The Conjure Woman

The Conjure Woman
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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Civil War Ghosts, Beaver Dam Creek Battlefield

From Virginia, I've been to a lot of Civil War battlefields; just about the whole state is a battlefield when you get right down to it. I've only had strange experiences at two of them. The first was Beaver Dam Creek, the site in Richmond I grew up hearing the most stories about. Beaver Dam was the site of the bloodiest battle of the Civil War. More died in other battles, but not in as short of a period of time.

A friend and I were standing beside the car at twilight. The space is completely open, there are trees tu over to the side from where we were. A fog came and hovered just at one spot, inexplicably. It wasn't dramatic enough for us to be truly surprised, but it did reflect stories of people seeing a ghost army advancing, it did hover on what had been the Southern side.

Like I said, the spot we were standing in was completely open. It would be impossible for something or someone to make a noise without the source being seen. Suddenly, we heard a loud 'clunk, clunk' as though metal were thudding against metal. But there was nothing and no one in sight.

We pretended not to hear the sound and continued talking. A few minutes later, we heard a loud gasp, nearly echoing right by our ears. So startled we dashed to the car, we both agreed that we had definitely heard the sound and saw nothing that could possibly have made it.

I was in a play at the time and the director also participated in Civil War re-enactments. I thought he'd appreciate the story so I told him about what had happened the next night at rehearsal. His eyes grew wide when I described the clunking. He said he heard that all the time, that it sounded like a cup hitting a canteen. His suggestion was that I'd heard a soldier fall, then give his death gasp. It certainly sounded like it.

1 comment:

  1. I've been to this battlefield and heard that sound. My second great uncle Pvt. Robert Snipes (from NC) fought in this battle and later died from wounds received there. Sam

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