Ahab of the North

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Ahab of the North
I
Kings, Chapter 17-22
Winds of Atlanta

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things will be added unto you.” {Matthew 6:33}
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“Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said unto them, Shall I go against Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall I forebear? And they said; Go up; for the Lord shall deliver it into the hands of the king.” {I Kings 22:6}. It is said, “Those who do not learn from history, are bound to repeats its mistakes.” Is it possible that the Union, which had only recently lost the war in the story 'Winds of Atlanta', would then repeat the mistakes of Ahab King of Israel, in the days when the land was divided into Israel to the north and Judah to the south? A mistake, which took place around 887 years before the birth of Jesus Christ! Should not a General such as William Tecumseh Sherman, have been acutely aware of the strategic error that he was about to make? Let us travel back to those post war years as the story ‘Winds of Atlanta’ is re-ignited, under the story posted and titled below as Ahab of the North!

Log onboard Part I of this story,
Click below, hyperlink attached!


Winds of Atlanta

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Ahab was the seventh King of Israel. He reigned for 22 years (871-852 BC). He was the son of Omri. He married Jezebel, daughter of Ethbaal, the king of the Sidonians. Ahab, under Jezebel's influence, built a pagan temple, and allowed idols into Samaria. Elijah the prophet warned Ahab that the country would suffer from drought if the cult of Baal was not removed from the land of Israel.

After three years of drought, Elijah challenged Ahab and his pagan priests on Mount Carmel. God sent down fire to ignite a sacrifice, but the priests of Baal could not summon Baal to do the same. Then the people realized that God was the only true God. (1 Kings 18:18-39). Then, rains came and ended the drought.

Elijah denounced Ahab as a murderer because of the stoning of Naboth, which Jezebel, had instigated. Elijah told Ahab that dogs would lick his blood outside of the city, just as they had licked the blood of Naboth. He also told Ahab that none of his male heirs would survive and that Jezebel would be torn apart by the dogs of Jezreel (1 Kings 21:17-24).
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After that, Ahab went into deep repentance, and the fulfillment of the prophecy was postponed. Ahab fought Ben-Hadad the King of Damascus in several wars, and then allied himself with Jehoshaphat, King of Judah to liberate Ramoth Gilead from the Arameans.

Ahab was warned by the prophet Micaiah that he would die in the battle. But Ahab went to battle anyway, disguised as a soldier, and was killed by a stray arrow. When the blood on his chariot was washed off at a pool in Samaria, the dogs licked up his blood as Elijah said. Jezebel, and eventually all of Ahab's male heirs died as the prophet said.

The Bible lists Ahab as the most evil of all the kings before him (1 Kings 16:30). Ahab's son Ahaziah became the new king. The story of Ahab is found in 1 Kings, chapters 16-22.

Archaeological note: Carved ivory plaques were found at the site of Ahab's palace in Samaria. Ahab was known to live in a ivory palace (1 Kings 22:39).
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Aftermath of the Surrender

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The Surrender of the Union, long in coming finally took place on 2 April 1865 in Washington, when Abraham Lincoln capitulated and ordered his troops to stand down. The official Articles of Surrender between the two Chiefs of State, Jefferson Davis and Abraham Lincoln were signed in Richmond one week later on 9 April, thus becoming Independence Day for the Confederate States of America. It has been a year and a half since that day, and my wife and I had only recently returned from what was in this post war time period, a long journey to Atlanta for a Reunion of the Army of Central Georgia or at least a sizeable percentage of it anyway.
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The War for Confederate Independence had come and gone, and while it had only been such a short while ago, still, it seemed like a lifetime, and those of us, which had traveled back in time from the 21st century, settled in to life in the post war Confederacy. Colonel John Marshall and most of his Black Raiders, which were organized to be a kind of Special Tactics Command, settled in and around the Richmond area. While at the same time the Atlanta Regiment, which put on the War Crimes Trials were Georgians, so most of them returned to their native State, settling at Savannah as well as in Charlotte North Carolina.
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Our traveling back in time and altering history cancelled out the original time line, wherein General Robert E. Lee had surrendered at Appomattox Courthouse, now this small community was left as little more then a kind of sleepy village. Well, I’d always loved the area including the beautiful Shenandoah. So my wife Janine and myself George McCullum made it home, using what talents we both possess, to the benefit of the Confederacy, at least those which would translate into this time period. Professor Albert Einstone, a Colonel during the war, was accepted as a Professor at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington.
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General Robert E. Lee returned to the Lee Mansion in Arlington and spent his time restoring the estate to its prewar grandeur, while my old friend Martin {Marty} Garrett, a Colonel and for a while Brevet Brigadier General, was among those returning to Georgia. But he did manage keep track of just about everyone in the original Army of Central Georgia. It was Marty that urged the Officer’s Corps of the A.C.G. to set up a recall system, just in case the Yankees decided to march south once again. He even came up with a system to warehouse the weapons, ammunition and other supplies left over from the war, just in case.
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Lieutenant General Walter Lowry and his wife Joyce bought one of several plantations in north central Alabama, in the region that would have become Birmingham under the old time line, but now had continued as an agricultural region. There was a Field Hospital Command attached to our Army, which made its headquarters in Atlanta Georgia, and devoted itself to the furtherance of Medical Science. I felt compelled to keep President Davis appraised as to the whereabouts of key elements of the Army of Central Georgia, even though they officially had been disbanded.
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All of the members of the A.C.G., which were not incapacitated by age, disease or disability, were foresworn to answer a recall, should it come. However none of us really considered the possibility, believing it was not all that likely outside of being called for a social reunion, whenever such a thing could be arranged. The McLean family managed to return to their home not far outside of town and resumed farming; they’re home being the place where General Lee would have surrendered. It appeared as if that long and terrible war was over, the Confederacy could now began the process of rebuilding its villages, towns, cities, and the lives of its citizens.
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My combination home and business was in downtown Appomattox Courthouse, where a telegraph and a small newspaper had been established. The business itself was more the result of Janine’s effort then my own, a sort of Farmers Market, whereby produce could be traded between the various areas of Virginia. Janine used the system to help bring needed goods to the local communities, so ravaged by the war. My office overlooked the main street of town, so I could work and look out the window at the comings and goings of day-to-day traffic.
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The Lying Spirit
 
The surrender of General Sherman, then Abraham Lincoln himself, as well as a Stand Down of the Union Armies, caused a deep sense of relief throughout the Confederacy. The general feeling was that the good citizens could now settle down to the job of rebuilding, as well as creating a just and honorable society and nation. Our little family trading shop in Appomattox Courthouse was prospering, and soon began to expand into every corner of greater Virginia, including Arlington, as well as southward into Georgia. Contracts were being negotiated whereby we could extend our trade by rail, down as far as Atlanta and eventually beyond.
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While at the same time we introduced into Georgia agriculture, a crop that the Boll Weevil, Cutworm, Leafhoppers as well as other pests could not easily destroy, as they had done with 19th century cotton. Among these was a high bread Cotton Seed, as well as Peanuts, seeds we had brought back with us from the 21st century. The Confederacy having won the war meant the two Virginias were now reunited, causing a sizeable exodus of the more radical elements of the population. However, I couldn’t help but yield to a desire to get away from the office from time to time, so I found myself occasionally taking a run into nearby communities.
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While returning from one of these runs, I found myself passing by the slops of Shenandoah in west central Virginia proper, where I managed to halt the team and wagon, deciding to step down and take a short walk. If only to take in the awesome beauty of the landscape! I began to speak to the Lord God, not as if in a formal prayer, but rather as one would a friend standing nearby. I looked about so as to see if anyone was about, inasmuch as it was my purpose to be as it were, alone with my prayers. However for a brief moment, I could only drink in the spectacle before turning to the business at hand, that being to pray!
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“O Lord, I said, you have truly blessed our people and in so doing, I can’t help but believe these blessing will spread abroad, even among those who where formerly our enemy during the late war. In causing that the empire of Abraham Lincoln to have been dismantled by their loss of the war, you have caused the original Grand Ole Republic to be reborn, just as both you O Lord and our founders surely must have intended.” Suddenly my prayer was interrupted by a bright light, one that could only be describe as not unlike turning on a 1000 watt bulb, where before there was one of not more then 40 watts.
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I had to shield my eyes least the flash of light blind me by its brightness! The image of a Heavenly being begun to take shape, and in the process I fell to my knees at the sight of what was appearing before me. After a while the being spoke to me saying “Son of the Confederacy, arise to thy feet, for General Sherman will surely escape and plot much evil against your people.” I arose to my feet as the Heavenly being commanded, and rubbed my eyes once more so as to focus more clearly. What I saw was an Angel from the Almighty God, who identified himself a Messenger of the Most High.
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Again the Angel of the Lord called me, Son of the Confederacy and then commanded; “Come with me!” The Angel turned about and I followed him through the bright light that enshrouded him completely. Upon arriving at our destination, I wasn’t immediately aware as to where I was, until looking about where upon I could see the U.S. Capital Building in the distance. After turning in the opposite direction, I found myself standing in front of a relatively large Church, at least large for this post War period. Once more the Angel referred to me as the Son of the Confederacy, as he stated, “Look and listen carefully, that you may learn.”
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There was a group of men gathered in front of the Church, and based upon the position of the sun; I estimated the time to be somewhere in the early afternoon, no doubt immediately after the dismissal time of their Worship Services. The ladies were all standing to one side, grouped together separately, and speaking of those things customary for ladies during this time period. As I walked closer to the gathering of men it became obvious, they could not see me nor were they aware of my presence. It didn’t take long to figure out who was the centerpiece of what had developed into an enthusiastic discussion, to say the least.
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I was now totally aware that I was sent here of the Lord God via His messenger so as to learn, and it was my intention to comply with His will to the best of my ability. I looked about to see if I could recognize any of the dozen or more men gathered round about, immediate I spotted President George B. McClellan, and soon after, none other then Major General Ambrose Burnside, now in civilian clothing. General Burnside was easily recognizable due to this unique ‘Side Burns’ and Beard. It was after all this same General that spawned the term ‘Side Burns’ to identify the hair that grows just forward of a man’s ears.

Based upon the scene before me, I figured he was no longer on active duty, but yet he seemed to be leading the discussion. “Mr. President, he stated, plans have been launched by our agents in Georgia to break General Sherman out of Andersonville. I believe I need not spell out Sherman’s intentions, should that take place!” General Burnside, I too am a General and very much aware as to where our conversation is leading, and I must have to time think this through. General Burnside, might I assume you have others that support your proposed course of action? “You are indeed correct Mr. President, I do not stand alone!
 
There are 400 hundred of us, including Senior Military Officers, Industrialists, Bankers as well as members of the Clergy! The Confederacy has drastically downsized its army from its wartime strength, there now famous super weapons are no doubt hidden in a secret location, in storage. President McClellan paused for a moment, glanced at General Burnside, then at Secretary of State Steward, standing nearby. Alright General, I’ll consider it, replied the President, however we will not discuss the issue further at this time, particularly not here on the street in front of the Church, I will see you in my office tomorrow morning.
 
There was one thing of which I was certain, Major General Ambrose Burnside was no doubt a firm advocate; however I could not bring myself to believe he was the mastermind. Somewhere out there was that same Lying Spirit that convinced King Ahab of ancient Israel, to march to his death. These 400 Advisors to President George B. McClellan was obviously under the spell of that same Lying Spirit, and he would meet with a fate not unlike Ahab. But why was all this being revealed to me, after all, I am but a lowly, humble servant of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?
 
What was I seeing take place here, was this developing into a replication of I Kings Chapter 22, all over again; howbeit there seemed to be an already obvious difference. I considered carefully the Scripture, where King Ahab of Israel in the north was in league with ‘King Jehoshaphat’ of Judah to his south, and I compared the two situations. If I am interpreting the two scenarios correctly, the Union as a nation is alone, unlike King Ahab, in its growing desire to invade a Confederacy now at peace.
 
But all this could not possibly have come from the mind of General Burnside!.

Nonetheless from the standpoint of President McClellan, he was no doubt following the same path, as did Ahab! I was thinking within myself that General Sherman could well be McClellan’s ‘Jehoshaphat’ but then Sherman as of this moment in time, was still in prison, as far as I knew. Nonetheless, might he not escape in the future, and wreak havoc throughout the Confederate States? But then this was precisely why I was brought here, that being to learn! In the meantime I must have faith that at some point, I will be made to know of the Lord, what part I am to play in these unfolding events.
 
My attention was once more drawn to the Angel who had brought me here and even now commanded; “You have yet another visitation to make, follow me.” So just as before, I followed the Heavenly Messenger, the Angel of the Lord, whereupon I found myself in the U.S.’s President’s Whitehouse Office. Gathered together in the same room were President George B. McClellan, Major General Ambrose Burnside, once again in civilian cloths, and Secretary of State William H. Steward. The Angel of the Lord looked at me and said; “Behold O Son of the Confederacy, the Lying Spirit and instigator of the evil, who stands with the Union President."
 
I looked carefully and studied the scene before me, it couldn’t be the President nor was it likely General Burnside, and it suddenly dawned on me, Secretary of State Steward was with Abraham Lincoln from the beginning. He stood with these two men along with approximately a dozen more in front of the Church, the day before! O Messenger of the Most High, I asked; is the Lying Spirit Secretary of State William H. Steward, who even now speaks with the President? The Angel, glowing with the Glory of Heaven’s Grace, looked at me and replied; “Behold the Lying Spirit that lead King Ahab of Israel to his death.”
 
Just as the Angel of the Lord had finished speaking to me, an unexpected party entered the President’s Office, it was Vice President George Hunt Pendleton. “Why is he here, what has he to do with this discussion, asked Secretary of State Steward? He seems to be opposed to every thing you say or do Mr. President; I don’t even understand why you chose him as a Vice President.” Because stated the President, I need an opposing opinion in order to balance out my options. All right then, grumbled Major General Burnside; if we must, let us be on with it, let him speak!
 
The Vice President now standing in the center of the office, looked about himself at the Secretary of State, General Burnside and finally turning to the President he spoke, however on this occasion he sounded more like a prophet, then a Vice President. “I will speak plainly and straight forward on this issue, an invasion of the Confederacy at peace, particularly after having officially agreed to the Articles of Surrender will lead to disaster. Mr. President, both General Sherman and yourself, if you carryout this invasion, will be riding to your death.
 
The Almighty God will never sanction such a strategy as has been proposed by these Lying Prophets, which have convinced you to leading of an easy victory by marching yet another Army and possibly yourself into a disaster. You Mr. President are falling for the same lies as did King Ahab of Israel, and how are your 400 Advisors different then the 400 Prophets of Baal? To whom shall you listen Mr. President, the God of all Creation or these false Prophets, lead by your own Secretary of State Steward? After being scorned for his remarks, the Vice President turned abruptly and left the office.
 
Then just as suddenly as I was taken from the beautiful sloping hills of the Shenandoah, I came to myself and found that I was once again standing where I was before. The Angel and Messenger from the Most High spoke to me one last time, “you will receive yet another visitor from the Lord, the Grace of the Lord God is upon you, go your way in peace.” The Angel faded away and I stood alone, looking about so as to regain my sense of time and place. While on one hand I knew in a general sense what was going to take place, still, I could only wait and allow things to unfold, according to the Divine Grace and Providence of Almighty God.
 

The Heavenly Visitor
 
However not all was at peace, in Americus Georgia word was received by Sheriff Jason Goodson, that Generals William Tecumseh Sherman and James B. McPherson, as well as a Sergeant, a Lieutenant, Corporal and a Private, had escaped from Andersonville Prison. The Prison Commandant, formerly Captain and now Colonel, Henry Warts was quick to request assistance from the Sheriff, asking that he might round up a Bounty Hunter using bloodhounds and a Posse, so as to search for the escapees. They would do their tracking on horseback, since there was no assurance, these men were still on foot!
 
The prison, properly named Camp Sumter, was located at the boundary of Sumter and Macon Counties. Camp Sumter had only been in existence for approximately four months at the time of the Battle of Atlanta, but now housed only about 1275 prisoners, a goodly number for this long after the war. The property was originally expanded to over 1500 acres upon the surrender of General Sherman’s Army, and then reduced to 495 acres by the time of his escape. Prisoners still confined there, were primarily those considered dangerous or else left over from the surrender itself, as well as the War Crimes Trials!
 
Chaplain Edward Wright, Brevet Brigadier General during the late war, now reverted to Colonel, spoke to Sheriff Goodson, having acted not only as a Minister but a Counselor to the prisoners, regarding their salvation as well as any personal affairs. Upon the two men meeting at Camp Sumter, they shook hands and spoke a few pleasantries, then the Sheriff asked; “Chaplain, you probably know Sherman better then any Confederate alive, can you tell me anything that would help in tracking him.” Well, explained Chaplain Wright, I rarely use the term Demon Possessed, not wishing to be known as a mad, out of control Cleric. But in this case, if any man today fits that description, it is this man Sherman, his conning nature is matched only by Satan himself.
 
You are not dealing here with a mere zealous Union Patriot, but a diabolical man bent on revenge! The words of Chaplain Wright would serve not only as a warning, but would also prove prophetic! As it turned out, for Sherman the War was not over, and he quickly reverted to his former ways; inasmuch as not more then 20 miles from the Prison Camp, the entire families of Richard Palmer and Lloyd Tomlinson, who were local farmers, were found to have been murdered, their houses and barns burned. The remains of their youngest children were never found, and were presumed destroyed in the intense fires that ensued.
 
Among those items of property found to be missing were their horses, and it didn’t take a major investigation to figure out what became of them! It had to be assumed that Sherman and his five compatriots were now armed, wearing civilian attire and on horseback. The bloodhounds verified at least a portion of their assumptions, when they picked up their scent just east of the two burnings. The bounty hunter, commissioned by the State, and experienced in his craft, pointed to six sets of hoof prints. Sherman was now, not only a War Criminal, but also a Serial Murder of the worst kind, that he would kill innocent men, women and children.
 
The Posse then followed the escapees into the Savannah area, and it appeared they were gaining on them! The trail however diverted slightly north of Savannah toward Fort Paluski, and ended at a small inlet bayou between the Fort and Savannah itself. Meanwhile back in Appomattox I was working in the stable behind the store, doing the regular chores required of keeping livestock such as horses. I had just finished spreading fresh straw on the dirt floor when the horses began to whinny, just as I was about to put away the pitchfork I was holding in my hands and go inside.
 
I looked around not expecting anyone particular, when suddenly their appeared a blinding light coming from the direction of the large open double door entrance. My heart began to pound as my mind went wild with thoughts, what could it be, it didn’t seem like it was actually a fire, which was always a danger in a wooden, dray structure such as a horse stable. After a few moments the light began to take shape, even as I began to tremble at what I saw, to the point of falling to my knees. I had read and heard enough to know that I was looking at an Archangel from Heaven, having three distinct sets of wings, each spread out in a glorious fashion.
 
The Archangel appeared like unto a Warrior Angel in a certain sort of way, and as the Angel came into focus he looked down at me and said, ‘O Son of the Confederacy’, rise to your feet for I am a fellow Servant of the Lord. I have come from the very presence of the Most High God, as a Messenger! Who art though, O Messenger of the Almighty God, I asked? What would the God of all creation ask of me, for I am but dust, that I should be so honored! I am Michael the Archangel that stands before the Lord God Almighty, and of his Son Jesus Christ, who hast sent me with a warning, that you will soon receive three Visitors from President Jefferson Davis.
 
While your nation has been at peace, a large Union Army is even now gathering, and will soon launch an attack; therefore upon conferring with President Davis, you shall call out your Confederate Gideonites, and march them toward an open field north of the Bull Run River. This field shall to you, be known as Ramoth-gilead! There you shall come face to face with this Union Ahab of the North and his Lying Prophets, who hath assured him of an easy victory; there upon those very grounds, thou shalt destroy him, as well as his Army. The Archangel seemed to have finished with his message, and had paused while looking directly at me!
 

I was thinking that he would disappear before I had a chance to ask of him a couple of questions; Notwithstanding, I was still frightened enough to be shaking inside, but went ahead and ask my question of the Archangel anyway. Forgive me but allow but one more question O Michael the Archangel and Servant of the Most High, should I not call out the Army of Central Georgia? ‘O thou Son of the Confederacy’ replied the Archangel, call them to muster, but they must not march into Virginia, unless directed of the Lord!’ How O Michael the Archangel, can we hope to defeat such a massive army as you have described, with but 300 men?
 

O Son of the Confederacy’ the battle is the Lords, the Army of Central Georgia are to many in number and their arms to mighty, your 300 Confederate Gideonites shall be sufficient for the victory. Your Colonel Martin Garrett shall Command the battle in the name of the Lord God! The men in their ranks shall carry only pistols, which must remain in their holsters, along with their large Shofars {Rams Horns}, Shofars that shall sound the Lord’s judgment. And this very field shall be known thereafter and spoken of as as the Field of God’s Judgment, where upon you shall see the Yankee Empire brought to their knees before your face.
 

The Archangel Michael began to slowly fade away, no doubt returning to the Throne Room of Heaven itself! But as he departed I could hear him say, ‘fear not and go in peace, for the Spirit of God is with your 300 Confederate Gideonites, their Commander as well as yourself. Under the sign of the Cross and the Bow of Seven Stars, thou shalt be victorious! After the Archangel had fully disappeared, I paused to gather my thoughts and to consider what to do about those things revealed to me. How could I tell others that I had seen the Archangel Michael and that I was already familiar with the situation, as it will unfold?
 
How could I tell them that I even knew how it would all transpire? Somehow I came to the decision that it was best to simply do as the Archangel had directed and leave everything up to the Lord God Almighty. According to the Archangel Michael, a small Battalion of Gideonites would be God's own instrument in destroying this Union Ahab of the North as well as his Lying Prophets, which included the criminal General William Tecumseh Sherman and his entire Army. Therefore I decided to return to work and react as if nothing unusual had taken place!
 

I returned to the Shop and was soon back at work on an order to transport several loads of farm produce to Lexington and Richmond, when three Confederate Cavalrymen rode up, tied off their horses in front and entered! Seeing me arise from my desk, located off to the front left hand corner of the store after entering, they walked around the end of the counter and approached. It seemed odd already knowing they were coming, even if I didn’t know all the details. Still there was enough mystery remaining that I didn’t have to put on any pretense. I chose to greet the three Cavalrymen, and indeed I was pleased to do so!
 
There was a Lieutenant, a Quartermaster Sergeant and a Private; the Officer spoke for all of them! “Might you be sir, Colonel George McCullum, Brevet Brigadier during the war?” As I looked at the three of them, I had no doubt as to what the Confederate Army wanted of me. The Officer however, seeing a bewilderment in my expression replied to what he believed to be my unspoken question; “Greetings, I am Lieutenant William O’Riley, President Jefferson Davis wishes to speak to you in Richmond, immediately; I am at liberty only to say, that it is an emergency.
 
The President has indicated that your commission as a Brevet Brigadier General has been reactivated, upon your acceptance of course. If you accept, we should leave within the hour; shall I call you Brigadier sir? So be it, time is obviously precious, give me a short while to prepare and we’ll be on our way.” Just then Janine entered through the back door; “what is it sweetheart, who are these soldiers?” I quickly introduced Lieutenant O’Riley to my wife, and briefly explained to her the urgency of my departing at once for Richmond; “I understand honey, I can take care of business while you are away, and if need be, I am sure the ladies will help.
 
The four of you can be on your way, everything is alright here!” I headed toward the back to prepare for the journey, saddled up, as well as armed myself as if for war, while I didn’t as yet have the details, I knew instinctively it wouldn’t be a picnic. Janine offered the three Confederate Cavalrymen a fresh cup of coffee with the traditional buttered biscuit, then a few packets of food for their journey to Richmond. After a little less then an hour I rode my stallion around to the front of the Store, looked about and dismounted. My uniform, saddle and horse blanket reflected the rank of a Commissioned Brigadier, in the Confederate Army!

 
After tying my horse to the hitching rail in front, I entered the front door! The Lieutenant called the three of them to attention, saluted and called out Brigadier General McCullum, sir. My wife Janine expressed her concern; “You expect trouble don’t you George, well, no need to say so, I can see it in all of your faces.” Lieutenant O’Riley, the Sergeant and the Private headed for the door, as I finished my goodbyes, and soon followed them. We all mounted, tip our hats seeing Janine had exited the building, and gave her a wave.

 
As I looked back at her I couldn’t help but take special notice as to how she is so lovely, dressed as the Southern Belle I always knew her to be. That is the particular part of this time period I love, that women do after all appear dressed as ladies! After a short while we had disappeared in the distance! And a short distance down the road I took the time to ask a question, which had been on my mind. Lieutenant, why didn’t President Davis simply send a telegram, rather then three Cavalrymen? The Lieutenant paused long enough that I began to wonder if he was ignoring me, or perhaps didn’t here my question, over the horses whinnying.
 
“Well General, the President was very concerned that you be made aware of the critical nature of the situation, fearing it could be lost somehow in the delivery. Given the slow means of transportation during this time period, the dirt roads and the stops we had to make, we arrived in Richmond the evening of the third day, refreshed ourselves overnight, and reported to the Confederate Whitehouse a little after 9’ O’clock on the fourth day. It was for me to report alone to the President so I made preparations, mounted up and rode slowly through the streets of the city.
 

A Presidential Call to Arms
 
It was the10th of May when I rode up to the President’s Residence, dismounted and walked up to the door, turning back for a quick glance, I noticed a servant fetching my horse and leading him away. After knocking on the door I was surprised to find that Varina Davis herself answered the door, later I was told it was not uncommon for either her or the President to do so, on occasion. But I was pleasantly surprised, being greeting by our most lovely and charming First Lady of the Confederacy. Obviously I was expected, inasmuch as I was met with a question; “would you be Brigadier General George McCullum, she asked?"
 
After replying in the affirmative, she smiled graciously; welcome General, my husband the President is expecting you! I entered and was lead to the sitting room where President Davis arose from his chair. I was most proud to be meeting our honored President, and being in uniform, I had the opportunity I could only have imagined in my dreams, back in the 21st century. As I approached him, I rendered a sharp salute, Greetings Mr. President, I believe you have something to discuss with me. By all means, replied President Davis, but first you must have a little dust in your throat from the long ride, may I offer a cup of coffee and a biscuit?
 
Just as I was answering a servant approached, may I take your hat sir, I handed him my uniform hat and an extra yellow scarf I was using as a kind of neck wrap, he gave a polite nod of the head and walked away. Have a seat General, remarked Davis; I pray your journey was not unpleasant! No, Mr. President, not at all unpleasant, I was just finishing my remark when a lady entered, a free Negro Servant with coffee and biscuits for the President and myself. The President glanced at me, as if pausing to considering the right opening; I am sure you must be curious as to why I ask you to come.
 
Yes Sir, I cannot deny that I have given it much thought, but my estimation is that it cannot be good news! No General, your estimation has proven correct, so I shall be straightforward. Generals Sherman and McPherson have escaped, as well as a Lieutenant, a Sergeant, a Corporal and a Private. There is good reason to believe it was a plot made in cooperation with inside agents; likely as not, they have headed for a rendezvous along the oceanfront somewhere. Should they make it to Union territory, they will no doubt be greeted as heroes, rather then as convicted criminals.
 
I sat in awe at what I was hearing, Sherman was supposed to have been executed over a year ago, how is it that he has lived long enough to plot an escape? You more then anyone else know of such things, there were delays, postponements and negotiations, as one date after another was announced, and then set aside. The four of them obviously believed it better to travel in civilian cloths, since their uniforms such as they were, after so long a confinement, was left behind. A team was soon organized and bloodhounds were called in to track them down!

 
The dogs were given a whiff of the clothing the men had previously worn so they could get a good scent, and the six of them were traced to an area just north of Savannah, and into a bayou not far from Fort Paluski, where their scent was lost. Either Sherman himself or one of the other five obviously knew how to throw the bloodhounds off their trail, given the delays along the way. It has been learned since then that the Corporal that escaped with him, was the likely candidate. Well Mr. President, what part would you like me to play in all this, I am willing to do what ever I can, I am sure you know this.
 
Yes General I have every confidence that you will do your best, but at the moment I cannot afford to take chances, I need you to recall your Army of Central Georgia. As I indicated Mr. President I am pleased and indeed honored to do whatever I can, but why the Army of Central Georgia, where is Robert E. Lee, James Longtreet or Beauregard? General McCullum, you have never mentioned from where you came or how your army came into possession of such weapons. I do know our finest weapons researchers and manufacturers have attempted to duplicate them, but to no avail, as yet.
 
I do know General, that you have surely come a very long way, and you certainly must be aware of the nature of our Confederacy, that our member States are sovereign over all domestic affairs within their own borders. How long ago did these Yankees escape, Mr. President, I asked? Well, General, it has been about two and a half months now, and by this time they could well have made it home. George McClellan, while known as a peace President, will no doubt feel compelled to accept Sherman with open arms, possibly even reward him with a Command.
 
While we see him as the criminal that he is, they obviously have the opposite opinion! Mr. President, all this having been said, we should indeed make preparations, against the possibility that President McClellan will give him a major Command as well as the nod to march south. General McCullum, if your Senior Officers were present, I’d inquire of him, but since General Lowry is presently in far off New Orleans with P.G.T. Beauregard working on an experimental submarine, I’ll ask you. What do you recommend? If we are too obvious Mr. President, in making our preparations, and should Sherman have made it to the north, he will counter every move we devise.

 
We have only a small space of time, so I recommend the Army of Central Georgia be place on what we call battle ready alert. This means they will muster their three Corps and rearm, then moved to fixed locations! In the meantime Mr. President, we have a very special Command that has never heretofore been mentioned, because they are to be called into service only under the most unusual of circumstances, wherein it is obvious the Almighty God has inspired their use. “And you are certain General McCullum, this is such an occasion, asked President Davis?"
 
Indeed I am certain Mr. President, and further I propose that rather then to march an entire army north, we should instead bait a trap for General Sherman, presupposing he has regained Command of an Army. Our marching a large army out of Georgia at this time would only provide him the very information he will need to counter our move. About that time John C. Breckinridge entered the room, it being his custom to enter through the rear entrance. Whereby during the war years his comings and goings would not be commonly known! Forgive my intrusion Mr. President, but I have information, which may be critical to the present discussion!
 

The President turned his attention from Brigadier General George McCullum to his Secretary of War! “Do continue John, what information have you, if it is indeed critical we must have every conceivable piece of information possible, in order to form an effective strategy.” Most assuredly Mr. President, General Sherman, and his fellow Officer General McPherson, have now been authorized by President McClellan to form an Army in Central Maryland, and he is doing so, even as we speak. There is little doubt that he will march south, using the same route that General Lee used to march north against Washington.
 
It is expected that he will bypass Arlington, inasmuch as his intended goal will be this very government! Should he succeed, his intentions will be to finish his march through Georgia, but this time with more vengeance then before. The President glanced at Secretary Breckinridge; “How many troops is he expected to have, and when might he be ready to march?” Our own agents tell me his goal is 65,000, likely divided into three Corps with McPherson as his Second in Command; he is having no difficulty recruiting veteran troops, and President McClellan is equipping them as fast as they reporting for duty.
 
Their enthusiasm comes in part from an expectation of finding the Confederacy unprepared, we having reduced our army down from its wartime levels. As a Brigadier General and the most likely to make an initial engagement against Sherman, may I inject my own opinion! Mr. President, allow me to add, that in Sherman’s place, I would base my strategy on the principle that the Confederacy could not muster an effective army quickly enough, and by the time they did, I’d have conquered Richmond, and I would shortly thereafter be crossing into North Carolina, and onward toward Georgia.
 
“What would be your strategy then, how would you prepare to face off again with General Sherman, replied President Davis? I would prefer to have Generals Lee, Hood, Longstreet as well as Beauregard by your side, but quite frankly, I don’t see how that is possible, at least not before Sherman has already reeked havoc throughout Virginia.” Mr. President, Mr. Secretary, I learned much about Sherman’s thinking; I’ve discovered that he is a prideful and revengeful man, he will march his army through Springdale Maryland, and down through Manassas Junction.
 
Thereby in his mind he will be reversing the line of General’s Lee’s march into Washington! There upon that same battlefield, where our Confederate Armies fought their Union Forces twice, we shall face off again. I recommend a runner be sent to evacuate the area, very quietly, thereby giving my own army the freedom to operate as necessary. President Davis was by this time wondering, what army; “you still haven’t said much about this Special Command of which you have spoken, General McCullum.” I looked at the two men for a moment, considering how I would respond, given the nature of our ‘Special Command.'
 
Secretary of War Breckinridge understandably, wanted to know how the General could raise an effective fighting force, sufficient to face off with Sherman, if he himself as Secretary of War would find it extremely difficult. Again looking at the two men, I replied; we call them the Gideon Battalion, and I am being quite literal when I say they march as a Separate Command, only at the bidding of our Lord and Savior. I am convinced in my spirit, this is such a time! Breckinridge looked at his President then made his own comment, Mr. President it is naturally your call, but in my view, I recommend giving the General the opportunity to carryout his strategy.
 
At the very least he should be able to slow Sherman’s advance while you’re Army of Central Georgia musters and makes its own preparations. President Davis looked at both of us, arose from his chair and paced the room for a moment, then replied; “General, muster this Gideon Battalion you speak of, and put them on the march toward Manassas Junction, according to your plan. In the meantime I am already aware as to how to locate Lieutenant General Walter Lowry in New Orleans, and I will direct him to keep me informed as to his progress in mustering, rearming and positioning his three Corps.
 

Additionally, General I am sure you remember Private William Bentley, now a Sergeant, from your days in Georgia, well he is here. Sergeant Bentley will be sent immediately to Manassas Junction, and he will be instructed to be very discrete.” The Secretary of War as well as President Davis were both standing by this time, and seeing the President extend his hand, I figured this discussion was over, so I arose from my own chair also. As I saluted my Commander in Chief, and gave my good bys, we then shook hands as I slowly headed for the door.
 
War Clouds Gather
 

There had been much rain since I met with President Davis and Secretary Breckinridge in Richmond, the Bull Run River located north-northeast of Manassas Junction as well as its tributary, the Yates Ford, was high for this time of year. I arrived in the Manassas Junction area on the evening of the 27th of May, and was greeted by my old friend Colonel Martin Garrett, known to me as simply Marty. He had mustered the Gideon Battalion on the other side of the Bull Run River, in hopes of stopping Sherman’s advance or at the very least, using the river itself as a kind of wedge.
.
Germantown and Fairfax lay slightly to the northeast, and the rail line crossed the Bull Run River to the south, somewhere between these several points, by God’s Grace, I hoped to trap Sherman. I felt like this once before, what was I thinking, how did I think I could stop Sherman’s 65,000 veterans troops with 300 men, however professional they may be? Then I came to myself and realized, of course I couldn’t, there was absolutely no chance whatsoever, outside of the Divine Grace and Providence of Almighty God. But then I knew within my spirit, that God wanted to demonstrate, that it was He and He alone who was our deliverer!
 
Our Scouts had spotted Sherman’s Army approaching the area, limbering along like a string of elephants stretched out for miles in the distance, so after a short greeting to renew an old friendship, Marty and I crossed over the river so as to join up with our Gideon Battalion. Marty I said, you are the Commander of the Gideon’s, my presence does not alter that fact, so proceed as you wish, we shall pray together that God will stand with you, guide your every decision and give you wisdom. All right then, Sherman will be arriving in the open area northwest of the rail line and southeast of Centerville, it will no doubt be sometime after dark.
 
He will likely choose to set up an encampment and send out Sentries to scout the area, wanting to make sure his hunches were correct, that the Confederacy was unable to muster an army in so short a time. We will remain hidden until a couple of hours before daybreak; it is at that time we will make our move. For the present we will settle into place out of sight, in those stand of trees to the north, where I will a hold Council of War with my commanders. Colonel Martin Garrett and myself Brigadier General George McCullum approached and rejoined the Gideon Battalion; Colonel Garrett then called out to Major Jacob Bernstein.
 

”Major, move these troops out of the open field and into those stand of trees over yonder, then have your three Captains as well as yourself join me in a Council of War. Make sure the 300 have their enlarged Shofars and the stick matches we brought with us through the time field. Double check and see if all of your Captains have their Walkie Talkies!” Major Bernstein then saluted and made his way over to the Gideons, which were standing about 30 yards away. He could be heard ordering them into the woods and directing that they divide themselves into squads of 100 men each, and instructing all three squads to camouflage themselves.
 
An hour later General McCullum, Colonel Garrett, Major Bernstein and the three Captains, mustered at a location about 25 yards into the woods, to the northeast side of the large open space. The Colonel allowed his men a moment to come together and have a few words among themselves, before beginning the War Council. “Gentlemen, the lead elements of Sherman’s Army should be arriving within a couple of hours, so I’ll make this short. Our three squads will position themselves north, east and south of the open space, each squad will spread themselves roughly even along their particular side of the space, but well concealed.
 
The first squad will position themselves to the east, the second to the north and the third to the south! Once Sherman and his Army enter the open space, he will have his back to the river and as you have seen, the water is high. The wooden road bridge will not sustain 65,000 troops and the railroad bridge is inadequate for his men, their cannon and their wagons. We will remain hidden overnight, waiting while they become settled into their encampment, allowing them to become overconfident in the perception that the Confederacy is inadequately defended. While spread out, your men will be in pairs, one sleeps while the other stands watch.
 

About two hours before daybreak the signal will be given for you to prepare for the battle to come!” But Colonel, with what will we fight, we have brought only these 44 magnum pistols, which are hardly a match for 65,000 Union Repeaters?” The Battle is the Lords, and it is He who will win the victory, we are only His instruments. Every man will be offered the opportunity of praying for the outcome of tomorrow’s battle, we cannot hope to defeat Sherman with 300 men, apart from our Lord and Savior, with Him, all things are possible. When the daybreaks, all three squads will have been evenly spread over their sector and they will stand ready!
 
At that time Major Bernstein, myself as well as Sergeant Sidney McNair, who is assigned as the President’s Messenger, will enter the open field from the east, under a white flag of truce. We will demand to speak to General Sherman himself, there in the middle of the field, with his army positioned behind him, toward the river. Are there any questions? The Colonel waited for a response, but having received none, he dismissed his officers and everyone settled in to wait for Sherman’s arrival on the scene. The wait was not long in coming, just about an hour and a half later, as the Colonel had said, they were spotted coming down the road!
 

The Enemy Encampment
 

We all watched under camouflage as Sherman’s Army lumbered into the area, given their numbers they did precisely as Colonel Garrett had predicted, they began their encampment at the far end toward the Bull Run River. As more of them poured into the region, they managed to work their way eastward until half of the huge open space was occupied. It was obvious; these Yankee Blue Bellies had no idea as to our presence! All through the night we heard their noises, but our Gideonites made not a sound, and the Yankee Sentries as often as not, walked right by our concealed men, without ever taking notice.
 

Soon enough the first rays of sunlight peaked over the eastern horizon, and just as planned everything was at the ready! Sergeant Sidney McNair acted as our signalman and waved a large white flag from behind a tree, then waited for a response. After about fifteen minutes the Yankees reciprocated, when a Yankee Sergeant rode out into the open, waving a white flag of his own. Sergeant McNair then mounted and rode out to meet with his Yankee counterpart. My Commander wishes to meet with General Sherman himself, at this very location, should Sherman agree, we propose he show himself here, stated Sergeant McNair.
 

The Yankee Sergeant introduced himself, I am Sergeant John Mahoney, and I will take your request to Sherman, I suggest you wait here for a response. The Yankee turned his mount about and rode back to his encampment, and onward to General Sherman’s Headquarters tent! Sherman was speaking to his second in command, Lieutenant General James B. McPherson, the other escapee from the now improved Andersonville Prison. The Sentry on duty who happened to be Sergeant William Johnson, the other enlisted escapee, entered the tent and called out, General Sherman sir, our White Flag of truce messenger requesting a meeting!
 

Sergeant John Mahoney entered the tent, just as Sergeant William Johnson, the Sentry on duty paused just inside the exit flap; go ahead Sergeant, let me here what these rebels want of me. “General, they wish to meet with you personally out there in the middle of the field, where the two of us met just moments ago.” Just then a noise was heard outside Sherman’s Headquarters Tent, Sherman quickly altered his line of thought and called out, Sergeant Johnson, see what is going on out there, quickly. The Sergeant exited the tent, and then poked his head back inside and called out, General Sherman sir, the President of the United States.
 
Sherman was startled, but jumped to his feet where before he had been setting on his bunk! He then glanced at his second in command Lieutenant General James B. McPherson and said, “Come on lets get out there and greet the President.” As the two Generals stepped out of the tent, they were immediately faced with President McClellan, having ridden in on horseback, just as he was dismounting. General Sherman saluted his Commander in Chief and commented, Mr. President, you came a long way, particularly given that you have only a two-man escort, you could have been spotted by Rebel Patrols.

 
I felt that with only the three of us it would be easier to avoid them; how about we step inside? The two Generals entered Sherman’s Headquarters tent, along with President McClellan. What is the situation at the present time General, and might I ask where is the enemy, did they run away or have they somehow managed to turn invisible? Presently the Rebels are out there in those woods somewhere, and I was just now in receipt of an offer to confer with them in the open field, just to the east of our present position.
 
"What then was your intent General? Well Mr. President, I had decided to meet with them, just as you and your escort rode up, the Sentry is even now waiting to carry my reply back to them. We should then skip the preliminaries and ride with your messenger and let that be our answer? “By all means, Sherman turned to General McPherson; locate General George Meade and inform him that he is in Command here until we return, then have Sergeant William Johnson meet us outside with our mounts.” General McPherson left the tent while the President and Sherman continued their conversation.
 

President George B. McClellan, Lieutenant General William Tecumseh Sherman, Lieutenant General James B. McPherson and Sergeant William Johnson rode off to meet with Brigadier General George McCullum, Colonel Martin Garrett, Major Jacob Bernstein, and Sergeant Sidney McNair of the Confederate Gideon Battalion. Upon seeing the four men approach on horseback the three Gideon Officers rode out to join Sergeant McNair, who was already waiting on the field. As they rode, Colonel Garrett turned briefly, and looking at Brigadier General McCullum he commented, I see Sherman has the Union President with him, as well as the Sergeant that arranged this meeting.
 

A very short ride and the Gideon Officers were face to face with President McClellan, Generals Sherman and McPherson as well as Sergeant Mahoney. As the men faced off the President asked the obvious question, “I assume the Brigadier General is in Command, or do I stand corrected? Pausing for a moment, General McCullum then I replied, I am here as an advisor, Colonel Martin Garret is in Command, and it is he to whom you are addressing. Even while General Sherman was mounted along side his Commander in Chief, he couldn’t help but express his arrogance once again.
 

“I can only assume that since I am addressing a Commanding Colonel, rather then a Brigadier General, that you have something less then a regiment, and you would dare challenge my Army, you insult my troops. That having been said, Sergeant Sidney McNair who had spoken earlier with Sherman’s own Sergeant John Mahoney couldn’t hold himself. “Who are these Heathen Yankees, that they would challenge the Army of the Living God? General Sherman actually snickered at the remark, Army of God; you people aren’t even an Army, let alone an Army of God.
 
Colonel Garrett stood face to face with his opponents for a moment, saying nothing of Sergeant McNair’s outburst, with which he obviously agreed, based upon his radiant smile. President McClellan, “art though Ahab, that thou hast come down to Ramoth-gilead to do battle; who are these Lying Prophets that hath given you such evil advise?” Sherman obviously didn’t pay much attention to the Scriptures and Colonel Garrett knew it, since his reply was almost simple minded;” where is this Ramoth-gilead?” I think my advisors were correct Colonel, otherwise show me your army that I might fight them or withdraw from the field, stated Sherman.
 
Shall it be according to General Sherman’s wishes Mr. President, replied Colonel Garrett; shall you continue to heed the words of your Lying Prophets? The President glanced at General Sherman, then back at Colonel Garrett, and with the strongest possible tone in his voice he stated, “so be it.” That having been said, the Colonel turned to Major Jacob Bernstein, “Major order your Gideonites to move forward and make their presence known.” Major Bernstein waved his right arm in a prearranged signal, and the First Squad moved out onto the open the field, then the Second Squad, and finally the Third.
 

Sherman gazed in awe, not out of fear but rather a confidence that all this was nothing but a laughable charade, “have you people come here to mock me before my President or will you talk seriously, least I order my army to open fire.” General Sherman, this very day the vultures shall swarm overhead, and finding nothing of which they might consume! Colonel Garrett turned to his right and glanced at General George McCullum, both of us being mounted aboard our stallions. Even then no one was aware as to what was about to take place!
 
“Sherman already feeling contempt for these Confederates by this time, he turned to his left toward his President and asked; shall we return to the encampment, and to the Army? President McClellan, and Generals Sherman and McPherson as well as Sergeant William Johnson turned their mounts about and rode away! Brigadier General McCullum, Colonel Garrett, Major Bernstein, and Sergeant Sidney McNair rode back to their own lines as well, while at the same time the Colonel, while addressing Major Bernstein, gave the order, “have your Lieutenants rejoin their squads, the time to talk is over."
 
As two of the Lieutenants rode off in opposite directions, the third moved back about 25 yards and rejoined his own squad, the three squads were now in position, and as expected Sherman formed a battle line with his three Corps. Each Corps facing off with one of the three Gideon Battalion Squads, to their east, north and south, all of them now prepared to receive the order to open fire. President McClellan and General Sherman stood at the head of their own First Corps, positioned toward the eastern end of the field. General Sherman, turning to his Commander in Chief stated; “by your leave sir, I shall order the Army to open fire.

 
However to everyone’s complete astonishment, none of the Union weapons would fire! Major, ordered the Colonel, use your Walke Talkie and order your three Captains to sound their Shofars {Rams Horns} in unison. One didn’t need to be standing near the Yankees to know they were in shock; there stood 65,000 battle-hardened troops in three Corps, with repeating rifles, cannon and pistols, yet none of them would fire. Attempts by Union Cavalrymen to draw their sabers found they were literally fused to their sheaths! President McClellan, without addressing anyone in particular, commented; “What’s going on here, how can this be happening?"
 
Sergeant Mahoney spoke to anyone prepared to listen; “maybe we should have paid more attention to the Bible Story of King Ahab in I Kings Chapter 22, I got the strong feeling we shouldn’t be here.” The Yankees in their predicament gazed at the long line of Gideonites, armed only with pistols, which were holstered, and everyone of them holding an enlarged Rams Horn that had by now been raised to their lips. The Union Commander in Chief wondered within himself, “what were these Rebels up to, what were they fixing to do with those Rams Horns, and what will come afterward."
 
All manner of questions buzzed through the minds of every man in Sherman’s Army, from the lowliest Private to General Sherman himself, up to and including President George B. McClellan. On signal 300 Shofars sounded off twice, in a series of three rolling blasts, blasts that turned out to be more horrifying then any sound they had ever heard on the field of battle, afterward there was a period of silence for a short space of time. It was an almost deafening silence that seemed more like hours to those present, but was actually only a few seconds.
 
Then a seventh and single blast of the 300 Rams Horns echoed across the field, having the distinct sound of judgment, as if it had come directly from the very Throne Room of Heaven itself. One could almost see the Arch Angle Michael with Legions of Heavenly Hosts overhead, prepared to institute the Judgment of Almighty God. Then there was another silence, this time it was an eerie silence, the kind one feels just before a catastrophe, whereupon Colonel Garrett turned and spoke to those officers present saying; “The wind has been coming from the south southwest, very shortly it will shift dramatically and come from the north northeast, blowing very hard.

 
When that happens, have all of our troops move back to the tree line, then stand still and watch the Judgment of God, as it falls upon this Ahab of the North and his Army of Evildoers.” He had no sooner finished speaking when just as he had said, the wind shifted, the Yankees looked heavenward in fright at the sudden and dramatic shift in the wind. Even the Gideon’s themselves were looking on in near astonishment, knowing they were seeing the Hand of an Angry God, aimed at stopping this 19th century Ahab, known to us as President George B. McClellan, and this very place, was indeed our present day rendition of Ramoth-gilead.
 
The Dark Cloud of Doom
 

During this short space of time, Colonel Garrett, spoke in a low tone of voice to his close friends Brigadier General George McCullum and Major Jacob Bernstein. “After today, we shall see Sherman and his Army no more!” Suddenly Major Bernstein called out,“I see a dark black cloud about the size of a man’s fist, forming to the northeast, it is growing and coming this way.” Colonel Garrett looked and sure enough the cloud was compacting and it was indeed moving their way, growing rapidly in size, and it was a most unusual cloud, unlike any other they had ever seen.
 
The Cloud was as the Scriptures says, as black as sack cloth of hair! Very shortly the cloud started to spin in a circle like a huge buzz saw in a tornado like pattern, and began to descend directly over Sherman’s Army. Particles of black sandy soot were being thrown off in all directions, howbeit insufficient in quantity or veracity to do any harm to our Gideonites. Nonetheless these particles were so thick over Sherman’s Army it was like unto a solid black wall of cutting and grinding glass. We Gidionites having just experienced it in a very small way, come to realize it was best described as like highly brazen black sandpaper on a colossal scale..
 

The only thing I could think of at this moment was volcanic sand, but the nearest volcano is a continent away! Nonetheless as the cloud descended, discipline began to break among Sherman’s troops! General McPherson turned to Sherman, so you had to wreak your revenge, and you Mr. President, more correctly King Ahab, it appears as though God is now doing the wreaking. I am beginning to believe these Rebels are correct, now what do we do King Ahab? Finally the cloud fully descended upon Sherman’s Army, and we could all hear the wails and screams as his men were being dissolved before our very eyes.
 
It seemed like several hours, but as it turned out it was not more then twenty to twenty five minutes, wherein a well armed, battle hardened army of 65,000 men and their equipment, ceased to exist upon this earth. Afterward, all of our men fell upon their knees, giving all the glory to the God of all Creation! One could hear them weeping, not out of pain or anguish, but in praise to God, that He had delivered them and their nation, out of the hands of a powerful barbarian army. The once General and now President George B. McClellan and General William Tecumseh Sherman couldn’t let the war go, but had to pursue their hatred.

These Gideonites had during the war years experienced the horrors of battle, but here they were humbled by what they had seen! Nothing less then a miracle had taken place, like unto the parting of the Red Sea or the Ten Plagues upon Egypt, and outside of their weeping in praise, they were unable to speak. The praying must have went on several hours, while our entire Army felt as if the Holy Ghost was being poured out all over again. As their General, I myself lay upon my face in prayer, and having been raised in Church, I was taught primarily that God’s is Love, and so He is, but here today we saw His fullness, that he is also a God of justice, judgment and wrath.
 
Finally after much time had passed, we all began to arise to our feet, singing praises to God, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Then we finally came to ourselves and took a look about us; the cloud was gone and nothing was left but what can only be described as a kind of black sandy, glassy ash soot lying upon the ground. There was no Union Army, only a haunting remnants of cannon and other equipment amongst the black ash, which was piled up nearly a foot deep or more upon the ground. The scene was reminiscent of a long forgotten haunted field of death, shrouded in a dense fog!
 
Our attention was drawn to a large flock of squawking buzzards flying overhead; they made an almot complete circle then dove down, so as to see what they might scavenge. But just as predicted earlier by Colonel Garrett, there was nothing remaining for them! I turned to Sergeant Sidney McNair and ask him, do you have a small container of any kind? He offered no verbal reply, but pulled out a small pouch that he had brought back from the 21st century, a pouch that originally contained a pocket watch, which he now used for small items such as matches and the like.
 
He knelt down and scooped up enough to fill the pouch about half way, then pulled the string tight and put it in a leather bullet box, which he carried on his belt. Then we all beheld the final phase of the greatest miracle that any of us had ever witnessed! After Sergeant McNair had picked up his small sample, normal storm clouds moved in and it began to rain. Soon the black sandy glass like material began to dissolve, much like ice or snow might do on a hot July day. We all looked at each other, then back at the scene before us, again I approached Sergeant Sidney McNair; Sergeant, a report must be made to the President.
 

Mount up Sergeant and deliver your report at once, I will tell Colonel Garrett and Major Bernstein that you have departed in route to Richmond. The President will want to hear what you have to say in person, and show the President the contents of that bag! The Sergeant saluted and headed for the wooded area behind us, mounted his horse and rode off toward the old wooden bridge, which crossed the Bull Run River. Just about the time he was closing in on the bridge, he notice that the ground was now covered with what appeared to be a layer of dark soil, the kind that would be found very desirable to any farmer.
 
Sergeant McNair brought his horse to a halt, dismounted and picked up a handful, letting it sift through his fingers, yes it was dirt alright and the finest to be found anywhere. He thought within himself, this wasn’t here before, could this be the residue from the storm that cut the Yankee Army to shreds? He searched to find a container so that he might take a sample of this soil, along with the previous one, back to Richmond, so as to show the President the difference. All he could find was a piece of paper, so he picked up a hand full of dirt, rolled it up in paper and placed it in his bullet box, along with the bag containing the sample of black sandy particles..
 

Messenger for the President
 
Sergeant McNair mounted and slowly crossed the old wooden bridge and headed toward Richmond, but along the way a kind of delayed reaction fell upon him, a reaction to having seen that horrible black cloud descend and totally annihilate 65,000 Yankees. Now mind you, he didn’t fret to be rid of General Sherman and his Army, but never in his life could he have imagined it would take place the way it did. He thought to himself, I am no scholar or anything, just a regular soldier, but I figure this Ahab fella got himself in big trouble with the Lord God, and President McClellan simply followed an arrogant General’s lying advise.
 

Maybe General Sherman might have spent a wee bit more time seeking the will of God and less on drinking, smoking, cussing and listening to his own evil imagination, whereby he convinced himself and others, he could score an easy victory. It was already late in the day when he got started, so come sunset, he decided to make camp, and get an early start in the morning. He had a full day and he figured his horse wouldn’t mind a little down time himself! The next morning he arose, pulled out a couple of dry biscuits from his saddlebag and made some of that fresh Yankee Coffee. Coffee he managed to confiscate from one of Sherman’s Supply wagons, before disaster befell him!
 
Sergeant McNair’s thoughts were still adrift as he finished his journey toward the Confederate Capital; he even wondered how he could possibly explain such a thing to President Davis. When finally he came to himself he discovered it was mid morning of the third day as he found himself riding into Richmond, and heading down the street toward the Whitehouse of the Confederacy. He slowly dismounted, feeling more awe struck then anything else, that he had born witnesses to a side of God, he had never seen before, save for having read of it in the Bible or having heard of it in sermons.
 
God had come to their rescue and totally annihilated an entire Army and thereby sparing his homeland, so soon after the close of that horrible war. People were already going about their business but still, some did stop to gaze at a lone Confederate Soldier, dusty and warn from the open road, and it was no secret to anyone, as to where he was heading. He rode up to the front of the Presidents Home and was met by what he figured was a stable boy, who took his horse and lead him away. As he walked up to the door and knocked, he was greeted by of all people, Judah P. Benjamin, Secretary of State.
 
He looked up at the Secretary, whom he had formerly known only from history, before coming back in time, and he responded in a broken voice, Secretary Benjamin sir, I have a report from Manassas for President Davis. Come on in Sergeant, replied the Secretary, you have arrived at an opportune time, myself, Secretary of War Breckinridge, and the President were just discussing the Manassas situation. As he entered, he saluted his Commander and Chief, shaking hands with each of the men present, when Varina Davis herself entered the room with coffee and small cakes for snacks. They would all later join in a more proper luncheon!

 
But for now everyone was seated and President Davis urged Sergeant McNair to make his report, seeing that whatever he had experienced at Manassas, it had somehow thrown him into a kind of hazy state of mind. So Varina Davis went about her business even while the President followed up by commenting, “take your time Sergeant, you are among friends. Tell your story in your own words!” The Sergeant began explaining what had happened, and almost forgot the pouch of black ash and the soil he had carried in his saddlebag, and now held in his left hand. Secretary of War Benjamin took notice and ask; “Sergeant, have you something to show the President? He came to him self once again, looking at the two items, he reaching out and handed them to the President!
 
“These are samples taken from the site immediately after the event, and again just before I crossed over the old wooded bridge at the Bull Run River.” The President, Secretary of State and of War all simultaneously arose to their feet, and headed for the Presidents desk, which was positioned nearby. The contents were then spread out on one of the cloth napkins the First Lady had provided with the Coffee and snacks. As the three examined the difference in the two, the President could only find a few words in response; “A miracle has truly taken place!"
 

In Washington, once word was received and confirmed regarding the death of President George B. McClellan, which took a couple of weeks, Vice President George Hunt Pendleton was sworn into office as President of the United States. His first act as President was stated in a speech on the lawn of the Whitehouse, wherein he made it clear, “Let no one misunderstand or deny, that a miracle of God had taken place, just this side of the Bull Run River, near the Manassas Junction. The Almighty God has openly vindicated the nationhood of the Confederate States of America, and thereby supported their independence.
 

We cannot and indeed must not raise any further opposition; therefore I hereby sign this Executive Order before me, a document that formerly recognized the Confederate States of America. Further it is my intention to immediately send an Ambassador whereby we shall seek to establish an Embassy at their Capital City of Richmond. Any hostility towards their people, their leaders or their nation, will take place only in opposition to the will of the Almighty God. Therefore let it end here and now, and let us stand as brother nations, without militarized borders, with open trade and travel between our two peoples.
 

On the same day the U.S. President was delivering his Executive Order in Washington, recognizing the Confederacy, Brigadier General George G. McCullum was entering Richmond, only to find the news had already reached the people on the streets by telegram. The war as well as the animosity between the Union and the Confederacy was truly over! As I rode up to the Confederate Whitehouse and dismounted, I was invited in, Lieutenant General Walter and Joyce Lowry, as well as my own wife Janine was already present, as was the Secretary of State, War and of the Treasury.
 

The Birth of a Nation
 
I saluted my Commander in Chief who then reached out and shook my hand; I was more then humbled and proud! President Davis was joined by his own wife and our First Lady Varina Davis, and President Davis was naturally the first to speak; “General McCullum, I have ordered the Army of Central Georgia, using the words of your own Commander, to Stand Down. It is over, let us together go forth and rebuild this nation according to the will and Divine Providence of Almighty God, who has truly shed his grace upon our people. As for myself, I never mentioned the visitation by Michael the Archangel at the Livery Stable, until years latter!
 
We all did precisely as President Davis had asked, we went forth afterward, using what we had learned over the years, seeking God’s grace and wisdom, as we set forth to raise up a nation. A nation, which would exemplify faith in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior! Almost immediately, the value of the Confederate Dollar began to rise to its proper level, as nation after nation granted recognition to the Confederate States of America. President Davis asked our own Lieutenant General Walter Lowery, to accept a full General’s Commission, as well as an appointment as the nation’s Chief of Staff of its Armed Forces.
 

God save the Confederacy
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“If God is just, I tremble for my country! --- Thomas Jefferson.

 

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"Victory is for those with the persistence and fortitude to resist the temptation to withdraw or whose resolve has been tempered, when conditions worsen and the cost rises; it is not for the weak hearted, nor those who are softened by the ease and comfort of a gilded cage, provided by the enemy at the cost of liberty. It is for those who continue to fight the good fight, even after others who have gone before, having faced overwhelming numbers and firepower found themselves unable to complete the mission." --- Jay Buckner.  In any case Confederate Fiction allows us to dream and envision victory; otherwise "where there is no vision, the people parish." {Proverbs 29:18}
 

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