My Love, My Enemy

By Joe B. Hewitt

MLME cover

First Few Pages:













Fairfax County Virginia, July, 1861

Major Fairfax Cole’s gray uniform had its share of brass, but General P.G.T Beauregard’s had more. “Sit down, major.” The general motioned to a leather covered side chair, and walked around his desk. The high backed chair squeaked as the general’s weight settled. He pointed the hot end of a cigar toward Fairfax. “You are to go onto detached duty.”

Fairfax sat upright on the edge of the smooth leather.  “Where? We’re ready to go to Manassas tomorrow, sir.”


“Washington,” Fairfax exclaimed. “Have we taken Washington?”

“Sorry to say, no.” A slight chuckle came out of the General’s mouth with cigar smoke. Then he continued in a serious tone, “Washington is still heavily fortified. Your mission will be to send information to me from the very heart of the Union War Department.”

“That sounds impossible.”

“You are to assume the identity of a Union Army officer, go into the War Department there and send back intelligence information.”

Fairfax envisioned himself, with a week’s beard and his usually well-trimmed moustache ragged and drooping, standing in front of a brick wall blindfolded and listening to a sergeant bark orders to a firing squad, ready to shoot him as a spy. Then a picture of his beloved wife, Cassandra, dressed in black and weeping, raced through his mind. She’d make a beautiful widow, with those blue eyes and blonde hair framed in black lace.

“Sir, I’m a field commander, not a spy.” Fairfax stood to his feet. “My men have trained for this operation and are raring to go. We walked, floated, and rode trains to get here from Alabama. I had to leave half of my men behind after their train’s boiler blew up at White’s Mill. Those able to walk the 20 miles should be here tomorrow, ready for the attack.” Afraid he sounded insubordinate; Fairfax stepped back to his chair to appear less confrontational.

The opening door admitted the late afternoon sun. A man’s silhouette filled the bright opening, and then closed the door. With the bright light gone, the silhouette materialized into a military surgeon carrying a tape measure.

“Here he is.”  The general motioned toward Fairfax, who quickly stood again.

“Stick out your arm.” The surgeon stretched the tape measure on Fairfax’ arm.

“What’s this for?” Fairfax wondered aloud.

“The measurements are for positive identification. You can change your appearance but you can’t change the length of your bones,” the surgeon answered.

“I really don’t want to do this,” Fairfax protested.

The surgeon knelt down on a knee and stretched the tape measure from Fairfax’s knee to his ankle.

"Major Cole, these orders came from the highest authority of the Confederate States of America. They don’t suggest you go. You are ordered to go. It’s a mission only you could accomplish.” The general pointed his cigar to emphasize the words.

“General, as you know, my West Point education did not include spying, engineering yes, but not spying.”

“The main thing you learned was to follow orders. Now listen, a squad of our scouts captured a Union officer that turned out to look enough like you to be his twin brother. He carried orders to report to the Assistant to the Secretary of War in the Military Police section.”
The general pointed the cigar to emphasize his point. “We prepared to take the prisoner’s measurements out to the entire army to try to find someone his size that we could send in his place, but before we could get the search started, you came in, looking like the prisoner’s twin brother. He’s about your age too, 33.”       

“I’m 27.”

“Damn young for a major. No matter. You look just like him.”

The surgeon threw the tape measure over his shoulder and penciled something in a ledger book.

"This Yankee officer looks just like me?” Fairfax asked.

“Well, with one exception. His left ear lobe had been shot off.”

Another picture raced through Fairfax’s mind, his wife playfully biting his ear.

“Since I still have both of my earlobes I don’t qualify, sir.”

  “No. But you shall.” -------End of first few pages------------