Author: Copperpelt PM
A nation is on the verge of Civil War, pitting the North and South against each other. Ideals are different on both sides, creating only more controversy and bringing them closer to a confrontation. But if two people are able to put their differences aside amidst the fighting, then can others do the same as well? Story based off the song Southern Hymn by Samuel Hazo. R&R PLEASE!Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Romance - Shun K. & Alice G. - Chapters: 57 - Words: 155,032 - Reviews: 157 - Favs: 17 - Follows: 15 - Updated: 01-28-13 - Published: 07-01-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8275151
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The sudden blaring of the bugle, startling the others in my tent and jolting myself awake as well. Knowing that it was all too early for this to be a breakfast call, I stepped outside of the tent and looked around. Others, curious like me, had gotten up as well and asked one another if they knew what was going on.
I noticed Joe was jogging towards my direction. "Hey, Shun, you have any idea as to what's happening?" he asked once he got within earshot of me. I shook my head, just as lost as him and every other soldier in the camp. The bugle sounded a couple more times, most likely to tell still-sleeping soldiers that they had to get up.
Dan walked up to Joe and I, and before he could even ask, I told him, "No, I don't know what's going on. So don't even ask." He stared at me for a moment and mumbled under his breath, "Grouch." I ignored his comment, not caring for whatever it was he had to say.
It was just Dan being Dan, after all. Down towards the gathering area, I noticed somebody on horseback riding in. When he didn't leave the spot, I took it as a sign telling us to go to them. Other soldiers seemed to have caught this hint as well, and soon we were all making our ways towards the area.
Thanks to the early morning fog, I couldn't see who the person was. It couldn't be the messenger; they wouldn't sound a bugle for his arrival. Whoever it was, was somebody who was either important, or had something important to say to us. Perhaps both.
As we got closer, I saw who it was; General Grant. Whispers and murmers erupted around me. The horse moved around underneath him, but with one quick tug on the reigns, he calmed the animal down. McDowell then popped up beside Grant and his horse.
With a quick clearing of his throat, he said, "General Grant is here to give you all some very important information. So, I'll let him take it from here." McDowell stepped out of the way, as if giving the floor to Grant. The General scanned over us, and I wondered how we must have looked to him.
Inexperienced soldiers that could have fallen asleep right where they were standing. He then straightened up on the horse and said, "I'm sorry to interupt your sleep, but this is urgent and couldn't wait till later in the day." He paused for a minute to make sure that everyone had heard him.
Once he was sure that his words hadn't slipped past anyone, he continued. "But I need soldiers. I am planning an attack in Tennessee and need troops to take with me." He didn't need to repeat those words. Hearing that we were about to be thrown into battle once more, had gathering most everyone's attention.
I quickly glanced around and saw that Dan didn't seem all that surprised about this. Then again, it was only a matter of time before we were forced to fight once more. Joe on the other hand, looked like he had on the first day we met him; scared out of his mind, and on the verge of being sick.
"We don't have enough room to take all of the troops at once, so will the ones who have the most battle experience please go and gather your things and depart to the train station," Grant said flatly. There was hardly any emotion behind his voice.
Had the war taken its toll on him, or was he just trying to do this for us? Did it really matter either way? Around me, the soldiers that had just returned from their recent battles, headed off towards their tents. Grant then told the rest of us, "Go ahead and gather your things. Once the second train arrives here, then you're all off to the battle site."
He then popped the horse's reigns, making the animal gallop off somewhere else. After that, I made my way over to Dan and Joe, and for a moment, I thought that we would have to give Joe a sedative to calm him down. Dan popped him upside his head and told him, "Relax, dude. We're still going to make sure that you don't die."
Joe glared at the brunette, then sighed. "I know, but it's still something I'm not going to get used to. Not after seeing all the kinds of things that happened back at Bull Run." I understood what he was talking about. The images of that battle, still haunted my mind every once in a while.
Already, I heard the first train leaving its station, and I knew that ours couldn't be that far behind. I told my two friends, "We better hurry and get our stuff together." They nodded their heads and left for their tents.
As I made my way towards mine, I suddenly felt as if any of us would ever have another place to call 'home' again. As much as we had been packing and moving around, no place was permanent for us, and it had been foolish to think that we would stay at this camp for the remainder of the war.
I was setting on a bench in town, watching carriages roll past me along the dirt roads. My eyes kept wandering around; they stopped and stared at the place where I met up with Shun for the dance, and then the meeting hall where the ball had taken place, and other places as well.
But those two places were the ones I looked at the most. I wonder how he's doing, I thought to myself. It had been several months since I spoke or saw him; my life had been so messed up after that night, that I hadn't actually thought that much about Shun.
Now that I was back in the town, the site of those good memories, I couldn't help but remember him now. I turned and looked towards the direction of where the Union camp was. Were they still there, or had the soldiers moved on to somewhere else? What if they had?
Then what would I do? Move on, I guess. But a part of me didn't want to move on. I stood up from the bench, and my thoughts were disrupted by somebody shouting at me. "Alice! Hey, Alice!" I turned around and saw Runo standing next to a waving Julie.
They were both standing in front of the general store that Billy used to work in before he went off for the war. My mind then wandered over to how Billy was holding up. As far as I knew, Julie was still getting letters from him, so I assumed he was still alive and well.
I walked over to the two girls and smiled. "Hey, guys. What's up?" I asked. Runo pointed to the store and said, "Julie and I were picking some things up for Murucho." I stared in confusion and asked, "Why didn't he just ask me to go get his stuff since I was going to be in town all day? I wouldn't have minded it."
Julie waved her hand nonchalantly and said, "He didn't want to trouble you since you've been going through a lot lately." I appreciated Murucho's kindness, but running a quick errand for him wasn't a problem for me. If anything, it would have gotten my mind off of some things. "Alright, I guess," I muttered under my breath.
Julie and Runo went in the store, leaving me standing outside. I watched through the glass window as they walked around and got Murucho what he needed. Then, I glanced around and saw that the traffic on the streets had cleared up. Seeing the thinning out of people as an opportunity, I snuck off towards the woods and retraced my steps back to the Union camp.
I stuffed the last of my things into my duffle bag, wishing that this was the last time I would ever have to pack this thing. But something told me, it wasn't. Doing a double check of the things that I needed to take with me, I left the tent when I was sure that I had everything.
At all of the tents around the camp, soldiers were finishing up their packing and waiting around for the train to show up and take us off to another battle. My mind pondered what this one would be like. Worse? Better? Less bloody? More bloody?
A multitude of questions like that bombarded my thoughts, until my eyes caught a glimpse of somebody running through the trees at the edge of camp. My curiosity stirred, and I set my bag down as I carefully made my way over to where I saw the figure run by.
I craned my neck and looked around each tree that I passed by, thinking that I'd see the person behind it. I finally got to one tree, and had two brown eyes staring at me. Startled by the sudden appearance of a person, I stepped back until my mind finally reminded me as to who I was looking at.
"Alice?" I asked stupidly. She smiled and said, "Hey. I see you found me." I started to look around and pushed back into the woods so she'd be out of sight. This is just like when she showed up the first time. Her smile vanished when she asked, "What's the deal with the pushing?"
The fact that she was at a Union army camp, apparently still hadn't crossed her mind. I didn't want to take any chances and let her been seen, because there was no telling what somebody would do if they did see her. "I thought I told you that you couldn't be here," I whispered sternly.
The innocent look she gave me, made me feel like I was scolding a little kid. "I know," she said softly. "I just wanted to talk with you. Things have been crazy for a while, and-" I cut her off before she could finish her sentence. "You need to go back home," I told her, trying to sound gentle but stern at the same time.
I was about to leave off for another battle, and that meant leaving her behind as well. I couldn't afford to get anymore involved with her than I was. "Why?" she asked, a spark of defiance in her voice. What a stubborn one she could be. I placed a hand on her shoulder and told her truthfully, "You have to go because this whole camp is going to be empty in a few hours. We're leaving off for another battle, and there won't be anyone left here."
Her eyes showed no more defiance, but rather disbelief and shock. This was why I was hoping to avoid, I thought to myself. Why did she have to come here today? Why not yesterday when we knew nothing about our upcoming battle, or after we left?
Back in the camp, I heard McDowell shouting, "Hurry up and finish packing! The train is going to be here in about twenty minutes!" I turned back to Alice and said quickly, "I have to go, and you should too." I then turned around and hurried back to the camp.
I wasn't sure what to think. All I did, was stand there, trying to figure out how to take in all of this news. The one person that had actually made me somewhat happy, was going off to a battle. As if things weren't bad enough for me, now this was coming to an end.
Had there even been anything there from the start? There had to have been. There just had too. So much had started to slip from my grasp, and I would be damned if I was going to let anything else elude me. I glanced up and looked at the camp.
It was getting emptier by the minute, and out in the distance, I heard the train blowing its whistle. A sigh escaped my lips. I may not have wanted anything else to get away from me, but what could I do to stop it? There was no way that I could stop a war, even if I had the power needed for it.
A soldier stepped out of a tent, and laid out his folded, blue and gold uniform on a cut tree stump. He then went back into his tent, and an idea formed up in my mind. I ducked behind trees and shrubs as I made my way over to the tent.
The soldier stepped out again, and set something else by the uniform before going back into the tent. The minute he went back inside, I dashed out of the woods and snatched up the uniform. And as fast as I had run out there, I retreated back into the woods.
Quickly, I slipped out of my dress and into the uniform, thankful that it was big enough for me. After a little work, I had finally found a way to tuck all of my hair into the hat. The soldier whose uniform I took, walked out of his tent and stared at where it had been.
He then began to look around frantically, but he'd never find his uniform again. I slipped out of the forest and walked through the camp. "Hey! What are you doing here!" a voice shouted at me. I froze in my tracks, my heart racing faster than it ever had.
I'm caught. I'm caught. A man then walked up to me and said, "You need to hurry up and get on that train, soldier." I thought I was about to faint after he said that. My cover hadn't been exposed. "Yes, sir," I said quickly and followed some other soldiers towards the train station that I had walked past a few months ago.
I remembered how I thought that I'd get on that train one day and get out of this town, go somewhere new. And I was doing it now. I borded the train and took a seat by myself in the front of the car. I glanced at the back of the car and saw Shun sitting next to a brunette towards the back. The train whistle blew, and the wheels started to turn.
yup. i skipped a month. but i can get away with that kind of stuff. :p i was running out of ideas for filler chapters anyway. o.o sorry for not uploading yesterday. i had to visit my grandmother after school and then went out to eat with a friend of my dad's and we didnt get home till like, 11 at night. -.- thank heavens for the weekend though. i havent even been in school for a full week and im already tired of it. -.-'' read, review, and other things. ~Copperpelt~