I am Grace and I am twenty two years old. I am on the Union side and detest the Confederates. I live in New Jersey by the coast. This week is December 29, 1862 to January 2, 1863. My loved one, is Jack Daniels, and he is currently stationed in Virginia.
I woke up early in the morning to start breakfast for my one child, Violet, and to send her off to school for the day. Once she had left for a long day at school, I started to clean the house and get started on my sewing my clothes for my husband to send to him. I began to pack his clothes in a woven basket for safe keeping, and then returned to the kitchen to prepare dinner for when my daughter comes home. As the day progressed, I started to tend and cut my roses in garden for my vase in the dining room. I placed them in another basket and placed them by the door. I then grabbed another woven basket to pick some fruits and vegetables for the war effort. After I was done tending to my garden, I went inside the house to grab the other basket full of my husbands new clothes.
As the day was growing to an end, I traveled to the post to hand over what I have accomplished for the war efforts and returned home before my daughter did. When she did return home, she brought home her best friend Olivia for the night. We sat and we all did homework together by the fireplace. Once we were finished, we sat together and ate dinner then discussed all of our days. We all took our bathes then went to sleep to start a new day waiting for our beloved family members to come home.
Dear Jack Daniels,
How is it going dear? Derek's wife, Emily, is sending him a letter asking him how bad the war was going. I figured I should do the same, but I fear the answer. I have heard of the battle you faced. The Drewry's Bluff, and I heard those nasty confederates won the battle. Maj. Gen. T.J. Jackson marched his army west along the Parkersburg Road to confront two brigades of Frémont’s force (Milroy and Schenck), advancing toward the Shenandoah Valley from western Virginia. At McDowell on May 8, Milroy seized the initiative and assaulted the Confederate position on Sitlington’s Hill. The Federals were repulsed after severyuio e fighting, lasting four hours. Afterwards, Milroy and Schenck withdrew into western Virginia, freeing up Jackson’s army to march against the other Union columns threatening the Valley. I read all of that in a newspaper clipping Emily wrote, and now I fear how you are doing. Are you hurt? Is there any chance of you coming home? We all miss you here. Olivia misses her uncle and Violet misses her father, and I, your wife, miss you probably the most of all. You are missing the best parts of Violets life, and its hard doing everything on my own. I send you as much as I can from the garden you started, and I try to sew at least one fabric of clothing for you a day. I just want to this miserable war to be over, and for everyone to be free. A group of slaves came up to the house today, and I tried to hand them as much food as I could. I know that's what you would have wanted, I miss you dear. I would write more but its getting late and the candle is burning out. I love you, stay safe.
Your Wife, Grace.
Today is far worse than yesterday, for some reason I feel my stomach curling. I must be getting sicker, and I have to travel to the doctor's to make an appointment early this morning. I packed a lunch for my daughter for when she got hungry and before she left I did her hair while she brushed her teeth. We began our journey through the meadow and fed our farm animals grain. Then I arrived at my sister in laws house and ate breakfast with her. After I was done, I hugged my daughter goodbye and let her play with her cousin Olivia again. They have become the best of friends, they seem to be inseparable. I left the house in a stroll in the direction toward town. On my way to town, I stopped by the general market to get some fabric and to donate the little money I have required for the the fund toward the war effort. Women from all over the town were standing in line to donate to make sure their husbands received good medical care. Some were even weeping at the thought of what their husbands were going through. I thought of what else I could do, and I decided I could go see if the doctor had any medicine on sale while I was there. I donated my money and made my way to the doctors. When I got there, there was a rack of herbs and medicines on the rack near the door. I placed as many as I could afford in a basket, and figured I could donate them all to the Union. By the time I was done, I could not even afford to see the doctor, and made my way back to the post to donate my medicine.
It was already the afternoon when I got home, and I started to clean the house before my daughter came home from her aunts. I cleaned her bedroom and took her dirty laundry downstairs in our basement to clean. I was growing very tired without the help of my husband, and the chores from the past year or two have become hard on me. I cleaned her clothes and went upstairs to hang them outsides before I went to go get her. She has grown so much before I know it she will be ten years old and her father will have missed it all because of the war. I saw a slave in my field with her young daughter, and I ran inside my house to grab the maps my husbands gave me to help them find their way to Canada. He said it would help the war if I saved as many slaves as I could. I ran back outside to find her struck in fear holding her daughter. I ran out and she began to run away from me but I yelled at her saying that I could help. She stopped, and I handed her the map then said she could have as much food from the garden. Then I let her go through my garden and then continued to hang my laundry. She was crying of joy when she was picking things from the garden. Anyway to help my husband, and to help a small child. I left them to go see my daughter and ended up sleeping at my sister in law's house for the night. It gets lonely at night without my husband.
I came home with violet the next day and she ran inside the house to take a shower. I, on the other hand, received a letter back from Jack! It read,
I am doing fine dear, the battle I endured was terrible and I am grateful for the fact you are at home away from the battle. I miss Violet and I keep the pictures of you both in my pocket inside my jacket to keep you guys close to my heart. I am almost positive that Derek sent Emily about the war we recently endured. It was nothing but gunfire, he told me to include what happened in case he did not make it. He said, "We fought on May 23, in Warren County, Virginia, as part of Confederate Army Maj. Gen., Thomas J "Stonewall" Jackson's use of Valley topography and mobility to unite his own forces while dividing those of his enemies. At a minimal cost, he forced the withdrawal of our large Union army by striking at its flank and threatening its rear." He misses Emily, and Olivia. The men are growing weaker and losing spirit in the war. We seem to forget what we are fighting for, but the women back home are keeping the men's hearts alive. I hope the workload you deal with now is not bringing you down. I miss you all more, and I will come home I promise. I will not allow the Confederates win, equality was our dream. I will fight for that dream until it is accomplished. I am writing this by moonlight dear, and I must go soon because we will be doing drills soon. We barely get to sleep, give everyone a kiss from me. I miss and love you all.
Your husband, Jack."
I leaped with joy from the letter, and felt the tears streaming down my face in relief that my husband had answered and is okay. I ran in the house to show and read it to my daughter, she hugged me with all her might in happiness her father answered. You could see the joy in her eyes as she hung it up in the kitchen for all to see. I hope he comes home soon, a child losing a father is worse than a billion wars.
I have heard about Lincoln signing the Emancipation Proclamation! He has declared that if the southern states do not stop their rebellion on January 1st, 1863 the proclamation would go into affect. He says this is only applying to the confederate states that are rebelling, and this plan will ultimately crush the confederacy. Although, I have heard about how Lincoln's advisors did not initially agree with this though. They believed this Emancipation Proclamation was far too radical. I believe that this will be the end to the war and that this will be what it takes! They finally supported him after the victory at Antietam though, and this means me and Violet will be reunited soon!
I have heard the Emancipation Proclamation had justified the Emancipation Proclamation as a “fit and necessary war measure” in order to cripple the Confederacy’s use of slaves in the war effort. This is what we have been waiting for! Nothing can take Lincoln down now. Up until September 1862, the main focus of the war had been to preserve the Union. Now we focus on the freedom of slaves more than anything! Me and my husbands dream will come true! We will finally see equality. Britain and France had considered supporting the Confederacy in order to expand their influence in the Western Hemisphere. However, many of the Europeans did not want slavery. Although, they did not agree with the Emancipation Proclamation, they still did not want slavery!
Hopefully this is the end of the war, and all the families will be reunited with their loved ones. I can't wait to see my husband come home, and away from gun fire! Mr. Lincoln is going to save us all! I am so happy he got elected to become out president. I am so happy he signed the Emancipation Proclamation! Violet is too young to understand whats happening. Once she is older, I will let her father explain her the great things Mr. Lincoln did for this country. I am so excited for the day we get to walk hand and hand no matter the race. The Emancipation Proclamation is whats going to end this war, and I will support it no matter what!