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Wednesday, May 9

April 24, 1865. It has been 7 days since the CIvil War ended, and Pvt. Freeman is on his way to meet his mother at the train station. I can't beleive I'm alive. I just can't beleive it. When so many others died, why am I still alive? Is it my fate? Even so, the Civil War still haunts me. It never stops following me. It's in my dreams, in my head, in my ears... I just can't escape it! How much agony can a man go through before he breaks? I may already be broken. It wasn't long after my first fit of violence that I had another one. I killed a boy among some confederates this time. He was lurking behind the bushes and he startled me. I thought he was a rebel. I didn't think to look before I shot. I just did what had been ingrained into my memory. After I shot that musket, everyone I looked at was a confederate. They all had their eyes fixated on me, and I couldn't let them attack me. So I shot and shot till a Union sargeant came and had me sedated. That's the last I know. They later told me it had been all civilians, but they don't know what I saw. I would never shoot at civilians in my right mind. I know what I shot at. Ever since then, the boys in my regiment keep giving me looks as if I'll explode at any minute. I'm on my way to see Mama. I'm so excited. I haven't seen her in four years! I can't wait to hug my lovely, adoring, kind mother who begged me not to go to war. I think I'll sotop by somewhere and get her flowers. Or maybe I'll take her to dinner... June 17, 1865. I can't think anymore. My mind is clouded with thoughts and screams and cries for help. I see images of men, blood soaked and wounded, begging for someone to help them or stop their pain. I can't do this anymore. My mind has become so dark and fearful that I scare myself. Mama cried because of me. I almost stabbed her when she came in my room at night to wake me because she was sick. I jumped and could've killed her. I dream every time I manage too sleep. awful dreams that no person should ever have to see. I jump at loud sounds. I can't sleep sometimes. I can't eat sometimes. I can't think, I can't smile, I can't laugh, I can't be with my Mama and I can't live. I reach to the pistol my Mama bought me as a gift and close my eyes before I pull the trigger.

Tuesday, May 8

Appomattox Court House

Blog #5: Confederation

Due to the tragic, and slightly unfair, (*cough cough rigged dice*) events of earlier today, I decided to look further into what might’ve happened if the Confederacy had been able to nearly evade the Union at Gettysburg and make a beeline to Washington, D.C.…

I have 2 hours.

Most likely less.

The president called a surrender before any real damage could be done to Washington. During the siege of D.C., what is now being called Lincoln’s Last Stand, the Capitol was in chaos. The Confederates, who had just slipped away from a near-turning point super-battle near the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, cracked down hard on D.C. five days before the Union was alerted that the rebels had slipped through their sights.

When General Grant and the Army of the Potomac arrived at the Capitol, it was too late. The rebels had received reinforcements from the Southwest, and had pushed back the city defenses one day before. Nevertheless, Northern dignity prevailed and Grant conjured a final fighting blow, “The Battle of Anacostia”, for if was fought on the outskirts of the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers’ meeting point. This Union stand horribly failed, but many Southern soldiers were destroyed as well. General Ulysses Grant was killed by an unknown source during the battle. President Lincoln reluctantly gave the city to the Confederacy, and, by doing so, unofficially surrendered the United States of America.

But that all happened decades ago. Abraham Lincoln was “mysteriously assaulted” in his detainment quarters by “rogue officers” and was brutally mauled. Many other Ex-Union commanders and ideals suffered similar fates. The Constitution has been overturned, the Declaration of Independence “revised” to the current times’ fitting; now ‘”all white men are created with authority, and all blacks are created with the power to serve” and “every Caucasian of the Confederation has the right to pursue their power and life, and the liberties they can acquire”. Now, in the Confederation of America, no one is safe from the grip of the powerful. Slaves are no longer considered people or even property; under The Establishment Manifesto, they are “acting as a small force for our coherent states to climb on in the great journey of profit and advancement”. The North is still under quarantine “until the time is right”, as our President Forrest states.

Until then, we New Yorkers have been forced to work in factories, day after day, year after year. We are slaves now, too. People who protest against are conditions disappear in the night and are not heard from again. One of those people was my mother. Another will be me, most likely in less than an hour, maybe any minute. I am writing this to tell whatever age comes after this how bad things are now, and how to prevent this then. Whatever you do, bless your country with the rights of individuals. Give all humans, black or white, power to choose. Power to be equal. Power to be fr-

Saturday, May 5

Promotion (Bonus Blog Post)

September 19, 1864
Dear Mama and Papa,

After serving in the Union Army for almost the entire duration of the Civil War so far,  I have been promoted to the rank of Sergeant. Captain Stanton saw me as fit for second in command, and promoted me. I had to take command of the regiment when he was severely injured, and when he got well enough to take command again, he said "You did good as leader." The war has been rough for both the North and the South. We lost too many people in the battles of Antietam, Chickamauga, and especially Gettysburg. I can't describe the sorrow that I feel when I see the battlefield full of dead bodies. It is like someone is choking me. It is hard to see someone you know die as well. You know them one minute and they are gone the next. I cannot wait for this war to be over, no matter who wins.

With love,

Friday, May 4

Trifold #2 Questions

1. Please list the ratio of Generals to Enlisted men, Sergeants to Enlisted men, Lieutenants to Enlisted men, and Colonels to Enlisted men. (The ratio is the value of a war prisoner during the exchange of prisoners for example: X number of Generals = Y Number of Enlisted Men)

2. Name the two most famous Prisoner of War Camps, what they are also known as, and how many soldiers were kept and died in each prison.

3. Who was Henry Wirz and why was he executed?

4. Name name 3 camp conditions.

1864 - Is the end near?

[Is the end here? 1864.docx]
Dec, 3. 1864 Dear mama, It's been 4 years since I enlisted in the Union army. And I've managed to earn a little bit of respect. That's sure saying something, 'cause I'm no white man. Us blacks get beat up on, even by my fellow whites in the army. They don't really beat me up, just call me awful names. It seems odd that they are fighting to end slavery, yet here they are, insulting a black man who's fighting alongside them. It doesn't really matter though, because them words don't do anything to hurt me. I'm sorry to say that when I come back, I won't be the same man you knew. I've come to spook easily, and I sleep with a knife, 'cause these days you never know who could be hiding out in the dark, waiting to slit your throat. I think I have pretty good senses, mama. Because this one time, I heard some rustling in the bushes and I thought I had myself some rebels. well, I went off a-hollerin' and shootin' at those rascals. I was a killing machine. Except, afterwards, the other men said that I'd been shooting at nothing. They told me I've been acting strange lately, and that they were worried, but I didn't pay any mind to their words. It means nothing. Love you mama. Pvt. Freeman, your son. ... Dec,4. 1864 Mama, I'm scared, mama. I don't know what came over me. I just killed a bunch of civillians. I went mad and went raging and started firing my gun until someone could stop me. I don't know whats going on, but I really am scared. I was a monster today. I calmed down now, but I keep thinking about that mother with her baby, crying and asking me to spare her child. She must think I'm terrible. I want to go home. love.

Journal Entry: Sherman's March

December 23, 1864

The news came today that General Sherman and his soldiers burned Savannah to the ground and that they were heading for South Carolina. I was already infuriated that Sherman had caused mass destruction on his way to Savannah, but the burning down of Savannah made me livid. I understand that we are trying to win a war, but if we do win, all of Georgia's problems will become OURS. If we are trying to get the South back into the Union, we should at least try to respect it a bit more. Sherman and his men have already killed and used and burned down millons of dollars of property, and who knows how many animals have died in the process. Again, I understand that this is war, but the damage done by Sherman and his men was so great that I don't now how long it will take to restore Georgia. I think that we have reached the point of the war where everybody will go to extreme measures to win, but will not care what has to be done to do so. I think that this is absurd. Winning a war and having your country completly destroyed in the process is no war won at all. The South will hate us even more and the purpose of having this war in the first place will be almost completly defeated. I cannot let any of my fellow soldiers see this entry. They will think that I have gone mad.

Thursday, May 3

Blog #5: Civil War Oddities

My video blog about the just plain odd stuff that happened during the Civil War.

Tuesday, May 1

My last thoughts

The following thoughts are those of Pvt. Freeman as he clings to life after the battle of Chickamauga on September 20, 1863.

I don't wanna die.

We just fought the Rebels, and as we all stagger, barely able to drag our limp bodies towards the stream, I know I could die. I fear the moment when my heart will give out. I almost want to let it. If I wanted to, I could just lay in this spot until death came to claim me. But I force my body to keep moving. Not for me, but for Mama. I promised her I would return, and I am a man of my word. I have lost the feeling in my legs and waist. I am a bloody mess. I don't even know if it is my blood or another's. Probably both. As I look around, I notice I am one of the lucky ones. One man's face is just a piece of dangling flesh, his nose and other facial features threatening to fall off, as tas only thing keeping them intact are tiny strings of tissue. Many men have mutilated body parts. I drag myself further, looking at nothing, just trying to live. There is something in my way, It doesn't register on my mind yet what it is, but as I struggle to move past it, I realize it is the man who was in front of me a while ago. He is dead. I know because of the doll-like stare he has, void of any emotion. I say this with no fear, no emotion because I am used to death now. It is everywhere. My whole body screams in protest. It begs me to stay in place, begs me to stop using it. I want to stop, but I know I shouldn't. Suddenly, I see spots. It is really bright here. When did it get so bright? Am I dying? What is going on? My body is fighting against me. Gostopgostopgostopgostop. Dielivedielivedielivedielive. I can't fight with my body. My breath is becoming short. It is hard to breathe. OhlordIamdyingIcan'tseewhereI'mgoingwhyisitsoblank. Lightsareflashingmybodyistooheavyforme.


I open my eyes and realize I lost consciousness. How I woke up at all is a miracle only God himself could have given me. I realize I need water, and head to the stream at the rate of a snail, since instill can't seem to get up. I try. And I fall. Won't attempt it again. I head to the water and see many men who's faces are all the way in the water. I do the same.
Ahhh, water! It's a beautiful thing. I have enough for now. But I can't get up. Why can't I lift my head out? I will die now if I don't get out. If I die, I want to die as a man, defending his country, not drowning in a stream. I try with all my might to lift my head up. It does not work. I'm going to die now. Wait, I can roll over, and I do. It gets me out of the water and I breathe in as much air as I can. Life! You don't see the importance till its almost been taken from you! I think I will rest here for a while...

Monday, April 30

Journal Entry: Gettysburg

July 3, 1863

         It was Day 3 of the Battle of Gettysburg. The Union army was spread out on Cemetery Ridge. Meade had ordered us to stop firing back at the Confederates as they made their way up the hill. I immediately understood the plan. The Confederates would be totally bombarded once they got to the top of the hill. We also wanted to preserve ammunition. No use trying to push them down if we want them to come up. The Rebels probably thought that they were firing right at us, but their artillery was actually  flying over our heads. I then realized the true value of holding the high ground. The Rebels couldn't see us, but we could see them. I had my rifle by my side, loaded and ready to fire. We did not wait long. The Confederates must have thought that we were all dead. They were bounding up the hill at a brisk pace. As soon as they came into view, mass chaos broke out on both sides. I was ready for whatever was to come in the next few hours that followed. The last part of the battle lasted all day, with casualties on both sides very high.  I was glad that we won, it was an important victory for the Union. Lee should have learned his lesson by now. I doubt that he will try something as foolish as invading the North for a third time.

Civil War Poems

Ol’ General Lee

There once was a fellow named Ol’ General Lee

Who for five years led Rebel infantry

But a little degree

He didn’t foresee

Is the fact the Union had control of the sea!

Gettysburg Address

Well, four score and seven years ago

Our founding fathers made this land a country, you know

They wrote down all that they wanted,

They said everything they believed

That every made is born with equal rights

And this land in liberty, was conceived

Now we fight a civil war

A war against each other

A test if our nation can prevail

When we quarrel brother to brother

Our ancestors won’t recall

What I have said today

But the memory of the lives lost here

Will never fade away

So honor the ones who died for you here

Carry their dying request,

That this one nation, flowing with freedom

Stays that way in the best

George McClellan

Some leaders will fight

Some will run. But George did nothing;

His career went “Poof!”

Doctor Doctor

Chop chop chop! Clipity knockity knit!

You in pain? I don’t give an ironclad ship!

Hey you! Yeah you! Take this leg and throw it in that stack!

What? No more chloroform? Well let ‘em chew on hard tac!

Your worst day ever, huh. Well isn’t that just swell!!!

Look at it this way; you could be having your Wirz day ever in Andersonville!

Stop moaning and groaning!

It’s only your left arm.

Here; bite on this bullet.

Just stop sounding your alarms!

Wow, is this uneventful; I am darn tired of this lame job!

I sit all day long tending to every Bill and Bob,

I don’t get any private time; the “me” in medic is a trick

Your puncture wounds are boring and your dysentery makes me sick!

Out in the field is where I’d be better fit

Forget all you losers, I’ll win this, I quit!

Friday, April 13

Journal Entry: Antietam

September 17, 1862
            I do not think I can be a soldier in the Civil War anymore. After witnessing that many corpses in a day, I think that I would simply run away the next time I was deployed to some general. How gruesome this war had turned out to be. In fact, I think there has never been a bloodier day in American History. I hope a day like this doesn't happen again.
            I was in General Ambrose Burnside's army that day. We were trying to cross Antietam Creek by going on a bridge. The rebels had surrounded that area and were easily shooting men down. Bodies quickly cluttered the bridge and I was starting to see piles forming. I tried to fight back shooting my rifle when I could, but the minie balls never seemed to meet their target. I was starting too fight in vain. General Burnside made it across with enough men after three hours of fighting. We screamed "To Sharpspur! To Sharpspur!" Everybody was cheering as we fought up the slope to reach Sharpspur. Union victory seemed like something I could touch when more rebels came charging at us. I only had time to see them 50 yards away before I learned that General McClellan wouldn't be sending us reinforcements like he promised Burnside. This news brought me back to my normal self. I would help the Union defeat the opposing army in any way I could. I gritted my teeth, loaded my rifle and was ready to fight.

Thursday, April 12

Blog #3: After Antietam

                The young man didn’t cry as the Jared began to saw off his arm. He’s in a shock of sorts, unable to feel or process what is going on, Jared noted. Well, give him some rest and then he’ll be fine. “It’s over, sir. I’m going to wrap a tourniquet around the stub now, ok?” Jared Melbourne hated his job in the army. He hated blood. He hated the tortured, horrendous banshee screams and despondent moans his patients made while he helped them depart with their various body parts. But most of all, he hated the fact that he had to deal with these things until the war ended. Jared had been drafted out of Maine towards the start of this year, but was too overweight to fight in the war. Consequently, he was now stuck in the position that some came out of crazy. He had gotten used to the agony, in a sense. Even so, Jared seemed to be able to feel the pain of the patient with a fresh sting every time he operated.

“Sir, the procedure is over. Sir?” The boy showed no signs of comprehension; he just stared up into the top of the tent. Jared shivered at the plain, inhuman expression on the man’s unblinking eyes. “Aaron. Come look at this.” His newfound friend lugged over. “Looks our bud here is dig’no-esed with a usual case of a thousand-mile stare,” Aaron indicated in his deep, unique Yankee accent. A thousand-mile stare. Whatever the kid had, it wasn’t a disease Jared had ever heard about. “Get someone to take ‘em back to his quarters an’ lay ‘em down all nice and dandy.” Jared called over the 2 soldiers who had brought him back from Antietam and passed the “starer” onto them. Something about that man had hit him hard. He seemed so at peace in his unnatural silence…huh, Jared pondered. He began to wipe up the blood that had splattered against his uniform.
September 18, 1862

The putrid smell of death and pain invades my nostrils.

I am here, helping out in the makeshift hospital, as I have proven myself a good helper here. The only good thing about being here fighting is that I'm not just a negro, I am a soldier for the Union. Here in this tent, it is hard to make out those who are dead, and those who have not yet passed, but are surely doomed to do so. The dead piled in mounds all wear a similar expression, glassy-eyed, staring into a nothingness that only the dead can see, the look of pure terror and agonizing pain as they knew death was not far off still etched on their features.
Every once in a while, I hear a scream, from amputation or just because it is too hard to hold in the pain. It is hot, and the whole camp gives off a feeling of despair. Only a day ago, we fought a battle. We were given the victory, but at a price; many are wounded and others didn't live to see another day.
I often look at a dead man and wonder why or how he died. I think about if he had moved just so in a different direction, he might still be alive. I think about his family, how they will never see him again. I think about the dreams he had, if he had children who he loved dearly. I stare into his eyes and try to find the answers to my questions, but I only get an empty stare, the soldier and his soul is gone, all that remains is an empty shell. I sure hope I don't end up like him.
Jimmy has gone mad. Won't even look at anyone. He keeps talking 'bout how the Rebs are hiding behind the trees, waiting for the right moment to gut him. He almost stabbed another fellow last night, he sleeps with his knife, and the man startled him. I don't know what's wrong with him, but it sure scared me. I want Jimmy to be okay, he is a good soldier, never gotten injured. I pray for him.
Everybody is so hungry, and tired and shocked. We didn't even have time to relish the fact we won, because there were so many soldiers to attend to. Within two hours after the battle there was already a pile of legs, feet, hands, arms and other amputated parts as big as me!
At night, I look up into the stars and think of Mamma. How I miss her and all the things she does for me. I miss her warm smile that always cheered me up, no matter how awful a mood I was in. Mamma is my only family, I want to make it back to tell her I love her.

Pvt. Freeman.