2014 Essay Contest Second Place, Junior Division

Noah, 5th grade

Teacher: Joan Simard
School: Fairview School | Maine

Preserving 150 Years of History: Life at War

“The power of noble deeds is to be preserved and passed on to the future.’’  ― Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

What I like about this amazing quote is that it could suggest that the hundreds of thousands of people who gave their lives to end the unfair practice of slavery should be remembered and honored.  The quote could be applied to the brave hearted union soldiers who sacrificed their lives attempting to prevent the separation of the North and South and to end slavery, and the brave confederate soldiers who risked their lives fighting for individual states’ rights.  The statue of Admiral David G. Farragut in Washington D.C., would be an example of preserving an individual’s noble deeds. Admiral Farragut is well known for the Battle of Mobile Bay, in which he led Federal Navy troops to defeat all of the Confederate naval ships in the bay.  Admiral Farragut led a naval charge through a minefield which turned the tide over the control of the Gulf of Mexico. The victory was documented in Union newspapers and helped Abraham Lincoln in his bid for re-election. Without this success, Lincoln may not have been re-elected and therefore, the war might not have been won by the North. So, it would be important to preserve the heroic actions taken by Admiral Farragut.

Soldiers in the Civil War experienced a variety of different feelings, and situations, but the thing that many soldiers experienced was loss. Whether the soldier was from the North or the South, going off to fight for their cause meant that they had to leave behind all that they knew. Some left behind children and family. Others left jobs or farms not knowing whether they would be able to return to them.  The soldiers left home feeling a sense of loss even before they stepped on a battlefield. For those who were fortunate enough to make it home, they had the misfortune of  carrying  images in their heads of the friends they lost in battle.   Although many soldier experienced loss, some also had positive experiences such as meeting new people, learning about new parts of the country, playing new games and learning songs from other places. Unfortunately, loss was often the strongest feeling felt by many.  

The soldiers of the Civil War should be honored and remembered for their bravery, sacrifice and fighting for what they believed in. Preserving their memories because they left everything they had behind, to go fight for what they thought was right, not knowing if they would ever make it back home, gives us the background of our country, the ground we stand on today.  Sadly, many of them didn’t return home, so we should preserve what they left behind and honor them for every great sacrifice they made.  If it was not for them, our society would not be the same.


1. Chamberlain, Joshua Lawrence.  Retrieved on March 28, 2014 from http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/civil-war.

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