(A/N: So. I've decided to start a sequel to "My Bonnie Blue Flag"! I know there was an epilogue at the end, but it doesn't tell the story that's behind it—just what happened. So, I hope you all enjoy this!)
Countless men—young ones and old ones, brave ones and frightened ones, Rebel ones and Yankee ones—gave their blood and lives for their causes on the first three days of July, 1863. I was one of them.
Like a fool, I had believed in the infallibility of my regiment, the 13th Alabama, when we charged into the first bloody day outside of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. And, like a fool, I was carried on this belief all the way through the second day with only a superficial shot to my arm—one that my friend, Eliza Lawrence, a battlefield angel, patched up easily. But on the third day, a day that would come to be known as the bloodiest day of the year (with plenty of reason), I and my young cousin, Johnnie Towne, were felled by a Yankee cannonball just yards from their front lines. The cannon tore through my leg, and filled Johnnie with its deadly shrapnel. Though he was hardly fourteen, he bore the pain like a man—but it soon proved too much for him, and he died that day, wet and cold on the bloody battlefield.
But I was spared. They carried me to the hospital as my lifeblood was ebbing, and it was through fading vision and failing body that I saw Eliza—and realized that, if I died as they amputated my leg, she would never know the love that had grown so softly in my heart for her. So I choked out those tender sentiments as I bled on the field hospital's table, and she promised her heart to mine with a sweet kiss. I slipped into unconsciousness, then, as I prayed that God would spare me. If not for my own benefit, then for hers.
He did. And that is where this story takes up.