Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation

Cheyenne Rose Mathews

It’s dawn, the stench assaults my senses; fog lays thick around me, sparing my eyes the ghastly sight of battle ahead. I lie here thinking is this all worth it? Yes, families fight, but they reconcile. Neither commander sees the worth in pondering, they only see victory and un-foretold glory. “Yes,” they say, “death is inevitable and this is war! We must be victorious.” I know my time is short; most only live for a day with multiple gunshot wounds. I have killed, watched my comrades die, and carried too many young boys to their final resting place to believe this is right anymore. Gunshots ring continuously and I don’t know or care who the bullets are ripping through, every fatality tears my soul. A life is a life, I have learned that now. To which army will win this everlasting battle I do not know, but this war will have no victors, that I am sure. For when you fight with your brothers only one blood can be spilt. Mary was right, I chuckled to myself, when was she ever wrong. Finally the elusive words broke free and tumbled onto my envelope. I wanted to write something meaningful, but I knew it was a requirement now. So when the last period was in place and the train slowed I knew Sgt. Elijah Adams would be beaming with pride in his unmarked grave knowing his last words, inspired me. I breathed in; “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” Cheyenne Rose Mathews