It had been a bright, early summer morning. My regiment had just finished our round of daily drills and was in a marching formation heading north. We were sent orders to help a near-by Union regiment push back attacking Confederate soldiers. It would have been the first time we had been in action in three months. My legs were tiring from the many, endless miles I had marched over the past several months. But I ignored the soreness in my limbs and marched on. "Left, right, left, right, left!" yelled my commander. We were getting close. The smell of gunpowder was heavily saturated in the air. I scrunched my nose at the ghastly smell. The smell of death. My regiment march out of the thick surrounding forest, greeted by a gruesome sight. Dead soldiers everywhere; Union and Confederate alike. I had seen the dreadful carnage in front of Marye's Hill at Fredericksburg…But I had seen nothing to exceed this. It was not war; it was murder. I looked around me, the shock of the scene in front of me settling in. This was war. This was dying for freedom, dying for your country. Everywhere bodies lay. Blood, dirt, and gunpowder littered the ground. We laid down our rifles and hats. There was a brief moment of silence, every soldier and officer holding his breath. It really was a horrid sight to behold. As far as my eyes could see, the field was scattered with the remains of the soldiers. Blood. There was blood everywhere. The terrible, graphic, visions of my first battle began playing in my mind's eye. I could suddenly hear the cannons firing; the giant metal balls whistling pass my ears. The guns being reloaded again and again. The pained cries of the soldiers being stabbed by swords and bayonets. All of it. The final blow was reliving my best friend, Jacob, dying right in front of me. Just a couple hours before, we had been sitting around a camp fire laughing about something forgotten and unimportant. It had all happened so fast. Jacob had been on front line of the march formation. He had been doing well. He was one of the best when it came to loading and reloading his gun quickly. But it hadn't been enough. Suddenly, a barrage of bullets came at my regiment from the Confederates without any warning. Jacob tried to run. Two bullets to the right shoulder, one to the right hand. "JACOB!" I remember screaming. Jacob fell to the ground, yelling and screaming insanities. The world seemed to be in slow motion for the briefest moment. "Onward men, onward!" My captain had ordered. The rest of the battle was a haze. I all can really recall was getting grazed by a bullet in my abdomen. It hurt like hell, having my flesh ripped clean off. I wasn't the only one wounded. My regiment had been heavily damaged and we suffered many losses and causalities. I nervously went searching for Jacob. I looked among the dead, but, thankfully, he wasn't there. I continued my search fruitlessly for the next hour, until the pain in my side had become unbearable. I was taken to a medic tent. It smelled of blood, sweat, and death. I heard a pained scream. The voice sounded familiar. "JACOB? JACOB, ARE YOU HERE?" I shouted. "Daniel, is that you?" asked the feeble voice. "Yeah, it's me, Jacob! Thank the good Lord your alive!" I said, so relieved that I had started crying. "Danny, they're gonna cut it off! My arm!" He yelled through the curtain. "I don't want them to cut it, Danny. I don't want them too." He sobbed. I stared at the ground in disbelief. I limped over to Jacob's cot. He would need me. My own wound would have to wait. I looked at his arm in shock. It was blistered, bloody, and infected. There was no other alternative. It would have to be amputated. The surgeon came in the tent with a couple medic trainees, ready to begin. Jacob began hyperventilating. The medic trainees held Jacob down while the doctor began making the incision. They didn't even give Jacob morphine to ease the pain. Jacob kept screaming and sobbing, begging that they stop, begging the good Lord to make it stop. I could hardly stand it, seeing him in such pain. I left the tent to take a breather. I could still hear him yell. When I came back inside, the deed had been done. The infected arm had been taken off and burned. Jacob's arm was all bandaged up, but the crimson still covered the floor. Jacob stared at the stump of an arm in astonishment. "I can still feel my hand, Danny," he whispered. "My mind tells it to move, but it doesn't cause it's gone." Jacob was too weak to even eat. He fell asleep, but he never woke up. I was keeping watch when he died. His breathing become further and further in between. I tried to wake him up, but it was too late. The Colonel found me in the corner of the medic tent the next morning, holding onto Jacob's body and crying. He was buried with the other fallen soldiers. And then we packed up camp and marched on, like always. Business as usually. I looked back at the grave of my best friend, trying to memorize the spot his remains were. I would have to show his ma and sister where their son and brother lay. I gazed at the lifeless faces of the soldiers, their mouths hanging open and empty eyes staring up at the sky. One of the dead Confederates looked like Jacob. Would this senseless war ever end?