Essay Contest 2011 Second Place, Junior Entry

Dillon Jones, 8th Grade

Teacher: Mr. R. Jones
School: Our Lady of Sorrows, Farmington, MI

Preserving 150 Years of History: Secession and the War's Beginnings

The start of the Civil War began with a bang, and it is a war that cannot be forgotten.  During the start of the Civil War in 1861, the United States of America was either going to survive or split in two.  South Carolina was the first state to break off from the Union in December 1860, and then, other southern states seceded.  Eventually, the quarrels between the North and the South evolved to the start of the Civil War in 1861.  Fort Sumter, which is now a Civil War site, was where the fighting of the Civil War began in April 1861.  Next, many huge, important battles followed.  The Civil War was fought on American soil and in the seas.  These battles of importance that shaped the nation are still here today.

Preserving Civil War battlefield sites after 150 years is a remarkable task that should continue.  The Civil War shaped the United States of America to what it is today.  If you see these battlefields, some of them will look close to like they did in the 1860s.  To go back in time like that would be an astounding memory, and we should be able to keep that memory.  With today’s America, these beautiful battlefields are endangered of being taken over by convenience stores or even casinos.  When you see these beautiful sites, you will want people 150 years from now to see the same thing.  We can let them see the sites if we preserve the Civil War battlefields right now.  Battlefields also create jobs, educate the public, and provide areas of land that have been untouched in the past century and a half.  Not many things have been preserved after 150 years, but the Civil War battlefields have.  We should remember and keep the start of the Civil War. 

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