The town of Charleston lay across the river, on the north bank of the Kanawha, to the east of the bridge site and the Elk. It was not much of a town, at least not compared with Staunton or Winchester, but Charleston was a much newer town. He had never lived here; he had no reason even to be here until the war. Now he wished he had never seen the town, wished he could turn, ride away, and forget it was there. He pulled up the short collar of his faded, gray uniform coat to cut off the wind that blew from the receding sun. He looked down the river. She and the children were in that direction. For over the thousandth night in this war he worried if they were safe, if they were afraid. He shivered against the March cold and wished he could be with them. Wished they could all hug into one great bed under a goose-feathered comforter. He wanted to lie with her, feel her warmth, forget the losses of the fighting, and remove forever from his memory the action he was about to take tomorrow.