Personal Journal Captain Longstreet, Confederacy
July 4, 1863
I am writing these records in the event of my death. Perhaps I may want to write a book someday about the past 4 days. I don’t have the courage to write another letter home and worry my beloved Rose and our little baby boy. I started out in this battle a man of God, strong in my faith, but now i am defeated and i don't know how to recover.
Starting July 1st, General Lee’s strategy started in Southern Pennsylvania. Union General Buford and our General Heath got into a skirmish. A lot of fighting with the result of the Union taking higher ground. We became targets as we disgracefully ran for cover. Many of our men were willing to die with integrity than just run away and hide like a coward. Thus they ran backwards, facing the bullets so that if the were to die, they died with honor.
The second day we charged up the hills to get the Yanks. It was a fierce battle with a lot of bloodshed. At 10pm the fighting ended. The reports came in as 37,000 casualties over the last two days. Day three we thought there was still hope. We decided to attack the Union Center and General Lee sent heavy artillery with General Pickett leading the division. The results of Pickett's charge was our worst defeat. We returned across the Potomac River back to Virginia. Every building became a hospital with wounded men 12 to 1. The first battlefield cemetery came to be and Lincoln made a speech at Gettysburg. Some men say that this speech will go down in history as the greatest speech made at a battlefield.
Today was the Fall of Vicksburg. Our confederacy is now divided. The North has control of the Mississippi River. They say Grant is now a national hero. We are out of rations and are forced to claim defeat. We are hungry, thirsty, and tired. I do know that God is with us and watching over us, but I can’t seem to find much faith these days. I will try to maintain my connection with God. No no I will maintain my connection with him, for he knows what's good for us all and has a plan for each and every one of us. Losing faith will get me no where, only bring me lower in happiness and success.