I love the history behind the Civil War, particularly those little known facts that make for great conversation. I came across one such oddity and thought it’d be fun to share it with you all.
It was often necessary to deliver goods, as well as medical supplies, behind enemy lines. My story is about Joshua Moon, Jr. and his young son, Columbus.
The southern Wagoner often delivered goods behind Union lines and was able to help escaping Confederate prisoners both night and day … on his way back home “down South.”
By night the father and son duo could ride the otherwise empty wagon in the relative safety of the dark. By day, though, any interested Union soldier could take a gander at what was in their wagon. However, in most cases the Yankees taking a look paid little attention to the tree boughs laid out on the wagon bed. Only once did an inspecting Yankee ever ask about them and he was easily put off by the elder Moon’s explanation that the branches were just a fool notion of his son.
The Moons were using the tree boughs to mark the route home for Rebel compatriots following on foot during the daylight as best they could. To avoid detection, the escaping prisoners clung to the wood along the road, as much as possible, but they at least knew where they were going thanks to the Wagoner and his son. That was because at crucial turns and forks in the road, the Moons dropped off the tree boughs to point out the proper pathway leading to their homeland in the South.
Do you have any little down oddity of the Civil War, or any other war for that matter, that you’d like to share? I know we’d all love to hear about them.
With the holiday season coming on, I’ll give away to one lucky winner a copy of our anthology “A Texas Christmas”.