Tarnation! The war had begun and I was stuck on our farm, miles away from the action, weeding vegetables, milking cows, slopping pigs, and gathering eggs!
On June 1 there was a skirmish at Fairfax Courthouse, Virginia. It wasn’t an important battle or anything, but a Confederate officer and a Union private were killed. Then on the tenth, there was a bigger battle at Hampton, on the Virginia Peninsula. The Confederates whipped the Union and drove us back to Fort Monroe. I was certain this war would end while I was still feeding chickens.
The only time I got to see Josiah was at church on Sunday mornings and at the pond on Sunday afternoons. The rest of the time we were all too busy with the farms. There was no time to share our love. All we could do was shoot our load in the pond on Sundays.
At night I dreamed about Josiah. I could almost feel him in my arms. He told me that, even though the boys were in bed with him, he had given up trying to hide it when he pleasured himself. Sometimes they all lay there doing it together. The younger boys marveled at his spunk and wished they could produce some.
Josiah and his brothers went with us to Frederick for the Fourth of July celebration. I sat next to him in the back of the wagon, so close that we were touching the whole time. We both got hard, but couldn’t do anything about it. His brothers pretended not to notice, but I know they did. Josiah said he only went to be with me because he didn’t consider himself a citizen of the Union any more.
The town was decorated in red, white, and blue bunting, and flags were flying everywhere. At noon, the “Declaration of Independence” was read from the courthouse steps. Then there was a parade which featured some troops on their way to Washington, complete with a brass band. The younger boys and I all cheered, but Josiah stood silent.
Back home in the evening, before Josiah and his brothers went home, we built a huge bonfire and all of us boys danced around it and threw wood in, sending sparks up to the stars. I always did love a good fire!
Meanwhile, the farming went on…and on. It was hard work and long days. I do have to admit that I loved the smell of a farm. In the spring, the freshly turned earth has a wonderful, pungent smell of its own. Then there’s the smell of animal dung, which I actually really liked. Except for chicken shit. That is disgusting. There was grass in front of our house, and the sweet smell of the newly cut blades was so delicious! Even at night I could lie in bed with the window open and breathe in all the smells of the farm. I could hear a hoot owl in our woods and a night hawk flying over the fields. I would have hated to live in a city like Frederick, with its stench of garbage and so many people.
There had been a few battles in July. The biggest one so far happened on the twenty-first at a place called Manassas, in Virginia, not too far from Richmond. Some people called it the Battle of Bull Run. There was a total of over 4,000 casualties, with about 800 killed. Again, the Confederates whipped us and sent us packing back towards Washington. Josiah thought it was a glorious battle. How I wished I could have been there.
Sometimes on Sundays I arrived at the pond before the others did. Then I would strip and lie back, listening to the thrum of the cicadas and the calls of the garrulous sparrows, robins, and crows.
Swimming at the pond was still fun. It was really more splashing and dunking and playing tag in the water than it was swimming, but sometimes Josiah and I or Eddie and Tad had races. Josiah and I were pretty even. Eddie could beat Tad, but sometimes he held back a little to let Tad win. We sunned ourselves on the grass and played town ball naked in the fields. Josiah and I usually pleasured ourselves in the water and his brothers now joined us. Eddie got some sensations, but nothing came out yet. I could imagine the celebration he’d have the first time it happened.
It seemed like the less I saw Josiah, the more I loved him. I so wanted to be with him, to hold him and to feel him holding me, to kiss him and to have him kiss me all over, to love him and to have him love me. Dang it all, I thought. If I caint fight in the war, why in creation couldn’t I at least be with him?
In mid-August, I got some wonderful news! As there was little Josiah could do on the farm for a while he was allowed to come to our farm and sleep with me after we met at the pond on Sundays.
We did my chores as usual before supper. Of course, as we ate, talk of the war continued, especially between Pa and Josiah, although I spoke up some too. They were not arguing any more. I guess each one respected the ideas of the other. I asked Pa if I could fight when I turned sixteen, but he said he hadn’t decided yet, although he knew how badly I wanted to go. After we finished the dishes, Josiah and I sat on the porch and quietly smoked our pipes. As usual, Josiah and I talked about me fighting. That night he said, “I just caint imagine ya lyin’ dead on some battlefield. When I think of that, I git cold all over. Yer so sweet. Surely God wouldn’t let ya die.” I promised him that I would be careful and would return to him.
When Josiah and I went upstairs, Ma commented on how early we were going to bed. We just said we were tired. As soon as we got to my room, we began to kiss and stroke each other. I pulled Josiah’s shirt and overalls off and he took mine off before we lay on the bed, cuddling and just enjoying the scent of each other, which tended to be stronger in the summer. He put his mouth gently on mine and moved it back and forth so sweetly. Then he began sucking on my lower lip, a feeling that always made chills run up my spine.
As we kissed, Josiah opened his lips and I felt his tongue on my lips. Instinctively, I opened my mouth and his tongue went all the way in, feeling around inside before I did the same for him. It was a new sensation and thrilling.
In no time we were fully hard. Once again Josiah straddled me with me facing up under him, our cocks side by side. For a moment he sat back on his knees, smiling his devilish grin at me. Finally he lay down, kissed me, and began moving up and down, rubbing. Again I could feel the tension rising, and then, as he hugged me so tightly I could hardly breathe, we exploded. At length he sighed, released his hug, sat up, and licked the spunk from my stomach and chest. When I had done the same for him, we lay facing each other, gently running our fingers over each other’s backs and sides, then down to our butts. Soon we fell asleep, arm in arm, our bodies touching. Sometime in the night, I felt his hands on my cock. Again I exploded before doing the same for him.
In the morning we did each other again before going to do chores and have breakfast. As I walked him towards the pond I said, “I’m so exhausted, but so wonderfully satisfied.”
He agreed. Then he took my hands, looked around to see if anybody could see us, and kissed me hard on the mouth, before sucking my lip again. I tongued him as his hands found my butt and pulled me hard into him. We just stood there, loving the moment and each other. Fortunately, we broke it off just before Eddie showed up to guide Josiah home. As they began walking towards their farm, Josiah turned to wave until he disappeared over a little hill.
I could hardly wait until the harvest was over!
There was not much war news. A few little skirmishes. Two Confederate forts on the Outer Banks of North Carolina were bombarded by seven Union ships. When the forts surrendered nearly 500 prisoners were taken. So I decided we could call it a Union victory. We hadn’t had many.
By September it looked like the war wouldn’t end that year. I wondered if the armies would fight in the winter.
Harvest time was drawing near. We had already picked some vegetables, including corn. It had been hot and humid for a few days so working in the fields was not a lot of fun.
By the end of September we were nearly finished with the harvest. Pa said that we’d plant the winter wheat and be done.
Some Sunday afternoons, after we swam, we had wrestling matches. Eddie, who had just turned twelve, fooled around with Tad, who was now seven. Josiah and I had serious matches which were pretty even. First he would gain the upper hand and then I would. It was so amazing, wrestling naked. Of course we were stiff the whole time, but we declared penises and balls off limits. Once when I finally pinned him for the count of three, he stopped struggling and I said, “Now I claim my reward.” I leaned forward and kissed him long and hard.
I heard Eddie gasp and then Tad asked, “D’ya two love each other?”
Josiah and I grinned and I said, “Yup, but ya mustn’t talk about it except among us. OK?”
“OK,” they both responded.
That night Josiah came to sleep over again, and we had our usual wonderful, loving time together. Each time he caressed me, he seemed to find a new spot that gave me tingles.
As we lay side by side after we had finished, I asked, “D’ya think your brothers’ll say anythin’ about this afternoon?”
“Nah,” Josiah answered. “They know I’ll kill ’em if they do. Occasional fear is good for them!”
I laughed. “I wonder what our parents would say.”
“I dunno. D’ya think they suspect?”
“Nope. I think they believe we’re just good friends.”
“We gotta keep ’em thinkin’ that,” said Josiah. Then, as usual, we fell asleep cuddled together like Siamese twins.
When we finished planting the winter wheat Josiah was able to stay at our farm on Saturday nights as well as Sundays.
He was always so sweet to me. He was more playful than I was I guess, but he could certainly be serious as well. Whenever I looked at his face, which was as often as possible, I just melted. Josiah’s brothers teased us now that they knew we loved each other, but they hadn’t said a word to any adults or to their friends in school and church, so we decided we were safe.
In November, a Union General named Grant won a big battle in Missouri across the Mississippi from Columbus, Kentucky. From the casualties it seemed pretty even, but the Union newspapers were playing it up as a great victory. They predicted we’d hear more from Grant.
. Usually we’d meet at the pond on Saturday although it was now too cold to swim. Josiah was again spending every weekend with us. His brothers would bring him to the pond and I would pick him up there.
On the last Saturday in November Eddie and Tad came racing to the pond.
“I did it! I did it!” shouted Eddie.
“Ya did what?” asked Josiah.
“I got a load when I jerked my cock, and Tad’s my witness.”
“He really did,” Tad chimed in.
“Of course it wasn’t nearly as much as you get, Josiah,” Eddie added shyly, “but it’s a start.”
Josiah and I congratulated him. Then we grabbed him, stripped him naked, and threw him into the pond. When he came out shivering, Josiah said, laughing, “That’s yer initiation. Now yer a man.”
“When I first do it,” said Tad, looking at his shivering brother, “I hope it’s in July!”
We all laughed, and Eddie and Tad ran around the field until Eddie was dry.
That night, as we said goodnight to my parents, my mother said, “My, you boys are really fond of each other.”
We froze. What did she know or think? Finally I just said, “Yes, ma’am,” and we hastened upstairs. Nothing more was said.
After we’d finished our love making and were lying in bed, Josiah said, “I know the time’s comin’ when you’ll leave for the war. Elias, I’m really worried. I love ya so much and I hate the thought of ya leavin or, even worse, of ya gittin’ hurt or killed.”
I rolled on my side and gave him a hug. “God’ll look after me, Josiah. I guess if it’s His will for me ta git hurt or killed there won’t be anythin’ I kin do about it, but I’ll try ta be careful. I promise.” And with that we went to sleep.
Sunday morning Josiah helped me with my chores before we went to church. In the afternoon we went to the pond, where we were alone for a while. We lay on the sweet smelling grass chewing on long stalks while we were warmed by the sun. At one point, I rolled over and kissed him, but although we were both hard, we did nothing else because we knew his brothers would soon appear. When they did, we played town ball and wrestled for a while. This time Josiah beat me and claimed his prize, much to the delight of his brothers.
Monday morning came all too soon, and Josiah had to leave for home. Again, I walked him part way and we kissed before he left. How I wished we could be together forever.
Christmas was wonderful! There was snow on the ground and everything outside sparkled. After chores and church, we exchanged gifts with Josiah and his family before we came home, had a big dinner, and then exchanged our gifts.
I was hoping Josiah could come to the farm in the evening, but he didn’t, so I slept alone.
The next morning was scary. While I was in the barn milking the cows, Pa came in and sat on an overturned bucket beside me. He was silent for a few moments before he said, “Elias, I know you and Josiah are very fond of each other.” I grew cold but managed to nod. He continued, “I’ve a little idea of what you and Josiah do in your room.” A chill ran through me. I stopped milking and stared at the ground. “But I want ya to know that whatever yer doin’ is fine with me and Ma. All we want is for you to be safe and happy. D’yalove each other?” I nodded. “Good. Josiah may be the only love in yer life, or ya may sometime find somebody else. Either way, we’ll support you. D’ya understand?”
Again I nodded and finally stammered, “Th…thanks, Pa.”
“Now, about the war. Of course, if ya go, ya could git wounded or killed. Your ma and I are very concerned about that. But all any of us can do is trust in God. If He takes ya, we’d know that, for some reason, that was His will and we’d have to accept it. Ya know we’ll keep ya always in our prayers.”
With that, he patted me on the shoulder and left. I sat for a few minutes, tears welling up in my eyes. I was wondering if he was truly saying that I could go when I turned 16, but I didn’t know for sure. Finally I finished my chores and went in to breakfast, which passed as though nothing had been said.
As I write this, tears are once again in my eyes, for I knew then that both Pa and Ma loved me unconditionally as much as I loved them.