Everything here is copyright 2002 Lycanthia Raven.
Thursday, December 11th, 1862I am Lucien Dobson Chilmark, Sergeant in the Confederate troops. I am currently nineteen years of age, but decided to serve the Cause the moment I turned eighteen. It is an honor and privilege to defend my home, my beliefs, and my way of life.
My family owns several plantations across the country, but we live on our estate in Charleston, South Carolina. My mother, Blanche, and my sister, Susan, are both active in supporting the Cause. They are currently collecting silk dresses to build a hot air balloon to use to spy on the Yankees.
I have been serving my country for the past six months, and have been away from home for just that long.
Today, our commander, General Burnside, is leading us up to Fredericksburg, Virginia. At the moment, my unit is responsible for toting the supplies: extra ammunition, bandages, and food we may need.
It should take about an hour longer to reach our destination. I can hardly wait! This is my first real battle. Ever since I signed up, I've been training, not fighting. It's exciting to finally be making a difference in the fate of my homeland.
Saturday, December 13th, 1862
Disaster struck, in the form of the Yankees, this morning.
It was early, and we had been ordered to wait for the Yanks to attack first. The boys and I quickly grew tired of it.
Just then, we heard a noise. Feet. More precisely, we heard footsteps. The Yanks had finally decided to attack!
"Charge!" the order came directly from General Burnside. We charged to keep the Yankees back. They retreated back a few yards.
"Charge! Came the voice again as the enemy made a second attempt at defeating us. Once again we charged, and again they retreated. Cheers arose from the general crowd, egging the Yankees to try again. I didn't care for them to.
I cannot begin to describe what I experienced earlier this day on the battlefield. All I can remember is this mass of crowded bodies, all shooting at one another, not stopping to check if their target be friend or foe. I can still hear the screams; screams of my friends. Deadly screams for Mother, Wife, and Sweetheart. Cries that would never be answered.
The field reeked of sweat, charred skin, gunpowder, and, mostly, blood. It sill does.
Now, men lay everywhere. The lucky few who can be saved have been taken to makeshift field hospitals, volunteer's homes, and other places where they will be taken care of. My cousin, Harold, and my bunkmate, Jess, are among them. Sadly, the unlucky ones lay in limp heaps on the field on which they died. Some still clutch their rifles. It's sickening to look at.
I am overwhelmed by a cloud of guilt. Guilty because I've never killed another man in my life. And I never plan to again. Now, my only wish is to get through this ordeal in one piece. Or better, just resign my commission and go home now.
We've won…for now.
Monday, December 15th, 1862
General Burnside has ordered us back, away from the Potomac River. I don't know why. All I know is that I'm glad to be leaving. This has been the most horrifying experience of my life. There is no excitement, no honor, no glory, no heroism in any of this. All there is is fear, blood, and the crying impulse to drop everything and run home to Mother. I pity the poor souls who will be sucked into joining the army just as I was. They're in for a gut-wrenching revelation.