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Soldier Hill

John, Texas, USA
March 1999

This experience occurred in late November around 1986 or 1987. It was deer hunting season and I had gotten up at 0330 to get out in the field and set up to hunt. The temperature that morning was about 45 or 50 degrees Fahrenheit which was about 10 degrees warmer than it usually is that time of year in East Texas. I put on a medium weight jacket, grabbed my gun and ammo, and headed off into the woods on my three-wheeler (All terrain cycle).

We lived in the Sam Houston National Forest about 65 miles north of Houston Texas. Very beautiful country, tall pine trees as far as you can see and I was enjoying the scenery as I made my way down a few back roads. About five miles from my house I turned off the road and made my way up into the woods behind some land owned by friends of my family. As I left the road, I made the left hand turn to make my way around the old barn that was on the property.

I turned and took a path parallel to the back side of the barn when my three-wheeler sputtered and died. Not only did it die but, it lost all power. At the same time, I noticed that the temperature had dropped, oh, I would have to say about 10 degrees. At this time I wasn't particularly concerned, I just assumed that my battery cable might be loose. I removed the engine cover, checked all connections and, finding nothing loose, I replaced the cover. I decided at this time to try to start the bike manually. I pulled the start cord a few times and got no result. After a few moments sitting there puzzled, the headlight suddenly blazed back to life. I pushed the starter button and the engine roared back to life on the first try. Confused but not particularly alarmed, I continued on my way to my deer stand.

The interesting part of the story occurred a few days later...

I was sitting in Biology class talking with my best friend about a book he was reading entitled "Ghost Along the Brazos". He was telling me the story of "Soldier Hill". According to the story during the Civil War there was a Union(North) soldier that was cut off from his unit behind Confederate (South) lines. Being tired and hungry, he hid in an old cabin. While he was there, he was discovered by a Confederate patrol. The patrol tortured the soldier and when he finally died, they buried him under the floorboards of the old cabin. It went on to say that the cabin no longer existed but, there are times when people have seen a lone light floating through the trees in the area. The area has been known as "Soldier Hill" for nearly as long as anyone can remember.

I thought it was a great story. My best friend said that he wanted me to read it because he thought that the area was somewhere around my house. Somewhere around this point in the conversation another friend of ours, the guy whose father owned the land with the barn on it, that I mentioned in the first part of the story, broke in saying that the old barn was built on "Soldier Hill"!! I was floored, I hadn't really had any reaction to what had happened that morning I was deer hunting, until that moment. I don't know if my experience had anything to do with the legend of "Soldier Hill" or not but I just kind of thought it was a little more than coincidence. I never took that route to go hunting again!

John, Texas, USA
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