Dramatics Austin Henshaw

"The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving." That has been my philosophy on war. In fact, you can say it has been my philosophy on life. However, for me, my life is slowly coming to an end. I fear I have but mere moments until the great beyond.

Being as it is, it is now time to tell you of the Civil War. Ah, yes, the war that swept across the land and tore the United States apart. I led the Union army in the war. Yes, that's right. I am Ulysses S. Grant. I shall not burden you with details of my presidency, which has so many things to get into, but I will tell you of a dire time in our nation. A time when brother fought against brother, state against state, friend against friend, even father against son. So much blood and death….

I should tell you of my military career before the war though. As a child I had always dreamed of going to West Point, the supremest military academy in the United States. I was ecstatic to find out that the congressman Thomas Hamer granted me a scholarship there. I was disappointed at that time that he nominated me as Ulysses. No, my true name is not Ulysses S. Grant. It is Hiram Ulysses Grant. Nevertheless I just barely made it in, due to their height requirement.

I graduated with quite a reputation. I was one of the top horsemen at the academy. I also became a heavy drinker and began smoking many cigars. After graduating I was anxious to fight. I served in the Mexican-American War and was rewarded for my bravery twice actually: at Molino del Rey and at Chapultepec. The war ended soon and I began moving from post to post. It got tedious after a while, but it was rewarding for the fact that I gradually moved higher and higher up in military ranking. Unfortunately my drinking problems got the best of me. I was forced to resign and spent seven years as a civilian. I hated it!

Our great President of the time, Abraham Lincoln, needed volunteers for an army after Fort Sumter was attacked. The governor had some wits about him and appointed me in the Illinois infantry. At last! I was back in the military again. I was eventually able to get my status up enough to command the army of Southeast Missouri.

I gave the Union cause it's first big victory when I captured Fort Henry. A few months later though there was a devastating Confederate attack! I refused to retreat. I would not succumb! I would not be weak, nor disgrace my men by allowing them to be weak! We pressed on, despite many casualties, and were victorious. It was such a blood battle though…the bloodiest in history, but it had to be that way.

Battles and scrimmages happened on and off like this throughout the years. I turned the tide in the war and the Union side began winning. This was the reason Lincoln made me into general-in-chief of all of the armies of the United States. I was eventually able to push Lee, the great leader of the Confederate army, to the Appomattox Court House. He is a great man. One would think we were enemies, but we were really close to being best friends. We negotiated for a while and came to terms with how to settle the conflict that tore our nation into two.

That, my friends, is my story of the Civil War. I wish I could tell you more but the light is fading and I can feel my energy rapidly declining with every last breath I take. Please, tell the story of the time of many conflicts and great men. Spread the legacy…let nobody forget of the noble sacrifices made. The light is dimming, and I can hear my mother calling me to come home. One last thing. Please…get me some water.