Thursday, May 29, 2008
A Confederate Map Pt. 6
Lt. Christmas had taken the map from the dead soldier and started his way across the broken battlefield, carrying his now twisted and useless rifle, trying to escape under cover of night and regain the Confederate lines. He wrote that he does not know if it was the Yankees or his own side that shot him as he made his escape. All he notes in the diary is that rain finally woke him and he was helped to a doctor and a hospital soon after. He was injured enough that he was relieved of duty. He spent many months recuperating and moving from hospital to hospital, to avoid capture, until he was finally sent home. He was on the road when he finally heard that General Lee had given his surrender on April 9, 1865. Most of the men he was with realized the war was over in everything but final surrender and they were all anxious to return home and forget the killing and madness of war. He took his muzzle loader with the twisted and split barrel that he had held onto and made a crutch out of it and during his recovery carved a small cubbyhole in the stock.
He put the map and two $10 gold pieces that had been in the packet inside and finally left the hospital for the long walk home. This is as much as I could figure from his faded handwriting.
Time was moving and now, Mr.Christmas, wrote about his thoughts for his family and a dawning that the sickness he could not shake was getting the best of him. He mentioned the few time he had made day trips to look for the markers on the treasure map but his strength would not let him spend any time searching. He made mention of the fact that if anyone found out about the map it might be the death of his family during the terrible Reconstruction Era they were in and he had to protect them and make sure that if he died, that his son would get the map and be able to locate the hidden cannon barrel. He decided to hide the map and unfortunately his journal does not say exactly where. He ended that part of the journal with this cryptic last paragraph.
“The key beginning is a stone at the start of our dream
The answer to our hope is carved in the heart of the wood.
To find the first, you must find the second,
and your future will depend on ancient rock to guide you.”