Shapeshifters have always been a part of the folklore in Southern Wisconsin . Some folks there credited sightings of werewolves to the last of the Native American shamans. Others looked for more rational reasons of these occurrences. Perhaps the following tale about President Lincoln’s special forces in the Civil War can set the record straight.
Here’s an xcerpt from ifs IMAGINE FANTASY SCIENCE FICTION:
The full moon had just crested over the highest peak above
the valley-shaped hollow in the Kisatchie and began its downward
descent. I was gasping for air. “I can’t keep up,” I yelled out
to Jeridia. “Keep going, I’ll hold them off.” There wasn’t much
time for any maneuvering tactics. I turned toward the entry of
the narrow pass and kicked the short tripod of Doctor Gatling’s
crank gun open.
I didn’t think I would last long. For all my strength and
endurance, I could only manage to carry three cartridge holders
in my bandolier for the portable machine. The Southerner’s
hunting animals were gaining ground and I knew that they would
be on me in the next few minutes. I could hear their unearthly
snarls nearing as I armed the weapon. With an almost
nightmarish reflex I pulled a forty-round magazine from my
bandolier and fed it into the gun’s hopper.
When I saw the flash of the beasts eyes a’glistening
from their reflections of the moonlight I began to crank. I
ground the Gatling’s handle hard turning the six chambers to
load and fire automatically one after another. The rim fire
copper-based cartridges barked out of the six revolving barrels
in loud billowing puffs of acrid smoke.
Hair and entrails sprayed in every direction as the first
grisly knot of the Creole beasts came abreast of my position.
Startled, the remaining furry hounds ran for cover to avoid the
spit of the Gatling. They jumped into the brush and the brambles
siding the backbone trail of the hollow. But they kept on
One quick glance over my shoulder told me that Jeridia and
the two others in our clandestine raiding party, Ward-Hall and
Sevidore would be able to outdistance the mangy pack that had
been tracking us if I held fast. I slammed another round of shot
into the top of the Gatling.
It wasn’t our fault that we were deep inside the Creole
country of Louisiana in the middle of that cool October night.
It was that dammed pantywaist General, McClellan. He was the
reason. Because of him we were there to disrupt the use of the
newly completed Texas and New Orleans Railroad
bridge that led over the Red River gorge in Natchitoches Parish.
Everyone knew that the real states rights war for union and
emancipation was being fought along the East Coast. The fierce
battles ran throughout the original thirteen states in open
daylight up at Bull Run, Antietam and Williamsburg. That is
until McClellan refused to fight.
At the start of the war, McClellan’s knowledge of war science
and his railroading experience were taken to mean that he would
make an excellent gatherer of men, a mover of troops, a real
leader. His military schooling background placed him in great
demand as a field mobilizer and he became President Lincoln’s
first choice as the Union Army’s Field Commander.
But that dammed West Pointer dandy thought that he could
defeat Lee and his Virginia born Confederate Army simply by
staring them down, instead of overrunning them. While McClellan
sat encamped at the Berkley Plantation, the Confederate Army was
growing stronger in the South, slowly expanding into the
uncommitted Western Territories, using their railroad trains to
bring in new recruits.
That’s where Ward-Hall, Jeridia, Sevidore and I came in. Old
Abe just couldn’t sit by and watch the South tie the vast
western lands to the Confederacy. He had to make sure that the
Southern cause was contained and then defeated.
The Raid at Natchitoches Parish appears in ifs IMAGINE FANTASY SCIENCE FICTION.