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captured only a month before. All the next day they chugged past river towns, laden wharves, more flooded fields. It was almost dark again when they reached Pittsburg Landing at five P.M. Rob J. counted twenty-four steamships there, including two gunboats. When the medical party disembarked, they found the bank and the bluffs had been trodden into mud by a Yankee retreat on Sunday, and they sank halfway to their knees. Rob J. was detailed to go onto the War Hawk, a ship that was laden with 406
strolled in and out of the jaws of death, sashayed on through the Valley of the Shadow. We stared right into the damned eyes of the terrible critter. We heered the rebel yell and hollered back.” The men treated one another with great tenderness. Sergeant Ordway and Sergeant Wilcox and even sloppy Corporal Perry were honored because they’d led their fellow musicians to pluck up wounded soldiers and carry them back under fire. The story of Rob J.’s two-day marathon with the scalpel was repeated in
his excitement, he began to drift back into sleep, and it told Shaman how sick he was. He introduced himself to the other four men, and learned their names. Berry Womack of Spartanburg, South Carolina, short and intense, with long dirty blond hair. Fox J. Byrd of Charlottesville, Virginia, who had a sleepy face and slack skin, as if once he’d been fat. James Joseph Waldron of Van Buren, Arkansas, stocky, swarthy, and the youngest there, no more than seventeen, Shaman guessed. And Barton O.
hospital. It could have its own dock on the river, and a right-of-way to the road.” They simply looked at him. “You’ll be living here now,” he said to his mother. “I’m going to build Rachel and the children a new house. And,” he said to Alex, “you’ll be away for years, studying and training. I’d turn our house into a clinic, a place where patients not sick enough to be hospitalized would come and see a doctor. We’d have additional examining rooms, waiting rooms. Perhaps the hospital office and
Makwa, unusually silent even for her. He could tell she was very nervous. He hitched the horse in front of the bank and she waited in the wagon while he took care of getting the draft and handing it over to John Kurland, a serious young man who acknowledged his introduction to Moon with politeness but no warmth. When the lawyer left them, Rob J. got back up into the buckboard seat next to Moon. He left the horse hitched right where it was, and they sat there and peered down the street at the