You may die having never learned the reasons why I never did return home to see you just once more or of the Fairfax County grave, left behind without a name, where they buried any blame for the life that they cut short.
I admit, without official leave, I stole away upon a stolen steed and swiftly headed for New York where I'd heard you may be found but as I passed through Aldie town a group of rangers rode me down at the place where the road forks.
They took only my horse and gun...for money I had none. Then they turned and rode away. Left me free to go so I continued up the road where I met a man so named Davis.
Davis asked and I did oblige to walk with him down to the Double Pikes where we could get some whiskey from a friend. We nearly drank ourselves blind, well, to the point we lost foresight, so we could not see the plight to which we'd stumbled in...
A group of horsemen had gathered up the way. They were dressed in blue. We were dressed in gray. Davis fired into their mass. Then I lit out for the stream but as I neared the small ravine I felt my horse below careen and I was thrown into the grass.
They quickly swarmed around and my hands were promptly bound. I tried, in vain, to plead my case. "Before noon you'll die...so merits the deserter's crime" spoke the colonel with a sullen face.
...Old peers gather 'round in throngs in time to a mournful song into the crisp February morn to pay witness to this soul to be set loose from the body it has worn. It's a hard fate I've earned and the reason I will not return to see you just once more.