Life at home

A journal of a boy at home during the Civil War

My name is Devoin Shower-Handel. I live in Cincinnati, Ohio with my grandparents, and my baby brother William. My older brother Fred and my father are in the Civil War, and are fighting for the North. They are stationed in Pennsylvania. We all despise slavery, and want the North to win the War. The year is 1863. I am 17 years old, and plan to fight next year when I turn 18. I want to be a part of the Civil War, and bring it to an end. Please RSVP if you will go with me.

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Please come joining me, and help slavery come to an end!

July 3, 1863,

Today I had to wake up extra early to make breakfast. I had to milk the cow, collect eggs, and get ham from the cold box. I made omelets for my grandparents. After breakfast was over I went outside to fix the hole in the pig pen fence. That took me until lunch to do. After that I caught up on my studies in math and science. My grandpa and I made little generals guarding Fort Sumter. He taught me about the statistics of the Civil War. Finally, the last chore I did today, and I do everyday is feed all the farm animals. My grandma then made a huge dinner that I wolfed down. I was so tired from doing all the chores by myself without my father or brother. I went straight to bed so I could be ready for tomorrow to do more chores.

July 4, 1863

Today I got a letter from my father saying that he was marching towards Gettysburg to fight the South. I decided to write him the following letter back:

Dear Father,

I got your letter that said you were marching towards Gettysburg. I heard the news that the South won the battle. I just hope you and Fred are okay. They are saying that it is the bloodiest battle ever fought in America. General Lee was very smart, but I'm still wondering why we lost the battle.  Would you please tell me in the next letter you write.

                                                                                                                                   Sincerely, Devoin

July 5 ,1863

Today, when I woke up I decided to hunting in the woods. My grandparents asked me what I was doing when I walked outside and I said "Shhh I'm hunting for wrabbits."  I shot three rabbits and brought them up to the house and cleaned them to be ready for dinner in the morning. I then tended to the garden. After that I made a care package for injured Civil War soldiers. After lunch I went into to town with my grandpa so he could pay his taxes. We then ran a couple errands. We said we were running errands but we really weren't. We picked up a runaway slave and put him in our wagon and took him home so he could hide. We then went to the doctor to get medicine for Grandma since she wasn't feeling that well. Finally, we went home, and  I wrote an article in the Liberator about the Battle of Gettysburg.  I had to then clean up the barn full of tools so the runaway slave could go down the secret passageway and hide.

July 6, 1863

Today I went to get my mail from the mailman at the end of the road. I was so excited when I saw a letter from my father. I instantly ripped it open and read the first sentence. It said that him and Fred were okay. I ran up to the house and told grandma and grandpa that they were alive and okay. They both were so happy, and started praying. I then started to read the rest of the letter.

Dear Devoin,

Me and Fred are safe and okay. The battle of Gettysburg was one of the most terrible things I have ever seen. We were fighting in Hanover when we were told to march towards Gettysburg. They said that the Confederates were trying to distract us with a battle in the North, so they could take Gettysburg. We let the South go when we could have taken them, but our generals had the eyes on the prize. Our generals had the sense that Lee was close, and they were right. They decided to come to Gettysburg. When we got there it was too late. We were outnumbered by Lee's forces and his Lee's mind power on the battlefield. Lee won the Battle of Gettysburg, and we won the Battle of Hanover.

                                                                                                                                    Sincerely, Father

July 7, 1863

I haven't had the time to tell you about the Emancipation Proclamation. I have been so busy with doing all the chores around the farm that I didn't have the time. Anyways, the Emancipation Proclamation was a great idea. These are one of the many reasons why Lincoln is such a great president.

The Emancipation Proclamation has made the North so happy. After I heard about it I told the runaway slave that was hiding in our barn. He grabbed his stuff said thank you so much and walked right out into the open. The slaves all were for Lincoln now, and so was the North. We all thought he was a great man, except for the South.

I thought maybe this would make the North powerful. We would have lots of free black men and women now helping us defeat the South. Maybe this would make the Civil War come to an end. The North could finally win this. Slavery would be forever gone from the United States of America.

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