Without A Country – The Bear and the Panther


Without A Country is the story of Will and Suzanne Clark as they dealt with the challenges of life during the Civil War.  They lived in Watauga County, North Carolina, a mountain area that bordered with Tennessee.  As the politicians and men with money stirred up Southern enthusiasm for secession, some were not swayed.  The mountain districts of North Carolina and Tennessee were especially Unionist.  So, when the Confederate government instituted conscription, it was not surprising that thousands would end up deserting.

Now to our tale from the last post…

As you may recall, conscription took Will into Confederate service and he deserted about 8 months later.  During the winter, Will was scouting out (hiding) from the Home Guard.  He could not stay at home because they would find him and put a rope around his neck.  He hid in the mountains and bedded down in a small ravine to get out of the wind where he crawled under a log to sleep.  The next morning he woke up covered with snow.    Soon he heard a Home Guard unit as they rode nearby.  He could see them through the woods.  He felt he was safe as long as he remained still.  But, he had a couple of other problems.  The scream of a panther came from one direction and the roar of a bear came from another direction.  They were headed toward Will.



Will had a single shot rifle – but he couldn’t fire.  Even if he killed one of the beasts and frightened off the other, the Guard would hear the shot.  And he couldn’t out-duel the Home Guard.  As fate would have it, the two beasts intended to cross the ravine by using the log where Will made his bed.  And these were stubborn angry beasts not prone to back down. 

Stay tuned for the true and exciting conclusion…

Then we will meet some women and learn one of their remarkable stories!




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