Life As A Civil War Nurse: Civil War Journal

Journal Entry #1

Dear Journal,

My name is Elizabeth Smith. I grew up in Illinois, near Chicago. I live in a small town with my family. Before I became a nurse I helped out at home. I cleaned, cooked and sewed.I also helped out the doctor in our town, treating injuries and sicknesses.I wasn't happy about leaving my family, but because I was good at treating injuries the army recruited me. I am helping the Union Army because I want to help end slavery and have our nation become one whole country again. I am a nurse in the army with some other girls, as well as my sister Sarah.  I was recruited and wish I could be back home, but I need to help my country and the soldiers fighting for us. I have helped many and feel proud to be able to say I helped them. I had to leave my mother, father at home.My brother is in the war, and I haven't heard from him, so I worry he may be hurt, I heard that times are tough back home and I pray that they will be ok. I fear that one of them may become sick and I will not be there to help them. I worry  that I will never see them again, and I hope that I will be able to go home soon. Below is a picture of me taken at one of the camps we stopped in.

http://civilwarlogowear.com/articles/why.shtml

Journal Entry #2

S= Oh man! Today a very wallpapered man came in after having his arm reset. I felt bad for the hard knocks man.

E= He had been through the mill and was played out.

S= The Doctor found an ARKANSAS TOOTHPICK right through his left ventricular artery.

E= And the Saw Bones found a Hornet in his leg. He was a fresh fish.

S=When The man heard we had to amputate he was fit to be tied.

Journal Entry #3

Dear Mother,

It is getting colder here in Virginia and all the soldier's  are starting to build actual houses and cabins to stay in for the long cold winter. During the days I don't do much since all the soldier's do drills. Usually I have to help out with food, sewing and building the cabins. Occasionally I am able to treat someone for sickness. Because winter is coming I know that I will have to treat many people. I am glad that I have never broke any rules, because the punishments for soldier's here are harsh. Some of them are funny to watch though. The other girls and I see guys wearing wooden barrels walking around camp. Some punishments are more severe though. We see some all tied up in the camp, because they have disrespected an officer. The camp is dirty and many people are starting to get sick. I do chores around the camp and treat the sick and wounded while all the officers do drills. I hope I will be able to come home soon, I miss the family. Below is a picture of what the cabins we live in look like.

Elizabeth

http://www.kidport.com/reflib/usahistory/civilwar/...

Journal Entry #4

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

I am proud of many thing in my life.One thing that I am very proud of is staying with my mother for two years and then going to fight for the Union. I am proud of this because I got to spend my mother's dying years with her. She appreciated that I stayed to care for her when my brother left, and I am glad that I got to spend more time with her. It was hard when she passed away two years after my brother enlisted so I decided to go do something good for my country and join the Union. I didn't believe in what the Confederate's thought, and I wanted our nation to become one again. Even though my brother was on the Confederate side, I had not heard from him in about a year. I am very proud of my decision for staying with my mother and then enlisting for the Union army. I feel as if it was the best decision for me and my family. I think my mother would be very proud.In the end I was able to help my country and stay with my mother a little bit longer which I think was one of the best things.

Journal Entry #5

Dear Mother,

it is hard for us to find free time but when we do I like to play cards or be in the little plays that are put on. It is a great way to pass time. Many soldier's and other nurses dress up with face paint, costumes and put on a show for the other people in camp. It is alot of fun, and I think you would like it. The food here is alot different than what we ate at home. My favorite food here is hardtack. It is just flour and water and it tastes better than all the others. I miss you mother and all the food that you made at home. Your food was ten times better than here. At camp I sleep in a cabin with all of the other nurses. Most nights I get almost no sleep. The cabins are cold and it is hard to sleep. I miss home and I hope that I will be able to visit or go home soon. Camp is hard and sometimes boring. I miss home everyday. Below is a picture of what the hardtack looks like.

Your daughter,

Elizabeth

   

http://warriorstrail.com/food-for-the-trail-hardtack/

Journal Entry 6-

To they rhythm of Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus

They fought, they marched

They shot never asking why

They killed, they fell under the spell

A war no one could out run

Chorus- They marched in like stampedes of cow

They wanted to win the fight

All they wanted was to break the lines

All they ever did was fight

All they ever said

I can’t fight again,

my head hurts again

All they wanted was to leave

Please take me home



Chorus- They marched in like stampedes of cow

They wanted to win the fight

All they wanted was to break the lines

All they ever did was fight

They shot them high up in the sky

And then, they came crashing down

They shot again

And then, they marched away

Chorus- They marched in like stampedes of cow

They wanted to win the fight

All they wanted was to break the lines

All they ever did was fight

They marched in like stampedes of cow

Yeah, they just closed their eyes and shot

Left them falling on the ground

All they ever did was fight

Yeah, all they ever did was fight

Chorus- They marched in like stampedes of cow

They wanted to win the fight

All they wanted was to break the lines

All they ever did was fight

Journal Entry #7

Mother,

Many sickness's have been going around our camp. I am up all day and night treating patients. So many men are sick, and many more are getting sicker. Conditions here are not good which is not good for the people sick. I fear that many many more will get sick. Some of my friends have gotten sick including my sister. She has gotten sick with Fever, all the doctors are using leeches and drawing blood. I hope that she will get better soon. My other sister Mary Jane is sick as well, she has a pneumonia  the doctors are rubbing burning alcohol on her chest and applying hot bricks to her feet. As well as that Sarah has gotten sick, she  is sick with  some stomach problems. The doctors  are using flannel body bandages and trying stomach belts and some medicine. I hope that everyone will feel better soon and I fear that soon I may get sick. I am hoping the conditions get better.

Elizabeth

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/slideshow/multimedia-c...

Journal Entry 8

Dear Mother,

I feel delighted that I am able to finally come home. I will no longer have to live in horrible conditions. General Lee surrendered so we won the war! When the whole camp heard of this news people were running around with excitement. Ready to finally leave the fighting and camps and return homes to their families.Some of them were sad though because they heard news that their towns were gone or had no family to return home too.  I am so excited to finally be home and see the whole family. I was pleased with the outcome. We walk through many towns to get home and all of the cheer when they see us. American is changing considering the war is over. People are returning home,  building houses planting crops and ending slavery. I am so glad the war is over. Now people can finally stop fighting and return home. Life will be different now that the war is over. I will no longer have to live in the camps and travel with the soldier's I will be able to come home and help you and find a job. I am so happy that the war is finally over. I am excited to get home and start working again. I still miss the whole family and I will see you soon!

Elizabeth

 


http://penrosehistory.blogspot.com/2010/09/lafayet...

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