Excerpt from “Treasure at Fort Arbuckle”

The first book in my new series of novels for middle grade children should be released in April or May of 2021. I’d love to hear feedback from my friends! Constructive criticism is welcome. See this excerpt from Chapter Six.

My musings were abruptly interrupted as the Rebel Captain cried, “Charge!” All thoughts fled, except for the raging desire to live. The entire front line of gray-coats seemed to erupt into flame as they all fired as one. Then, that blood-curdling “Rebel Yell” swept toward our line.

The sound seemed to paralyze two of my companions in fright. Sykes was not paralyzed, though. He leaped to his feet and ran back toward our retreating troops, not even bothering to take his musket. Warren snapped out of his trance and looked at me. His mouth moved, but I couldn’t hear anything over the incredible noise.

The air was full of whistling Minie balls. I had fired twice without even realizing it. Johnson lay trembling on the ground. Warren shook him, trying to rally his spirit. The Rebels whooped their frightening cry again, and Johnson lost all control of his faculties. He stood up and staggered to his left.

Before I could grab him, he was struck four times by shots from advancing Rebels. He stumbled one step, then another. More shots poured from Rebel muskets and his body absorbed blow after blow. I watched in horror as he fell. It seemed to last forever, but it was over in less than five seconds.

Warren and I went back to our task. I had fired mechanically, just like we had trained. There was no way of knowing if any of my shots had hit their target. The Rebels were crossing the creek in absolute chaos. The rest of our little contingent was certainly making their presence known!

The fighting was brutal for the next few minutes. A great many of the Confederates fell, but they advanced onward. Soon, the lead soldiers were close enough it seemed I could feel their hot breath. Warren suddenly grunted loudly. He was wounded in the neck. One look was enough to tell me he was finished. I grabbed his musket and moved quickly, ducking behind the large boulder to my right. Shots ricocheted off the top of the boulder as I ran. I spotted Colburn with the two soldiers at the top of the knoll. My legs churned as I sped toward them.

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think in the comments. I appreciate all of you!

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