To my dearest Jacqueline,
In October of 2011, I hunkered down with the troops at George Washington’s Valley Forge winter encampment. The bunkers were small and crowded but formidable and warm enough to keep us safe from frostbite.
Rather then the appropriate uniform and rations generally required to survive the harsh climate, all I had with me was my Canon 60D (A photographic contraption from the future/past, gifted to me by some strange doctor). However, one of the soldiers was kind enough to let me shoot him while he shot his musket.
It was quite loud and impressive, but if I am not mistaken, he had a bit too much to drink that day and accidentally planted his little musket ball directly into good ol’ G.W.’s left butt cheek.
As evening turned to night and the medic patched George’s wound, we looked out past the horizon only to discover an infantry of enemy combatants descending upon our location.
Washington quickly called us to arms, and the “Battle that Never Happened” quickly commenced. I accompanied some of the other men down to our first defensive position. Our orders were to “Set up a canon by the big tree”.
We fired artillery until the last bits of enemy were laid to waste and our ammunition was depleted. Shell after shell was launched and the fields were covered with the mangled remains of a once powerful British invading force.
As the harsh winter climate continued to beat our spirits into the earth, a snow crusted blanket draped itself across that nightmarish field of gore. I am thankful that the General did not command us to collect the dead Brit husks, as I am sure the black death would have seeped into my hands and feet and I would no longer be able to capture these images for you.
A few days later (I think)…
My perception of time has been obliterated, I have lost my ability to comprehend how long we have been here. This never-ending whiteout is choking the last bit of breath from every soldier in the company. The blackness has finally invaded my feet and three little piggies fell off, I fear the worst has yet to come.
The end is near. I can no longer remember who I once was. My only wish is that these images bring you some instance of joy.
Brian A. Bernhard