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Folder 21: A pane of glass



Travis Jordan A PANE OF GLASS Told to Frances L. Harriss by members of the Wright family. The Joshua Wright home in Wilmington stands on a sloping yard facing Market Street. It stands just where it stood in 1781 when General Cornwallis made it his headquarters. The west windows look out upon the quiet Carolina town and into the garden where in spring a gnarled crabapple tree still lifts petaled arms to April skies. One April day in 1781 Betty Wright stood at the big west window of this house looking down upon the flowering tree. Her fingers absently caressed the smooth pane of glass, little dreaming what that window pane was to mean in her life, and how often in the future she was to stand there with pain in her heart and an aching catch in her throat. Her glance swept the garden then the street. It was mid afternoon and Wilmington drowsed in the warm sunshine. Market Street was quiet, but down at the corner where Third Street crossed Market, a line of carriages moved slowly tov/ard St. James Church. The tower -2- bell tolled, long single strokes that echoed as they were carried out to the distant shore line where the sea lay calm and motionless. At the sound of the calling bell men and women came from the houses across the street and hurried toward the church. They were going to pray for the wounded and dying soldiers and that the terrible war might soon end. Betty sat down by the window, spreading her long full skirts primly about her slippered feet. She didn't want to go to prayer meeting. If she went she might miss seeing General Cornwallis when he entered town. A news runner had come to town a few days before saying the Battle of Guilford Court House was over, and that Cornwallis' victorious but shattered army was on its way to Wilmington. Even as Betty looked she saw the soldiers coming. Far down Market Street they came, a scattered band of weary men, some riding, some walkin

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