Excerpt from “Round Mountain: Book Two of the Trail of Blood on Ice Trilogy”

From the work in progress, “Round Mountain: Book Two of the Trail of Blood on Ice Trilogy”

Private Glen Johnson watched the retreat from the shallow ditch he was using as concealment. The Cherokees ran like rabbits with the mounted Creek after them like hounds. Once in a while one of the Cherokee would stop to pin his shadow to the ground by sticking his knife in the dirt, telling all that he would run no more, but would fight in this place until he fell. It showed great honor and courage, but the mounted riders swarmed over them like ants on a piece of dropped candy. The Rebs came behind them all, howling and screaming as if all the demented souls of hell had been loosed on the earth.

Glen thought about his Ma and Pa. He wondered if his sister Ellen had married that worthless Billy Warner. God, he hoped not. Billy was a known goat rustler and hog thief. Like his Ma said about him “Just no account. No way.”

The first Cherokee passed his position and Glen returned his attention to the business at hand. He was glad that the Creeks were mounted. It made it easier to tell one Indian from another. How the hell a whole group of people could look so alike was beyond him.

Drawing bead on the first rider he watched astounded when at least three bullets hit him at the same time knocking him from his horse as a dozen more bullets whistled through the place he had been. Glen drew bead on another Indian only to see the same thing happen again before he could squeeze he trigger. “Hell.” he said aloud. “Maybe I can get through this war without firing a shot.”

The third rider pounded toward him and Glen waited to see him shot as well, but this one seemed bullet proof. Though Glen could see the bullets tugging at the rider’s hair and nipping at the sides of his galloping horse, nothing seemed to stop him. It was like the red devil had singled him out to drag him into hell and torture him forever. At twenty paces away. Glen shot him off his horse. Swearing that he could see this undying horror still moving toward him, Glen shot him three more times just to be sure.

“Ya sumbitch!” Yelled Glen after the third shot. “Gonna poke out my eyes and chop off my nerts before hacking me to pieces and lifting my hair, were yuh! That’ll show you that Momma Johnsons little boy, Glen has more grit than you thought!”

The Creeks paid little attention to the Yankee soldiers. Their blood feud with the Cherokee dated back a hundred and thirty years when the Great Liar Andrew Jackson had come against the Creek Warrior Faction “The Red Sticks”. Jackson knew that without help he would never track the Creek through the many streams and swamps. Approaching the Cherokee who had once been brothers of the creek, he had promised that if the Cherokee helped him against the Creek they could keep their lands instead of being forcibly moved to a distant barren place called Indian Territory. The Cherokee fell for the false promises and lies. With their help the once mighty Creek Nation was not only defeated, but sent west under an armed guard. It was the beginning of The Trail of Tears that the Cherokee themselves would soon after follow.

Now the Creek wanted revenge and though many brave Cherokee fell, the Union troops took their toll on the mounted horsemen. The wave of riders had passed when the Rebels surged across the open ground, a human tidal wave of gray and butternut brown.

“Aw hell.” said Glen sighting his rifle into the advancing mass.

“Retreat!” yelled Waite seeing the mounted riders followed by the row upon row of white men. The command was repeated along the line and Glen noticed that not nearly as many blue coats left the field as had been stationed there.