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Friday, May 4

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.

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