My name is Jackson Porter. I am thirty-one years old. I have been married to my wife, Carmen Porter, for five years. I am a citizen of the Confederacy. We live in Manassas, Virginia. I live with my son Derek, who is fifteen. My wife is a military nurse stationed in the countryside not far from here. We are all anxious about the war, especially Derek. I still think he is too young to understand politics. I have avoided being in the war, but I would not be admitted if i wanted to be. I have a bad leg, and they need people in tip-top shape. Ho hum....
Aug. 23, 1862
This morning I woke up and made breakfast for Derek and I. Afterwards, I fed the horses, swept the kitchen and made our beds. Later in the day, we both lit a fire to burn the leaves that we were going to rake. We oiled the guns for hunting tomorrow, and let the dogs inside for the night. We donated some of our vegetables and money to the war effort.
Aug. 24, 1862
I hope you are well. Derek is becoming a man in front of my eyes. I cannot remember if you were involved in the conflict at Fort Sumter. Is that why you left Virginia? I read about it in the paper a while ago. All is well at the house. Write back to tell if you will be home for Thanksgiving.
Aug. 25, 1862
We are restless, my son and I. In the morning, I washed clothing while he did dishes, and we both trimmed the rosebushes. Later, we slaughtered a few chickens for supper tomorrow, collected grain, and shot a single deer that had wandered onto our property. We helped catch a few spies from the Union, as well as a runaway slave. We gave some home-made bread to the soldiers.
Aug. 29, 1862
We received a letter from the commander himself today.
Dear Mr. Porter,
I regret to inform you that there has been a battle in the city limits. 2,000 men died on our side. Your wife was recognized among the dead. I am sorry for your loss, and I wish you well.
Commander P. G. T. Beauregard
I immediately sent a letter to her parents. I turned and saw Derek in the doorway. Tears were coursing down his face.
Apr. 17 1865
There was an announcement in the town square. Lincoln has been assassinated. A man named John Wilkes Booth shot him in the head at Ford's theater in D.C. He died about three days ago. Unfortunately, Booth was shot dead running to Florida.
Apparently, Lincoln was watching the play 'Our American Cousin'. He was seated in the top box with his wife. Booth had snuck in while the guard was off drinking. After shooting Lincoln, He jumped off the box, landed on the stage, shouted ¨Sic semper tyrannus¨ (translates to: It is always a tyrant), and ran off. The chase lasted until yesterday, when he was cornered in a barn. the barn caught fire, and he was shot when trying to escape the flames.
The soapbox man also said that Lincoln's death train would be coming through the town. I was outraged. That Yankee man, dead though he may be, poisoning our town? Are they expecting us to mourn him? Our country is going to the dogs.