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A Family Divided

I’m gonna tell you a story it’s a good one I promise. You know about the Civil War Right, ok good this story takes place during that time. This story is about a family, the Bradshaws, they live just into the south and are slave owners. Their oldest kids are boys who happen to be twins their names are Scott and Derek and they have a younger sister who is named Allison. The brothers have always grown up as rivals because they are polar opposites but the one thing they had in common was that they were overprotective of their younger sister.

But that is not where the story starts it starts many years in the future when the boys are twenty-two and their sister is 19. Scott was always nice to everyone even the slaves especially the girl named Valerie who was only a year younger than him. His parents were nice to the slaves and treated them better than others that is until they passed away within hours of each other and left the boys to take care of the family plantation. Derek was the one who took the lead after their death and he didn’t treat the slaves in the nice way his parents had and Scott didn’t like that.

“Derek we need to talk you have been treating the workers poorly and not how mom and dad always treated them.”

“Well, Scott first they are slaves second they are the reason mom and dad are dead, and third mom and dad aren’t around anymore, they’re dead get over it.”

“You don’t need to blame the slaves for mom and dad’s death they wouldn’t want to hurt them because they were always treated nicely.”

“Scott I have work to do can we finish this later.”

“Fine but we will talk.”

With that, they went their separate ways Derek went to do some work and Scott went to find a friend of his, Valerie the slave girl who was now 21 years old.

“Hey Valerie,” Scott said as he approached her and, noticed the tears in her eyes as she held a harrower.

“What’s wrong are you ok.”

“My dad he... he died last night due to lack of food and exhaustion. Don’t mean to make you feel bad but it’s because of your brother.”

" I know he treats you badly and blames you guys for our parents’ death he can be so Arrogant. This ain’t fair for you. You know what I’m gonna’ get you out of here, tonight, so be ready.” She nodded and with that Scott walked away plotting an escape for his friend. That night Scott came and got Valerie and got her far enough north that she would be free and would never have to work as a slave again. Scott didn’t sleep much that night and early the next morning he got up and left he made a decision to join the civil war and fight to free all slaves. He left a note for his Derek and kissed Allison sweetly on her forehead while she slept.

“Goodbye, little sister I will see you when this is all over.” He said quietly and then he left that morning Derek woke up to the note from Scott by his bed he picked it up and began to read it. Sorry to leave like this but I can’t have you treat the slaves like that. I’m joining the civil war and my hope is that all slaves will be freed one day please tell Allison that I love her and don’t try to stop me.

-Scott

Scott’s days when he got to base for the union army were filled with the hard labor of training. The days started at 5 am when they had to be ready to train and it was non stop training until 5 pm when they ate their supper and lights out was no later than 8 pm. It was months of this every day a week. One day after he finished eating Scott was given a letter it was from his brother he reluctantly opened it.

Scott I wouldn’t be writing you this unless it was important, it’s Allison she is really ill and the doctor doesn’t know what else he can do please come home not for me but for Allison.

From Derek

Scott goes immediately to the higher up and tells him what is going on back home knowing what he must be going through the general let him go see his sister and possibly for the last time. Scott gets home and rushes to Allison’s side who was lying still on her bed, he is with her for a little while when the doctor comes in to check on her and Derek came to talk with Scott.

“Scott you should have been here you should have been looking after her but no you had to free your little slave friend and then run away to the army.”

“It’s not like I’m the only one that could have been looking out for her you are here too you’re her brother too.”

“You know you are so selfish you leave in the middle of the night only leaving a note and now Allison is...” the doctor came out of Allison’s room and interrupted their skirmish he hung his head and quietly said

“She doesn’t have much time you should be with her.” The boys rushed in and she was coughing her skin was really pale and she was weak. They kneeled next to her and both took turns telling her they loved her and will always love her but she didn’t manage to finish saying it back before her head fell against the pillow and she let out her last breath. Days later they held a private funeral for her and placed her in her final resting place right next to their parents.

“Hey Scott I’m sorry for blaming this on you it was something that couldn’t be helped and it wouldn’t have made a difference if you were here and I should have been watching out for her and not too busy making sure the slaves did their work and ...”

“Derek you don’t have to apologize I know you were just upset our sister was sick and I wasn’t there for her like I should have been but it’s neither of our faults.” with that the boys made up and talked for a while catching up on what has been going on with the plantation and with the training, back at the base, they got along for a while. The next day was when all of that changed, Derek walked in on Scott packing up his things and getting ready to leave.

“You are going back our sister is dead and you are just gonna leave. ”

“Sorry, Derek but I have to be back in a few days and the general was very lenient with letting me even come home to see Allison before she died. I have to go.”

“Fine, maybe I will just join and fight for the confederacy after all slaves shouldn’t be freed.”

“If you do who is going to be here to take care of the plantation and make sure the slaves do their work.”

“I’ll call one of my friends that would be more than happy to watch them.”

“Fine .”

“Fine.” With that, the boys went their separate ways Derek to go pack and Scott out the door and on his way back to the base. They didn’t talk after that because During a Battle Derek was Gunned down and the medic didn’t get to him in time to save his life. But Scott didn’t know this. After the war was won by the union Scott returned home to find that Derek hadn’t gotten back yet so he figured that he hadn’t made his way back home quite yet.

Scott dismissed Derek's friend and told the slaves that they didn’t have to stay and work for them anymore in these conditions and if the stayed it would be better he promised them that. Days passed and Derek still didn’t return home, until one day when he heard a knock on the door, he went to open it and discovered men in uniform on the other side, immediately he was hit with guilt and sadness at that moment he knew he would never see his brother alive again.

A few years later Scott worked up the courage to go to the memorial for all those who died in the war, to see his brother’s name on a plack. When he found his brother’s name he knelt down to its level.

“Derek I’m so sorry you are dead and it’s my fault I shouldn’t have let you go to battle I never thought that you would die in the treacherous war I’m so sorry and I forgive you for everything, I hope you know I love you brother.” He said as he stood up and turned to leave and ran into someone, someone he never thought he would see again Valerie Hughes, the slave he had set free. A few years later they got married and had their own kids, their kids then grew up and had kids. This is my story I’m Scott Bradshaw.

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