The Battle Of Gettysburg A Fictional Account

1404 words - 6 pages

Message written in a leather-bound book, found in an abandoned cabin in backwoods Pennsylvania: "Whoever has found this basic diary now reads the story of George McClellan. Having lived 80 long but blessed years, I've outlived my wife and children. I suspect that God will call me home soon, in this, the year of our Lord 1926. Before I go, I find it necessary to relate to you a part of my life that must not be forgotten. By reading this account, you have been selected to pass on a piece of history that would otherwise be lost. Hear my words well." Seventeen. Such a young age to kill, seventeen. Seventeen years seemed little preparation for watching my friends shot at my left and right and, rather than mourn the tragic losses of these fine young men, hit the ground and come back swinging. No thoughts. Only instinct. Duck, roll, load, fire. Dodge, jump, kill. All at seventeen. The road there might have been long, but time was endless in this eternal war. I didn't know what war we were fighting back then. What happened to the ninety days war? I remember signing up for a short and decisive victory, my friends and I all eager to escape the confines of school. The schoolgirls were swooning over us for our bravery. We loved the attention, but we never thought the act brave. War sounded beautiful. War sounded gratifying. War sounded like an escape from our tedious lives. We were so immature. Our innocence would soon be ripped from us, leaving our souls bleeding. Three years passed. We were stationed in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. It was late at night and the third day of this, the bloodiest battle of the civil war. Nearly 35,000 men had died just in the previous two days. Now I was twenty and a skilled veteran. Somehow, a few of my closest friends and I had managed to survive. We were together in the in the federal 12th corps. It was late that night that we attacked rebel forces to regain abandoned trenches and thus reduce Lee's chances for collapsing the side as he tried to pierce the center of our line. The reb's had taken the trenches when we left for supplies and reinforcements. Most of the men in the 12th were skilled, distinguished, and experienced. The reb's were just boys. Fresh from their southern homes, the warmth of their beds was still in their bones. We thought to ourselves, "So they're sending in the youngins, huh? Well, let 'em send every last one. Don't matter none." Somewhere inside of me the seventeen year-old boy cried out. I stifled him. The trenches, having only been guarded by boys, were easily retaken in that seven-hour firefight. A dying friend had given me his revolver pistol and a large sack of ammo some time ago. This new weapon was scarcely used yet among the army, union or confederate. It worked well, both clean and efficient, by the standards of those times at least. I was honored to have it and put it to good use. Seventeen boys fell victim to my tactical advantage. I would later have...

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