• Bull Run (1st)
    Manassas, Virginia,
    July 21, 1861,
    The 90 days are almost up

    We had marched for what and seemed like years when came to a town called Manassas. Our Commanding officer Colonel Corcoran said. “Keep and eye out for rebels.” I looked to my older brother Ryan with my tired eyes. He doesn’t notice me looking at him. I put my hand in my haver sack and pulled out the last piece of hard tack and took a bite out of it.

    We were just outside the town when a artillery team rode by. The sound of artillery filled the air. We had just entered the battlefield. Artillery shells exploded everywhere. Men fell on both sides of the militia. The 1st New York Regiment (Fire Zouaves. Made up of mostly New York firemen.) had come up along side us. I was scared to death when I heard the awful yell came from the rebel lines.

    We stopped marching and loaded our weapons and the rebel line moved slowly towards us. Ryan was struggling with loading his rifle, but Father taught me how to use a shotgun. My 58. caliber rifle was like the shotgun but it had no flint to fire the gun, it had a percussion cap. I had loaded my rifle when the order to fire came. I shot. I didn’t care if I hit a man or not, I just did as I was told.

    The rebels were now charging, and we new recruits of this Militia were scared to see them coming to us at a fast pace. Our line fell apart. I turned an ran when the order to retreat came.

    I look behind me to see Ryan running one minute, then to see him be blown in half. I stopped to look at my dead brother. His lower half was gone and an arm was missing. His face was burnt and the blood came gushing out. A soldier from my Militia, a corporal can up behind me and told me to leave him and keep moving (this is the same corporal Erin will have a crush on soon). I felt like crying but knew now wasn’t the time to cry.

    We were in camp that night, talk about the battle filled the air. I was standing at a campfire that a sergeant made, when the corporal came up behind me. “That was the worst fight I have every seen.” He said. I look to him with tear full eyes. “Come with me to my tent.” He said. I followed him to his tent.

    I entered his tent. “set up your gear here.” He said. I nodded. I take out my cot of my pack and set it up. “You not a man, are you?” The corporal asked out of the blue. I shook my head no. He sighs. “When we got back to New York, stay home, do not rejoin.” The corporal said. “Look I care for women; I think you are the bravest women I have ever met but stay home.” He said. I blushed, and then I knew what he meant and I felt the same. At least i think I knew what he meant.