Sara sat holding her baby and rocking back and forth on the stool by the fire. Inman had left shortly after moving the bodies to a safe distance. Now, the image of the young soldier falling down kept replaying in her mind. She had killed a man. She had not been thinking coherently, only a burning hatred for those God-awful Yankee soldiers had burned through, she had acted without thinking. God would punish her for her rashness. Now that she remembered, there had been a Yankee coat over her boy when she pulled him from the ground. The other soldiers were far too heartless to have covered him up. What if...?
Guilt began to crowd her thoughts. Could it be possible that the man she had shot had shown kindness to her baby, that a Yankee could show any emotion other than hate for a southerner? Soon she could not take the guilt any longer. She had to do something, if only to give him a decent Christian burial. The others however would be left where they lay.
She stood up, taking a shovel and making ready to leave. Kissing her boy, she stoked up the fire . And put him back in the cot.
"I won't be long." She smiled at him.
A multitude of feelings swam within her as she trudged up the hill to where Inman had left them. She knelt by his body. He was so young, maybe less than a year older than she was. For some reason she felt compelled to touch his hand. As she did so she noticed a slight twitch of his head that could have been a trick of the early morning light.
Feeling rather foolish she spoke.
Then his eyes flickered open.