Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Civil War Reflections - By Brenna Powelson

 Through Lincoln’s Eyes 
 America’s Bloodiest War - By Brenna Powelson

America will not be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedom, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. – Abraham Lincoln

March 1. 1865 - This ruinous bloody war has already been going on for four years, and my greatest fear is that politically I will be the last president of the United States of America, and the Confederate states would win their war for secession and that the Republic would collapse into a collection of micro-states. I feel as if I am leading the citizens of America astray and failing my country. The people don't deserve this, and our country doesn't deserve this, but the union must be preserved, the slaves must be freed, and this  pestilential war must end; however, that is more easily said than done.

March 21,1865 - I knew when this war started that lives would be lost, but what I didn't know was that many lives would be lost so quickly. The Battle of Bentonville lasted three long days. The Union army lost many: 194 killed, 1,112 wounded, and 221 missing, for a total of 1,527 casualties. I am excited about the Union's victory; however, I don’t see the point when so many lives have been lost, and how much families have been separated. What hurts the most is the thought that wives might wake up tomorrow morning without a husband, and kids waking up without a father, who was alive just one the day before. My own boy, Robert begged me to allow him join the Union army and told me would never forgive himself if he let another man die while he did nothing. I was not over all thrilled with the idea, but if I said no, he would not forgive me, nor himself, so I agreed. However, his mother, on the other hand, was not so understanding. 

April 11. 1865 - What is wrong with me?  The war is won, my son is alive and well, families are reunited, the American people have regained their faith in me, and I have a speech scheduled today.  However, there is a hole in my heart that empties inside of me. I feel the pain that I have been feeling since I was nine years old. I FEEL THE SAME PAIN I DID WHEN MY MOTHER AND SISTER DIED. I  FEEL THE SAME PAIN WHEN WE HAD TO PACK UP AND MOVE TO INDIANA. And I suppose there’s no reason why I feel this way; it may be because all the lives that have been lost, or maybe because half the country is angry at me. Maybe I’ll try to feel better and celebrate with the Union, and Mary is talking about going to a play in a couple days. 

April 15, 1865,  7:21 a.m.  
Pain, I feel pain. I can’t open my eyes at all, and all I feel is pain and the doctor touching my head. 7:22 a.m.- I have a quick burst of strength. I look at my loving wife, and I mumble my last words, ``We will visit the Holy Land, and see those places hallowed by the footsteps of the Savior,'' and then everything goes dark.

According to a Soldier
America’s Bloodiest War  - Brenna Powelson

Freedom is the last best hope of earth - Abraham Lincoln 

March 31 1865- As I look out onto the empty battlefield, all I can think about is the wail of pain from soldiers and the sound of gunshots. I look at the empty battlefield that used to be a patch of grass but is now a resting place for those who gave their lives. As we were walking back to camp, the other soldiers started singing, and the rest joined.  

“Yes we’ll rally round the flag, boy’s, we’ll rally once again 
Shouting the battle cry of freedom,
We will rally from the hillside, we gather from the plaine 
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!

The union forever! Hurrah boys Hurrah!
Down with the traitor, up with the star; 
While we rally round flag, boys, rally once again,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom”

Once we got back to camp, men settled into their tents, trying to comprehend what had happened today. The battle only lasted one day; however, we lost 1,870 men who risked their lives for their beliefs. We all knew when this war started that many would perish. This war was brother against brother, states against other states, one nation divided, and Washington vs. Richmond. President Lincoln said that all men are created equal, but the South refuses to agree with their president, so now, here we are stuck in the fourth year of this bloody war. 

April 9, 1865 -  The Confederacy has surrendered. The Union has won. The fighting is done, and we all try to celebrate. I can’t help but think about all the lives lost, for people they didn’t know, so those people could be free.

April 15, 1865,  7:38 a.m. - I just heard the news about Mr. Lincoln, and I can’t help but feel empty inside. He was our leader from the start to the finish of the war. Shot in the head while trying to enjoy a play with his wife to celebrate the end of the war, he was the one who should have been celebrating the most. Though Mr. Lincoln may have died, his legacy will never die.

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