John James Civil War Journal

Journal Entry 1- May 1

My name is John James from Barrington IL. I am a Private in the Union army. I am a only child from my family of my father and mother. Unfortunately my father died of a heart attack when I was very young. I have a cousin in the Union army too. He is in the same company as me. We also share a tent. He said I should only use his first name so  I'll call him Thomas. I have only my mother at home. I joined the Army so I can make money for my mother and I.

Journal Entry 2- May 2

John - Hey, Sunday solider?

Charles-Are you wallpapered?


Charles-Don't have to much joy juice or you will have the quick step

John- I just need some greenbacks so I can pay my possum so I can take care of me.

Charles- Na, your fit as a fiddle

John- Nope, I'm whipped up

Charles- I would shoot you with my pepper box but I dont have any hornets

John-Then lets have a duel

Charles- Don't be a bluffer though

(Hornets fly everywhere and than John wakes up from his dream as sung as a bug)

A beutiful Rose from the flower garden by the generals living area.

I choose this because it is one of the natural sources of color and solders saw them a lot.

Journal Entry #3

Dear Mother,

               Life in the camps are honky dory. The camps have running water, which is a plus but the tents get pretty cold in the nights. But overall the people there are nice. Though the drills are a whole other story. It starts off will getting up at 5:00 am and getting dressed for duty. The problem is the temperature is still low from the night so you are freezing while you change. Also the drills seem to go on forever. First we start off with a exercise to warm us up for the regiment and company practice which comes next. After the practice's we move on to gun practice and gun care. I between all the drills we havea little time in which we do some house hold chores like bath, clean the tent, wash the uniforms, and border patrol(sometimes). But I think this camp is really showing me how to take care of myself and my living environment too.

                                                                                                              Sincerely, John James

Hash Browns, a big treat in the army where a regular is oatmeal. #Hash Browns

I choose this because in the morning every one is eating breakfast and it would be a common sight.

Journal Entry #4


We read 1,2,3,4 ,7 ,11

Q 1- Jeremiah, when you chose to _____enlist for the army____,

what caused you to make that choice?- I knew that I wasn't very good at taking care of the farms or mother and the CSA could use more men so I joined.

Q-2 Jeremiah, looking back what is something in your life that you are proud or

happy about?- I am happy that our family had farms and ran them with out the help of slaves. Also I am happy that I joined the Confederate Army because I fought for what I believed in.

Q-3  Jeremiah, what is one thing about your life you wish had been different?- I wish we didn't have to give half of our farm away after our father died. The farm would help give us more money for medicine for mother

Q-4  What will it be like to be in a battle involving tens of thousands of soldiers? - It was hard to understand the generals and our leading officers because I am only a private and I am towards the back of my company so the instructions weren't always clear to me. Also, with thousands of men would be knowing where to go when to do it is difficult even with a drummer boy.

Journal Entry #5

CHORUS-I wish I was in the land of  Freedom

Old times there are not forgotten;
Look away! Look away! Look away! Northern land.

In the Northern land where I was born in
Early on one warm afternoon,
Look away! Look away! Look away! Northern land.


Then I wish I was in the North, Horray! Horray!
In the northern land I’ll take my stand.
To live and die in the north,

Away, Away, Away up North in Washington,

Away, Away, Away up North in Washington.

Battle- A soldier stands in formation waiting to go into battle

Dear Mother,

             Life at camp is pretty boring and we soldiers really have nothing to do.  I, fortunately am not an expectation. Usually we have months before our next battle so we all are just sitting in camp waiting, bored out of my mind so some of the soldiers and I start playing cards and rock, paper, scissor.It was the most fun I had in ages. Also the food there was inhuman to feed to humans.  Most of it was dirty and unsanitary for example the hard biscuts they gave us usually had worms and maggots in it. Also the fresh vegitables they gave had insects crawling all over them or were full of fungus. The water there was always dirty and was never clean. More died from the food than from the actual battles them self.

Fun- Two sodliers have fun as they play rock, paper, scissors

Journal 7

Dear Mother,

                    I just witnessed the injuring of our cousin, Thomas. He got hit in the arm with a minie ball and the doctors and nurses say they will have to amputate the arm before the shrapnel spreads throughout the body. They say after the operation he won't be able to do anything that uses two arms. I was standing by while they were doing the operation and after they were done they threw the arm into a ditch they dug for amputations. There was amputation after amputation they just never seemed to stop. I once got a fever from eating some berries so they sent me to he hospital in a horse drawn wagon. When I reached they drained a cup of my blood and I rested for a few days. After that I was fine. I also herd that his guy got pinkeye and everyone thought he was going to be fine and then one day they found him died in his own bed with a pink eye that wasn't even the slightest color of pink.

Home- The parents are awaiting for their son to return.

Journal Entry 8

Dear Mother,

           Well I guess I'm back home now and all should be well. But all is not well. I have trouble falling asleep because of the horrors I witnessed on the battle field, like the count-less number soldiers laying dead on the ground and the huge armies of brothers fighting each other to bring them to there death. A couple weeks ago I had a close encounter with a Confederate. I was on guard duty and I heard a footstep so like we practice in the drills I put my bayonet on and I got ready to fight. Then in an instant he jumped out and kicked me straight into my stomach. But I was expecting that so I quickly turned around and stabbed him in the leg and he fell backwards. Then I took my bayonet and put it straight through his skull. He was dead and I resumed to my guard duty. This experience has been haunting me to this very day and I can tell you, it is a horrible thing to live with. I wake up seeing the man laying there with a bayonet in his skull that I put there.

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