By Edward John Johnson

Entry 1

Hello. My name is Edward John Johnson. I am 22 years old. I live in Salem, Massachusetts. My life at home is very simple. I am a doctor. I go to work at 9:00 in the morning. I come back at 5:00 in the afternoon. I live with my mother, my mother, my sister, and my brother. I am serving on the Union side for the war that's about to begin. Many people call it the Civil War. I am fighting for the Union because I wish to abolish slavery and bring this country back together. I am a commander of the 52nd regiment. We have been placed at Fort Sumter, which is where it is said the Confederates will attack. We don't know when they will attack, but we know that they attack here. Now, the general who is also here is telling me to put away the journal and man the part which my regiment is assigned to. I shall write later.

Entry 2

A soldier and I had a conversation. This is how it went:

James: Hello, you look like quite a chief cook and bottle washer.

Edward: Yes, I’m a greenhorn. A top rail #1. Are you a fresh fish?

James: Yes sir I am.

Edward: Would you like some joy juice?

James: No, I don’t want to get wallpapered.

Edward: Whatever. We are about the start the battle. Let’s charge those uppity graybacks with our pepperboxes, Arkansas toothpicks, and hornets. Then, we’ll be snug as a bug and grab a root at our camp to fill our bread baskets after we win.

James: Bully! I am fit to be tied and want to charge some rebs. 

Edward: By the way, how many greenbacks you have?

James: Horse sense with it, so much of it.

Edward: Hunkey dorey! Grab your sardine box, because we’re going to kill those bluffs so much so they skedaddle back to their sawbones.

James: Let’s go sir. We’re as fit as fiddles and therefore will win.

Edward: Bully!

Entry 3

Dear Mother,

Life at the camp is good. We are currently camped at Washington, as we plan to attack the Confederates at Bull Run. I do not know when we are going to attack, but I hope the Confederates don't make a move against us before we make our move. We arrived at our current location about a week ago, and it took that week to set up our camp, as it had to be a very big camp to hold our large army. My day at camp is almost the same every day. I wake up every day at dawn, go to do drills or chores for most of the day, have some free time, and then go to sleep at dusk. The reason I say almost the same every day is because on some days, the Confederates attack, and then my whole schedule changes. Also, if my side attacks the Confederates, then my whole schedule changes. Yesterday, someone stole from a soldier while he was out for chores, because regiments have free time at different times. The soldier who stole was given a penalty called "bucking and gagging". He was gagged with a stick tied in his mouth, seated on the ground with his hands tied together in front of him and his knees forced between his elbows. Another stick was shoved between his arms and knees. That is one of the more severe punishments. Another less severe punishment was the "barrel shirt", where the offender would waddle around camp in a large wooden barrel. The commander of my regiment gave everybody notebooks and pencils. I have included a picture of them below. This is where I am now writing all these entries.

From your son,

Edward John Johnson

Entry 4

Interview with Jeremiah Handley

Names: Kaleigh Mills, Lucy Abrahamson, Akul Joshi

When creating our story we read pages 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 10, and 18.

Q: Jeremiah, when you chose to stay home with your mom, what caused you to make that choice?

A: My mother was very ill, and I knew that if I didn't stay home with her, she would quickly die. This is what caused me to make this choice.

Q: Jeremiah, looking back what is something in your life that you are proud or happy about?

A: I am proud that I decided to join the Union army. I knew that slavery was not a very good practice. I also knew that the country had to come back together. By joining the Union army, I could help accomplish these. This is why I am proud of joining the Union army.

Q: Jeremiah, what is one thing about your life you wish had been different?

A: One thing about my life I wish had been different was when I marched down to divide the Confederacy and got injured and taken captive. If I had marched to the east of the United States and fought Lee, then I might have had a better result.

Q: Jeremiah, what has become of your brother?

A: My brother, sadly, got killed at the Battle of Gettysburg. The Confederates let me free on July 4, 1863, the day after the battle, and I rushed over there to see what had happened. The scene at Little Round Top had not been cleaned up yet, and among the bodies, I saw one that really stood out: my brother's. He had been stabbed three times with the bayonet: once in the forehead, once in the stomach, and once in his right leg. It's sad and difficult to say, but my brother is dead.

This is the breakfast we got each morning, along with a glass of water. #bread

Entry 5

Dear Sally,

Camp life is actually pretty fun. There are many activities to do at camp. I like to participate in betting sports, as it is usually easy to win money from these. I would also use these to pass the time. Some examples of betting sports that I bet in are cockfights, card games, dice games, wrestling matches, baseball, raffles, and lice races. These were actually most of the things that happened at camp, but they were very fun. Often, soldiers from our camp would converse with soldiers from the rebel camp, and they would also often find that they had much in common. My favorite food at camp is the cornbread, even though they are filled with cobwebs. Here is a recipe for them:

Cornbread Recipe:


1. 2 table spoons of shortening

2. 2 cups of white self-rising cornmeal

3. 1 whole egg

4. 1 teaspoon of baking powder

5. 1/3 cup of sugar (optional)

6. 1 cup of buttermilk


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Put 2 tablespoons of shortening in a cast iron skillet and put in oven. Once melted, take from oven.

3. Put 2 cups of white self-rising cornmeal and 1 whole egg in a bowl.

4.  Add 1 teaspoon of baking powder.

5. Add 1/3 cup of sugar (this is not necessary).

6. Add 1 cup of buttermilk.

7. Mix all together, including the melted shortening.

8. Pour into cast iron skillet and place into oven.

9. Bake cornbread until it is done. You are finished.

The terribleness of battle caused many casualties, including losses of limbs.

Entry 6

Riding into War

Here comes General Grant

Boldly on a horse

Facing the General Lee

Who is riding into war.

On a horse, on a horse, riding into war!

On a horse, on a horse, riding into war!

They parked at camp, for some time. 

With all the supplies they needed.

But when it came time to battle.

They came riding into war.

On a horse, on a horse, riding into war!

On a horse, on a horse, riding into war!

He told his army blue.

To march into war.

And when he led those troops into battle.

He came riding into war.

On a horse, on a horse, riding into war!

On a horse, on a horse, riding into war!

And when the battle was over.

They went into camp.

But one day they were ready.

To go riding into war.

On a horse, on a horse, riding into war!

On a horse, on a horse, riding into war!

Many of the soldiers at the camp read for fun.

Entry 7

People at our camp were very sick. Soldiers started to die from a variety of diseases, such as diarrhea, typhoid fever, lung inflammation, dysentery, childhood diseases, and pinkeye. The disease with the least amount of deaths from these six was pinkeye, as it claimed the life of only one soldier. The disease with the most amount of deaths from these six was diarrhea, claiming the life of 34,000 soldiers. There were also many bullet wounds at the camp and many people died post-amputation. There was a death rate for all of the amputated body parts, which meant that the percentage shown for that body part was the percentage a soldier would die post-amputation of that body part. The lowest death rate belonged to the hand/finger. The death rate for that was 2.9%. The highest death rate belonged to the hip joint. The death rate for that was 83%. Many doctors thought that the best way to treat a bullet wound was to give the man whiskey, so they'd be wallpapered and then amputate them. Most of the time, that infected the body parts that were amputated, so a good solution still remains unknown. For illnesses, there were many unique medicines that doctors prescribed, and they were usually not effective. For example, two of the sicknesses I know the medicines for are dysentery and malaria. People with dysentery were given everything from whiskey and blackberry juice to turpentine and strychnine. Malaria victims were given a dose of whiskey and a drug called quinine. These are some of the many unsuccessful treatments that doctors prescribed for patients with illnesses.

This is what a house usually looks like in the 1860s. My house in Massachusetts looked similar to this.

Entry 8

The war is over. Lee had surrendered to Grant at the Appotomax Court House, and the Union army has won this long, bloody war. It is time for all of the soldiers who enlisted in the Union army to go home, and that includes me. I go back to my house in Salem, Massachusetts. When I reach home, my parents and my siblings congratulate me for helping the Union army win the Civil War, end slavery, and bring the country back together. I am happy that I, along with others, have helped many Northerners in realizing that the country is better as a whole. However, I am afraid that I have upset many Southerners. They wanted to separate the country, and I, along with the Union army, didn't let that happen. They must be very angry at us. They might still try to attack us, so even though the war is over, we must still be cautious of some Southerners.


StaticFlickr. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 May 2014. <

Comment Stream