1898: The War among beliefs

Cesiah Hernandez, guest writer

July 26, 1898. How did I get here? Darkness surrounds me on all sides. Small footsteps of the disgusting rodents echo in my mind as I huddle closer to the corner of which I had decided is the safest place in this room. I don’t know how long it’s been since I’ve felt the sweet heat of the sun or the golden brightness of light. Darkness has been my only companion in this time of utter solitude and desperation. From the outside, voices can be heard, they are saying that my time is coming and I’ll soon be gone. Yet I welcome my end with open arms and a sad soul for those I leave behind. How did I get here? The possibilities of how my life could’ve ended replay through my mind like an ongoing movie, black and white just like the simplicity of the life I once lived. I always thought my life was meant for greater adventures,  my father always told me so. “ The further we stray from the truth, the more we persecute those who speak it”. My father  would always tell me this quote, “Persecution is the compliment paid by a threatened lie to a conquering truth (Avarbuch).” They persecuted my truth and took me down with it. My battle barely lasted long enough to save those I came to rescue. My last goodbye, dear future me.




Life in Valencia, Spain was simple and peaceful. Men did their job to bring food to the table while the women decorated the table with plates, cleaned the house, and took care of the children. Before I get ahead of myself, let me introduce our main character. She was Viola Alice Wilde, a young 21 year old female writer. She, the daughter of Oscar and Tatiana Wilde, was a mind beyond her time. Once upon a time this lovely family lived in France, in a house where through the window the sun kissed her face every morning with sweet golden light and the moon tucked her into bed with the pale hue of its glow. The sunlight soon turned to darkness as grief hit, Tatiana Wilde was taken from the world. Viola was 10 years old when her beloved mother died with her unborn baby brother, Timmy. That day she didn’t just lose the angel in her life, she lost the piece of her heart that her mother held. Ripped out of her chest and stomped on the ground by death, she was left with just a carcass of sadness and despair. Unlike many other relationships, the circumstance made Viola and Père [ dad in French ] grow closer together. Just as Viola though she had been given a chance to live life normally once again ,her father was arrested and sent to prison for the rest of his life. The Spain Empire executed Oscar Wilde in 1895. One lesson that helped Viola in her life was that her father had taught her to feel emotion but to not let them consume her true self. Viola stayed composed and instead let her feelings fear show through the words she wrote. Viola left the world in aww when she finished one of her fathers greatest works, The Ballad of Reading gaol, since he could not finish I himself before his demise.




February 14, 1898. Valentine’s Day brings back many memories to my mind of the love my mother and father shared. He wrote her eloquent poems filled with so much love that every letter seemed to be beating like the very heart of a man in love, making my mother feel like she was the most loved woman in the world. My mother would compose wonderful melodies and sing them for him. He loved them so much, especially the way my mothers eyes glistened like a diamond in the sun as she sang his favorite song, “Comptine d’un autre ete”. To this day I still hum the songs she sang; they remind me of the love and joy my parents gave me and though I am alone they will forever live in my heart. Though they are in my heart yes ,I am alone this valentines, my best friend Fanny went to France on vacation. She invited me but I decided to stay home cause though I love Fanny, but, she is too over energetic for me. Having time for myself is something I’ve been looking forward to and I plan on enjoying it. Yet, though it’s a joyous day rumors of an attack on Havana harbor have been in the air lately. I don’t know if it will happen or not but in my opinion it is foolish. “Men who fight with the anger from pride will only recognize their insolence from the comfort of their coffin”. My father always told me that war from pride would never solve anything and if this attack truly happens than I fear that war is inevitable. I miss my father and my mother, I miss the smell of fresh cookies and sweet apple pies. I miss the warm embrace of one who didn’t want anything but love from me. Being alone has been tough but I know my father would’ve wanted me to be strong and continue on. So I am, I’m continuing for all them, Mother, Father, and Timmy. Until next time, dear future me.



On February 15 Havana Harbor was attacked and  battle ship Maine was destroyed, in response,  America declared war on Spain(Introduction). War had come to the once peaceful Spain and  Valencia was ready to fight for their country. Volunteers started to sign up by the dozen and soon the city of Valencia had given the most volunteer soldiers that Spain had received. Viola became one of these volunteers, since the army did not allow women to fight, she became a nurse. Her father had taught her much about medicine and war strategy as a child, because of his belief that to “ live in peace one must have experience in war”.


May 4. Training has been long and rigorous these past few months, many men have quit and have left. Even the nurses have to go through hard training in wound mending, stitching and adaptability. I’m glad father taught me this at a young age, I believe I am one of the fastest stitchers here. I’ve seen so many men die, not just physically. Those who lose limbs, lose a part of them, while may lose their minds resulting in losing the ability to remember who they are or even if they have family. It’s heartbreaking to witness their demise, but with every death i pray thanking God for ending their suffering and for those lost in combat, thanking God for their service. It reminded me of something my father had said “something was dead in each of us, and what was dead was hope(Wilde)”, I could see in their eyes that they had nothing left. In the chaos of all the madness and death I met someone who intrigued my heart. An American who moved to Valencia before the war in hopes of exploring the world. His name is Charles Smith, a name that makes my heart flutter every time I say it. Tall as a scarecrow standing in a field with hair as golden as wheat in the sunlight, hazel eyes that sparkles in the light with skin as light as the snow. Embracing him gives me a sense of peace in this madness causing me to melt as a chocolate bar on a hot summers day. I know this love is an abomination since he is part of the people we are fighting but I was taught that love will always prevail no matter the society it was born into. My God showed me how love is meant to be and with him I feel that. So until next time, dear future me.


During the war, various opinions buzzed across the battle field. Many thought that war was the only way to show the Americans what Spain was made of, these comments were popular and everyone saluted those who spoke it out loud with pride. Still whispers of a different opinion rarely made their public debut, that Spain going head on against the Americans in a war of arm was Spain signing their own death warrant. Viola was the only one who spoke this truth publicly, while mending the hurt she would tell them of this belief of hers. Many agreed with her open opinion, yet they advised her to stay quiet as these word sounded much like treason against Spain and could lead to her death. She did not back down, she had learned form a very young age that when she believed in something and her heart told her it was right, to never give up on it. Yet, the truth she had preached so much and so many had believed was the very factor of her death. Viola Alice Wilde was hung for treason against the Span on June 27.


Hi, my name is Janie Tatiana Wilde. My mother, Viola Alice Wilde, adopted me during the war. My city was destroyed and my family had been taken prisoner, yet Viola escaped with me to America  where Charle was and legally adopted me. Spanish soldiers found her a few weeks after and she was executed in accounts of treason. Her story did not end with her death, many others noticed that she was telling the reasonable truth and left the war. The Spanish casualties of the battle of Manila Bay were vast proving my mother had always been right(Battle). Charles and I live in America as we try to live a normal life, yet never forgetting the writings of my mother and grandfather. I continue my mother’s work and with the help of my father I have published many books in honor of my mother.


Four years later, The Wilde family was executed on counts of treason through the writings of Janie Wilde and the actions of Charles Smith in “ deserting” the war. On a vacation in Valencia, Spain both were arrested and sentenced to death by electric chair on October 27, 1898

Truth will always be persecuted as long as those who ignore to believe it exist. The further society drifts away from the truth, the more it will persecute those who preach it.

Works Cited

Avarbuch, Leonard M. “Quotemaster Plus: database for quotes.The Electronic Library, vol. 11, no. 3, 1993, pp. 200–200., doi:10.1108/eb045232.



“Battle of Manila Bay.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 12 Feb. 2018, en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Manila_Bay.


History.com Staff. “Battle of Manila Bay.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 2009, www.history.com/topics/battle-of-manila-bay.


Introduction.Introduction – The World of 1898: The Spanish-American War (Hispanic Division, Library of Congress), www.loc.gov/rr/hispanic/1898/intro.html.


“What Happened in 1898.” World History Project, worldhistoryproject.org/1898.




Wilde, Oscar. The Ballad of Reading Goal. Smithers, 1899.