Sister against Sister in the Civil War: “Love Me Forever” Day 9
We hear so much about how the Civil War was a conflict about brother against brother.
What about the women of the North and South?
Sister against sister?
My story is about two women with very different beliefs who learn to accept each other for who they are.
They’re not only separated by what they believe in, but by more than 150 years when my heroine travels back to 1862.
Here is an excerpt when my heroine, Liberty Jordan, a re-enactor from today disguised as a Confederate officer, meets up with Pauletta Sue Buckingham when Liberty escapes from the clutches of a dastardly sergeant in a Union prison camp. Pauletta Sue sees her dashing across the field and races after her in her buggy and carriage:
“Climb aboard, Lieutenant, it you want to live to fight another day,” the dark-haired woman called out, holding her horse steady with her gloved hands in black net.
“You don’t have to ask me twice, ma’am,” Liberty said, pulling up her collar. Thank God they stopped shooting at her. That didn’t mean she was free.
“Whoa, Savannah Lady, whoa,” the woman murmured to the skittish animal pulling her carriage. She fidgeted with the veil covering her face, straightening her back as if she were struggling with an inner turmoil. Liberty was amazed at her small waist and tight bodice that pulled across her full breasts with a rigid, stiff crackle as she moved. Her full skirts flowed around her like she was a mermaid in an ocean of blue, swimming in their sumptuous depths.
And that hat.
A straw riding bonnet with curved pheasant feathers swaying delicately in the breeze.
“I reckon your horse got spooked from all the noise,” Liberty said in a deep voice, keeping up her soldier act.
“Nonsense,” the woman smirked. “It’s not the first time Savannah Lady and I have outrun the Yankees with bullets flying over our heads.”
God knows what she meant by that.
Liberty looked around, trying to get her bearings. She felt invigorated by the idea of freedom so close she could smell it. Sweet and welcoming, like the fresh scent of her rescuer’s perfume heavy in the air. She smiled. The late afternoon sky blazed a dazzling deep pink overhead, but it would soon dissipate into a dark blue velvet.
Hiding her from the soldiers.
Oh, God, if only she could get away. She’d survive somehow. But even if this woman helped her, where would she go? She had no map, no idea where the road would lead her.
“The whole Union Army’s on my tail, ma’am,” Liberty said, pulling her hat down low to shield her face. “I’d be dead if you hadn’t raced over the hill when you did.”
“You must be brave, sir. The cause needs you,” the woman whispered with urgency, startling Liberty.
So that’s why she helped her. She was a Confederate sympathizer. Here? In a Union camp?
Would they both be shot?
“Hurry, get in,” she ordered. “The bluecoats are coming.”
Holding onto the side of the carriage, Liberty lifted herself up when suddenly she felt her feet give way from underneath her. Damn, she hadn’t counted on the slippery step glistening with dew. It caught her unaware and threw her off balance. She lost her footing on the soggy, wet earth, staggered, then with a loud plop, landed on the ground, the wind knocked out of her.
Her officer’s wide brim hat flying off her head.
Liberty heard the woman gasp when her long reddish-blond hair tumbled down her back like a cascade of corn silk popping up out of its stalk.
“You’re a woman,” the Southerner cried out, her hand going to her mouth.
“Haven’t you ever seen a girl in pants before?” Liberty said, a weak smile curling over her lips. She was surprised the woman didn’t faint.
“Dear Lord, the soldiers mustn’t find out you’re a female,” she said, taking charge. “No telling what they’d do, seeing they have the manners of a country hog.” Holding up her skirts, she climbed out of the carriage to retrieve Liberty’s brim hat.
“Then you won’t give me away?” Liberty asked, surprised. The Southern belle was no pushover.
“You fool girl. I admire what you’re doing, but the Yankees will never understand what we women will do for the cause. Even if we suffer from a broken heart, we’ll never give up,” she said with an emotion so deep it surprised Liberty. She handed her hat back to her. “Run! I’ll hold them off. You can take shelter in the old mill down the road till morning. There’s a secret hiding place behind the pantry.”
How did she know that?
Liberty had no time to ponder the belle and her cause. Instead, she pulled the soggy hat back onto her head and muttered her thanks. She lifted her chin, the sun hitting her cheeks with its fading rays and revealing her face. Before she could pull down the brim of her hat, the woman grabbed her hand.
“Wait,” the dark-haired beauty muttered with surprise. Or was it shock? “Who are you, Missy?”’
“Nobody, ma’am—” Liberty began, her breath catching in her chest when she saw blue-uniformed soldiers on horseback racing toward them, kicking up dust. She had to get out of here, now.
“I demand to know who you are, where you’re from.” The Confederate woman pulled the veil off her face framed by dark hair. “And why you look like me.”
Liberty’s world stopped. She couldn’t believe it. It was insane, but underneath that misty blue veil, she stared back at her own face.
She blinked, and then again.
The image didn’t change.
She wasn’t seeing this, she wasn’t.
“I don’t know who you are, ma’am, and why we look alike,” Liberty said. The woman couldn’t be more than nineteen—just a few years younger than she was—but she had a certain sophistication that equaled the playing field. “But I’m outta here.” A wave of fear overtook her when she heard shouts and hollers for her to raise her hands. The Federals bore down on them like screaming marauders. If she didn’t go now, she’d be back where she started.
In a Union prison camp.
“Not so fast, Missy,” the woman said, grabbing her by the shoulders. “Your likeness to me could be very useful to the cause.”
“I want nothing to do with you or your cause,” Liberty said, pulling away. The last thing she needed was a crazed Southern woman wanting her to fight for the South.
Then she had an idea. What if she told her the Union prevailed?
Looking at the wild excitement in her eyes, Liberty knew she’d never believe her.
“I can’t afford to let you run off and disappear,” said the woman, tapping her fingers on her arms. “Promise me you’ll help me.”
“Help you?” Liberty said. “Even if I wanted to, I couldn’t. Antietam was a turning point in the war. The South has already lost.”
“I’m telling you the truth.” She pulled down her hat over her face. She had to get out now. If the Union soldiers caught up with her, she’d be shot for trying to escape.
Liberty started to take off when—
“Don’t move,” the woman said, pointing a small derringer at her, chilling her. “I know how to use this.”
Yes, that’s Pauletta Sue on the left and Liberty on the right in the graphic. Not only are they on opposite sides, but they both vie for the same man…course, I can’t tell what happens…but sparks fly and it isn’t just on the battlefield…
LOVE ME FOREVER is on Kindle Scout — you can read the first 5,000 words HERE. You’ll meet both my heroines and both my heroes in the excerpt. If you nominate my story and it’s published by Kindle Scout, then you’ll receive a free copy! It’s a saga of love and romance and war. Believe me, I walked every road, fought every battle with my characters, even walked around in a hoop skirt to “get it right.” This is a book of the heart…any questions? Please ask!!
I’ll be back tomorrow with more about LOVE ME FOREVER and the Civil War…
Thank you for stopping by…………..
And if you like what you read, please take a moment to vote for my story LOVE ME FOREVER and nominate it on Kindle Scout.
Posted on April 6, 2015, in Amazon, Antietam, Civil War, drama, holidays, Kindle, kindle scout, military hero, romance, sexy, spy, Uncategorized, writer, Writing and tagged Antietam, belle, Civil War, civil war 150, Confederate, danger, espionage, historical romance, kindle, kindle scout, medical, medicine, North, nurse, officer, romance, sister, Soldier, South, spy, time travel, Union, war, women. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.