Carrie McGavock (credit: Carnton Historic Plantation, Franklin, TN)
I had a dream once. That is kind of funny to phrase it like that. I dream a lot, but I had this particular dream only once and it stands out a bit more than others. It resonated with me, I guess you could say. Now with that said, I had a dream.
Let me start by saying, I’m kind of into the Civil War. If I had to have an “era” that would be it. Don’t know why, but there it is. Now whether I’m into the Civil War because of this dream or this dream was a result of my Civil War fetish-type feelings, I do not have the answer, but there it is to set the scene.
In this dream, I was first crawling through this wooden pathway. I felt like I was sneaking around, but when I came upon this door I could hear music, laughter, and talking. I don’t recall pushing the door open, but this man in Confederate grey took my hand. I thought that I was in trouble, but I was not. We walked to the middle of the floor and everyone in the room stopped and stared at me in awe. I felt like a princess.
He guided me to this other man named Ulysses. All the men were in suits or Confederate grey. I remember looking down at my feet and I was in this beautiful yellow gown. I felt a comfortable and nervous all at the same time. I took Ulysses elbow and he introduced me to the room as his fiancé. He was quite handsome for that time period. His black hair slicked back and his equally black goatee and mustache. Highly decorated from what I could tell from his uniform. A girl like me set to marry a man of honor? Who would have thought?
Of course, it was just a dream or maybe remembrance of a past life. That of course would ultimately depend on if you believe in that kind of thing, but anyway. Of course the girl that I see today, it is hard to picture that she was ever set to marry a Confederate soldier. It is makes me smile and laugh for so many reasons. However, that isn’t really the point of my ramble.
The main point of the dream was a life and love that I dream of. I mean, as I stated earlier, seriously into the Civil War. I also cannot lie that I am (not so secretively) fascinated with Confederate grey. It is weird, because I cannot honestly say why. Maybe it is one of those connection kind of things. Maybe I’m channeling some 1864 Southern Belle or maybe there is that part of me that had to come to terms with the life that I do not fit into. That last part requires some explanation, I know, but that is a completely different blog. Anyway, the point is, my dream was about love and a life I dream of.
The more I think about it maybe it wasn’t really the Civil War portion and that was just coincidence. In the dream, I was beautiful and people were happy when I walked into the room. I had a beautiful man that was proud to call me his. I was kind of well off…respectable, if you will. I was everything that I wish I was now. It was everything that I long to be.
I often think of this dream, but today it was set off by a book, The Widow of the South, a book about Carrie McGavock. I could go into details, but let’s face it, my rambles are long enough without me giving you a history lesson. The short of it is, she lived on a plantation that was taken over during the war as a hospital. I loved the whole book, but the part that got to me the most was the love story hidden within.
Mrs. McGavock was married to a man she loved, but in a way that one should love their spouse. Her true love lay within a Confederate soldier, but she didn’t know this at the time. When Zachariah Cashwell was brought to her home, she was drawn to him. She didn’t know why. She ended up basically saving his life more than once. He was falling for her and she was falling for him. They had a passionate love affair without all that messy intimacy that most think of when they think of affairs. One kiss was all that was given.
After he was well enough (and all the other soldiers had already been taken away), he was taken away to prison. He and Mrs. McGavock would not see each other for many of years. They thought of each other often and when they finally did reunite, in her own words, it was like a piece of her had been absent for a long time but had returned. It was the kind of thing that indicated true connection, true love.
Maybe it wasn’t true love and it is possible that this part of the story isn’t even true, but from the second she started coming out of her “black hole” of sadness, even I was pulling for them. I found myself longing for his return and wanting to kick him for not telling her how he truly felt. Still, it was obvious in the things that he did. She made him want to be a better man and he stopped a 17 year old boy from be hanged by whipping him up and riding off into the sunset. He did it to protect someone Carrie was fond of; knowing that he couldn’t have her but could still help her. Then when he was ready go home, he returned to her and the place that had saved him. I cried and never has a book made me cry.
That is the kind of love I want. Not the forbidden kind, though, sometimes that seems to be the most passionate. I want the love that is not forced. The love that brings me out of deepest darkest place without me even knowing what it is. The kind of love that last for years, even if we have to be apart, and the kind of love makes me feel complete when he is there. I want the kind of love that makes me feel as if I’m a Civil War princess walking into the room with everyone stopping and staring. I want to have the kind of love that only real life can hold. I want the kind of love that they write stories about but that you have to truly pay attention to realize that it is there. Not the scripted kind.
Movies are fine and dandy. Yes, those kinds of love stories are possible. Still, I’m not a scripted kind of girl. If I did anything scripted, I’d be living a completely different life. Not one that I can say, I would probably actually be fond of. I’m a rebel and I just don’t do scripted.
~SMH~ Copyright 2013