My oldest son had to write a short story for a school assignment about the Trail of Tears. Of course, as most kids do, he put it off until the very last minute. He sat down in front of my laptop and wrote this.. It took him only a few minutes.. I know there’s some editing that needed to be done, but I wanted to post this as he wrote it. Keep in mind, he’s 14 yrs old and literally wrote this in minutes. I thought it was pretty good and tried to urge him to do more writing, in a journal or something.. He told me writing was boring and he didn’t want to! He loves to read, I kinda thought writing went along with that, but I guess not.
Anyway, I hope you all enjoy it, I’m a proud mama and wanted to share.
By Kylar Green
There I was, on the wagon to end the Blackhawk-rebellion. We been fighting them for two years and we have lost a lot of troops. I’m new so I don’t know many people but there is one, his name is Charles and he’s been my best friend since boot camp. Neither of us minded moving the Indians, we both thought that it was our land they’re living on. But nothing could’ve prepared us for what would happen.
“Hey James” Charles whispered into my ear.
“What” I replied
“We better get there quicker, my legs are falling asleep” he said quietly trying not to wake the other soldiers.
“Not to mention this bench we’re sitting on isn’t very comfortable”
We laughed a little too loud and woke one of the up, “SHUT UP” he said through gritted teeth so we both leaned back against the musty walls of the wagon.
We were jolted awake by the sudden stop of the wagon.
“Right here” I heard our platoon leader say, “This looks like a good spot to set up camp.” As I got up I heard Charles say thank God we’ve stopped I need to pee. He got a few dirty looks from the other soldiers but he didn’t care. I’ve not known him for more than a year but I know he doesn’t care what people think about him.
“James,” he said “do you think we’ll be okay?”
“Sure we will, we’re just providing an escort service.” I told him.
“It’s just..” he mumbled.
“I know.” I replied. I had completely forgotten that he’s getting married.
“Done stretching, get up and set up camp!” our platoon leader shouted.
“I don’t know how you eat that stuff” said Charles as I got my ration of refried beans.
“What are you talking about?” I asked “It’s the best thing in the world. As we were finding a spot to sit down, two guys stood up and started boxing.
“Is that normal?” I asked.
“I guess, the platoon leader is watching and seems to be enjoying himself.” Said Charles in an oddly enthusiastic way.
Later that night it was hard to fall asleep. I was in a tent with five other men and suddenly I wish they hadn’t served refried beans. Drowsiness finally caught up with me and in the morning we loaded the wagon and set off. We were told this was our last day of travel and the wagon was filled with anticipation. We’ve all been excited most of the day but even the toughest among us was a little scared.
When we got to the village I was so scared but I still followed orders. A battle broke out and we killed so many Indians. I was starting to doubt whether we were doing the right thing or not but we still loaded all that was left of them into a couple wagons. After we traveled a couple of days many had died. I found Charles trying to help in any way he could but still there were so many deaths. One night me and him were talking and decided that this wasn’t right but we still had to follow orders.
One night I was helping out but I couldn’t find Charles. Then the next morning we were loading up and I found Charles lying stiff and cold on the ground with no jacket or shirt. He had frozen to death helping them. After we brought them to their new home I rode to Charles’ house and told his family the bad news.