Chapter 13

September 1862

The sun was just rising into the sky spreading its rays over the sleeping countryside. Anne was already up and sat in the kitchen, dressed in her traveling dress, and wringing her hands nervously. Tears filled her eyes as she read John's recent, but brief, letter over again for the fourth time.

Dear Anne,

I regret to inform you that I've come down with the measles since I got out of the hospital. There's no doctor's around here at the time being but they sent for one because several of the men in my camp have come down with a serious case of the measles. My friend, Bobby, is writing down this letter for me because I can't find the strength to even write at the moment. Anne, I know that we are so far apart but I long to see your face once more.

Love,

John

Anne held the letter in her hands as her mind raced. She looked at the address on the envelope and the letter had been sent from Virginia.

"I must go to him," she said allowed.

Standing up she went into her and John's room and began to pack some clothes in a carpet bag. She placed some medicines into the bag as well. Grabbing a hat from the closet, Anne stepped out of the house and went to the barn where she harnessed Bo to the wagon. Climbing up into the wagon she drove to town at a fast paced speed. She had to make it to the train station quickly.

When she arrived in town at the train station beads of sweat clung to her forehead and she was shaking nervously for she had never done anything so drastic as this before. She hadn't even bothered to tell her father or John's parents of John's condition. She intended on writing them letters when she arrived in Virginia. At the moment she wasn't thinking clearly. All she could think of was John and the horrible fact that he might die.

She bought a ticket at the train station and boarded a train that would take her to Virginia. Seated in the train Anne glanced out the window as the train began to chug along. She breathed heavily and placed her gloved hand on her stomach. Strands of her blonde hair had come lose from the bun that she had had it in. Her mind drifted to John and the thought of losing him struck fear in her heart. It was in that moment on the train that she began to cry. At first a few tears slipped down her cheeks and she brushed them away with her gloved hand. But then uncontrollable sobs shook her body and she laid her head against the window of the train and cried.

"What will I do if he is taken away from me by the clutches of death? My heart could never love another," she thought to herself.

Nighttime had fallen by the time Anne reached Virginia. As she stepped off the train at the Virginia train station she looked around nervously at her surroundings. There were hardly any people because it was late at night. She did not know where to go or where to find John. His letter had not mentioned his exact location.

Clutching her carpet bag tightly, Anne walked over to a nearby motel. It seemed to be the only place that was open. As she stepped inside the motel she went to the front desk where a young man stood reading out of a newspaper.

"Excuse me. I'm looking for a Union camp. Is there one anywhere near here?" she asked the man.

"Well Miss, there's a Union army camped on the outskirts of town, or so I've been told," the man said.

"Oh. Thank you," she said as she turned and left the motel. Stepping out onto the dusty street Anne looked around desperately trying to think of what she could do. She did not have any means of transportation and she doubted that she could find the campgrounds of the Union army in the dark without assistance from someone. Sighing she turned and went back into the motel.

"I'd like to have a room please, just for one night though," she said to the young man behind the desk.

"Alright Miss, please sign this book," the man said.

Anne took a pencil in hand and wrote her full name down into the guest book. She paid the man with some money she had brought along with her.

"You'll be in room 102. It's the second door on the right upstairs," the man said handing her a key.

"Thank you," Anne said going up the stairs and to room 102. She unlocked the door and stepped into the room. She set her carpet bag down into a nearby chair and sat down onto the bed. She removed her hat and pulled the hair pins from her hair and let it hang loose down her back. Her neck and back were aching from the train ride and she was tired. She didn't even bother to remove her clothes, but instead fell asleep on the bed fully dressed until morning came.

To be continued. . .