Charles Smith

Journal #1 Bio

Dear Journal,

Life as a Private Union soldier is very hard. I miss my fiance very much as well as my mother and father. My brothers have also enlisted so I am not alone. I am from a small farm in California so all of the traveling around the country is new and exciting. But at camp there is no privacy and the food is scarce. To-marrow is my first battle so I am frightened. I hope I will survive and get to see my fiance, Susan.

~Charles Smith

Journal #2 Slang

Charles: How ya doin?

Mary Jane: Hunkey Dorey, how about yourself?

Charles: Played out.

Mary Jane: Aw that’s not good, did you hear that today we will be getting some fresh fish?

Charles: Really?

Mary Jane: Ya, and did you also hear that James got shot by two hornets this morning, toeing the mark. He had to go to the sawbone and get his leg amputated. I feel bad, he is a nice guy.

Charles: Yeah he didn’t talk much though

Mary Jane: Oh did you hear that?

Charles: Ya the skunk is calling! Bye!

Mary Jane: Bye! See you in training

Journal #3 Letter Home

Dear Susan,

Life at camp is getting harder and harder. My troops are stationed in Washington.  Daily we have 5 different drill sessions. It contains marching exercises, bayonet practice, and rifle instructions. We also have many chores to complete. I have to mostly tend the horses because my experience at the farm. But I have to do some basic chores like cleaning tents, repairing equipment, and guarding camp. Since I have yelled at the general and missed 2 drill sessions so far I have been wearing the barrel shirt a couple times. The barrel shirt is a barrel with holes for your neck and arms. It is embarrassing and torturous. We have to wear it up to a week depending on our punishment. I love you and miss you so much.

~Charles Smith

Mornings at camp are always so horrible! We have to wake up at the crack of dawn to do  drill sessions! The only good thing about the mornings is the sunrise.

Journal Entry #4 Interview

Charles: Jeremiah, when you chose to stay with your mother instead of going to fight in the war,what caused you to make that choice?

Jeremiah: Well, everyone had left my mother. My brother, my father, so I realized it was up to me to take care of her. Although she died in the end, she died happy and not worried. She  lived as long as she could until she died.

Charles: Jeremiah, looking back what is something in your life that you are proud or

happy about?

Jeremiah: I am proud that I chose to fight on the Union side. Because they won the civil war and I have lived to tell the tale.

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

Jeremiah: I wish I had stopped my brother from going to war. He could have seen my mother once more before she died and could have survived if he hadn't been on the confederate side.

Charles: Jeremiah, when you got injured when captured by Confederate soldiers, how did you feel when you saw your brother?

Jeremiah: I was angry. He had no sympathy for me when I begged him for me to let me go, but when I told him about ma, he let me go. The confederate officer shot him afterwards for letting me and 5 other men go.

Charles: Wow. Well I think that is it for today's interview. See you next time!

Journal #5 Song

I wish I was in the land of LA.

Fun times they’re never forgotten;

Went to war! Went to war! Went to war! LA Land.

In La land where I was raised

Early on one summer day,

I went to war! Went to war! Went to war! LA Land.

Then I wish I was in the land of LA, Boohoo! Boohoo!

In LA land I’ll aim for dreams.

To live and die in LA!

Away, Away, Away off west in LA Land,

Away, Away, Away off west in LA land.

The battle of Bull Run was very horrifying. This is the cannon me and my friends were in charge of.

Journal Entry #6 Camp Life

Dear Journal,

Life at camp is boring . Gambling, playing cards, and racing bugs is fun at first. But after two weeks of doing the same thing it gets boring. Food at camp is disgusting. There is no fruits, veggies or even proper meat. We eat hardtack all the time. Its basically made of water and flour and is revolting. Sometimes you can find bugs and worms inside the food. Here is a recipe:


  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ to ¾ cup water
  • Salt (5-6 pinches)
  • Mixing bowl
  • Rolling pin
  • Cookie Sheet
  • Fork
  • Sheet

Instructions for Making Hardtack 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.2. Add all dry ingredients into the mixing bowl, and then add wet ingredients. Mix all ingredients together. Use extra flour if necessary to make sure the dough is no longer sticky. However, be careful not to make the dough too dry. If you add too much flour, add slightly more water.

3. Knead the dough until it is easy to work with.

4. Spread the dough onto the ungreased cookie sheet.

5. Use the rolling pin to roll the dough into a rectangular shape. Hardtack was around a half inch thick, so don’t worry about making the dough thin.6. Bake the dough for 30 minutes.7. Take the dough out of the oven and cut it into large squares (around 3 inches by 3 inches). Use a fork to poke 16 to 20 holes into each square.8. Flip the squares and return to the oven for 30 more minutes.9. Allow the hardtack to completely cool inside the oven. Be careful when biting into a cracker, as they do get very hard when completely cool.

~Charles Smith

Playing Cards is one of my favorite things to do!

Journal Entry #7 Deaths

Dear Journal,

There are so many horrors at camp. There are so many wounded and sick people, I am lucky to be alive. One of my neighbors, Jim, has dysentery. He is very sick. The doctors  give him whisky and turpentine, but nothing is working.  Then there's Tim T., he has pneumonia. What they do to him is horrible! They put burning hot bricks to his feet and rub burning alcohol on his chest! The doctors say they will probably have to amputate one of his wrists. Poor guy, I thought that the small fever I had last week was bad! The General is yelling at me. Till next time.

~Charles Smith

This is my farm at home and one of my two cows, Betty and Bess.

Journal Entry #8 Going Home

Dear Journal,

Today I am going home! I am so ecstatic! The war is over! My brothers and I are setting off for California tomorrow. None of my brothers or I have died. Although Stephen has gotten his leg amputated, we are all healthy happy people who are glad the war is over. Susan and I will have our wedding and my brothers and I will go back to our jobs. The slaves are freed.We will all have our happy ending. Goodbye journal

~ Charles Smith

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