The Diary of Anita Life
My name is Anita Life, and I live in Indianapolis, Indiana. I recently moved to Indiana from Georgia so my husband, Bryston, could fight for the Union. I am 22 years old. Right now my brother is living with me and my 3 kids. Rachel is 2, Lauren is 6, and Nate is 5. Lauren and Rachel are our birth children, and Nate is adopted. It is February 18, 1863.
Day 1, February 20
Today is Monday, February 20th, and it's time for my chores. I woke up today to the sound of girls singing outside. Man was it annoying. I am pretty sure it was Abbi, Holly, Sidney, Caity, and some other people. It's okay to sing, but sing when you are supposed to. Don't sing at 6:00 in the morning. Oh well. Might as well get a jump start on my chores. It is really hard to keep my mind off the war, so I do chores instead of thinking. Today is Monday, so I have to feed the pigs, feed the chickens, put the clothes on the line, cook food for that day, and wake the kids up and get them ready for school. I home school my kids because they need to be close to me during this dreadful time. After I feed them breakfast, they go wash up while I get their homework. Once they finish their homework, and I finish my chores, we go to the park. We pack our lunch so we can have a picnic. It's starting to become a tradition. I let them play around for a while, then we head back so I can do my evening chores. My evening chores are usually in support for the army, so today I'm knitting scarfs, sewing blankets, collecting medical supplies (such as bandages), and collecting food. Today is a special day because I'm teaching Lauren how to sew, so she can help me. That way I get done quicker, so we have more family time. After sewing and knitting, Nate gets our red wagon, and we go door to door asking people for donations to help the troops. We used to get a lot, but as the war is dragging on, we get fewer and fewer donations. Oh well. Hopefully the war is almost over and Bryston will come home. I miss him terribly, and everyday I wonder if the phone will ring, telling me that he is dead. I pray for a quick finish. P.S. I hope the war ends soon because my brother is driving me crazy. All he does is eat and sleep, and doesn't do any work around the farm. It's hard giving him food when he doesn't do anything to deserve it. Even if he's my own brother.
Day 2 Tuesday February 22, 1863
I know your really busy so I'll keep this one short. I saw in a newspaper today that their was a battle in Tennessee called the Battle of Shiloh. Wasn't your troop located near there? Did you fight in the battle? Are you injured? I am so scared right now. I have tried to stay strong, but every time I see or hear of a battle my stomach turns, and I think your dead. I don't know how much longer I can stand this. When are you coming home? I need you. The children need you. They keep asking me where you are and I can't tell them because I don't know either. Anyway, I'm keeping the farm in good shape for now, but you better come home soon. I don't know how much longer I can keep this up. People are nice and all, trying to help out and everything, but it's getting just a little annoying. The kids are a big help. Rachel is getting so big, and I know she's a daddy's girl. She wants to see you so much. I can tell Lauren is going to be really smart, and she helps the most. She even knows how to sew now! For the most part Nate isn't talking too much about his real family, but he knows that we aren't his birth parents. Sometimes he'll say how he looks nothing like us, or that he doesn't act like us. He is getting curious and I feel like he's going to want answers soon. I hope your be here to help me explain it. So that's basically all that's happening right now. Stay safe. I love you, and I hope to see you soon.
Love, Anita Life
P.S. My brother is driving me insane still. As soon as you get back, I'm kicking him out. He's only here right now because I feel safer with a man in the house. The kids said they love you and hope to see you soon.
Day 3, February 23
Today is Wednesday the 23rd, and it's a really cold day. That also means that I have to do the dishes, split wood for the fire, hand out newspapers, and go to the supermarket. I'll go ahead and make breakfast and wake up Lauren, then go to the supermarket. I wake up Lauren so that something happens, she won't be sleeping. Also so they all wake up at 8:30. I go to the supermarket on Wednesday because it's not that crowded. When I get back, I will do the dishes while Lauren goes and delivers the newspapers. Now, since Nate is stronger, I send him out to split the wood. Wednesdays are easy now that I have help. We'll sit down and eat lunch, and maybe play a game or two before heading out to do our evening chores. I usually go down town and make a newspaper, showing people how much they need to help our soldiers. At the bottom of the newspaper, it says that they could deliver goods or clothing to help the soldiers stay fit and warm during the cold winter months. I also have people who were injured in the army come to my house so I could help them. I heard in town today that their was an army marching through town today, so I decided to go to the supermarket again and get 8 loaves of bread and more lunch meat than you could ever imagine. Then when I got home, Lauren and I make 200 sandwiches for the soldiers as they came marching by. I hope today that I get to see Bryston. Even a glance would be good enough for me. As long as I knew he was okay. I didn't see him though, and this made me worried. What if I never get to see him again? The last thing I did was collect letters from people who wanted to know how their loved one was doing. I drop them off at the post office, then went home. I got a call later that night. It was from the army headquarters. Bryston had been wounded, and was resting in the infirmary. Luckily though, it only slightly punctured his skin. They weren't going to discharge him because it wasn't that bad. They were going to send him back out there. Where he had just been hurt! Why would they do that! I have to stay strong. For the children. If they found out something had happened to him, they wouldn't know what to do. Yes, I I have to stay strong. He will be home soon. I just know it!
Day 4 February 24
I received this letter from Bryston. Here it is.
I was so happy to receive your letter. I was worried that you had forgotten about me. I guess you were really busy with the kids and everything. Anyway, how are you? How are the kids? I am really homesick and I long to be back at home, with you and the kids. Speaking of kids, how are they? Is Rachel's hair growing fast, like Lauren's? Is Lauren a big help on the farm. It is so lonely here. Nate is going to have to find out about his parents sooner or later, just try not to tell him until I get home to help you out. We promised to do everything together, and I hope to keep that promise. There was another battle. They called it the battle of Gettysburg. We won. Another victory, but the end still isn't in sight. I hope it doesn't last that much longer. I did get injured, and there might be an infection. They aren't giving me much time to right this so I'm going to have to say good-bye, maybe forever. So in case I never get to say it again, I love you.
This letter put me into a nervous wreck. I never got out of bed. I wouldn't eat. I was so worried that he would be dead tomorrow. How am I supposed to move on from this. The only thing I am able to do is write in this journal. My brother is outraged. He keeps saying that Bryston shouldn't of done that to me. That he shouldn't of said that he might die. This is making me even more upset because it's not his fault. He was just warning me in case it did happen. But now I don't think I wanted that warning. Oh, well. I guess all I can do now is wait and see.
Day 5, February 25
Your not going to believe what happened today. The word just spread that Abraham Lincoln is our President. This is so amazing! Do you know what this means. The slaves are going to be free. The South aren't going to be able to enslave other people. I bet this is making the South mad. That's why this stupid was started in the first place. If the South had just gave up their slaves, we wouldn't be in this mess. That doesn't madder anymore though because we have Lincoln. That means we have the advantage.
The war could be ending soon. Lincoln is going to help the North win. I just know it. I hope nothing happens to Lincoln though. I mean, this is a big deal for the South. It could even mean that they could lose the war. What if they kill him. Now I'm just worried again. What if someone kills Lincoln, and the war never ends. They will keep on fighting until everyone is dead. I need Bryston. Maybe I'll right him a letter to tell him the good news. I bet he'll be happy.
Well now that this good news is here, I have to get out of bed and do something. If I don't do something I probably will go insane. The kids are worried about me. They keep asking me why I keeping saying "Lincoln" and "good things are coming". I think they are worried about me. President Lincoln is going to do great things. I just know it. That's why everyone chose him to be president. I have to go wake my kids up and tell them the great news now. They are going to be so happy, because President Lincoln is going to bring their daddy home.