One of the Missing by Ambrose Bierce

One of the Missing by Ambrose Bierce

Jerome was a scout for the Yankees. He often went to spy on the enemy soldiers. Once a group of officers housed on the hill. They were a blue Yankee uniform. The Confederation army moved farther to the other side of the forest. One of the officers asked about the enemy’s actions: whether they were moving forward or retreating. They decided to send a scout to check it out. A few minutes later, Jerome set to work. Jerome was a very brave man and always worked alone. His hearing and sight were very keen. He heard what other people could not hear. The scout was walking through the forest with a heavy rifle. Jerome knew how to shoot very accurately. Reaching the edge of the forest, he disappeared in the shadows and started observing.

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One of the Missing by Ambrose Bierce

Private Jerome Searing was a Yankee scout. He was often sent to watch the movements of enemy soldiers.

A group of army officers was standing on a hill in Georgia. They were looking south, toward a forest. They were wearing blue Yankee uniforms. A regiment of the Confederate Army was on the other side of the forest.

“Is the enemy moving forward, or retreating, or not moving at all?” one of the Union officers asked.

“We’ll send a scout to look,” replied another officer.

A few minutes later, Private Searing was sent to check the position of the Confederate regiment.

One of the Missing by Ambrose Bierce

Searing was a brave man. He worked alone and he did his work well. He had sharp eyes and ears. He could see far into the distance. And he often heard sounds that other people could not hear. Now he moved silently through the forest toward the enemy regiment. In his hands, he carried a powerful rifle. Searing could shoot extremely well.

When Searing reached the edge of the forest, he stopped. He got down on his hands and knees and crawled forward slowly. He was looking for the enemy’s picket line.

Pickets guarded the men of their regiment. They dug holes-rifle-pits-in the ground around the edge of their camp. The pickets sat in the rifle-pits and aimed their guns at the enemy. Usually, there were three or four men together in each rifle-pit. The pickets took turns to sleep. While one man watched, the other men slept.

Scaring was looking for small mounds of earth on the ground. The mounds would show Searing where the Confederates had dug their rifle-pits. The mounds would also show him where the enemy had positioned its picket line.

The scout quickly lay flat on the ground. Through a narrow opening in the hushes, he had seen a small mound of yellow earth. It was one of the enemy’s rifle-pits. After a few moments, Searing slowly and carefully lifted his head. He looked at the mound of earth for several more minutes. Then he stood up and walked forward. The enemy soldiers had left the rifle-pit.

Searing wanted to be sure that all the Confederate pickets had gone. He kept his head low, and ran from one rifle-pit to the next. They were all empty. The Confederates had left this picket line. But where were they now?…

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