The Swamp Road Chronicles

 

"Llewelyn"

Sir, I want to tell you about my Uncle Llewelyn. Born Llewelyn Plummer, he passed away at a very old age. He was my mother's brother, the eldest of 12 children. We would usually gather at Uncle Llewelyn's house for holiday get-togethers such as Christmas, Easter, and Uncle L's birthdays.

 

Uncle Llewelyn had been a widower for many years. He lived in an old, old two-story house on Beaver Creek Road, just about 2 miles north of Swamp Road's northern end. I have many wonderful memories of fun-filled days of play with my cousins on Uncle Llewelyn's farm.

 

Whenever the family assembled, at some point in the evening, Uncle L. would bring out the family's most treasured heirloom, his grandfather Daniel's Union Army Kepi. A kepi is a kind of hat worn by both the North and the South during the War Between the States. Great-great Uncle Daniel had been in the Ohio Volunteers and saw action in several battles and had been seriously injured at the Battle of Old Washington against Morgan's Raiders. The only part of his Union uniform that survived to the 21st century was his cap. Believe me, it was a revered piece of history to we descendants, or, at least most of us.

 

You see, Uncle L. never had children of his own and never prepared a will, so when he passed away the probate court decided how his meager estate would be divided. His home and land went to his nearest surviving relative- his deceased wife's nephew, Denver; a thoroughly disreputable person who had never associated with the rest of the family. He too, is deceased now, so I feel no compunction in speaking truth about him.

 

One night as I slept soundly, I was awakened by something, I don't know what, but I had a strong sense of not being alone in my bedroom. I sat up and over in the corner I perceived the figure of a man standing in the darkness. He had a ramrod-straight stance and a noble bearing. As I looked he stepped forward into a shaft of light coming in the window from the full moon. He was clothed in a Civil War infantry uniform. He spoke not a word, but looked at me in a very solemn manner and then faded away.

 

When I awoke I remembered the visitation but I decided it must have been a dream. My sister Debra called later that day and I told her about my "dream". She thought it sounded like I had seen our Great-great Uncle Daniel, based on his dress, and she wondered if he was trying to tell me something. I could think of no reason he would visit me, so, Debra wondered if Denver had any ideas, since he then possessed Uncle Daniel's kepi. She had tried to have a cousinly relationship with Denver and she thought she would speak to him about my dream and see if he had any thoughts about it.

 

The next day Debra called Denver and before she could get to the topic of the ghost he nervously told her about a ghostly visitation he had experienced the night before. He described to her the same spirit I had seen and the fact that it terrified him. Debra told him she thought it might be our Uncle Daniel and she asked about the kepi. "That's it!" he exclaimed. "That must be it," he said. "I found that cap under the chifferobe he kept in his 'sittin' room' as he called it, it was in an old round wooden hatbox. I knew it was a valuable antique, so I started to look for a buyer. That old thing is worth about $3000, I'm told, and I need the money so I'm going to sell it."

 

Debra offered him $3,500 on the spot and he accepted. Thank God, the kepi is still in the family and it receives the protection and honor it deserves. I'm grateful that Great-great Uncle Daniel let us know his kepi was in danger of being lost to us. It was worth $3000 to Denver, but to Debra and myself, it is truly priceless.

 

As submitted by Asher Willem, 5-30-2023

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