RAILCAR GOLD Chapter 9 . . Lincoln . . Part 1
RAILCAR GOLD is a historically accurate multi-generational fictional tale of hidden treasure, primarily set in York County, Pennsylvania during the latter half of the Nineteenth Century. This is Part 1 of Chapter 9 . . . Lincoln. A new part will be posted every Thursday. Recent chapters stand alone, starting here; however new readers may want to start at the beginning.
CHAPTER 9 . . . LINCOLN . . . Part 1
It was hot in that railcar, sitting in Bainbridge under the hot mid-day sun, even with the door open the whole way. It was even hotter for Dan. He stayed as far away from the door as possible; back in the shadows, behind the horses.
Every now and then, someone would peer into the car and then go on their way. Dan only spoke up if someone attempted to hoist himself into the car. A few stern words, out of the shadows, always startled the person, such that they quickly fled.
On several instances, Dan was certain he heard voices in the vicinity of the railcar that were familiar to him, from when he lived just outside of Bainbridge with Uncle Rufus; only three years ago. Thankfully George soon returned with the news Dan was eager to hear.
George exclaimed as he handed Dan a sack, “Here’s some fresh fruit. They’ve decided to drop off a few of the remaining militia here. We’re leaving now to take the remainder of the soldiers to Harrisburg.”
Only a few miles outside of Bainbridge, Dan made up a story for George, “That fruit did the trick, I feel much better.” They arrived in Harrisburg and stayed there with the train for the next few days, as they received reports about the Rebel withdrawal from York County and the big battle underway in Gettysburg.
A telegram got through from George Billmeyer to his Dad. Charles Billmeyer wired the boys, “Everyone is fine in York. Stay with the train and don’t get into any trouble. Word is the Northern Central Railway bridges will be repaired quickly. I’ll soon be on my way to Harrisburg to negotiate with some lumber dealers, since our saw mill and lumberyards at Wrightville were destroyed. You’ll travel back to York with me on my return trip. See you soon.”
After Charles concluded his business in Harrisburg, he met-up with the train after it had already crossed over the Susquehanna River Bridge at Harrisburg and was sitting in the northern part of York County. It was second in the queue of several trains desiring to return to York as soon as the Northern Central Railway bridges got repaired.
Charles pulled up in his horse and carriage. Dan asked, “How’d you manage to keep that horse out of Rebel hands?” Charles boasted, “I had Belle bandage up one of his legs and told the Rebels, all my horses were moved to Lancaster County, this one is lame and could not make that trip.”
Three of the Billmeyer & Small railcar guards returned, with the group, on three of the horses. Dan rode the other horse and George returned with his Dad in the carriage. It seemed that George could not stop talking about their adventures the whole way home.
For the next month, there was an unimaginable steady flow of wounded soldiers either being transported from Gettysburg through Hanover Junction to the Army Hospital in York or onto medical facilities in Harrisburg, Baltimore and Philadelphia. Throughout October, York industries supplied unthinkable numbers of coffins, as remains of the brave Union soldiers continued to be gathered from shallow graves and re-interred in a new memorial graveyard on Cemetery Hill in Gettysburg.
George and Dan had learned that President Lincoln would be traveling through York County in November on his way to deliver a few remarks at the dedication of the Soldiers Cemetery in Gettysburg. The boys were already making plans to get a glimpse of Abraham Lincoln shortly after hearing the news.
Go to Part 2