Chapter Fourteen - The Waxhaws Massacre

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"Ah, General Lewis I have been meaning to speak with you." Colonel Buford found the general sitting in his tent, pouring over the ransom note he had received some days ago from the infamous Colonel Tarelton. He was still quite indecisive as of what to do about it, although felt pressured to answer it as soon as possible and in a manner that would not result in the harm of his dear daughter.

"Yes, Colonel Buford?" General Lewis looked up from his desk to see the bold colonel who carried with him in his very presence all of the noble principles and characteristics of a man more than willing to die for his family and his country.

"I just wanted to let you know that my men and I are to be heading out on a march this afternoon where we intend to venture just about as far as your property. I have intentions of scouting out the area and seeing if there will be any way of possibly getting your daughter back without you having to comply with a single term of that horrible ransom note. Before you say anything, there's no need for you or any of your men to accompany us as I believe they need time to rest and rally their spirits here more than they need to spend a whole afternoon marching along aimlessly."

"I too think that would be best. Though, if you happen upon a skirmish and are in need of reinforcements I should be happy to oblige all of my troops if you should so need their assistance."

"You are much too kind, General, but I do not think that we shall be in need of your men today." Buford spoke optimistically as he was quite confident of the outcome of that day's events.

"Nor do I." Assured the general, half paying attention to his answer, as he promptly brought his thoughts back to the ransom note which filled his heart with utter sorrow just looking at it.

"Good day, General." Buford tipped his hat as General Lewis was able to rouse himself from the dreadful note long enough to bid his comrade the same.

"Good day, Colonel Buford."

Not very long after the departure of Colonel Buford and his men, Benedict Whitefield strode into the general's tent puzzled at the colonel's departure as much as any person left uniformed in he mists of a bustling camp might.

"Where is the good colonel going with so large a party of his men?" Inquired he the moment he noticed the general looking up from his desponded contemplation.

"On a march." Was all the general replied with, trying to keep his tone so steady and even so as to discourage any further questioning. General Lewis admired the man betrothed to his daughter too much to allow him to take on any wild notions that he might rush in and save Grace while accompanying Buford's men on their mission.

"If you wouldn't mind me asking, but to where?" Benedict went on, seemingly oblivious to the general's tone that was purposefully unwelcoming to any further inquiries.

"Oh, just a little ways to the south, not very far I believe. They shall surely be back before dark." The general let out in a voice that suggested indifference, but proved to be a cover up for his anxiety for the young man.

"I should have gone with them had I known sooner of their leaving, but no matter. It does not sound as though I shall be missing much in the sense of a battle or an opportunity to..." He paused a moment here as the words brought back painful memories that stung his heart to recall, "save my dear Grace."

"Aye, there shall be other opportunities and much better chances of any sort of rescue mission succeeding." The general smiled weakly with the immense relief it was that Benedict would not be losing his senses that day in attempt to rescue his dearly beloved Grace.

"Indeed." Benedict concurred, "I do believe you're right, though I am loath to miss any chance, regardless of how much of a long-shot it may be, of bringing her back to us."

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