The Diary of Annette Fryer
My name is Annette Fryer. I am 29 years old, born in 1832 I live in New York with my husband, Kenai. He is serving in the war for the Union. We have three children two boys and a girl. Their names are Charlie(14), Chase(16), and Cally(6). I help them in every way I can, everyday that I can. My sons are growing fast and will soon be in the war themselves. I will try my hardest to get my family out of the war.
April 10th, 1861
I live on a farm. My family gets up early in the morning to tend to the animals and baking food or packing cans of food for the traveling soldiers. I try to maintain my farm while helping to get my husband home from the war. Someone came today to tell me that my son, Chase, was being drafted to war. He would have the next few hours to pack his things. As he left I was destined to get my family home from that horrid place as soon as possible. I decided that I would spend all of my extra money on medicine to send to the soldiers. As I finished up the chores from outside and I head in to be with Cally who was crying desperately for her brother who was now gone. I made dinner for Cally and Charlie. I had Charlie help wash the dishes after dinner. I gave Cally a bath and washed up myself. We sat around and a wrote letter for Kenai. I laid Cally down to sleep and sent Charlie to bed. I hoped that he wasn't worried of getting sent to war.
April 16th, 1861
Chase has been drafted. I don't know where he is stationed I had hoped he was with you. I am doing everything I can to get you home sooner. I miss you and Cally is having nightmares about guys being gone. It's hard without you being here. The pigs keep getting out and The cows won't eat. I was thinking about selling the farm and letting Cally stay at my mother's for awhile so I can become a nurse in the war. I heard that they were taking boy's from Charlie's class! What if they take Charlie too! I'm losing my family to this war. Please find Chase, he's out there and he's too young to die! I need you to come home I can't do this all on my own. I sent medicine and food to the soldiers. I want the war to be over a soon as possible. I hope that I had I read in the paper and when I read the headline "The Bombardment of Fort Sumter" I nearly fainted. I am worried sick about you. Please right back soon. I need to know what to do.
Annette, Charlie, and Cally.
April 20th, 1861
I woke up extra early this morning because I now have to take over on Chase's chores. The pigs got out again. I took me a long time to wrangle them all up. When I went to feed the cows they still wouldn't eat. I figured that they were just used to being feed by Chase. I really miss Chase and Kenai. After I finished with all of Chase's chores I woke Charlie up to do his daily chores and help me with Kenai's. It's hard without them here. Soon after I started on making lunch by now Cally is up and ready to play. She gobbled up her lunch then headed off with my to the garden. The strawberries were now ripe and ready to be picked. We picked many berries, although Cally just ate hers. I decided to send dome to the soldiers, even though they can go for alot of money. I went inside after that it was about 3:00 now and I made a phone call to the war generals. I told them that I was willing to use my farm as a hospital for the soldiers. I'm not much of a nurse but my dad was a doctor so I do know a thing or two. I went back out to check on Charlie and ask him to help me with Kenai's chores. His chores are a lot harder than the rest. It took the both of us, me and Charlie, to lift the large water barrels that were for the cows. Changing their water was hard work. After many more chores and hours of work. I went back to the house to get started on dinner. After dinner the general of war shows up and has wounded soldiers in need of care. I help them get settled in the basement which I had already had ready for there arrival. I went and put Cally to sleep and had Charlie run errands for the wounded soldiers. I was very busy helping the soldiers that night I got very little sleep. Other women came to help with the wounded soldiers.
July 21, 1861
Today I received a letter from my husband.I was so relieved to hear back from him. I was also glad to finally get a chance to relax from working. It read
Sorry for not writing sooner. I love you all very much. I got word that Charlie is safe in a training camp at the moment. Stay with Cally. I don't want her growing up without a mom or with your mom! She needs you now more than ever, with her nightmares and all. I'm sure that they won't draft Charlie. You need to stop worrying. I need a wife in the right of mind to come home to and the children need their mother. Keep trying everything you can to help. The Union needs more women to help out like you do. Hope the chores aren't too much. And whatever you do don't sell the farm. We are going to need it after we come back to the war. They are sending us to the Battle of Bull Run. This is a big battle and I probably won't be able to write for a while. I love you. I'll write as soon as possible.
I was very glad that he had wrote yet very sad that he was going into a tough battle. Cally cried when I read the letter. She misses Kenai very much. I don't think she would have made it living with her grandmother through all of this stress. She's still having nightmares at night. I'm glad that Kenai didn't want to sell the farm but I don't think he knew where Chase really was. I think he just wanted me to stop worrying. I know Charlie is going to get drafted I just know it. More kids from his class left today to become drummer boys in the start of the war. He would be in the battlefield. He could even get shot, or even tromatized. I don't know how much more of his war I can take. I'm not getting much sleep with all of the work I'm doing and with Cally's nightmares, I don't get much sleep at night either.
April 20th, 1865
The war is finally over! I've been writing Kenai for awhile now but I haven't heard back from Charlie. I'm getting worried that he didn't make it out of the war. Kenai is on his way home and there are no longer soldiers in our basement. The chores have gotten easier now that I have done it for awhile now. Charlie was never drafted into the war and Cally is ok. She still misses Kenai very much. She enjoys the letters he sent us.
I thought it was a joke when I read "The President DEAD!" but it was true that President Lincoln was shot. What are we going to do. I thought the war was over. I hope that the war doesn't start again! I wouldn't be able to handle another war. Who is going to be the president. These questions kept going on and on in my head. What if a Southern president is elected. Lincoln was the one who was going to lead us to victory as the United States. To take a step into our future.
I decided that I would tell Cally and Charlie that the president was shot. They were shocked that he was actually dead. Cally started crying. She was scared that the war was not over and that Kenai wouldn't come home anytime soon. Just then Kenai walked through the door and gave us all hugs. He seemed to have a distant look on his face. I asked him what was wrong he said " Did you see the paper?" I look down at the paper in his hand . It read "The President's Assassin Escaped". I looked at his and said that I knew that but I didn't want him to say it in front of Cally. He still had that look on his face. I walked up to him and told him that I knew that that wasn't the reason for his look. He said slowly "Charlie's dead." He collapsed to the floor in sorrow. I followed. I told the kids that Charlie was staying to help in the army and to just enjoy Kenai being home. The war truly is the worst place to be.