Abraham Lincoln: President, Statesman, Action-Hero

By Dwayne MacInnes

The silver moon hung low in the night sky above the canopy of trees surrounding the inky black lake. The lunar reflection upon the glassy surface of the lake began to ripple as a long black cylindrical object slowly emerged from its icy depths.

Making a minimum amount of noise, a gaunt face framed by a black beard and large ears that supported the dripping stovepipe hat soon emerged from the lake's depths. A cold, hard look of determination set in the eyes of the man as he slowly walked towards the shore. A long black coat sat upon his lanky frame. A large oilskin bag was over his left shoulder; an old steel axe was in his right hand.

Once out of the lake, the dripping man crept into the woods as he made his way stealthily towards an old mill. It stood by the river that fed the lake. The mill sat upon four large wooden beams that kept it about four feet above the ground. A large water wheel turned by the river creaked nonstop as it powered unseen machinations inside the building.

A well-worn dirt path ran through the woods and ended at the mill's wooden steps. Those steps led up to the mill's entrance. The man stealthily slipped from tree to tree; his soggy boots squishing softly in the still night. He could not hear or see any sentry as he neared the mill. However, he remained cautious.

Suddenly, a small light flashed brilliantly into existence as a guard outside the mill lit a match. He put its burning flame into the bowl of his corncob pipe, which illuminated his middle-aged face. The butternut colored uniform reminded the man sneaking through the woods that he was in enemy territory. A slip up here could mean the end of the war for his country.

The man tightened his grip upon the ash handle of his axe before he set the oilskin bag down. He untied the knot that secured the opening and reached into the bag. From within he withdrew 2 Colt M1861 Navy pistols and one large black six barrel Gatling gun. This gun, instead of a carriage, had a leather sling attached to its frame. He set the large Gatling against a tree and stuffed the pistols into his coat pockets.

Picking up the axe the man left the woods and approached the guard outside the mill's entrance. The guard, too occupied with his late night pipe, at first did not catch the movement of the shadow creeping slowly towards him. However, the snap of small branch under the boot of the man sneaking towards the sentry quickly brought the guard to attention. The guard in a smooth motion picked up his old musket and cocked the hammer as he pointed it towards the man approaching him.

"Who goes thar?" the guard demanded.

"I do," the man stated plainly, as he stepped further into the moonlight.

"My God! Yer, yer, Abe Lincoln!"

"Yes," Lincoln replied as he hefted his axe.

Two more sentries unnoticed by Lincoln crept up behind the president, their rifles aimed squarely at his back.

"Suh, I must ask you to surrender," the sentry ordered.

"Son, that I cannot do."

"We have you surrounded and you are only armed with an old axe."

"Everyone desires to live long, but no one would be old," Lincoln stated as kept the axe head in front of his face with the blade aimed toward the sentry.

"What?" the sentry replied as Lincoln took a step closer.

"I will help with the latter," Lincoln said taking another step closely eying the barrel of the musket.

"Not if I can help it," the sentry replied firing his old musket aimed at the president's head. As if in slow motion, Lincoln watched as fire and smoke erupted from the musket's barrel. He watched as a ball flew towards him. He felt the impact of the led projectile as it made contact with the edge of the steel blade of his axe. The ball split in two, the angle of the axe's edge sent the two halves flying past Lincoln's ears, and into the men behind the president.

Before the bodies of the slain rebel soldiers slumped to the ground, Lincoln with a swift motion tossed the axe forward. The stunned sentry watched in fascination as the blade tumbled through the air end over end before it split his head.

The echoing report of the musket alerted every Johnny Reb in the area that there was danger afoot. Lincoln retreated into the woods and waited. Soon some soldiers in a mixture of gray and butternut uniforms came jogging up the trail. Lincoln picked up the Gatling gun. He placed the frame in the crook of his left arm and slung the sling over his shoulder. His wiry muscles were like steel cables as they strained under the weight. With his right hand, he grabbed the crank.

As the soldiers approached the bodies of their slain comrades, they looked around alert and confused. Before they could determine their next course of action, Lincoln turned the crank. Fire spit from the six black barrels as lead bullets slammed into the bodies of the rebel soldiers. Some soldiers managed to raise their rifles. However, before they could fire, the Gatling gun cut them down. In a matter of half a minute, the bodies of over twenty men lay still upon the ground.

Lincoln next turned the Gatling gun upon the mill. He aimed the weapon at the roof of the structure and slowly lowered his aim as bullets ripped into the wooden frame. The president continued to fire until the hopper was empty and only white smoke emanated from the hot barrels. When he was finished a ragged line of chewed up wood ran down the mill from top to bottom.

Some frightened men ran out of the building in a mad rush. Lincoln, now armed with the two Navy Colts, approached the mill and systematically fired into any man who posed a threat. Most of the men simply ran into the woods fleeing for their lives.

Lincoln calmly climbed the steps and peered into the mill. Inside the building and amongst a number of machines and slain bodies of workers he noticed a large steel monstrosity. It was the feared steam-powered land ironclad. If the rebels ever made any of these in great numbers the tide of war would greatly turn in favor of the Confederacy.

As moonlight filtered through the bullet riddled mill a man in a leather apron stood upon the land ironclad. It was Dr. Higby, a man of great imagination for war vehicles and a threat to the Union cause.

"You will never get away with this," Higby bellowed as he aimed the cannon of the land ironclad at Lincoln. The weakened timbers of the mill's floor creaked and moaned in protest to the strain of supporting the weight of metal war machine.

With a wry smile, Lincoln calmly replied, "A house divided against itself cannot stand." Then Lincoln raised a booted foot and slammed it down hard upon the crack that ran the length of the mill. The Gatling gun's bullets created the crack, which weakened the structure's frame. The weakened building moaned in protest as Lincoln jumped backwards the same instance Higby fired the cannon. A large iron ball flew past Lincoln barely missing him and exploded deep in the woods as the mill finally collapsed under the strain of the cannon fire and the weight of the land ironclad.

Soon fire erupted amongst the wooden timbers of the mill and quickly began to consume the wreckage. Lincoln smiling in the firelight repacked the Gatling gun into the oilskin bag and began the journey back to his hot air balloon on the other side of the lake. If the wind was right, he could be back in D.C. as morning broke and none would know he had left the city.

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This page contains a single entry by Douglas Gogerty published on December 29, 2010 5:00 PM.

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