Then War came to Chadwick Manor…
The State of Alabama declared that it had seceded from the United States of America on January 11, 1861. Jane was thirteen-years-old; she had learned many things like gracefulness and proper manners; Sipsee had succeeded in keeping her daughter from the Master, now she had to worry about the soldiers both Union and Southern, neither respected women. She and her mother were happy when it ended; Jane was seventeen-years-old. She would only say up to the end of her life that the greed of the white man would be his downfall. Sipsee and Jane remain in the Chickasaw village until the War ended.
It was there that Jane met Pap, he was an Indian Scout for the South, and Jane just becoming a young woman and no longer referred to as a child was smitten by him. Sipsee did not care for him as he was twenty years older than Jane was; Sipsee hoped that he would not come back; Jane felt a sadness she could not explain. Sipsee considered Jane still a child and to Jane he was some sort of God, a Warrior like her father fighting for the South.
Sipsee did not see him as a great Warrior and neither did the other people in the slave quarters; at best he was to laid-back and lazy, he went from family to family in cabins to be fed. Yet, he never contributed to the quarters, no deer, rabbit, nothing. He seems to slip in and out, as he pleased.
Pap had his own story; he had been a scout for the Southern Army, it was apparent that the South was falling, hunger, no coats or fires to keep away the cold nights. To have a fire could be deadly. He had witnessed much during the past four years, it was his job to go ahead and scout out the “Yankee” camps. There they were tents and fires to keep out the cold nights; he could smell the food being cooked or roasted over the fire and he was always hungry. He had been issued a rifle but was weary of using it to draw attention; he had no bow and arrows (only a romantic notion by the whites), his silent weapons were his knife and a hatchet. He was good at catching game but it would not be wise to make a fire inside enemy lines.
It was close to the end of the war, Pap had not returned to Chadwick since he left; he rode into Decatur, Alabama bareback on a sway back mule. His horse had been shot out from under him in a getaway on his last scouting trip; he stole the mule from a sharecropper close to the Tennessee River and rode toward Decatur. The company he scouted for was now somewhere over on the Georgia line.
Pap received no more than a glance as darkness set in; he pulled the old mule into the river holding onto the bridle, he guided the mule between the railroad and old bridge linking the North side of the river held by the Yankees and to the South side guarded by the Confederates’. When he reached the other side, he walked into a Yankee camp all eyes and guns were on him.
To be continued…
Storyteller – Jane Over-Town “Overton” 1848-1954 at the age of 106 her mind was intact, she never forgot anything, It was her body that was ready for death; she lay down for an afternoon nap and woke only to say goodbye to the grandson she raised as she took her last breath, speaking softly to my father.
Grandson – Roy C. Johnson
Granddaughter – Vina Evans-Quinn
Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree Great – Granddaughter
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