Life at home during the
Civil War

I am Liza Tomlinson I am 27 years old. I live in Ohio the county is called Hocking. I live with my husband Louis Tomlinson and your son Michael, but they are both serving in the war. Michael is and drummer boy and Louis is a solder. We are on the Union side of the war.

Today is May 19, 1861. In the morning I push myself out of bed, I am home by myself, my husband and my son are serving in the war I am so worried about them I have not seen or talked to either of them face to face in 2 weeks. I make myself some eggs for breakfast over the fire. After I ate my breakfast, I went outside to the water well and got water to do my laundry. When the laundry was all done I hung it up on the clothes line for it to dry. Now that the laundry is all done I go out to the garden and plant some potatoes, tomatoes, green beans, and onions that I will harvest later that year.   I hope to have enough to share with the town people and send some to our troops.

In the afternoon I make myself lunch and make food for the towns people that are hungry and need it. When the laundry is done drying I sew up any tares and rips in the clothes, because of the war I don't have very much money to go out and buy new ones. Since I am here by my self I have to get out some so I go to my neighbors house, Lexi, who's husband is in the war too. We make blankets and can more food to send in the the solders to use.


Dear, Louis Tomlinson  

The town just got the bad news about the war. I hope you are okay. I miss you and Michael very much it is very quite with out you guys here at home. I hope you guys get to come home safe. The Battle of Ball's Bluff was very bad the Confederate won and 550 Union solders were captured. I miss you so much and hope you are okay. I think about you all the time, when I go to sleep in my warm bed, I wonder if you are sleeping on the cold mud or even if you get to sleep at all. I miss Micheal too I hope he is okay. He is so young, to young to be in a war if it were up to me, but I know they needed him. Next week is his 12 Birthday. Will you tell him I love him and Happy Birthday for me. I never thought about this, but are you guys even together. I hope you are.

Here are home is different I do like the same thing every day. I have send in lots of things to the solders. Lexi's husband died one month ago in the Battle of Barbourville. She is so lost she does not know what to do. I stay strong for her , help her and I and there when she needs me. I don't know if I could make it if something were to happen to you, but I know I would have to stay strong or Micheal.

I love you and Michael so much and hope I get to see you soon. Stay strong out there for me. We can have a big party when you get back, or what ever you want. Just know I love you and Michael very much.  

Today is January 12, 1862  news arrived that there was battle in Mill Springs, KY. Some of the wounded have been brought to town. The church was been made into a hospital. This morning I managed to gather enough eggs to take to the wounded men at the church. I also made them some corn cakes to eat. I brought along my bible to read to the men. My friend Lexi and I went to help the wounded men. We hoped to find someone who knew my husband and son and her brother. I have not heard from them in over a year. Sadly, this group knew nothing of my Louis and Michael.

At the church, now hospital, that afternoon we helped  change the dressing on the men's wounds. Some of the men have lost their arms and legs. They will be going home soon. We also helped them to write letters home. We helped cook for them and mended their clothes. Some had nothing left to mend so I gave them some of Louis and Michael's old things. Just maybe somewhere someone is taking care of them for me.

Today is August 12, 1862. I finally received a letter from Louis. Oh, my heart was filled with joy till I read it. He had been at the Battle of Tampa in Florida. The Confederates won the battle and Louis was injured by a bullet that grazed his arm, but he is okay. He managed to retreat with the rest of the troop. He stated that our son, Michael, had been moved to another troop. Louis had not heard from him in months. Lexis' brother, Zack, was in the battle with Louis. He was badly injured and taken to a Union Hospital somewhere, but Louis had no other news for us. Lexi and I cried together.

Louis replied that the conditions were horrible. Most of the time they slept on the ground with no blankets and very little food. The summer heat was awful and the biting bugs are unbearable. He couldn't wait to be home to take a hot bath and sleep in a comfortable bed. He and I hoped that day will come soon.

It is April 20, 1865 and the news has spread quickly of the assassination of President Lincoln.  The killer is still on the run.  The word is that he was watching a play and was shot by one of the actors. Oh, how awful. Lexi and I are overwhelmed with grief. Only a few days ago we learned that the war was over and Louis and her brother Zack are on their way home. There has been no word about my son, Michael.

I fear that the world has gone crazy. What will happen now? Will the last years of war be for nothing? Folks in town are also upset about Lincoln's death. Rumor has it that the South is rejoicing and may start the war again. Surely the Vice President, Andrew Jackson will stay strong and stay on course.

The shock of the news has left us all wondering what the future holds for this country. We have all been through so much. It will take a long time to rebuild. I can only hope that my Louis and my Micheal come home soon so that we can rebuild our family and our home.

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