Yet, it wasn’t their firearms that I first noticed at all. The most striking thing about this encounter was that, there I stood in the dark night, on a road not twenty feet wide, the horses passing within eight feet of me, and as I said “howdy,” they just passed on by, glancing at each other now and then, as if in silent, sullen conversation. They did not utter a single word to me, nor nod at all in my direction. The empty stare of one passed across my face, but 7.62×39 surplus ammo did not focus for even a moment on me. I felt invisible. Were they just unfriendly? One might think that a lone hiker in the middle of the wilderness would warrant some slight snort of acknowledgment from passersby in the night. They looked so weary; so haggard. Their horses staggered on, kicking rocks on the trail, and they disappeared around the next switchback. I stood there, wonderingly, alone again in my primordial world. The insect symphony descended upon me again, as if all the bugs had gone silent in astonishment at this seeming rent in time; this apposition between modern hiker and bygone era soldiers, and then suddenly resumed their clamorous bug business again. Yet, there was now no sound from the trail down below.

I purport that this was nothing more than a chance encounter with two horsemen dressed in Confederate uniforms, late one summer’s night in the Shenandoah Mountains. It can though, be turned toward intriguing legend with some true history. Virginia is the land of my fathers. The Martin side of my family combined with Osbornes and Hales, have been in southwest Virginia since before the French and Indian War. As the Civil War broke out, these people were not eager to fight, but when Virginia withdrew from the Union, the Grayson County Daredevils were assembled and fought some of the fiercest engagements of the war. They were in the battle of Manassas, and there Capt. P.N. Hale and C.P. Hale were killed. The Grayson Daredevils included other Hales and a couple of Martins. They were under Stonewall Jackson’s command at Antietam, and they crossed the Gordonsville Pike with him in November, 1862. A letter survives, written from that camp near today’s Syria, Virginia, by a soldier, Earl Andis. He wrote this to his wife:

People grow up and enter associations and many think that ‘it should just work’. Whenever issues occur and battling happens all of us manage with the tools we acquired from our mother and father, instructors and prior associations. Here are some ways to help diffuse a tense situation between you and your partner.

Suggestion #1: Begin listening and reacting in different ways

One aspect of the battle is usually the events involved feel not noticed. Begin by giving back again that which you hear your partner says, with out reacting by adding your own point or even providing your own viewpoint. You may want to state something similar to: ‘You really feel ___ (for instance: unloved) simply because I ___ (for instance: am usually returning home late).

Duplicating back again that which you heard does not always mean that you simply agree with your lover; however you work at positively hearing one another. The next thing is to ask clarifying concerns in a non-reactive method. Ask: ‘What particularly that I have stated or even done is causing you to really feel unloved? Continue along with energetic listening and giving back.

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