So the prompt for History was that you had to write a letter from a certain battle during the American Civil War. I choose to be a confederate troop during the battle of Shiloh. I really didn't work that hard on this because I have a million other things to do, but I would really appreciate some reviews! Because a review is a writer's best friend (you can be critical, but not mean)

April 8th, 1862

Harding County, Tennessee

To my dearest friend John,

I struggle to believe that so many men have fallen, and even harder to understand why people are calling this the battle of Shiloh. Shiloh in Hebrew means, "place of peace", so it is all irony. Fighting was horrible, watching those around me drop dead or get shot, wondering if I was to be next. All I had was my musket to fight with, and a small pistol I brought from home in case I was to need it. The cannon roars were defining. I started out in the battle working at my cannon with my two friends, Michael and Hubert, but we were forced to leave them to chase after the Union troop into the Hornet's Nest. Yes, that is what we call that area where you hid at shot at us over an open field. It was probably the most frightening event in my life. I know that there were 44,699 troops in the army when we started. The numbers have dwindled so; there are only three men left in my tent, for there were originally nineteen. The biggest loss for us is our General Johnson. He died directing troops on the front line. So far we total up 1,728 dead, 8,012 wounded or soon to join the dead, and 959 are missing, but we assume that the Union army, your army, has them.

I hope that your living conditions are better than ours. We regular soldiers sleep together in these circular canvas tents that are about 18 ft. in diameter and 12 ft. tall, and has a small opening at the top for a place to fit a fire and vent our fumes. We wear our uniforms all the time. They are grey with red sashes and grey caps. It seems to me that it is a depressing color to match with this depressing war. Usually during camp we do drill after drill after drill after drill. And then after that, we drill some more. When we are not fighting or drilling, we have many chores to do. Usually I try to find clean water, clean the camp, build roads, dig trenches for latrines, and gather wood. Despite all of that we still have free time. Many men play cards and gamble, chew tobacco, or write letters to friends and family, like I am doing now. Then of course there is mealtime. We use to get beef, pork, vegetables, and coffee, but no longer. Due to the shortage of supplies, we are now getting salted pork, dried beans, cornbread, and hardtack. The salted pork is hard and chewy, and is disgusting. The dried beans and cornbread are also hard. The worst are the hardtack. It breaks your teeth and is filled with worms and other insects, which make it hard to eat. Some men joke around that the hardtack is half the meat we get.

I thought when I enlisted in this army it was going to be a quick war. We fight, we win gloriously, and we go home in honor. It is not so. Very little time is actually

spent fighting, most of it is spent training and sitting around. And after today seeing my friends die right next to me is making me change my mind. Slaves do not deserve to be free, but I would rather have them free then watch all these white men die around me. What would be better is that the Union would just leave us alone. We have a right to hold these Negros as our slaves, because that is what they are our property.

I can't wait until we win this war. We might have lost today, but in the end our rights shall prevail. Slavery will change because we will have the right to go back and get those runaway slaves. They are property and they belong to us, not themselves as those so-called abolitionists say. Even though I would not rather have this war and would let them go, many others are willing to fight for it, so I should be willing to fight for it too. The Confederate States of America will be all about individual rights. What we want to do as long as it harms no human being. It is a dream world that I am now willing to fight for.


Clayton Finch