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My name is Erin Brennan. I am from Indiana, and I am 15 years old. I am in the Union. Tuesday, May 19, 1861. l live with my brother and mother.My brother is in the war and he is stationed in Gettysburg, Virginia.


Four daily things I do in the morning are that I collect eggs from the chickens, I make breakfast for my mother. I sew clothes and then go collect hay bales from a near-by field. Things I do in the afternoon are that I help take care of the yard, I pick fruits and vegetables from the garden, I groom horses and feed the pigs. I take care of the war horses and cook food for the soldiers in the war.

DAY 2     May 20,1861

Dear Brother,

  I miss you dearly and I have been taking care of mother. It's been hard without you here. Its different and I am a little scared. I keep wondering if you'll come home or if I'll ever see you again. That worries mom too. She keeps telling me she doesn't want to lose one of her babies.  I can understand her though. I would cry if we got word that you had been killed. I wish that the Confederacy could see what they are doing is wrong, that way you wouldn't have had to leave us.

     We got word of the battle in Virginia. The Battle of Big Bethel. Were you in that? Are you okay? I heard that the Confederacy won. It was in the newspaper. The headline was, "CONFEDERATES CLAIM VICTORY IN FIRST CLASH WITH FEDERALS." This worries me. How did you guys attack? How many were injured?  Please be okay. I don't want you to be hurt. I couldn't live with myself if I found out you were badly injured, or worse, killed. I have to go now, I love you.




I had to get up extra early this morning. Mother needed some help down at the shop in the town. I had to help people pick out the best things to buy. We are sending half of our income to the war commanders so they can buy some things. Then I had to go down by the river to see if I could buy some fish or some other goods from the fishers. I got a few things of food, which was to be sent to the soldiers too. Mom had me go take some clothes to the post office, that's where the drop off was to help the army. It was a boring, but slightly difficult day.

DAY 4  THURSDAY, MAY 21, 1861

Dear Sister,

I miss you and mother too. Its really different here. I promise you I'll make sure to come home after this. I am doing this for the people suffering in the South and for you guys. I miss you a lot as well, and I do miss mother's home cooked meals. I will come home alive. I promise. Tell mom not to worry. She won't lose me. Im just not there at the moment. Tell her I love her dearly and that I look forward to coming home.

I can assure you I was not in that battle. I did battle in Gettysburg though. It was very tough and I did get shot a couple of times in my arm. Nothing serious though. It was a tough battle and yes, the Confederacy did win the first battle, but we will win the others. We will show the South that we cannot be beat. I must go now, we are heading off to a new location. I love you.


Private Jack Brennan.

I was absolutely thrilled to know we got a letter from him. Our mom was crying hysterically,  holding the letter to her chest. She wouldn't let me read it, but I would sneak into her room after dark and read it. I was happy, very very happy that he had gotten my letter and had wrote back. I had something to hold to him now. He promised he would return. He promised.

DAY 5  FRIDAY, APRIL 15, 1865

We just got word. He's dead. No, not my brother, but our president, Abe Lincoln, has been killed.  He was going to see a movie, a lovely movie at that. I can't believe it. Just weeks after the war ended, he was killed. My mother is crying and I think I have gone into shock. My brother didn't know what to do. He locked himself up in his room and hasn't come out yet. I think the whole world is in shock.

I don't understand why anyone would want to kill him. The newspaper finally set out an award for anyone who could find John Wilkes Booth. $30,000 dollars. This is big. He needs to be found. I finally have let the anger set in and now I am plain mad. He, Abraham Lincoln should not have died because of something he believed in. Jack still hasn't came out of his room yet.

Jack came out of his room and has finally said that he was trying to formulate a plan to catch John Wilkes Booth. I hope it works. I can't stand this. Our mother hasn't stopped gossiping about how much of a horrible person the man who killed Abe Lincoln was.  She made a pie for a group of people down at our local church by the Ohio River. I hope they find John Wilkes Booth....

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