16 April 1861

The start of an inevitable war has commenced. Divided feelings between the North and South have been slowly escalating over a long time now. Even before Lincoln was elected president of the United States, there were divisional problems. The cause of most of these feelings: slavery. Basically, the South wants to keep it and the North wants to abolish it. Neither can fully agree on an outcome for this issue, so the problem is still on-going and it does not look there is a near end to it. The only solution seems to be war.

On April 12th, the Confederates started shooting upon a badly supplied Union fort, Fort Sumter. The commander, Anderson tried to hold out against the fire, so the North would not lose its last fort in the South, but supplies ran out, leaving the few Union troops at the fort, defenseless and hungry. There was no other way to solve the problem except through surrender. On April 14th, Fort Sumter gave in to the Confederates, causing the Union to lose its last fort in South. But the firing of the fort meant only one thing…the start of war.

Yesterday, Abraham Lincoln ordered that about 70,000 troops enlist to fight. Being as patriotic and enthusiastic about whipping the "Johnny Rebs," many northern men from all over, signed up to fight. I am sure that a lot of Confederates have joined up to see to it that "Billy Yank" gets beaten in this war. I do not think there is a way for those Southerners to win. Not with what advantages the North has. We have better industry, better transportation, and a whole lot more men than those Rebs could ever hope for. I hope we whip them…er, those Rebs (I'm educated so Ma does not like me to write the write the way I sometimes speak).

The narrator of this journal is me, Wesley Adam Shay. I hate the name Wesley, so I insist that I be called Wes. I am a fourteen year old from Morristown, New Jersey. I live with my injured Pa, my Ma, and four other siblings. I have an older brother and sister and a younger brother and sister. That makes me the middle child then. I am closest to my older brother, Jacob. He even told me to write this journal. He said, "Wes, if war breaks out, write about it everyday. People have the right to know what happens." So, I am. I do not know what the future will bring, but I do not think anyone else does either. Sometimes, when I think about the possible future…it scares me…

But whatever happens in this war, I will not back down and cower. Jacob and the rest of the family would expect better from me. I am going to make my family proud…even if it means I join this war, too…