The old log cabin was covered in vines and the chimney was now crumbling with age.
A large pile of dislodged bricks lay at the chimney base and were damp from the early morning rain.
Inside the one room cabin was a decaying old wood plank table with two dilapidated straight back chairs pushed into the corner.
The walls were covered in cobwebs and only one shutter hung on precariously to a single hinge of a back window. No doors were now on the cabin, probably taken years before for some other purpose.
A nest with wasps clinging to it was near a small hole in the roof above the fireplace. A trickling stream of water ran down one of the rough-cut exposed beams that tied the two sides of the house together.
The water dripped to a rotting place on the floor near the table in the center of the room.
Bricks in the fireplace were discolored and now a dirty shade of orange and gray.
Much of the mortar that had once held them in place was gone. Another trickle of water slid down the cracks and crevices of the worn-out fireplace and puddled near remnants of an old fire iron now nearly rusted in half from years of weather and water.
Most of the floor was gone, either stolen by passers-by to burn in the fireplace or maybe taken to repair wagons.
The cabin had been along the stagecoach line that followed the Three Notch Trail out of Nashville, Tennessee.
Now it sat deep in the woods far from civilization and it was slowly being reclaimed by the nature it had shared for nearly 100 years.
In its deteriorating state it would be found by a young boy as he explored the woods along the Flint River.
The boy had grown to the ripe old age of 12 when he stumbled across the old cabin. The cabin would become the centerpiece for stories he would tell himself. Like boys do, he would imagine what would have happened a hundred years earlier in the very woods he was now exploring.
As he walked the grounds around the cabin he would find harness buckles and heavy iron nails that had once held the poles of the stage coach corral together.
Near the well-worn remnants of the old stage line he would walk in the woods and find Indian arrowheads and small pieces of pottery.
Finding arrowheads were easy for a boy who spent much of his time wandering the woods. For him they looked like diamonds among the red clay dirt
of South Georgia.
There was plenty of history to stir a 12-year-old’s imagination.
The Three Notch Trail had been marked by scouts sent out by General Andrew Jackson to establish the route they would follow on their way to fight the Seminoles in Florida.
The route had been an old Indian trail that became a wagon road for early settlers in the 1820s.
When the stage line was established there were still raids on settlers by bandits and Indians which added even more rich history for a young boy’s imaginations.
On a small rise a few yards from the cabin, the trees thinned some and if you laid down among the fallen leaves in just the right place you could see the sky and the clouds as they passed between the tree tops. Watching the clouds you could imagine all kinds of wild animals, soldiers and Indians
chasing each other across the deep blue background of the sky.
It would be in this place that the young boy, Jack, could let his imagination loose to follow the clouds or think about the old cabin.
Once he found a small piece of brass lying in the edge of the clearing that had been uncovered by a heavy rain the night before.
He took the piece of brass home and asked his father what it might be. After close examination his father said the brass piece looked like something from an old musket.
The next day he went back to the cabin and was soon laying in the clearing thinking about the piece of musket he had found.
Watching the clouds and listening to the sounds of the woods he began to daydream about how that piece of brass had landed in that particular place.
In his mind he dreamed up the Battle for Whiddon Crossing between the Seminole Indians and a handful of settlers.
In his mind’s battle, a 12 year-old boy saved the settlers.