One week ago…
War was hell, but mostly it was loud. The new canons fired loads spiked with Ghost Rock. Occasionally the canons burst, killing the artillery crew, but the added range was worth it. Union forces could remain behind the Oak Hills and shell British forces in Toledo, safely out of range from the conventional British canons.
The air was thick with the haze of Ghost Rock smoke. A foul sulfur smell that burned the lungs and eyes. It clung to fabrics even after they had been washed. If you were unfortunate enough to have a puff of it pass over your meal, it tasted of rotten meat.
The Union General sat outside his command tent, up wind from the canon fire, receiving his daily shave. He casually read through the latest edition of The Opportunist. What he read made him stand upright. His valet managed to jump out of the way before accidentally slashing the generals throat with his straight razor.
“Bring me Colonel Upton at once!”, the General ordered.
Colonel Emory Upton was young for his rank – but not nearly as much as his commanding officer. Technically Upton was his elder, but only by a few months. They had both attended West Point, graduating in the same year. He did not rise in the ranks as fast as his peer. The result of the political backlash over allegations of relationships he had with some young black women. Allegations he dueled over, a duel which left a small scar along his face.
“Sir, you called for me?”, said the Colonel.
“Look at this paper. By God, it’s there in some shit hole town called New Opportunity. We’ve had scouts all over that area, and some egg headed fool stumbles upon it. I’m taking first company there immediately.”
“But sir, you cannot abandon your post. You have been ordered to retake Detroit.”
“Once I get this”, touching his gloved finger to the newspaper article, “we won’t need to.”