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Chapter 1-The 1770s and the Revolutionary War

March 6, 1770

Tensions are growing ever higher. Yesterday, British soldiers fired on a group of

unarmed Colinists killing and wounding five. I fear war is imminent. Being a veteran of

the French and Indian War, I shall be forced to join the effort. I am still weak from the

wounds I received in that conflict. I do not think I would last long. My children will not

grow up not knowing who I am!

Febuary 16, 1774

The colinists are growing more defiant every day. In response to the Tea Act, The

Sons of Liberty disguised themselves as Indians and raided tea ships in the night. The

boxes of tea were then thrown into the bay. Parliment responded by passing, as we like to

call them, The Intolerable Acts. They closed the port here in Boston until the tea is paid

for. Also, the government here in Massachusetts has been severely restricted. The

governor has all the power to appoint officials. Town meetings are not allowed and

British soldiers may go where they please.

January 6, 1775

War draws closer every day. Members of the New England militia have begun

training and are building up supplies. In September, a Continental Congess convened.

Some fifty-six delegates met in Philadelphia to establish a boycott of British good unless

the Intolerable Acts were repealed. Parliment denied a bill that would have repealed the


April 20, 1775

It has finally come. Yesterday morning the British were driven back from

Lexington and Concord. They are on retreat towards Boston. I fear I must evacuate my

family for their saftey. I will move them North where my wife will care for the children. I

am going to Cambridge to enlist.

Febuary 26, 1776

Dear Elizabeth,

We are being led by General George Washington, a military hero from the French

and Indian War. Although it will be tough, we know we can hold our own against the

British after the militia stood firm at The Battle of Bunker Hill. Things are on the upside

for us. Late last fall, Fort Ticonderoga in Northern New York was captured by Ethan

Allen and a band of Patriots. As for us, we stood atop Dorchester Heights and

bombarded Boston. The British, now under the command of Thomas Gage, retreated

with about one thousand Loyalists.

March 2, 1776

Dear Elizabeth,

The other day a pamphlet was circulating around the men. It was Common Sense,

by Thomas Paine. He argues that The American Colonies deserve independence, which is

the only remedy. The longer this is delayed, the harder it will be to win the war. That

alone will make an American union possibe. He calls the King a Royal Brute arguing that

all monarchies are corrupt. A particular quote on America?s destined independence:

?Every thing that is right or reasonable pleads for separation. The blood of the

slain….cries , Tis time to part?

I strongly urge you to purchase a copy of this pamphlet. It gives meaning to the war I am


June 17, 1776

Dear Elizabeth,

Life is tough. We are either without or in need of proper guns, horses,

ammunition, shoes, clothes, tents, and food. The money we have ids worthless so we are

unable to buy more supplies. Early in April we attempted to hold Manhatten and Long

Island. As it was assumed the British arrived in New York shortly after but in much larger

numbers than we anticipated. With the help of the Hessians, the British took this land and

we were forced to retreat to New Jersey.

July 9, 1776

Dear Elizabeth,

Five days ago, the Congress adopted a Declaration of Independence. It declares

the colonies to be free and independent states. It was put together by a group of

America?s finest representitives including Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas

Jefferson, who is rumored to be the primary author. A particularily striking part of this is;

?We hold these truths to be self-evedident; that all men are created equal;that they are

endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty,

and the pursuit of happiness.?

Unfortunately, I must do battle before one of those will come true. I can not pursue

happiness if this nation is not free and I am not with you. I look forward to the day when

we are all able to be a family again.

January 3, 1776

Dear Elizabeth,

It has been a rather cold winter. We are in New Jersey, camped south of the

Hessians. Our spirits are low. The Army is dwindlig fast. What was once a 20,000 man

army is now just a few thousand. However, we are riding the heels of two victories in a

row. The first one was at Trenton, where we caught the sleeping Hessians after having

rowed across the ice-clogged Deleware. Here we acquired much needed supplies

uncluding guns and ammunition. A few days ago we had another victory, this time at


November 7, 1777

Dear Elizabeth,

The French have agreed to support our effort for Independence. This comes after

the victory of Horatio Gates and his men over British General Burgoyne at the Battle of

Saratoga. General Howe was no where in sight. He is reportedly already encemped in

Philadelphia for the winter after his victory there.

Febuary 28, 1778

Dear Elizabeth,

It has been a brutally harsh winter here in Valley Forge. Our situatio here is bleak.

While the British are spending the Winter in Philadelphia, we are stuck here in a makeshift

city. There is a house, where Washington and his men stay, a few cabins, and many tents.

However, there is reason for hope. Baron Von Steuben, a professional soldier and

drillmaster from Germany, and Marquis De Lafayette, a nobleman from France, are hard

at work to turn this bunch into an army.

January 27, 1780

Dear Elizabeth,

It looks like the war will not last much longer. A little more than a year ago,

Savannah was taken. Earlier in the month Charlestown was captured. We are headed

south to stop Cornwallis and help newly appointed general, Nathaneal Greene. However,

Greene, with help from the Cherokee Indians, has pushed Cornwallis to retreat in

Yorktown, Virginia. A French fleet is on its way and we should have the British pinned

by the end of next year. Virginia is a beutiful area and I hope I can convince you and the

children to move down here when the war does finally end. I look forward to seeing you


Chapter 2-The 1860s and the Cival War

November 28, 1860

The unthinkable has happened, Abraham Lincoln was elected President. He is

against everyting that this country stands for. The institution of slavery will not last much

longer. Although owners have tried to prevent slaves from hearing the news, word still

got around. They grow more confident everyday. I fear they will grow rebelious leading

to the end of the way of life as the south knows it.. Lincoln?s election leaves only one

choice, secession.

March 2, 1861

Two months after South Carolina seceded, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi,

Louisiana, and Texas followed. They formed the Confederate States of America, electing

Jefferson Davis as the President and Alexander Stephens as the Vice President. Slavery is

a necessity that must be protected. It is the business of the South. War now seems

inevitable. The South will prevail!

April 14, 1861

War has begun. After the Union President decided to supply Union soldiers

occupying Confederate land, Confederate soldiers attacked Fort Sumter. It was a glorious

begining to the war. After a day of fighting, Confedarates captured the fort. This is a

matter that will be over in weeks. Those Yankees stand no chance against Dixie!

May 5, 1861

My Dearest Susana,

The Confederacy has stood their ground against the North. Two weeks

afterVirginia voted to join the Confederacy thcapital was set up in Richmond. The south

has a clear advantage. Our generals and soldiers are far too superior for the likes of

General Mclellan and company. The Confederacy will be lead by the great and

courageous Robert E. Lee. I have decided to sign up for the glorious cause of defending

the South from the agressors in the North.

July 23, 1861

My Dearest Susana,

Once again the Confederacy has proved victorious. Under the command of

General ?Stonewall? Jackson we stood strong against the Union. Outnumbered, we left

the Union Soldiers running scared and discouraged. The spirit of the North has been

broken. Indeed, this war will be over in a matter of months. I will be home to see you,

little Sara, and Anthony Jr. before you can blink. Til? we see each other again.

March 3, 1862

My Dearest Susana,

It now appears that the war will last much longer. We were just informed that

Nashville was captured. This comes as a great shock to us. We are beaten and broken.

The vast Union marches ever closer to Richmond. I am confident, however, that the

South will prevail.

April 26, 1862

My Dearest Susana,

More bad news comes on the heels of a Confederate loss at Shiloh. General

Johnston tried to suprise Union General U.S. Grant at Pittsburg Landing. We have been

told that it is some of the fiercest fighting yet. The fighting was a stalemate after the first

day. Exhausted, the soldiers camped out for the night. During the night, fresh Union

soldiers arrived by boat and attacked the sleeping Confederates at dawn. Although the

Union suffeered heavy losses the Confederates were cought off gaurd and forced to

retreat. New Orleans was captured a few days ago. Along with it, goes the control of the

Mississippi River.

June 4, 1862

My Dearest Susana,

I am deeply troubled by the news of Anthony?s illness. I wish I could be there to

care for him. I have found a new leisure. During our spare time the boys and I play this

game called baseball. It apparently has developed from the British game, cricket. The

main equipment is a bat and a ball. The pitcher throws the ball to the batter to try to hit.

If the batter hits it he then funs the bases. This game does require a bit of strategy,

however. The batter running the bags can be forced out if he has no other options or he

can be tagged out. If the runner does make around these four bases back to home they

score a point, or run. There are nine innings each team will receive a chance to bat and

pitch during one of these innings. At the end of the game the team with the most runs


September 1, 1862

It appears that the tide is turning. Two months ago, under th command of General

Lee, we met up with Union General McClellan outside of Richmond. Although we

suffered heavy losses, General McClellan was kept from capturing Richmond and forced

to retreat. Last week we had yet another victory at Bull Run. We are now just outside

Washingto D.C., marching straight to the White House!

September 19, 1862

General Lee made the decision to invade the North to gain the help of Britain and

France. We were stopped at Antietam Creek near Sharpsburg, Mississippi by McClellan.

The horror I saw that day will last a lifetime. Men to the both sides of me were being shot

down. I was lucky to escape with my life that day. The battefield was stained red. This a

dark period of time for the Confederacy. My brothers are being struck down every day.

November 16, 1863

My Dearest Susana,

By now you have no doubt heard of that Lincoln?s intention to free the slaves of

the Confederacy effective January 1, 1863. He called it the Emancipation Proclamation.

It is not in his authority to issue such a document. Why did he not free slaves in the

North? Maybe it is because he knows it serves a purpose.

May 13, 1863

My Dearest Susana,

Forget Lincoln?s Proclamation! I remain confident that when we are victorious it

will be overturned. We deposed of two more Generals in the Battles of Fredricksburg and

Chencellorsville. However, we are starving and are deperately in need of supplies.

General Lee has once again decided to invade the North. We are curently headed to

Pennsylvania. I have heard that it is not much better in Richmond. I received word that

Anthony died of numonia. I sincerely regret not being there for him. I have been too

worried about keeping the Confederacy intact, I forgot about you at home. I may have to

soon desert my country in order to care for you and Sara.

July 6, 1863

My Dearest Susana,

By the time you receive this I will be within hours of home. The Battle of

Gettysburg began the first by a chance encounter. It was a bloody stalemate for two days.

Then, George Pickett led an assault on the Union center at Cemetary Ridge. In less than a

hour every man was cut down. I have never seen so much bloodshed. We just received

word that General Grant captured Vicksburg which was the last stronghold on the

Mississippi River. We are now split in two. The war will soon be over. I am headed

home with my head bowed in shame. The Confederacy has been sentenced to death.

September 29, 1864

It has now been over a year since I returned home. Richmond is still in Cofederate

hands. The Confederacy is barely alive. Earlier this month, Union General Tecumseh

Sherman captured Atlanta. He is destroying everything in his way. Every factory, field,

animal, and railroad in his way was completely destroyed. Relatives in Georgia say the

stench is unbearable. It is a matter of months before he reaches the coast splitting the

Confederacy yet again.

April 13, 1865

Four days ago General Lee surrendered. After Sherman captured Savanah in

December, he headed north. General Grant soon cut off the rail lines to Richmond.

Outnumbered two to one, Lee abandoned Richmond and headed to the hills. He was soon

trapped and forced to surrender. He surrendured at the Appotomax Courthouse.

April 15, 1865

That Lincoln is dead He was shot while in attending a play at Forbes Theatre. It

was by a local actor by the name of John Wilkes Booth. With his death goes the

possibility for a civilzed return to the Union. It now look as if it will be long road ahead.

With the release of the slaves, goes the southern way of life. I have heard of this

Homestead Act promising free land to any family head as long as they are 21. The only

conditions are that the land be kept for five years and improvements are made to it. I have

decided to take my family and move to Iowa.

Febuary 25, 1867

I recently read a story called Great Expectations. It is the story of an orphan bot

named Pip and his journey through life. The story begins as Pip is living with his sister.

One day Pip encounters a convict. He gives the man som food and goes on his way.

Later on he meets a young girl about his age, named Estella. He is instantly atracted to

her. He feels inferior to her and becomes intent on being a gentleman. Years later he

discovers that he has a benefactor that will pay his way through life. He then travels

around and becomes educated. During this time he again sees Estella, whom he still in

love with. Later he discovers that his benefactor was the convict he encountered as a

youth. He becomes content with the fact that he will never have Estella, until one day,

years later, he joins up with her and leaves with her hand in hand. He has learned the

meaning of friendship and love and is a better person for it. I hope that my children will

hav as muuch a chance for success as Pip did.

August 29, 1869

Earlier in the year the Trans-Continental Railroad was completed, liking Omaha,

Nebraska to Sacremento, California. I have thought about moving out there. My farming

is going pretty good but I hear nothing but stories of success from there. My life here is

lonly but I am content. Neighbors are miles away but we often get together at church or

county fairs to socialize.

Chapter 3-The Teens and the First World War

January 26,1910

I recently read The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells. It is an incredible tale of

phycological horror. The man discovers how to make himself invisible, only to later

discover he cannot reverse this. He goes mad with this gift and eventually has a

breakdown and goes on a murderous rampage. It is one of the best books I have ever


March 27, 1912

My father and I have decided to take our wives to England in order to come home

on the most luxurious liner ever to sail the seas, The Titanic. We are sailing first class.

My gradfather became rich out in Montana after traveling there in late 1875. He started

an extremely successful cattle company, which is still run by the family.

June 1, 1912

The whole world has by now heard of the great disaster of the Titanic. It struck an

Iceberg on the night of April 14, 1912. There were many lives lost, the likes of which I

hope I never see again. I lost my parents. My wife was on one of the first few lifeboats.

Mot mother was offered a seat on that boat, which she refused to be with father.

December 20, 1912

Well the Republicans are finally out of office. Last month Woodrow Wilson was

elected President by an extremely wide margin in both the electoral college and the

popular vote. Also the Democrats are already controlling the Senate and House of

Representitives. I am looking forward in great anticipation to the inauguration of

President Elect Wilson.

January 16, 1914

I have just recently purchased one of Henry Fords new Model T automobiles.

They are incredible. He found a way to mass produce these automobiles which will make

them cheap and affordable. It is a new way to spend my leisure. Life seems to have much

more freedom now. The automobile is no longer a luxery but an necessity.

August 13, 1914

After a time of peace, there is once again war in Europe. After the death of Franz

Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian throne, Austria, along with Germany, declared war on

Serbia. Russia pledged to help Serbia and France pledged to help Russia. Most of the

other countries in Europe sided with the Allies, France and Russia, and The Ottoman

Empire and Bulgaria sided withe The Central Powers, Germany and Austria. Great

Britain was brought into the war with the German invasion of Belgium. The Britains

claim that the war will be over before the end of the year. For now, President Wilson has

pledged to stay out of the war.

April 10, 1917

Because the Germans violated the Sussex Pledge and the Zimmerman note was

made public, The US declared war on Germany. The Germans sunk a British ship, the

Lusitania, which had American aboard. They signed the Sussex pledge promising to not

sink merchant ships without warning and saving human lives. After violation of the

pledge, President Wilson broke off diplomatic ties with Germany. In March, the

Zimmerman note was made public, causing a wave of anti-German feeling. Several more

American merchant ships were sunk before President Wilson went to Congress asking for

a declaration of war on April 2. Four days later Congress voted to go to war. It is the

feeling of President Wilson and this country that this will be the war to end all wars.

May 15, 1917

The Selective Service Act is reqiuring all men between the ages of 21 and 30 to register

for military service. They are going to have a draft to choose those who go to war. It is

not necessary. Along with a group of friends, I have volunteered for the army. We are to

report to training camp in September.

June 15, 1918

Dear Betty-Jean

I have now been in France for three months. I arrived in March and received word

that after the Bolshevik Revolution in November, Russia will no longer be fighting. With

the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk between Russia and Germany, the Germans

could now concentrate on the Western front. With the help of 120,000 in April, we

helped stop the German advance at Chateau-Thierry, some 50 mile outside of Paris.

October 19, 1918

Dear Betty-Jean

The German lines have begun to crumble. We are pushing toward the German rail

lines near Sedan to cut off the supply of German troops. Unfortunately to do this we must

go into the Argnne Forest which is full of dense woods, deep ravines, and uncut barbed

wire. We have not gotten any rest in the last month. We do nothing but march all night

and fight all day. The American infantrymen are responsible for the turnaround. We are


November 11, 1918

Dear Betty-Jean

You are no doubt hearing right now that the war is over. The peace treaty has

been signed. On November 7, we finally captured Sedan. The next day the Germans

asked for armistice. I am extatic. I don?t know if it has sunk in yet. No longer willl we

have to march through the rain and cold and listen to the sonds of exploding artillary and

wonder if it is us next. I am looking forward to seeing you again. It has been way too

long. I will be home soon.

July 29, 1919

I have been home for a while now. Life is begining to return to normal.

Yesterday, the war officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. The treaty

will cripple Germany. They are being stripped of their provinces and colonies. Their army

and navy are being vastly reduced. They are also being forced to pay reparations(they

would eventually total 33 billion). President Wilsons Fourteen Points were not agreed to

unfortunately. He did, however, get his League of Nations established. The League of

Nations proposal is part on the Treaty of Versailles, which has yet to pass the Senate.

January 19, 1920

I am in deep fear of a communist revolt. After the Bolshevik Revolution there

have been uprisings in Germany and Hungary. Two days ago, Attorney General Mitchell

Palmer ordered the arrest of 5,000 suspected communists. The American Cival Liberties

Union was formed to provide a defense to those who were jailed. Despite this the ?Red

Scare? continues. Over 200,000 Americans signed up to look for the ?Red Mennace? in

their neighborhoods. Although the communists are a threat, this is this the real problem in

this nation.

Novembver 13, 1920

The Republicans have regained the White House with the victory of Warren G.

Harding and Calvin Coolidge. It was by an unprecedneted majority. Harding is promising

a return to normalcy. He is also going back to the policy of isolationism. It?s 100%

Americanism, as they put it.


Decades Project Bibliography

Nevins, Allan, and Commager, Henry Steele. A Pocket History of the United States:

Ninth Edition. New York: First Pocket Books, 1992.

DiBacco, Thomas V., Mason, Lorna C., and Appy, Christian G. History of the United

States. Boston: Houghton Miffin, 1995.

Microsoft Encarta ?97 Encycloppedia. CD-ROM. Microsoft, 1997

Wallbank, Walter T., et al. Civilazation Past & Present: Eith Edition. New York:

HarperCollins College Publishers, 1996.

David Perdue?s Cherles Dickens Homepage. Online. Internet. Available HTTP:


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