Our story begins in the mountains of North Carolina, just south of Asheville in the town of Fletcher. Two young lovers had just gotten married when the War Between the States broke out, and the young man went north with a small band of Confederates to join the army.
Late one night soon afterwards, the new bride received a knock on her door. Dread filled her heart as she opened the door, and her worst fears were realized as she saw on her doorstep one of the young men her husband had gone off with to war, now barely recognizable through his bandages. The soldier handed her a letter her husband had written just a few days previously, as well as the Confederate cape that her husband had worn into battle, her husband’s sole possession at his death. Inconsolable, she took to wearing the cape where ever she went, and died of a broken heart just a few months later.
Her spirit made its first appearance back in 1865, when she led a troop of yankees into an ambush near the town. The yankees had followed her along the road near the Calvary Episcopal Church, which was known to be used as housing by the Confederate soldiers. Though the yankees were soundly routed from the town, the retreating union soldiers were given orders to locate the young woman in order that she might be prosecuted for her treachery. While they had no luck, the soldiers may not have searched all that long, as the survivors of the ambush reported that the woman in question just vanished in front of their eyes as soon as the Confederate troops opened fire.
Townspeople said she acted in revenge of her husband’s death, and they say that she can still be seen out on the road near the church, her Confederate cape draped around her shoulders.
Directions: Take Exit 50 off of I-40 in Asheville, so that you are headed South on Highway 25, AWAY from the Biltmore House. The exit for 25A (to bypass Skyland), headed south, will work too, but I forgot to write that exit number down, sorry. Anyway, about 8.5 miles south on Highway 25, also called Hendersonville Road, you’ll cross over into Henderson County, and you’ll see a traffic light just ahead. The Calvary Episcopal Church is on your left just before you get to the light. The light is at the intersection of Hendersonville Road and Old Airport Road, and as you’ll realize if you go, neither road is a terribly good place to try riding a horse these days….