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May 19, 1861. My name is Betsy Ackerman, I am 34 years old and my husband is away at war. Our home is in Tennessee. My husband is fighting for the Confederacy. I have been raising our three kids since he left weeks ago. Our children's names are John, Betty, and Joe.

Day 1. May 20, 1861

When I wake up, I go to make make breakfast for the kids. After I make breakfast, I go wake the kids up and help the younger ones get ready for school. I give all of the kids their breakfast, then load them up on the school bus. After they leave, I tend to my garden, I send some of the fruits and vegetables to my husband, just to make sure he gets his daily nutrition. I'm not sure if he gets them or not but sending them gives me hope.

When the kids get home from school, I help them do their homework. I cook them dinner, as I am in the process of cooking, I think of what I should include in my letter to my husband. I help my kids get ready for bed and then I tuck them all in.

Day 2. May 21, 1861.

Dear Jack,

I've read on the newspaper this morning that there has been a battle at Gettysburg. I really hope you're okay. The kids haven't fully realized what is going on yet, I'm not really sure when I want to tell them that there is a war going on. I'm sure I will eventually, just not yet only because it's just starting, I just don't want them getting worked up over it. They kids are doing great in school. Betty is moving on to the 3rd grade, John is going into the 6th grade, and Joe is starting preschool next year. I can't believe you're actually out fighting for the Confederacy. I really hope you come back okay, I'm sure you will.

I really hope you're okay!

                                                                            Love always,

                                                                                                  Your Family.

Day 3. May 22, 1861.

Today was just like any other, made breakfast, got the kids to school, garden. My basic everyday routine. Today I have to go to the market while the kids are at school, things are very pricey with the war going on and everything. I assume that the extra money helps the war in some way. It's so hard to try and help the war from back home, but every time I get the chance I do whatever it takes to help them out there working hard to protect the Confederacy. After I go back to the house, I clean up around the house. I notice some of Jack's clothes that are supposed to be gotten rid of. I decide to take them to town and see if I can send them to people in the war whose clothes are worn and thin. When the kids get home from school, they play outside for a while, then come inside and do there homework. I grab the newspaper to see if anything is happening in the war, nothing yet.

Day 4. May 23, 1861.

I'm so excited, I have received a letter from Jack today. It read...

Dear Betsy,

Please let everyone know that I am well and alive. The Battle of Gettysburg was quite terrifying, but I somehow managed to get through it. I have been to another battle recently, The Battle of Vicksburg. It was also very terrifying, but once again, I managed through. I've recently been thinking about how much I want to come home but I know I can't because I cannot just leave this war, as I will be killed for desertion. I will push through every battle until am able to come home and see you all again. I'm so sorry, but I must go. Tell the kids that I love them and I love you as well.

                                                                              Love always,


Day 5. May 24, 1861.

I've just gotten the newspaper to see that Lincoln has been assassinated. The whole Union must be devastated, but for us Confederates, this is wonderful news. Now it will be easier for the Confederate army to overpower the Union.

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