Hysterical Fiction

By Bonnie L. Schermer

Catherine of Monmouth, New Jersey

1732 - 1799

Catherine wanted a linen sheet in which to wrap her daughter's body. Every bed in the place was filthy, having held one or more unwashed soldiers overnight. The linen cupboards, chests, and low-boys had been raided; not a scrap of fabric usable for bandages remained. Finally, she found a linen curtain, yanked it from its rod, folded it over her arm, and headed for the orchard. Dread slowed her steps.

The dead soldiers had been dragged away by their comrades, their heels had left twin furrows in the soil. The pistol was gone, and Catherine was glad; she never wanted to see it again. Rachel's body remained face down, as if asleep. The corpse was commencing to swell in the heat, and flies buzzed thickly.


The roar of cannon shook Throckmorton Farm. The popping of musket fire, two miles off, informed Catherine that battle had begun. Urged by it to speed her efforts, Catherine grabbed a shovel and, still clutching Rachel, ran to the rose garden. She laid the child in the shade of a maple, and began digging, fast as she could. The air continued to shake at irregular intervals, and she could hear the roar of the soldiers, to the north-east...

The Story ] [ Genealogy ] [ An Excerpt ] [ Buy the book ]