A letter to amy

Dearest Amy,
It’s a beautiful day at Fort Gettysburg, but unlike you, I have no time to enjoy it. Heck, between the constant drilling and working on the tents, I barely have enough time to write you. There’s a lot to do in the camp, but not everybody is playing their part. Gregory fibbed to the doctor a month ago, acted like his leg was broken, but a week ago I was getting a drink in the middle of the night and I saw him walking just fine to go have a smoke. Yesterday he died, he deserved it ‘cause everybody knows to keep out of the hospital, it will cause you more harm than good, almost everyone that goes to the hospital catches a bug of some sort. The weather is not as bad as where you are, but you live in a house. I live in a small tent at the edge of camp, although my tent is not as weather resistant as the bigger tents, (the bigger tents are not very weather resistant either) I like it because it’s close to the forest. Believe me, if you lived in a stinky camp, you would be very glad for some fresh air.
The drilling is not hard, but tiring and boring. I can do most of the drills without a single thought. We just shoot targets with guns, but bullets are precious so we only use bullets a couple times a week. When we do get bullets, the city boys miss the targets by a long shot, but luckily, I know how to hit a target. It’s hard to practice your aim without bullets. The instructors tell us the same things over and over; I think I could teach my unit more than my instructor could. But drills are so much easier than battle, the targets are easy to see here, but in battle the smoke washes out everything. Not to mention the targets aren’t moving or shooting back.
I’m sorry I haven’t written you in a while, I’ve been busy making up the work of the many soldiers that have died and the new recruits aren’t any help. Bull Run was horrible, don’t tell this to Ma and Pa by the way, they will surely- well, you know how the felt about me leaving in the first place. The bullets were constantly whizzing past our heads; one put a hole in my cap. It’s scary to hear a bullet zoom right past your ear, knowing that if you leaned over just a little bit a second before, you would have been dead. It’s also hard to see the person next to you get shot and fall dead at your feet. I was a chicken, I ducked low and shot only a little, and I couldn’t see where I was shooting either. The cannon balls were also scary - they would fly through the air, and you couldn’t see them until you were a second from death. Even you would be scared, my fearless little sis. The death was the worst part though; you would turn around to a soldier, once aiming his gun a little bit ago, and see a horribly bloody body on the ground. It’s also scary to think that could have been you. The battle was at a meadow; the Rebs were defending and had way better cover. We had to march through the meadow, right up to them! The cannons were among the first shots of the battle, which instantly made my stomach do a sommersault and my brain say “This is not what I expected, this is horrible!” Eventually, we had to retreat. By dusk we were back in the trees. The stupid officers tried to convince us that we did a good job, and it was a very close battle. But doing that is like trying to convince a dog not to eat the piece of meat on the ground. None of us fell for it.
So I’m sorry if I didn’t write a happy letter like last time, it’s just that my perspective of war has changed so much. War is not a game, it’s a real battle with real good people dying. You’ll never understand it until you see it. And now I know that the nutty Quakers next door were right, we should never, ever, have war. It is a terrible thing. I don’t think you will ever go to war. Who knows? But never, ever support war. Tell Pa happy birthday, I haven’t forgotten, I’ve found some old stamps for him. I know he always wants more for his stamp collection. Tell Ma that I love her with all my heart. And don’t forget, it’s a miracle I survived this battle.

Love,

Brother Cameron

P.S. Please burn this letter or hide it really well!
P.S.S. Don’t burn the money or stamps!





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