September 19, 1862: Gettysburg Pennsylvania. I, Henry Hayes, a 17 year old young adult farmer growing potatoes on the field, and not looking forward to my birthday.


October 9, 1862: I’m now an adult and eligible for the draft into the war, my father fought in WWI and always said “I’m a real man” and that I’m just a young boy, but that didn’t become true anymore.

“Dad I’m going to war!” I exclaimed.

“You will never become a real man like me”, he responded.

“ Oh, I’ll show him,” I whispered underneath my breath.


March 3, 1863: I was drafted into the Civil war, I knew the only way to prove myself to my dad. I would need to go to battle with a mindset of being brave and killing as many men as possible.

“Attention! You are not girls anymore! You have just become real men.” The General shouted.

“Sir yes sir!” We all responded.

As we all started training, I met a friend, that I wouldn’t expect for him to have a place in my heart later in the future. The sun started and the our captain told us to go to our beds and begin unpacking and get ready for bed. Everyone had a “buddy” to share a bunk bed and my “buddy” and I made eye-contact with each other.

“Hey there, I’m Henry Hayes”

“Really? My father has the name Henry as well, by the way I’m Jeff” with a manly voice.

“Nice to meet you Jeff, better get some rest, we have a big day tomorrow” I told him.

“Alrighty, Goodnight”

5:00am next morning, no breakfast, all we had done that morning was run, run, run, and run. Our training was as hard as it gets, from running 10 miles with armor on to nonstop pushups, but it prepared us for the Civil War.


April 30, 1863:

“Sergeant Hayes I need backup now!” With excruciating pain in our captain’s voice.

This was it, my first battle of the war. As guns went off I thought to my self I was going to die.

After a few months went by, all I could think about was the the next battle, but while I was thinking about war, I always saw my friend Jeff either praying, writing or reading his Bible. At the time, I didn’t really know God.

“ Hey Jeff, what are you doing? We are about to go to battle and you’re reading?”

“ No Henry, I’m not just reading, I’m asking God for our protection”

“ Whatever, who even is the God person? And how is He going to protect you and me?”

As I kept asking question about Jeff’s belief, he would just tell me, “You will see.”

“ Alrighty men load up! We are going to Virginia to fight in the city of Chancellorville”

May 1, 1863:, the time has come where all of our training and time has prepared us for action all we have to do is win this battle and we will win the war. But right before the battle began, Jeff’s words kept coming to the back of my head: “You will see.”


May 4, 1863: we did it and won the battle of Chancellorsville, as we travels back to Pennsylvania, the first thing Jeff told me was “Do you see”, and that got me thinking is there really a God that will protect me?

After a few days later, I kept asking question to Jeff about a God and he asked me if I wanted to do bible studies which is where you and a buddy gets together and read the Bible to understand it, but my reaction was.

“Bible study What the hell is that?”

Jeff explains to me what it is and was telling me that it can answer questions of why I’m sometimes frustrated with my dad. As we kept training for our next battle, Jeff and I had kept the Bible studies going and I started to develop a relationship with God, I’ve notice that my character had changed and I felt like very enlightened.


June 30, 1863:

“This is the battle of you life men” said the general “ I want you to fight as hard as you can… until the end”

As Jeff and I prayed a short prayer before entering the field of angry men, we felt that God would be with us. July 1, 1863:

“No! Jeff stay with me, you aren’t going to die!”

“Henry remember God love you no matter what and cares for you… goodbye.”

Words could not describe of what anger I had towards God, I kept asking the question why would you kill him, why?


July 1864, I think God it’ll this day for saving My friend and I, Jeff

“ Rest In Peace Jeff, Amen”.



“The Draft in the Civil War”. Accessed 11 April 2019.

“A New Birth of Freedom”. Accessed January 29 2019.

Allen C. Guelzo. “Gettysburg: The last Invasion”. Alfred A. Knopf. Accessed 14 May 2013.

“Gettysburg”. Accessed January 2019.