“Serge, hey, Serge” called out a running soldier.
“Yes” I replied as we stared surrounding Sherman.
“I heard that we’re burning the South,” the soldier told me as I began to recognize the town we were in. “Starting with this town,” he continued.
“All right men,” cried Sherman.
What was it about this place? I thought, looking around.
“I say this because I think it will end the Civil War faster” Sherman continued. “Burn this town to the ground!!!”
There was a scream of excitement which reminded me of the rebel yell. I shuttered.
“Sergeant Joe!” Sherman called out.
“Sir” I said, saluting.
“Do me a favor and burn that house for me,” Sherman asked me pointing at a house.
I nodded, picking up a torch.
For a minute I was running through fire and screams. War, that’s all it is. When I was in throwing distance, I threw it as hard as I could.
But when it was in mid air, I realized, isn’t that my cousins’ house? But it was too late, the torch hit the porch support which caught on fire.
“NNNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOO” I screamed at the top of my lungs. Then I made a mad dash to the door and kicked it in and looked in the house. I saw James, my 8 year old cousin, sipping tea as if nothing happened.
“WE NEED TO GO NOW” I said. James was stumbling for words. Come on, come on James, we need to move. I thought.
“B--But why…..what the Joe what ar….”
He was interrupted by a piece of ceiling that fell demolishing his kitchen, then silence.
“O.K. let’s go!!!!” James said.
“That’s probably the best idea I’ve heard in a long time” I yelled as we ran to the door.
For a second I thought we were going to make it until a huge burst of fire went right in front of us.
“AAAAAAA!!!!!’’ James and I screamed in unison.
“I know this isn’t relevant, but where is your mom?” I asked.
“She made it out I--I think” James said
“O.K. we need to run……” I said when I got interrupted by James.
“There is no way I’m running though that, I’ll die!!!!” James said.
“James no matter what, we might die, so do you want to be crushed, or have a burial?” I said. There was another silence. I could tell that James was thinking.
“O.K. lets go” said James. “On the count of three we ran. One, two, two and a half, two and three quarters…..”
“James, man up” I yelled
“O.K., O.K.” James said” THREE!!!!!!”
We ran at the same time. I don’t know about James but I felt worse considering that I’ve been in a war for half of a year, but I still screamed with my cousin. When we got outside I noticed Jessie, James mom.
“O, hello Jessie ho-“I said as she smacked me in the face.
“How dare you come here you Billy yank!?” Jessie screamed at me.
“You’re welcome for saving your son aunt Jessie.” I replied.
“O, Joe I didn’t realize that was you” Jessie said.
“That’s O.K. Jessie.” I said handing James some money “Now here is some cash for you guys.”
“$150, o- my- god,” said James, but when he looked up I was gone.
When I was waking away, I looked at the clock tower before it caught fire. It took 25 minutes. “How did that take 25 minutes?” I muttered under my breath.
“How dare you give a rebel $150?” screamed a soldier, smacking me in the face. ”You just made them rich.”
“Soldier wait-“I was saying until he cut me off.
“$150, I have to report you” he said.
“That was my cousin.” I said.
“Wait, what?” he said.
“Why do you think I would give them $150?” I said walking away.
From that moment on I thought that James would hate me forever and that people would never know how terrible the march of Sherman really was.