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American literature - "I Had To Prove Them That I Can Defend Myself"

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"I Had To Prove Them That I Can Defend Myself" Benjamin Gehring American Literature and Composition, Period 6 Ms. D. Isaac April 2002 My name is Wilson Smith, son of Mike Smith and Amanda Smith. I grew up in Ohio with my older brothers Pat and John. Since my birth I haven't really been happy in this family. My parents and my brothers gave me a hard time. I always had to do the "dirty" jobs, and sometimes only my Mom defended me from the "Three Musketeers" as I called them. Everybody thought I was weak and not valuable. With the Battle at Chancellorsville, I wanted to prove to all, that I have a lot of courage and can defend my self. It was a great chance to join the 304th regiment to do so. I could see my self shooting some damn grays, coming home as an victor, and telling all my stories of war. As it turned out it was harder than imagined. ...read more.


However, I didn't even want to think about ending my life in this war. The order from General Hooker was clear, "Win the upcoming attack against the Confederates." Far back on the edge of the horizon, we could see the grays coming up with their perfunctory screaming and yelling. I was not sure to fight or to start running. All the others stayed, so I didn't even try to. Waiting in the very small but relatively safe trench wasn't the best place to make an escape. Every soldier would see me, and the General would keep me back. With the upcoming command "Line up," I got more and more scared thinking about getting wounded or shot. We started walking towards the vociferous grays. The walk got faster and faster. I stayed close to Henry, heck of a guy, who never thought about running. Even the day before, when he could have run, he "fought on the right side," he told me. I felt much safer next to him, than anyone else. ...read more.


My hands laggard towards the flag. At the same time I felt sublime, I felt bad and very sad for the dying man. I finally took the flag and held it with proud very tough and hard. At the same moment I took the flag, I prayed to God to bless the dead Confederate soldier, who was lying on the ground in the soft grass. As I finished my prayer, I closed his eyes and put both of his hands on his dead body. I thought about the soldier's family, and could only imagine how my family would accept the message if I had been killed. Getting ready to walk back to my regiment, I definitely felt the changes in my behavior from the beginning of the war to now. There was no one and nothing who could have possibly taken the flag away from me at that moment. The enemy's regiment was defeated. Only dead, wounded, and captured grays were left on the battlefield. I was standing of the top of the hill, holding the enemy's flag. I felt so proud. I couldn't wait to get home and tell the story to my hole family. They would be so proud of me. ...read more.

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