Dear Journal, May 19,1862
My name is Andrew Taylor Keene,I am 20 years old. I lived in Pennsylvania before I came to fight in the Confederacy at the age of 19. I live with my mother,father, and my little sister named Rosie who is 5 years old . My father was my inspiration to join the army. My father is serving in the war as I write this entry, he is stationed in Massachusetts and writes to us when he has a chance. I try to write to him as much as I can.
Day 1-The Begining
Dear Journal, May 20,1862
This morning was the first day I had ever been woken up before 7 A.M. I was tired and groggy, but I knew that it wouldn't kill me. Heck the only think at this point that would kill anyone was the annoying songs you could here off in the distance from random colonial soldiers.I had gathered sticks and logs to keep warm at the camps for the next couple of days,I had cleaned out my gun,put together all of my things for our daily drills,and put away my tent as ordered. The drills went on for hours non stop until late afternoon.They had taut us how to stand and hold our weapons "properly", how to tie knots, and hide.No one in there right mind would have looked our General in the eye. That afternoon they had us musicians, mounted couriers or runners, hospital attendants, guards, orderlies, chaplain assistants, water carriers, and barbers get everything together for the following morning. Me, as I was a runner had been running and put through many drills through out the day. At night fall they had me go out to deliver messages to different lieutenants and runners. They say we had to go at night because that's when we were the most safe to hide from the enemy.Even if war wasn't at hand it was the way it went.
Day 2- The Letter
Dear Journal, May 21,1862
Today I wrote a letter to my father I heard he could have been in a battle a couple days ago and I haven't gotten any letters from him in a long time.I got worried.The letter said....
Dear Father, May 21,1862
I heard that there was a battle at Jackson's Valley Campaign.. I hope your doing okay over there. I was deathly worried that something bad had happened but later found you successful. I miss you father and I am going to make you proud. They have been drilling us to the bone and all I can say is that it's helping many of us as we go. I have been sending messages all over and have found that the Union is in a lot of binds. I hope to see you again soon write to mother and sis for me.
P.S Today I also seen one of the generals reading a newspaper the headline screaming...THREE ARMIES OF THE UNION DEFEATED!! We are doing good so far,hope it stays that way.
Day 3- More
Dear Journal, May 22, 1862
Today was very different from yesterday. I was woken up to soldiers yelling and running to get all of there belongings put away. We were all put in rows upon rows of soldiers depending of our rank. Today I had finally gotten a uniform even tho it was a little big and used I was grateful. The General had given me and five other mean an order to go out and search for any armies or spy that may be near by. On our way out we passed a field full of those who had fallen a found much needed supplies.
Through out the search on our way back we had found nothing but a stray dog with a limp and went on our way. We needed to make sure camp was secure for the next few days left for training . The training was a lot different today as well. Instead of running and practicing certain standing positions. We had to practice fire, loading and reloading our guns as fast as possible. Two men including me around the age of 23 to 35 could go faster than 34 seconds. This had made many of the men around me to try harder,I could see it on their faces.
Day 4-Fathers Letter
Dear Journal, May 24,1862
Today I received a letter from my father and it said...
Dear Son, May 23,1862
Dear my loving Andrew. I am proud and happy to have finally gotten one of your letters. I had been worried that something might have taken you to the heavens.I in fact was not in the Jackson's Valley Campaign,but many of my fellow soldiers were.I had taken part in the battle of Shiloh in April ,but so far no more have I encountered. We had captured and wounded many. We had as many as 23,000 casualties altogether. It was the bloodies battle I had ever seen son,things like that can change a person. Stay strong my son. I love you dearly. Your mother was so happy when you got one of my letters you can tell she cried cause the tears had stain many of the pages ,but I told he both of her boys will come home,I promised.
The letter brought tears to my stinging cheeks and I prayed that that promise could be true and that one day I would wake up in my room with my mother making breakfast and my little sister jumping onto the kitchen table to see what mom had made. I would sit down to breakfast and see father in the fields. That was the promise I wanted to come true.
Day 5- The Assassination
Dear Journal, April 14, 1865 It has been since the war that I had wrote in here. Today was a sad ,but wonderful day for some. John Wilkes Booth, a famous actor and Confederate sympathizer, fatally shot President Abraham Lincoln at a play at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. The attack came only five days after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his massive army at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, effectively ending the American Civil War.
That war was the only thing that I had ever been truly proud of, yet we failed. Today I am happy to say that a man that was against us for so long has finally been taken to the grave with all his foolish ideas and so called "Honesty". Honesty was the one thing he was famous for ,but to me he was just telling people what they wanted to hear. Blah blah blah was all I heard out of that fowl mans mouth. He has killed my father,my families hope and love. He has destroyed my life and I am so happy he has gone.
I think John Wilkes Booth was a hero to many who's loved ones had fallen under Lincolns arms and his power. He had taken what many men had wanted to do and put it into action. This day has also ,but many people in sore and sadness and I am actually feeling quite sorry for those who had taken every word and hung on tight,because in the end everyone has won and lost.