yonder!

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Both Etta and Paul were now wearing what I recognized as lab coats, which extended below the hips, Paul walked over to the end of the table toward the structure where there was a panel board, which arose approximately 4 inches above the table.  After pushing several buttons we could hear what was obviously a very powerful generator, the sound coming from somewhere outside.  After the generator had reached full power, Paul then pushed another series of buttons and the strange looking structure came to life.  What was obviously a very strong, high frequency magnetic field formed inside the machine, leaving a well-defined and safe passage through the center.
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Etta then walked toward me, ‘Rich, George, I am a Spinster that it true, but what I did not tell you, is that I am the daughter of Professor Jones, and I’ve have made it my life’s work to stand with him and vindicate his testimony regarding the Philadelphia Experiments.  However we have not only vindicated my father testimony, but have went far beyond those earlier experiments!’  Grumble turning his attention from Etta to us two guys, then gave the final directive, ‘you to gentlemen have a date to keep, all is ready, let us proceed toward the Time Porthole.’  We walked over toward what the Professor had called the Time Porthole, as Etta returned to her place at the panel board.

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CHAPTER FIVE

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Professor James ‘Grumble’ Jones, Richard ‘Rich’ Nelson, and myself George McCullum stood before the Time Porthole, and what amounted to a passage or a doorway into another era, for me it is quite literally the pathway to my true home.  ‘You have a week, seven days and nights in the past, stated Grumble, built into your belt buckles is the mechanism, which will make it possible for me to bring you back.  There is a none-negotiable rule, you cannot alter the past in any significant way, and you are visitors, nothing more.  Grumble reached out, shook hands and gave both us a warm send off, ‘have a safe and joyous journey, and God speed.’
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Grumble then stepped back some distance from the entrance, as Rich and I nervously walked into the Time Porthole, leaving our own time 151 years in the future.  We exited the Time Porthole expecting to find ourselves located somewhere between Richmond and Petersburg, to the southwest of the James River.  Our arrival according to Professor Grumble Jones was to be approximately two days before the Secession of Virginia on 17 April 1861, but either something had went terribly wrong or Grumble had purposefully arranged our arrival for a different date.  Wherever we were it was obvious we weren’t where he said we’d be, and somehow I doubted that we were southwest of Richmond.


Rich and I looked about us for some kind of sign as to our whereabouts, it was obvious we were in a wooded area at the edge of a large field, but where were the horses Grumble Jones indicated he would provide; were they also in the wrong place?  Before we had a chance to consider the matter further a Cavalryman rode out of the woods from behind us, a rider we later identified as Confederate Sergeant Major Matt Randolph.  As he approached he called out, might you gentlemen be Colonel George McCullum and Major Richard Nelson?  Rich answered for both of us in the affirmative, and the Sergeant Major gave a sharp salute in response!

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Looking up at the Sergeant Major I felt like it was my turn to ask a question, ‘Where are we?’  Well perhaps, said the Sergeant ‘when we are’ is the question, that being said, we are at the edge of what will soon become the Battlefield of Second Manassas, and it is late in the afternoon of Saturday 26 April l862.  That field out there gentlemen is where the confrontation will take place, and this is Prince William County!  I take it then that Grumble sent you ahead of us so as to set things up, did he send anyone else beside yourself?  Sergeant Major Randolph glanced at both Rich and I, then responded ‘there are 18,000 of us, three Battalions of 6,000 each.
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The Staff Officers are Captain Jeremy Jones, First Battalion, Captain Dewayne Watson, Second Battalion, and Captain Clement Starke, Third Battalion, and each Battalion is divided into three regiments of 2,000 men, commanded by a Lieutenant.  Our men are combat veterans, and you Colonel are in command of this army!  ‘Sergeant Major, it is obvious that Grumble did not have 16,000 troops pass through his laboratory, then there is the issue of how he assembled such an army, let alone arming and equipping them.’  Colonel McCullum, the ole Professor has had a lifetime to assemble trusted agents, these agents searched throughout the states; and you will see the results of their work.
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And, just as he is able to retrieve us back into the 21st century though the device in our belt buckles, thereby moving this army though time, he has also learned how to move this same army through space.  Accept for a few of us, the vast majority never visited his home in Georgia, in the same manner he moved that new Crown Victoria from the year 1956 directly into the garage at next to his home.  All right then Sergeant Major; lead me to this army that you say I command!  After a short walk through the woods, we came to the encampment, where Major Richard Nelson and myself made a brief inspection tour.
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Then after being shown the command tent, and looking things over, I turned first to my old friend, Major Richard ‘Rich’ Nelson, then to Sergeant Major Matt Randolph.  ‘It is apparent gentlemen, Grumble must have intend for us to change the course of history, least he surely wouldn’t have provided an army for the sole purpose of attending a social functions.’  For a moment I paced back and forth in amazement that Grumble would put me in this situation, after all I had never commanded more then a company of men. ‘If we must alter the outcome of this war, let us begin, I am calling a War Council immediately; Major Nelson, hold an officers call, I want the entire General Staff present.’

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CHAPTER SIX
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After dismissing the two men it only took about 20 minutes and all the officers were gathered in our Army Command Tent, meantime I had been outside speaking to the early arrivals among the General Staff, gathering information as to the readiness of our Army.  Major Richard Nelson approached and informed me the Officers were assembled and ready, so ended the conversation, entered the Command Tent and began the Council of War.  I began by scanning the circle of Officers gathered round about, ‘Alright Gentlemen, make your report, as well an add any comments you might have, let us go around this small table starting to the right.

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Each Officer in turn made his report, beginning with Major Richard Nelson, all reported to be armed similarly as myself!  Save that each of the enlisted men carried AK 47’s with100 round detachable drum style magazines, and a suitable amount of ammunition, and each Brigade was supplied with Grenade Launchers   After the last Officer had made his report, I then announced my decision, based upon their reports as well as what had observed, among which was that our troops carried precious few bonnets!  There was an abundance of rifles, as well as pistols and even Bowie Knives, so we could certainly mow the enemy down like a scythe cutting through a stand of wheat.

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When it came Captain Clement Starke’s turn to make his report, he had a very special item to add, Colonel McCullum, we have another weapons, of which you may not be aware, Rocket Launchers.  In this case we have six wagons, each containing enough firepower to lay waste to a city the size of Abraham Lincoln’s Capital.  My assessment was that since we had precious few bayonets, we’d rely on those tactics, which would make an optimum use of our firepower!  The Confederates won the Second Battle of Manassas, according to history as we had known it to be, but we will now take it a step further.
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Captain Jeremy Jones of the First Battalion asked the Colonel, isn’t victory itself our ultimate prize?  ‘Yes Captain Jones, but our mission is also to shorten this war in favor of the Confederacy, so in that respect we must open the door wide for General Lee to march on Abraham Lincoln’s Capital City.’  Now it was Captain Dewayne Watson of the Second Battalion, which had a question, ‘How can we do that Colonel?’  I gave Captain Watson a small grin, avoiding the temptation to laugh!  ‘It is not enough to defeat Yankee General John Pope, we must so devastate his army that a retreat will be out of the question, in any case there must be precious little of his army remaining to surrender.

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I want a red carpet rolled out, which is so inviting, it will be all but impossible for Lee to do other then to march on Washington.  Abraham Lincoln must then either surrender unconditionally, or else we will lay waste to the city, all Union Armies on Confederate soil will lay down their weapons and depart our homeland, and minus their boots.  Let us briefly review the situation, as it exists on this date in history!  The Union Army of Virginia is divided into three corps of 51,000 men, under Major General Franz Sigel (I Corps); Major General Nathaniel P. Banks (II Corps); and Major General Irvin McDowell, who had led the losing Union army at First Bull Run (III Corps).

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Parts of three corps (III, V, and VI) of McClellan's Army of the Potomac and Major General Ambrose Burnside's IX Corps (commanded by Major General Jesse L. Reno, will joined Pope for combat operations, raising his strength to 77,000.  On the Confederate side, General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia is organized into two "wings" or "commands" totaling about 55,000 men.  Lee’s ‘right wing’ is commanded by, Major General James Longstreet, his left by Major General Thomas J. ‘Stonewall’ Jackson!  The Cavalry Division, commanded by Major General J. E. B.  Stuart is attached to Jackson's wing of the army.

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Following a wide-ranging flanking march, ‘Stonewall’ captured the Union supply depot at Manassas Junction, threatening Pope's line of communications with the Union Capital at Washington, withdrawing a few miles to the northwest.  Jackson then takes up defensive positions on Stony Ridge!  On 28 August 1862, Jackson will attacked a Union column just east of Gainesville, at Brawner's Farm, resulting in a stalemate.  On that same day, Lee's right wing commanded by Longstreet will brake through light Union resistance at the Battle of Thoroughfare Gap
, and approached the battlefield.
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CHAPTER  SEVEN
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Pope will become convinced that he has trapped Jackson, concentrated the bulk of his army against him!  Then on 29 August, Pope will launch a series of assaults against Jackson's position along an unfinished railroad grade!  These attacks will be repulsed with heavy casualties on both sides.  At noon of that day, Longstreet will arrive on the field from Thoroughfare Gap and positioning himself on Jackson's right flank.  On 30 August, Pope will renew his attacks; seemingly unaware that Longstreet was on the field!  Massive Confederate artillery will devastate a Union assault by Major General Fitz John Porter's V Corps, Longstreet's wing of 25,000 men in five divisions will counterattack.
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The Union left flank was crushed and the army was driven back to Manassas!  Only an effective Union rearguard action prevents a replay of the First Manassas disaster for the Union, still, Pope's retreat to Centreville will nonetheless be precipitous.  As it now stands Union General McClellan is no immediate threat, so he can be dealt with at a later date.  Be that as it may, the other elements of Pope’s Army are either in the area or soon will be!  All of the members of the General staff having made their report, I turned to Major Nelson, ‘you are knowledgeable as to the course of the war in Virginia over the past couple of months, give us your summation.’
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Major Nelson glanced about the command tent, then at me, ‘the fighting followed a course beginning in July along the Virginia Central Railroad, just south of the North Anna River, reaching westward to Gordonville on 19 July.  Afterward following a course north and just east of the Blue Ridge Mountains toward Thoroughfare Gap along the Manassas Gap Railroad, then east by northeast toward Manassas Junction.  Inevitably the fighting will center here at the Battlefield of Manassas over the next couple of days!  Rich looked at me indicating he was finish, so I asked if anyone else had a comment to add, after pausing for a moment, there being none, I continued.
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Here then is our plan of battle; Captain Jeremy Jones, contact Stonewall Jackson prior to the morning of 28 August, and position your First Battalion so as to reinforce Jackson left wing of Lee’s Army.  Make certain that the engagement, which will take place on 28 August, when Jackson attacks a Union column just east of Gainesville at Brawner's Farm, is no stalemate but rather a total victory for Jackson.  When this happens we will have altered the course of the war, where Union General Pope would have though he had trapped Jackson.  Under these altered conditions he will think otherwise, but his army will still be nearby!


At noon Longstreet will arrive from Thoroughfare Gap, having learned of Jackson success at Brawner’s Farm, he will no doubt join with Jackson in an assault against the bulk of Pope’s Army.  Captain Dewayne Watson, position your Second Battalion on Jackson’s left flank as he assaults Pope’s Army!  The Third Battalion under Captain Clement Starke will approach the battlefield from the South, as an assurance no element of Pope’s Army escape.  Given Jackson’s victory at Brawner’s Farm, Pope will be thrown back somewhat, but still quite ready on the 29th to engage what he believes is a weakened Jackson, as Longstreet’s arrives on the battlefield.
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Once we engage the main body of Pope’s Army, he will then be aware of our presence, but unsure as to the extent of our firepower, he will be thrown back; possibly attempting to retreat southward, hoping to regroup with any scattered elements of the Union Army.  By late afternoon of the 30th Abraham Lincoln will have received news regarding the devastating defeat of his Amy in Virginia, thereafter his interest will shift to the defense of Washington.  I paused having pretty much summed up our strategy, I didn’t see any puzzled look on anyone face, but to be sure I asked, ‘does anyone have any questions or comments?’
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After a moment, and receiving no response, I gave the final order, ‘alright then, let move out with your commands to their jumping off places, and we shall see what develops, come sunrise.’  The evening and night passed with little discussion, as everyone busied them selves getting ready and moving out, in preparations for the battle we all knew was coming.  Nonetheless the evening and the night passed with little fanfare, and my sunrise all three Battalions were in position and ready.  Each had positioned themselves at their assigned location, but had remained out of sight, ready to move up into the battle line.

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CHAPTER EIGHT
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Professor Grumble Jones had not provided any modern communications such as walkie-talkies, which could have operated in this time period, at a distance sufficient for our needs.  So curriers were on the move delivering sundries messages, and Major Richard Nelson was busy coordinating and passing information to me, until finally everything was ready.  Based upon my understanding of history, the battle would likely begin within the hour!  Still I took a little time to gather my thoughts, so I rounded the backside of my Command Tent and walked a short distance down a pathway through the woods.
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As I paused to turn back something caught my attention, it was a strange fog bank, to which normally I would not have taken notice, accept that somehow there was a kind of green haze in the middle, as if a bright fog light was trying to pierce through the bank.  I walked forward toward it, reaching out so as to see if by some odd chance there was a solid mass within it.  When suddenly my friend Major Richard Nelson approached from behind me, Colonel he said; then noticing the same fog bank for him self, his speech began to break, as if he were stuttering.  His manner of speaking reverted back to earlier days, ‘George, what is it, it looks so strange, I’ve never seen anything like it?’
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Rich now standing slightly to one side and to the rear of me, moved up to my right, ‘Rich, follow me into this bank, let’s checkout this bright green light’, we both stepped forward and into the fog bank.  As we entered the bank we both became dizzy as if we were spinning, when suddenly we found ourselves back in the year 2012, sitting in our car in front of my drive way.  We were the same as we were before taking to the road in search of Professor James ‘Grumble’ Jones.  It took a moment for us to come to ourselves; afterward, we began to wonder if maybe we had both fallen into some kind of daytime dream state.  Had we traveled to Georgia, and did we actually find this Ole Grumble?
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We went back into the house where Rich’s wife Allison and my wife Alice were sitting at the kitchen table, sipping a cup of coffee and having a morning snack.  The two ladies looked at us with a puzzled look on their face, then Allison took one more sip of coffee and ask, ‘Aren’t you guys going to Georgia or have you changed your mind.  I looked over at a calendar on the dinning room wall, then at a large clock on the opposite side of the dinning room.  The calendar had been marked in red for the morning of our departure, and the clock indicated it was early in the morning, just after sunrise.

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It was Sunday 22 April 2012, about a half hour after sunrise, around the time when Rich and I were preparing to head for Georgia!  Then Alice being a very observant woman asked, ‘what are you two doing in those uniforms, and I didn’t know either of you owned knives and pistols?’  Rich and I looked at ourselves; we had been in such a strange state of mind since walking into that fog bank, we hadn’t taken notice.  We both bore pistols and knives, expressing my thoughts out loud I asked, where are our swords?  Just then Rich happened to remember that we had left them inside the Command Tent, before walking into the woods.


However, we did have every thing else, even our Cavalry Boots, items we didn’t have before putting them on at Professor Grumble’s home.  After explaining everything that had transpired up to the present, including our having traveled back in time, the ladies obviously didn’t swallow the entire story, but they did concede that something strange and unusual had taken place.  Alice invited both of us to sit down at the table and have a fresh cup of coffee, and talk a little bit!  Look, you two walked out of the house not more then 10 minutes ago with civilian cloths on, and now you reappear in Confederate Uniforms, bearing weapons, none of which you had when you walked out the door.
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I looked at both ladies, ‘I do know this much, I’ve never owned a Smith & Wesson Nichol Plated 44 Magnum Model 629 automatic Pistol, and here I am with one strapped to my hip, and to that Rich agreed.  Allison looking mystified herself, made a decision of her own, ‘we’ve all got to go to Georgia, and find this place near the edge of the swamp off Highway 177.’  But for now we all need to get about our lives, so what about we make trip in three months.  Everyone looked around at one another, and in turn each agreed by saying, all right!  The days passed as we all concentrated on getting back into something resembling a normal route, but soon three months had passed.
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CHAPTER NINE

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It was dawn of Thursday 21 July 2012, when we all piled into one car and headed over the same route that Rich and I had followed three months before, in route to locate Professor James ‘Grumble’ Jones.  We went north, then
across Highway 10, and up Highway 441 into Georgia, and turned off onto 177, a two-lane road parrelling the east bank of the Suwannee River, just as we had before.  Then again just like before Rich and I spotted the clump of treess, marking the entrance to the dirt road leading down to Professor Grumble’s home.  We had parked the car in a grassy area just off the highway, about 30 yars from the entrance to the dirt road.
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Rich was the first to speak, ‘George, that sign up yonder, that old road sign, the faded out and twisted one, it says Grumble Lane, it wasn’t there before.  Without saying anything further we all simultaneously got out of the car and walked forward toward the entrance, so as to be sure we were seeing what we though we were.  The exceedingly rough and bumpy road, where the brush dragged hard against the undercarriage of the car was now different, it was now smooth and packed; it was like it was made of compacted crushed stone.  ‘Rich, I said, we have got to drive back down that lane, and see if we have somehow imagined the whole thing.  Did we actually travel back in time to the Second Battle of Manassas, in 1862 or not?’  The ladies said nothing, but turn back and began walking toward the car with us!

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As we drove along the grass by the side of the road, everyone was silent, the ladies looking about to see whatever they could see!  Rich was behind the wheel as we turned and headed back down the road leading to Professor ‘Grumble’ Jones house.  We followed the lane and came to the divide in the road!  Then just as before, we took the right fork, and just as we did Rich and I wondered where the potholes and the overgrown vegetation had went.  But still, we were focused mostly on what we’d find just ahead, in what was before a backcountry road to nowhere.  Until finally we came to what must have been the same spot where we had paused before and saw Grumble’s Antebellum home.
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I don’t know about Rich, but I was stunned, there was nothing ahead but a small older model white house, not unlike many such structures built in out of the way places.  Allison was a gasp, ‘I know you guys aren’t prone to imagining things, but that ain’t no Antebellum home!’  Alice added her own comment to that of Allison, ‘we might as well finish what we started, lets drive up there and see close up.  Rich put his foot on the gas and we moved ‘O’ so slowly toward the small wood frame house, found a place to park in front.  There was nothing anyone could say, so we all just followed each other up the steps and onto what was a very modest size porch.

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It appeared as if I had been selected to do the knocking, base upon a few nods of the head, so I made my best effort to attract the attention, of who ever might be inside.  After what seemed like hours, but was probably only a few minutes, a lady opened the door, Rich and I couldn’t help but show our surprise at who was greeting us just inside, and it was none other then Etta Middleton.  Rich did the talking, ‘you are Professor ‘Grumble’ Jones assistant, Miss Etta Middleton, are you not?  But to our surprise, she responded in a tone, which made it clear, we were not welcome; ‘I am Etta Middleton, but I don’t know any Professor James ‘Grumble’ Jones, never heard of him.’

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Miss Etta Middleton stepped back and closed the door behind her, leaving us bewildered as to what had happened to Grumble Jones.  We walked down the stairs, but Rich wasn’t quite ready to leave this place, not yet!  The three of us without asking any questions followed him around the right side of the house toward the back quarter of the lot, where he began to look around.  Then he supped down and picked up an old nearly rusted away license plate, it was barely readable, but together we did manage to interpret what it once said.  It was the plate from the 1956 Ford Crown Victoria, but there was no sign of the Victoria or the garage.

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I called out in a tone not much above a whisper, Rich, I think Etta will get pretty angry if she discovers we are roaming around in her back yard.  Then Rich called back, come over here George, then with that the three of us walked toward where Rich had stopped and bent over!  What is it Rich, ‘look Rich, faded out hoof prints, there been horses here, and not in the to distant past; what has happened here, where did the Ole Antebellum home of Professor Jones go to, the garage and the Victoria, and why were we yanked back from the past so abruptly.  Then suddenly it dawned on me, Rich, lets return to the car and I’ll explain it, the best I can!
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CHAPTER TEN

We all walked slowly back to the car without discussing who the driver would be, so I got behind the wheel, started the engine, then I slowly turned, packed away from the house and turned about, and heading back out the lane.  I could tell Rich and the ladies were deep within there own thoughts, so I waited to say anything, but finally they seemed to come back to themselves.  ‘Rich, we were told not to change the past, but at while in the past we did manage to change something, I am not sure but we had to have.  More then likely we altered the vary existence of a man named James ‘Grumble’ Jones, my guess is, now he since he never existed, and the Antebellum home was never built.

So then, all that happened here was erased form time, at least those things pertaining to Grumble Jones!  Alice, was sitting in the seat next to me on the front passenger side, ‘how then could the two of you have ended up in our front drive way, dressed in those uniforms, and wearing pistols?’  Looking over at her, then at Rich and Allison through the rear view mirror, seated in the back seat I explained, ‘Grumble had built into the system a set up whereby he could retrieve us back to the present in an emergency.  He no doubt became aware of a kind of shock wave moving through time, as a result of our being in the past, and pushed the emergency retrieval button, but things didn’t go a s planned.’
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I could tell what Rich was thinking by the noises he man, a kind of ‘hum, hum’ sound, ‘then maybe George, everything didn’t fall into place as it should, something must have been left adrift and the pieces landed wherever they happened to fall, when the process ended.’  Finally I had something to smile about, ‘yes Rich, that must be it, besides, we did after all get to take a crack at changing he past; even if it didn’t work out the way we had hoped.  But I know we command an arm for a short while!  Having come this far, we all decided to head toward Columbus Georgia and the Botanical Gardens there, this time with the four of us, it would be more enjoyable.

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We figured we would never completely uncover or uncover what had happened, so we put the entire affaire behind us and went on with our lives.  Three weeks passed, Rich and I along with our wives visited one another a number of time, either at Rich and Allison’s home or else Alice and mine.  It was Alice and Rich’s turn to visit us, it was late afternoon of Saturday 4 August, the four of us were sitting around the dinning room table enjoying coffee and snacks, having a light hearted discussion as to what possible mess we might get into next.  When we all heard a knock on the door, being the man of the house I got up, headed for the front door and opened it.
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The gentleman standing outside the door must have figured it would take a while for us to answer, so he turn around to look about, then hearing the door open he turned slowly about to face me.  I gazed for a moment without answering, ‘Captain Dewayne Watson, is it not!  Indeed it is and we have much to talk about, is Major Richard Nelson with you?’  I thought to myself, indeed we do have much to discuss, ‘please, come on in, you are most welcome.  We walked into the dinning room, and I was pleased to introduce a little additional evidence, that Rich and I after all weren’t imagining our trip back in time.
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I glancing at the two ladies, while introduced our visitor, ‘I’d like you ladies to meet Captain Dewayne Watson, he was with us 150 years ago in and around the Battlefield of Second Manassas, he knows that Professor James ‘Grumble’ Jones did indeed exist.  We pulled up a fifth chair, and Alice went to the kitchen to pour Dewayne a cup of coffee and set out a few snacks for him.  All of us sat down together with Dewayne Watson who began to explain what had happened, ‘we were all in position ready to move out of our launch positions, when suddenly a dense fog appeared in front our Brigade, a fog so thick it looked almost like a solid wall.

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In the center was a kind of bright green haze, and suddenly, a sector at a time, the brigade began to disappear, and I ended up back on my horse ranch down in central Florida, standing beside my pick up truck, just I as I was at the time our journey to Grumbles house began.  After regaining my composure and putting it aside for a week or so, I began to do a little research on my own.  I found that Captain Jeremy Jones of the First Battalion also exists, but he had no remembrance of any of these events.  Everyone who knew Captain Clement Starke of the Third Battalion before all this began, now says no such person ever existed!

 

 

CHAPTER ELEVEN

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I stared at Dewayne for a moment, and what about Sergeant Major Matt Randolph?  ‘O, the good Sergeant Major exists alright, and I found him, he is still on active duty in the Army, and he states he was never involved with any Professor James ‘Grumble’ Jones, nor the other people I mention.  Further, he claims the two of us have never met, yet I’ve know all of these men for more the 20 years, we’ve done reenactments together, and he wasn’t on active duty either.  My best guess is that history was altered; either in the retrieval or else by something we did, during our time back in 1862.  While nearly everything remains as it was, still, bits and piece have been altered somehow!

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Looking about the table, it was obvious by the expression on everyone face, Dewayne had everyone’s full and undivided attention, but I just had to add yet another question, ‘what about the three battalions of troops, their weapons and equipment?  What happened to the supply wagons and the Command Tent?  Dewayne thought for a moment, then replied, ‘my guess is that the men were simply returned to wherever they happen to be and whatever state they were in, when all this began.  Some would have recalled the events, while others will never know; they had gone back in time.  As for the various items, they may have been dissolved while passing back through the retrieval process!
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However there is one more item, another solid piece of evidence!’  We all looked at each other, Rich glanced at me, expecting me to inquire, but decided to ask for him self, ‘What evidence?’  Now Dewayne broke his seriousness a wee bit, ‘you two Command Officers forgot your horses and sabers, the horses are back at my ranch.’  My curiosity got the best of me, ‘Where is our sabers?’  Dewayne got up from his chair, walked to the door, opened it a bit, reached out and pick up two swords, laying on an old display case.  Dewayne quickly returned and handed each of us our swords while asking a final question, ‘we were indeed back in 1862, but could we have pulled it off?
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Well, no matter we may never know, but I will say this, those horses and their accoutrements, still belong to the two of you!’  As I looked at our newly acquired friend, Dewayne Watson, my mind went back to that short space of time when my life long wish had come true; now ‘Take Me Home’ has become a living reality.  It was getting late so we all stood to our feet and walked out onto the porch so as to say our good-byes, and as we did so Dewayne turned back with a mischievous grin on his face, ‘I hope those ground to ground missiles don’t end up somewhere they shouldn’t.  A wagonload of such missiles might be hard to explain in the middle of a 19th century Eskimo Village!’
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God save the Confederacy

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“God governs in the affairs of man.  And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?  We have been assured in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.  I firmly believe this.  I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel” Constitutional Convention of 1787 | original manuscript of this speech … Benjamin Franklin  

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