• Intro.
    New York City,
    May, 1861,
    Month after Fort Sumter

    Hello, my name Erin O’Neil. I live in New York City but I came over from Dublin Ireland. I am 16. I live with my Father and older brother Ryan. I am a tom boy, so I have earned the name of Aaron from my brother’s friends. The civil war had just broken out and New York is in need of new recruits for her armies. Father lets Ryan join but says my place is home, and the army wouldn’t let me in anyways. So this afternoon I ran from home to join my brother’s militia, The 69th New York State Volunteer Militia.

    “Name?” The recruiter asked. “Aaron O’Neil.” I respond. “Age?” The recruiter asked. “18 sir.” I lied. I was using my best boy voice as I could. The recruiter recorded my height, eye color, hair color and the medical report. “Go to the next room and get your uniform and supplies on and wait with the other men.” I nodded and walked into the next room. I found my size, got on the blue wool uniform with red frogging and a green sash that wraps around my girlish waist under my belt, and went to the next room and waited with the other men to be given orders.

    I waited for what felt like 2 hours and then the recruiter comes in and gives us our orders. We are to go home and get some rest because we march for Virginia tomorrow at noon and we were to from up at this building. “But I can’t go home I just ran from there.” I thought to myself. I know that my brother is at Central Park camping, so I go there, wear my uniform.

    I got to Central Park and a sentry wants me to state my business. “I am looking for Ryan O’Neil.” I said. “You’re looking at him.” The sentry said. “’Ello brother.” I said as I take off my kepi. “Erin!?" Ryan said surprised. “I ran away from home and join the 69th. Can I tent with you?” I asked. Ryan sighs. “Fine, but when the 90 days is up you go home and tell dad what you did.” He said. I sighed. Ryan points to his tent (The first one). I walked to his tent and set up my cot and lie down and rest.

    The morning came fast and soon it was afternoon, we knock down camp and marched to the building. I had finished my morning ration and lunch rations weren’t for another hour or so. We wait for men to file in and did roll call, then we were off to Virginia.