Grandpa had a horse he valued very much and Grandmother was seeing that the horse was well cared for after Grandpa went to war.
But the Yankees knew about the horse, too. It was stolen by them and kept for quite awhile. They rode the horse until he was almost starved and so thin and poor they brought him back to Grandmother's place and turned him loose. But they didn't forget about him, as you will find later.
She started feeding and caring for the horse again, having him hidden in the smoke house.
A smoke house is a building in which meats are cured by means of smoke. And in those days people had to raise and butcher their own meat and cure it themselves if they had meat to eat. After it was cured, it could be wrapped and put away for later use. It was in this type building the horse was hidden. But as he was gaining strength and getting in better condition, she and the children hid him back in a dense thicket of trees and undergrowth and carried water and feed to him.
But the Yankees remembered, and one day they came back. A group of them rode up in abreast to the front porch and asked Scott, the twelve-year-old boy, where the horse was. He would not tell them. They threatened and demanded him, but he still refused.
One of the group spoke up and said, "We'll make him talk."
The boy was put on a horse with one of the men and they took him to the barn. There they told him that he would either talk, or they would hang him. They put the rope around his neck and threw the end up over a rafter, but still he refused to tell where the horse was. They finally took the rope off of him and let him go; did not harm him. The men got on their horses and rode away.
I have often wondered what later happened to the horse. But if my mother told me, it isn't clear in my memory.