Infinity Publishing (2007) $15.00 (Postpaid) $16.16 in Canada. For an autographed copy send check or money order made out to William P. Robertson to P.O. Box 293, Duke Center, PA 16729.
The last year of Sergeant Bucky Culp's enlistment was his hardest yet. After deserting the army to marry his darling Sarah, Culp barely misses being shot by a firing squad. Embroiled in the Wilderness and Spottsylvania Court House Campaigns keeps him in harm's way until the day he's mustered out of service. But the greatest test of Bucky's character awaits him at Sarah's place in Sharpsburg, Maryland. THE BUCKTAILS' LAST CALL ends with Sergeant Culp's greatest display of bravery as he handles this personal crisis in the fine fighting spirit instilled in him by the 42nd PA Volunteers.
Excerpt from Chapter 15: "Sharpshooters and Dead Men"
By late afternoon a thin line of haggard Bucktails crouched in the Union trenches. "We better pray that the Rebs don't charge us,"murmured Jimmy, staring off across no-man's-land at the opposing fortifications.
"They seem mighty quiet up there," said Boone. "They must be plannin' some devilment."
As if to confirm Crossmire's suspicions, a Reb voice shouted from above, "Hey, ain't you them stinking Bucktails that bushwhacked our boys down by the Po?"
"Yeah, an' if you stand up," quipped Boone, "we'll shows ya firsthand how we done it."
"Which one of yous done made them lucky shots on Jeb and Joe?" growled another Rebel.
"What do ya mean, lucky?" yelled Zeke, flushing crimson.
"If you's actually the killer, I want a crack at revenging my bothers."
"Yeah, I'm the MARKSMAN that drilled yer kin."
"Then, I challenges you to a duel, right here and now!"
"An' I ac-cept!"
"Hold yer horses," bellowed Hosea. "How do we know that you fellas will fight fair? Be-fore Zeke here stands up, we needs ya ta promise there'll be no hidden backup shooters snipin' 'im when he wins."
"We promise," agreed a Reb colonel, standing up to wave a white flag. "But it's our man who'll be victorious, sir. Back home in Carolina, Smith pleasured himself shooting flies off a barn wall."
"Alright, then," grunted Curtis. "We need each shooter ta stand up an' turn their backs ta each other. On the count of three, they'll turn an' fire."
"I doubt if any of you Yankees can count that high," drawled an anonymous Reb, "so you better let our colonel do that."
"Okay," answered Sergeant Curtis. "With his big mouth, neither fella's gonna have any trouble hearin' 'im. Send yer boy out."
A chunky Confederate dressed in butternut crawled boldly from his trench and strode ten paces closer to the Union lines. Before Zeke could do likewise, Boone grabbed his friend's arm and said, "Wouldn't it be best if I ac-cept their challenge?"
"Why's that? Didn't I prove I was the best dang sharpshooter in this outfit?"
"But think o' them little gals o' yers."
"Git yer hands off me, Boone. Ain't no way I'm gonna lose."
Zeke pushed Crossmire away and clambered from his rifle pit to face the big Reb. When Zeke stood up, a mouthy corporal taunted, "Hey, this here fight ain't fair."
"What do ya mean?" shouted Curtis.
"'Cause I seen circus midgets bigger than your boy. How's Smith gonna hit him?"
"Yer colonel musta fibbed then when he said yer fella kin pick flies off a wall."
"Alright, that's enough!" barked the Confederate officer. "Turn around, Bucktail. Smith, you, too. On the count of three you will spin and fire. One. Two. Three!"
Incensed by the memory of his brother's death, the Reb spun on his heels, leveled his rifle, and fired before Zeke could get halfway around. His bullet sang unheeded past Powers' nose, and the Bucktail squeezed off a shot that struck his opponent between the eyes. Before the dead Rebel even hit the ground, four more Southern voices screamed out to challenge Zeke.
"I'll take on all comers," answered Powers coolly, "one at a time."