Contest Entry: A Lieutenant's Fatal Mistake

Contest Entry: A Lieutenant's Fatal Mistake

A Story by Leumas Relwood

A contest entry that includes the words "horse", "key", and "baseball", these little story describes a confederate camp that was grimly mislead.


            The men of the 37th Regiment of Georgia had grown restless; troop morale had been dropping exponentially ever since their defeat at the Battle of Cross Creek a fortnight ago, but the commanding officer did not know how to change the situation.  The soldiers wanted action.  The soldiers had volunteered to fight for a different way of life, but all they had done since they joined was sit in a camp and march to and fro�"except for that one devastating skirmish, of course.  What the regiment needed to replenish its spirit was vengeance for the fallen; they needed to kill all those who had oppressed them.

            Due to the weak nature of the Lieutenant in charge, however, nothing very vengeful seemed happen very soon.  With a strict “no” in reply to their requests for death, the soldiers had started to entertain themselves with athletic games and competitions.  In the great field below the hill on which the camp-site stood, many activities were taking place.  By the icy stream were fishermen angling for the biggest bass.  In a mud patch farther out, a fearsome boxing tournament had commenced.  On the grassland, platoon leaders had organized conventional ballgames like cricket, crochet, kickball, tennis, and America’s pastime, baseball.

            Quite a raucous was emerging from the spectators of the intense baseball game between Alpha Company and Delta Company.  Both units had marvelous athletes; they had the fastest and strongest men in the regiment.  The game was in its 4th inning and the score was 5-3, Alpha Company, which was supposed to be the underdog of the match.  The troops were placing bets on the winner, the score, hitting stats, and whatnot.  It pleased the Lieutenant to see that the men who had been uneasy for so long had finally begun to laugh and smile, but he became nervous when he realized their unpreparedness for combat.  If a Union cavalry unit charged into the camp this instant, he grimly calculated, many sons and husbands would be slaughtered defenselessly.  He hastily mounted his horse and moved to warn his colleagues of the fatal mistake.

            At this time, a distant bugle sounded a cadence.  All commotion in the camp ceased immediately and all ears were trying to decipher the situation.  Everyone looked at the boxing match’s referee, also the regimental trumpeter; he did not have a horn in as hand, and the reveille that they heard was not familiar.  Terror suddenly dawned on the 800 Confederate soldiers.  The enemy was near, and the camp was defenseless against any attack. 


            “Today,” rallied the Captain of the Charge, “is the day that we finish the task that our fallen brethren started so many weeks ago.  These men are helpless in their fun and games; they should have stayed vigilant in their duty, but their commander is a weakling and allowed his people to fail.  Have no mercy on them, however, for they rebel against our Union�"an act of treason worthy of the most shameful death.  This is a key opportunity to gain the advantage on these southern boys and get even closer to winning the war.  Now, draw your swords and load your guns.  Charge:  brutally murder every one of these rebellious rats�"for America!”

© 2013 Leumas Relwood

Author's Note

Leumas Relwood
I was using my Saturday morning brain and basing it around three random words, so it won't be the most sensical of stories, for sure.

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Added on February 23, 2013
Last Updated on February 23, 2013
Tags: contest, civil war, battle, ambush, baseball, death, war, confederate, union


Leumas Relwood
Leumas Relwood

Thomson, GA

I have not quite found out exactly who I am, so I jump from hobby to hobby--from art form to art form--in search of an answer to my greatest question: What am I supposed to do, and how? I have writt.. more..