The Civil War
August 5, 1863,
My name is Samantha Bruket, I'm 38, and my husband, Mathew Bruket, is off fighting in the war. It is tough times for everyone, with everyone fighting each other, this war is ruining our nation. My family and I are for the Union because we all believe that slavery is an evil thing. In fact we even help in the underground railroad. I have two sons, Charles who is 18 and Anthony who is 14, along with one girl, Raina who is only 10. We all live in Rockport, Indiana.
August 6, 1863,
Today was rough on poor Raina. She misses her father on rainy days like this. I always just tell her that he's off doing great things; helping give freedom to all people. I spent most of my morning with her, cooking a small breakfast, weaving blankets, along with a dress, and sweeping the kitchen. Later in the day I spent helping Raina cook the dinner, washed up afterward, and then sent Charles and Anthony down to the river to help a runaway slave as they had done 5 times before. I waited up till 2:00 a. m., when they got home. I helped the war effort by sowing the blankets for the war and helping in the underground railroad.
August 7, 1863,
Dear Matthew Bruket,
We love and miss you so very much... Raina talks about you all the time. She can't wait to see you again, along with all of us! The boys have been keeping busy with their jobs. Yes, Anthony got his first job! He's helping farm on an old ladies farm along with our small farm. I have some sad news to share. I'm sure you already know, it's the inevitable. Charles told me he was going into the war. I haven't told the rest of our family yet, but I think they know it's coming.
I heard about the Battle of Champion Hill that has recently happened! Were you there?! I can't believe how many people had been hurt! I heard thousands! I just hope you are doing okay and not giving us a brave face over letters and are doing badly. Make sure to tell me if you were there.
Love you with all my heart,
August 8, 1863,
Today was a relatively busy day. First, I went a picked food from our garden. Then I went to help in my ladies' aid society and gave food from our vegetable garden. Once we got all the food together, we canned it. Eventually we all started sowing soldiers uniforms and with each others help we did 5 uniforms. Then we walked door to door asking for any money any one could spare to go toward the war efforts. After we got done with all of this we gave our supplies to Union soldiers. Soon enough I was home to a cooked meal from Raina, and the boys were supper hungry. Then I helped clean up and it was off to bed.
August 9, 1863,
Dear Samantha Bruket,
I miss you all too! Tell Raina I say I love her! I just want to be home with you all. I'm doing fine here though. The generals even recognized me for my war strategies and helpfulness. While I'm good at this, I'm not happy here. Thinking about you all makes me at peace though.
I actually was in the Battle of Champion Hill. My split up group made it out with nine of the men in our line up down. I watched one of the best friends I had here die. While that was terrible, I was glad to make it out alive. War is a lot different than you think but similar at the same time. There is no definition and there shouldn't be. I was also in another battle; the Battle of Chancellorsville. The Confederates won this war because of Lee's risky decisions. There were so many people wounded in the end, almost 10,000 of our men! I love you with all my heart.
As I read his letter I do what I do ever since I've read his first letter; cry. It's no longer a cry of sadness, more like a cry to release everything. It always makes a person feel better. When I show the kids letters, they are just relieved to hear from him.
April 15, 1865,
I can't believe this! Just 5 days after the war has ended, even with our nation is ruins, you think there would be some peace, but no! There always has to be chaos. Our president has been shot in Ford's Theatre in Washington D.C.
The rumors going around is that his killer was John Wilkes Booth. Apparently he tried killing the president, vice president, and the secretary of state. Speculations are that he was for the South and attempted to overthrow the government.
Lincoln had his own private box above the stage with his wife and a few other important people. During the performance, Booth had slipped into the box at 10:15 and fired his gun. Only to be ran out into the stage by Rathbone(a young army officer) and then he fell, broke his leg, and got away by horse. People here are going mad! 10,000 troops, police, and detectives have been tracking him on a man hunt! I can't believe our president has been murdered!