Cabins, Caves and Confederates

Okay, so I'm having a love affair with my little cabin. In fact, I'm so besotted I'm trying to find out everything I can about it. Thus far, my neighbors have been as helpful as they possibly can be...but they can't quite remember everything they've heard about the area and this house in particular.

But that doesn't stop me. The other week I learned my cabin may have been a cobbler's shop. I already knew my lane was once a main thoroughfare during the Civil War but this weekend I learned my little house might've been part of a small community called Shoat's Gap or Choate's Gap. And then my new neighbor, Margie, dropped the bomb.

"You know," she said. "I think there's a Confederate soldier buried on your property."

She said this just like you might say "You know, I think that's a lilac bush in your backyard."

My eyes widened and I thought, "I knew it! I knew there was something about this place!" But I said, "Where? Where is he buried?"

Margie shrugged. "I don't know but there's lots of books written about the area. There's a cave on the top ridge of your property, I think that's where it is, and there used to be a cave there. That's where the Confederate soldiers hid."

She could see my interest piquing and added "And bears. There's lots of bears up there too."

I also learned that if I'm ever riding in the hills and I come across moonshiners, I'm to nod, look away and ride on. No problem...other than I'm so curious I'd love to stop and learn all about it!

As soon as I got back to town, I started searching the internet for information and quickly found out that my area is chock full of stories of caves and Confederates, moonshiners and revenuers.

I read or listened to accounts until my eyes hurt and my brain has, of course, managed to mangle everything I've gleaned into a stew of facts and legend- but it's absolutely fascinating.

I seriously doubt Franklin County's ready for this much enthusiasm from a newcomer- otherwise I'd be running down the street of Ferrum yelling "Hey everybody, I'm here! Now- tell me everything and don't spare the details! Which one of you guys has the closest still to my place?"

Oh, yeah...that'd get me run out of town on a rail real fast.

So, I'll just keep on reading my internet accounts and try not to ask too many questions of mysterious strangers I meet in the woods...that is, until they come to realize I'm quite harmless and terribly gullible.

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