diary of Elizabeth Corbell

It is June 1st, 1861. I have decided to join the union side during the civil war along with my husband, Charles Corbell. Charles and I are both 23, and we live in Virginia. The reason I decided to come into the war as a nurse is to maybe find my dad. We have not heard from him in a while and I don't know where he is stationed, but I tend to find him soon. Charles said he was worried about me joining the war, so he joined me in my decision in joining the war to make sure I stay safe.


June 1st, 1861

Today was not that bad of a day. When I woke up, Charles was already up so we decided to go on a run. When we got back to where we are stationed, I made us both french toast and scrambled eggs with a side of bacon for breakfast. After breakfast, we got ready and walked down to the creek to wash our clothes and to freshen up a bit for the day. Later, we walked back and I started writing a letter back home to my mom, asking if she had heard from dad or would know maybe where he is stationed. For lunch, I made us chicken and mashed potatoes before we went down to the creek to go fishing. We caught 5 decent sized fish for dinner tonight. We ate two and took the other three to some of the other soldiers that are wounded and cannot make themselves food. Today we helped some slaves across the Ohio River in my boat and they are now staying with us until they can go find safety somewhere else.

June 2nd, 1861

My tears rolled down my face as I read the newspaper today. With my vision a bit blurry, I hurried up and grabbed a piece of paper writing home to my mom. "Dear mom, I read the paper today "War Declared". It said something about many dead and injured and it was in Ohio, but I didn't read much before I started writing to you. I believe that is where dad has been stationed, but I'm not sure. I've heard from other people that he has been stationed at camp Anderson, but I'm not sure because I haven't heard from him lately.. I am very worried. As soon as you hear any news about the war or dad, please let me know. I have been feeling home sick lately, the meals just aren't the same, my bed, just everything isn't home to me. I am hoping Charles and I will be able to come home soon, along with dad.. safely. This is all I can write now until I get more ink. Hopefully I will hear from you soon. Love, Elizabeth."

June 3rd, 1861

Today I didn't do much around the house. I helped the slaves with everything they needed until I got called in for the war. The confederacy was attacking and they needed help. As soon as I got there, There was a man with his leg blown off. I helped him with the bleeding until another man was brought in into the nurses tent.. my dad. I rushed over to him, he had been shot in the left shoulder. I wrapped him up to make the bleeding stop as much as I could. I collapsed to the ground in tears, watching him lay there in pain.

June 4th, 1861

Mother wrote back to me today. I was so excited when I got the letter, it reminded me a bit of home while I'm in this awful place. She said she had not heard from dad either, but yesterday I realized he had not been involved in the war I mentioned in my letter. I did not write her back telling her about his injury because I did not want her to worry like I am. Also, they said he would be fine.. just hoping that is the truth.

June 5th, 1861

I didn't have much to do today. They didn't have me go in to help the soldiers because there are enough nurses and what happened to my dad. I started reading some of the newspapers that I had with me, and I read one about Lincoln's election.

I was so very pleased when he got elected. I knew he would do us good and make good decision for us. Their have not been many times if none that I have disagreed with his decisions as president.

He also disagrees with slavery, as do I. I cannot wait until is comes to an end, and I believe he will be the one that does end it. I just can't wait to see the decision he makes among the years.

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