|General Lee at Twighlight
Author: NurfHurdur PM
General Lee reflects after Pickett's Charge.Rated: Fiction K - English - Words: 1,017 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 2 - Published: 04-12-09 - Status: Complete - id: 4989776
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I have a much easier time writing the Chamberlain brothers for some reason, but there are so many ideas I want to get out there. Let me know what you think!
The sun was setting, the aged Southern General staring out at the washes of red and gold in silence. Despite the beauty of the evening he could not find any joy in it. The days events running through his head.
"We can do it sir! We can reform and hit them again!"
Lee had looked down at the man, dazed. The trust they put in their commander bringing him close to tears as soldiers hobbled their way back across the lines. He had been sure they would break in the center, so sure that this would be the deciding battle. He sat as tall as he could, broken heart thudding violently in his chest.
"Friends listen to me, listen I beg you. It is all my fault."
The men protested, moral still high. He couldn't believe the strength they displayed at such devastation.
"We will fight another day, but you can never let them see you run. Never let them see you run."
He could now vaguely hear Longstreet speaking quietly at his side, "Major Sorrel was giving me the reports on wounded and missing officers-"
Lee's thoughts suddenly flashed to Pickett, standing ghoulishly still, the light playing off his haunted blue eyes. Binoculars hanging limply in one hand, chickaree crushed and beaten in the other.
"General Lee, I have no division."
Longstreet continued in his subdued tone, "Armistead is missing, Garnett is feared to be dead-"
The "Old War Horse" stopped abruptly at a simple nod from Lee. He watched his commanding officer quietly, leaning forward he placed a rough hand on the elder's shoulder.
"What do you want me to do sir?"
Lee shook his head, unable to voice anything at the moment. Two days ago no one would have seen this outcome. On his invasion of the north Lee had pushed The Army of the Potomac easily through the little town of Gettysburg. Since then there had been misinterpreted orders, missing Generals, and total loss of communication.
It had gone downhill from there.
Longstreet had fallen silent, staring into the flames of the little fire. Light flickering across his stony features as the sunlight continued to recede. Looking back to his superior he was surprised at how much the man seemed to have aged in the past three hours. Lee stood silently, slowly. He rubbed the knuckles of his right hand, still sore from his outburst with General Stuart. Bidding his second in command goodnight he made his way to the tree line where Traveler stood silently, orange firelight playing off the gray dapples of the horse's pelt. He began leading the horse out of the trees, riding did not seem appealing at the moment.
Major Taylor appeared suddenly from the surrounding darkness. He lead his own horse alongside the commander.
"Is there anything I can get for you sir?"
Lee watched the ground carefully, eyes straining through the darkness to see the dusty path in front of him.
"No." He paused, "But I thank you Major Taylor."
"My pleasure sir."
He could faintly see men wandering the fields, could not tell what side they fought for. Did that really matter? Those aiding the wounded did not look at the color of the uniform, sometimes could not tell the color of the uniform. He looked away from the fields, from the group of trees the assault had been planned on, and back to the darkening path in front of him.
The air was thick and heavy, rain was definitely looming in the very near future. The lamps of the General's Headquarters came into view and Taylor made to take the dapple gray from the commanding General. Lee refused the help politely and lead the horse through the gate.
"I can manage Major, thank you."
Taylor proceeded to tend to his own mount and left the General with his thoughts, he knew when the man wished for solitude.
It had been a long time since Lee had personally seen to Traveler's needs. He was often very busy reading reports, formulating campaigns and listening to the concerns of his officers. Though right now all he wanted to do was spend some time in silence with the animal that had faithfully carried him out of their home and into unknown territory.
The gray let out a puff of air as he settled into the spacious box stall. Stomping now and then while eating the nightly ration measured for him. Lee placed a hand on the horses neck, studying the mottled fur on the horses flank.
The rain started slowly, more like a fine mist as he walked from the barn to the little building. He stood at the front door, looking out over the fields he could no longer see anything. The wind picked up rustling through the trees, and was followed with a heavy sheet of rain. It traveled across the field like a regiment in line for battle, moving with the grace and speed of a well trained and practiced unit. It crushed everything in it's path, beating down crops and vegetation in the same way an army corps moving through a field would.
Lee stood in the doorway a few moments longer, finally entering the building and shutting the door behind him as the rain reached the stone house. He listened to the storm as it pelted the roof of the building. The sound was usually comforting, tonight it only pushed him into further depression.
He kept his eyes closed as he heard Major Taylor enter the room and didn't move when the young man set a mug down on the end table beside him. He was extremely tired, he didn't want to plan, didn't want to think on campaigns. He let the sound of the rain drowned his thoughts until he finally drifted into oblivion.
It would be a long day tomorrow.