(A/N: So. This is my first shot at a play, but I actually had a lot of fun writing it! I only hope the formatting didn't get all screwed. Some of you may notice that I used the same names in this play as in my other Civil War story, "My Bonnie Blue Flag," but completely different personalities, completely different scenarios, completely different loyalties, and in some cases, different spelling. Oh, yeah, and did I mention it's completely different?

Anyway, read, enjoy, and it would be very nice if you'd review!)

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ACT ONE

Scene I

INT. ELIZA'S BEDROOM—MORNING

Eliza is sleeping. Suddenly, there is faint shouting and weeping from offstage, and Eliza wakes and sits up. There is frantic knocking at her door.

ELIZA

Come in, come in!

Sarah opens the door and rushes in. The shouting and weeping is more distinct.

SARAH

Miss Eliza—

Eliza leans forward, concerned.

ELIZA

Sarah, what is going on? What's all the racket about? Has someone died?

Sarah twists her apron anxiously.

SARAH

It's your brother, Miss Eliza.

Eliza throws the bedcovers back and swings her legs over the side of her bed, looking troubled.

ELIZA

What? What's happened?

SARAH

Your father woke this morning, Miss Eliza, to find—to find—

ELIZA

To find what, Sarah?

SARAH

Oh, Miss Eliza, Johnny's run off.

Eliza looks doubtful.

ELIZA

Why would Johnny do something like that, Sarah? Are you sure?

SARAH

Oh, Miss Eliza—he left a letter. Here it is.

Sarah reaches into her apron and pulls out a piece of paper. Eliza takes it and reads aloud.

ELIZA

(reads) "August 23, 1863—Father…I can't bring myself to agree with your views on the war and Jefferson Davis any longer…so I've left home to enlist in the Union Army! The 13th West Virginia is signing anyone who wishes to join…" Sarah, how can this be? We're Confederates! Mr. Davis' men!

SARAH

It's 1863, Miss Eliza. Can anyone be sure who they are anymore?

Eliza covers her mouth in dismay and looks back down at the letter. The crying from offstage continues.

ELIZA

Can he be found? Have they traced him?

SARAH

Master Johnny is long gone, Miss Eliza. He took your father's horse and musket late last night, and they fear he's already crossed into Kentucky.

At this, Eliza begins to cry softly.

ELIZA

Oh, Johnny, how could you?

There is soft knocking.

ELIZA

Come in.

Samuel enters the room, followed by Rose and Sally, who are still in their nightdresses.

ROSE

Oh, Eliza!

Rose rushes to Eliza, and the two women weep in each other's arms.

SAMUEL

Sarah, you're excused.

SARAH

Yessir.

Sarah curtsies and exits.

ELIZA

Father, how do you know—will he be safe? What will we do?

SAMUEL

I don't know, Eliza. I really don't.

Rose, still weeping, goes to Sally and hugs her. Eliza takes a deep breath and stands silently for a moment.

SALLY

Don't cry, Mother. You still have Eliza and me.

SAMUEL

On the contrary. Eliza, Sally, Rose, when I first learned of Johnny's disappearance, I knew that living so near Kentucky was no longer sound for us. Sally, I have arranged for you to stay with Anne Brown and her family until I deem it safe for you to return.

ELIZA

And I, Father?

SAMUEL

You, Elizabeth, are to go with Sally Turner to her aunt and uncle's farm several miles south of here.

ROSE

Samuel, must you take my daughters from me?

SAMUEL

(firmly) Yes, Rose. They will be safer away from the Great Rebellion.

ELIZA

Father, the war is everywhere. There is no way to escape it. Running will only prol—

SAMUEL

That is enough, Eliza. I won't have you contradict me again. The Turners and the Browns are arriving tomorrow to take you away, and I expect both you and Sally to be ready.

SALLY

I will, Father.

Samuel leaves, and Rose hurries after him. Sally lingers a moment, then follows them out. Eliza is left alone, still holding the letter.

ELIZA

Johnny, why? You've torn apart your family.

Eliza holds the letter to her lips and closes her eyes briefly, then opens them and straightens her shoulders. She tucks the letter into her nightgown pocket and lifts her chin.

ELIZA

I can't let this happen, Johnny. Not this way. By God, I will find you and bring you home again—even if it kills me.

Lights fade out. End scene I.