My Journal

By Samuel Anderson

Journal Entry #1

My name is Samuel Anderson, I am a Private for the Union Army. I come from Boston, Massachusetts, where I live with my family of 4. I am a busy blacksmith and I work in sharpening and polishing tools. I am 27 years old, and I am married to a woman named Ann. We have three children, Charles (age 6), Catherine (age 8), and Susan (age 4).  I love them very much and surely miss them all. Ann’s mother and father used to own a slave who was the same age as Ann, and Ann would always think that slavery is wrong. As the two grew up, they became very close, and eventually, the slave had to be sold. The slave would send many letters to Ann explaining the horrors of slave-life, and ask her to help abolish it. Anyways, while I am gone, Ann must supply our children with the best, manage the farms, and her primary job, a clothes maker. I felt bad leaving Ann to do all the work, but she and I both know that I am leaving for a wonderful reason. I am fighting for the Union Army because all my life I was taught about equality. From my experience with equality, I feel that no man should have to involuntarily work for another, despite their skin color. Ann’s best friend was a slave, and I know that slavery is wrong. I believe that everyone is equal, and I am fighting for that reason.

Journal Entry #2

Union: You filthy Grayback! Skedaddle off my land!

Confederate: Well you yanky better give up, or else you’ll become a Hardknocks Jailbird!

Union: I won’t give in to you, I am fit as a fiddle and living perfectly as a Union soldier.

Confederate: Well we were all Uppity after Bullrun what happened there, seems like our fighting is Toeing The Mark.

Union: The rebels winning another battle is as Scarce as A Hen’s Teeth! You Confederates are so weak you are played out from one small battle!

Confederate: You must be WallPapered for thinking that!

Union: You better watch what you’re saying, after I’m done with you, you’re gonna need Sawbones to put you back together!

Confederate: You wanna be Whipped you yanky!?!?

Union: Doesn’t matter much, I’m a hard case.

Confederate: Hows ‘bout I introduce you to my PepperBox?

Journal Entry #3

Dear Ann,

Words cannot describe how much I miss you, Charles, Susan, and Catherine. How is everybody? Please make sure you tell the kids that I love and miss them very much, and I hope to be back  home in no time. Are they enjoying school? Anyways, life at camp is hard. Despite the fact that us soldiers do get some time to play cards, the drill sessions are brutal. We practice for hours, and it is tiring, I tell you. All of us work extremely hard at drill sessions, because we know that someday our hard work will pay off, and one day we will get to see our families again. I have seen foxes and animals of all sorts, and I am amazed at their speed. Oh, I almost forgot! I was severely punished yesterday, yes it was terrible. From all the exhausting hours of labor, a couple soldiers, including myself, decided to consume some liquor; and little did we know that it was not a good idea. Who knew the punishment for something so minor could be so harsh? I had to walk around in the "barrel shirt", and Ann, let me tell you it was the worst experience I ever encountered. I had to wear a barrel, and it was surely the furthest from comfortable. Life as a soldier is undoubtedly a tough life, but I know that after this war I will be able to live happily with the family in Boston. One day it will happen Ann, I promise. Just make sure you keep faith in God, and He will help us all get through difficult times. I have to go now and eat, I haven't eaten all day. Please write back to me, Ann. I am hopeful, but I need assurance that everything is going alright.

                                                                                       Love always, Samuel Anderson

       This picture is of a little brown fox that I saw yesterday afternoon. I was so shocked that it stood perfectly still as I took the picture!

Photo Prompt #2: Morning

This is what I see when I wake up and crawl out of my tent.

Journal Entry #4

NAMES: Vija, Izzy, Diya, Ishani, Savannah

PAGES: 1,  3, 5, 10, 18

QUESTION #1: Jeremiah, when you chose stay home and care for your mother, what caused to do make that decision?

I knew that my mother was gravely ill, and I could not leave my mother home all alone. Especially since my brother James was going to enlist in the war, my mother would not survive all alone. I had to stay and care for her and maintain the farm.

QUESTION #2: Jeremiah, looking back what is something in your life that you are proud or happy about?

I am proud and happy about joining the Union instead of the Confederates. Despite my opposition to my brother's side, I knew I was doing the right thing. Slavery is undoubtedly a horrendous thing, and fighting for its abolishment is certainly the best choice for me.

QUESTION #3:  Jeremiah, what is the one thing about your life you wish had been different?

I regret not taking the best care of my mother. Although I did all I possibly could to help my mother, I still feel as if it is my fault that she is no longer with me. I wish that I had done a better job with her, maybe recognizing the severity of the illness earlier. I wish my care for my mom had been better.

QUESTION #4: Jeremiah, did you anticipate being captured by the Confederates? Or was that out of sight at the moment and you had simply predicted an easy arrival to the Union?

I really did not think much about myself during the war, to be honest. I had so much going on with my mother's recent death, betraying my brother, and just everything that seemed to happen so quickly. I was most definitely not prepared for being held captive, and I was shocked and a bit disappointed in myself for not  planning my entire journey.  

Journal Entry #5

I have hope, that we will win this war. We can work, to fight for freedom. ‘Cause we, we’re capable of winning, of winning, and succeeding

I know we, We can make a change. We will fight, Until everything is right,.

Make this country a free one. The Union will work till we’re all one. But just be sure, ‘cause the rebels are going down, going down, they’re going down.

So you wanna go against the blue coats? Rebels you should know what you’re falling for. Confederates do you want to do this. Cause we’re coming at you and we will win

Are you ready for, ready for? A perfect battle, perfect battle,‘Cause once we win, once we win, There’s no going back.

Journal Entry #6

Dear Ann and the kids,

Life at camp is crazy. Days just drag along, and nothing exciting happens around here. Soldiers who used to be best buddies are now just nuisances to each others. However, I have found some ways to pass time without boring myself  too much. Some soldiers and I enjoy playing cards together. We also have races with head lice and place bets on which insect could crawl the fastest! It's actually quite amusing, and it's nice to clear my mind off of this miserable condition I'm in. Oh, let me tell you, soldiers bet their money on anything. It's our only way to have some fun around here. We have wrestling matches, dice games, baseball, raffles and so much more. Music is starting to become a means of escape from the life we live at camp. Unfortunately, food is not so great here.  The meat doesn't stay very fresh, so we pickle the meat in a saltwater mixture, but the meat gets so salty that no one wants to eat it. So many men have died of being malnourished. We have a weird food called 'desicated vegetables', but inside of these vegetable cakes are roots, stalks, and leaves, so we call it baled hay. We get corn bread more often than hardtack, but the taste is still the same: moldy, hard, and old. However, corn bread may just be my favorite. If you want to know how this food tastes, look at this recipe, and you can try making it at home. Anyways, make sure you tell the children that I said hello, and I love and miss them so much. Write back soon.

                                                                                 Love, Samuel Anderson, Union Private

How to make Cornbread:


3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk (substitute Sprite or 7-Up)
1/4 cup melted shortening or liquid margarine


Mix ¾ c. flour, 1 ½ c. corn meal, 2 Tbs. sugar, 1 tsp. baking powder, and 1 tsp. salt together in a mixing bowl or bucket. Fluff or sift together to combine well. Whip up 2 eggs and 1 ½ c. milk (substitute Sprite or 7Up) add to the flour mix. Stir in the shortening, ¼ c. melted, or use liquid margarine. Pour into a greased 12” Dutch oven. Bake with 10 briquettes under the bottom and 12 on top in the outdoors. Should be around 30 minutes. Add briquettes, if needed in the open air.

Photo Prompt: Battle

This is an image of the Battle of Cornith. It was bloody & Rebels won.

Journal Entry #7

The illnesses are insane in the camps. So many men died from diarrhea, and it is the #1 cause of death. More than 100 men have died yesterday. Deaths are passing by quicker than time, and I don't know how lucky I am that I am still alive. The water is just simply nasty, and completely unsafe to drink. However, if I don't consume that water, I will get dehydrated and most likely die from diarrhea. Most men blamed the doctor for their sickness, and that is easy to understand, since some surgeons learned how to operate by merely watching physicians. The doctors did attempt to cure the soldier. The doctors would provide the soldiers with various medicines, depending on the infection. Some of these soldiers would rather cure themselves without any training as opposed to relying on the war doctors. In one case, the surgeon had the soldier bleed to death to get the infection out of the body! The doctors try to help these poor, broken, soldiers, they really do, but what can they do when they do not have the right tools? It's heartbreaking to see some of my close acquaintances have their lives taken away because of lack of sanitation.

Me and some of my fellow Union soldiers playing cards during our free time.

Journal Entry #8

Home. That word is one that I have kept with me through the entire war. That word is my reason to fight. The day I have been waiting for is finally dawned upon me; I am going home. The war is done, no more bloody deaths, gruesome battles, and no more suffering. Words cannot explain my emotions, for I do not even know what I am feeling. A part of me is going to miss the life I have accustomed to, with fellow soldiers, who have now become friends, hardtack, and listening to our general command us into battle. Another part of me is feeling pity for the Confederates, who fought so hard, perhaps harder than we did, and still did not succeed. Despite the strong, tough, man I have become, a huge part of me is still so soft and loving. I would not ask for anything more than to see my family. Ann, Charles, Susan, and Catherine mean the world to me, and every moment with them is cherished. They have stayed with me all the time I was enlisted in the Union Army, not physically, but they were always in my heart. To think that I am finally going to see my family is just wonderful. My heart is scarred with the thought that thousands and thousands of men are not going to see their families ever again. My first instinct after being told that the war is over was to find the safest and fastest way home. Despite the fact that I wrote letters to Ann and the kids, nothing is more special than seeing their faces and actually talking to them. Most of all, I will be able to go home and spend my life in a free country. Nothing can compare to the satisfaction that I helped make this country the way it is  right now. My life is complete that I have fought as a Union soldier. Slavery is abolished, I feel like I have made a huge difference in this country I call home.  have sent a letter to Ann making sure she knows that I am safe, I am coming home, and that I love her so much. As I write this, I feel as if my grin is stretching miles and miles, because I am going home.


My three angels, from left to right, Catherine (8), Susan (4), and Charles (6)


“The Battle of Cornith.” Son of the South. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 May 2014. <>.

“Blue and Grey 1861-65 Bullets.” Blue and Grey. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 May 2014. <>.

“Playing Cards.” Kidport Reference Library. Kidport, n.d. Web. 13 May 2014. <>.

“Quick Brown Fox.” Lancashire Wildlife. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 May 2014. <>.

“Union Camps.” History Central. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 May 2014. <>.

“Vintage Clothes Camp.” The Civil War Quilter. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 May 2014. <>.

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