My Civil War Journal

James Linderman

Journal Entry #1:  My name is James Linderman, a 23 year old private in the Union army.  I am from Chicago, Illinois, where I live with my girlfriend in a small, run down apartment.  I work at a small shop that does decent, or at least enough to pay the bills.  I  have to work really hard in order to get enough money.  We needed money soon.  My mother and father live in New York.  I haven't contacted them for a while.  I chose the Union side because there is a sacred reason to fight on their side.  I was fighting for somebody.  Also, since my girlfriend and I needed money, the army was an option so I chose it.

Journal Entry #2:                                                                                                                                 John: “Skedaddle before I whip you on the buttox.”

James: “Don’t talk like that to me or I’ll throw goobers at you, gray back.”

John: “I don't got nothin in my bread basket anyways.”

James: “Good food is scarce as hens teeth.”

John: “I don't care, I'm as snug as a bug.”

James: “I’m so played out, toeing the mark for a while. I've been through the mill, seen so many hornets.. But I’m a hard case”

John: “Well I’m goin to have some joy juice and Grab a root so you better Skedaddle now.”

James: “You got some horse sense in that idea.”

John “Aoowwwwww those goobers were horrible I gatta quickstep it to the bathroom.”

Journal Entry #3:  Today when I woke up, we had to get cleaned up and make sure everything was tidy.  Five guys got punished because their bed wasn't completely made or uniform rumpled.  I was scared I would have to carry around the log all day.  I cleared the inspection just fine.  Then we started our drills.  It seemed like we drilled forever.  When it was done, my legs ached and my arms ached.  From the standing and walking, to the unending time I had to hold my gun.  I went back to my tent and played cards with my buddies.  Then we had to do some chores.  I got stuck of repairing equipment.  I had to repair a cannon.  There was something wrong with the wheels.  I'm glad I didn't have to dig trenches or have to do the hard labor.  For the rest of the day we did more drills, more chores, and simply  more work.  We finished off the day with drills, where after that we played more cards.

I fixed these cannons during chore time.
In the morning I would see my uniform. #morning

Journal Entry #4:   1) Jeremiah, when you chose to stay with your mother , what caused you to make that choice? The fact that if I left and she died, I would not know, and may never know. I knew I should just stay with her until the end or until she gets better.

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

happy about? I was proud and happy about joining the Union Army because it made me feel good that I was fighting for somebody else and his/her freedom. It was also the right thing to do.

3) Jeremiah, what is one thing about your life you wish had been different?

I wish my brother and I were together because I was captured and he wasn’t there. If I died, I would be alone and my brother would not know what happened today.

4) Jeremiah, how badly were you treated, even as an injured soldier?

Journal Entry #5:

Go rally behind the Union line

Raise the flag, raise the flag

We will charge with bayonets, nothing in our way,

We will avenge our past brothers

Who have died for our freedom

Shout for our brothers, shout for the flag, shout 'till the end

Shout 'till the rebs give up and our flag has risen

For we have the power, behind the forever Union flag

It has the power of millions a Yankees

And we have the power of the flag.

Gather from our families, to save more men.

We attack the confederates, to do what's right

For our bravery and courage, was given to us by God,

We will be rewarded, while the enemy will be punished.

Go rally behind the Union line

Raise the flag, raise the flag, Hurrah

We will charge with bayonets, nothing in our way,

We will avenge our past brothers

Who have died for our freedom

Shout for our brothers, shout for the flag, shout 'till the end

Journal #6:   Today, I had a nice conversation with a reb while I was a picket.  I just couldn't help it.  We talked for about 15 min.  We stopped when I left duty as a picket.  I really loved seeing the shows that people put on in the theater.  They were very interesting.  I usually went to the shows.  Even though it cost money, it really helped me get through the long boring days.  I most of all loved playing baseball.  It was a fun way to pass the time and it wasn't going to get crazy or wild.  I always found the gambling and other things useless.  I didn't want waste my money when I could use on more important things.  These were the only things that took my mind of the hunger, the bad taste from the food, or when it is unsettled in my stomach.  All the food was terrible, but one of them was okay.  My favorite was hardtack.  It is basically flour-and-water crackers, although most of the time, we found worms in them.  I found it hard to swallow and chew, but it was the easiest.  

I saw hundreds of these in battles, where they were everywhere.

Journal #7:    There are so many diseases and problems that I see everyday.  I'm scared for my  life that I will fall ill one day and die. When I see how many people go to the hospital I shiver  The way I see them treated is terrible.  It is like they go to die.  After battles there are so many that are waiting for a surgeon and the water they get is filthy.  It's dirty and brown.  The only time people go to the hospital is when they are severely hurt or sick.  Everybody has diarrhea, fleas, or something dirty.   One time I walked past a surgeon performing an operation on a soldier that was awake.  He screamed so loud it killed me to look.  I tried to run away but it was so loud.  And the surgeon was also using hands covered in dirt and other blood.  Later I found out he got an infection and died shortly after because of the things on his hands.  I prayed to God I would never get shot so I would not have to experience anything like that.  Everything in the camp is filthy, our bodies, tents, water, and food.  It scares me to death.

This is a baseball we used when we played baseball for fun in our free time.

Journal Entry #8:  When I went home I came home to a new house for me and my girlfriend.  I came home to nice food, a real bed, and celebrations.  It was so great at the camp when an officer came in shouting the news.  Everybody danced and played around, so happy it was over.  People threw things in the air and talked about getting home.  When we got home, there were celebrations and parades.  Not until a long time the celebrating stopped.  Everybody had seemed to forget about the losses because of the celebrations.  Even though we were fighting against each other, I felt sorrow and sadness for the rebs.  All their efforts forgotten and useless.  I felt a twinge of respect for them, but I was still happy to be home.

My view of my house that my family had gotten for me when I got home.

Works Cited

“The End of the Civil War.” The American Civil War Photo Galllery. Civil War Pictures, 2014. Web. 14 May 2014. <>.

Melton, Jack W., Jr. “Basic Facts concerning Artillery.” Civil War Artillery. Jack W. Melton Jr., 2014. Web. 5 May 2014. <>.

Redd, Rea Andrew. “News: Play Ball! Again!----First Annual 19th Century Baseball Tournament in Gettyburg.” Civil War Librarian. N.p., 2014. Web. 13 May 2014. <>.

“Uniforms of the Civil War.” Kidport Reference Library. Kidport, 2012. Web. 6 May 2014. <>.

“Weapons of the Civil War.” Teaching the Civil War with Technology. Teaching the Civil War, 2014. Web. 12 May 2014. <>.

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