Civil War Journal

By: Sarah Low

#1

Dear Journal,

I am Sarah Low , 19 years old, and I used to live in New York City.  I do not have a husband or kids, but I do have a dog named Cotton. I used to live in an apartment with my mother who is recently in New York right now.  When I lived in New York, I was a waitress. I received a pretty steady paycheck, in which I gave half of to my mother for taking  care of me. I am tending to people in the Battle of Gettysburg. Yes, I am a nurse. I was not a very daring or adventurous person before I came to nursing here in the Civil War.  I am serving for the Union, currently. My brother, who I don't see often, is fighting for the Reb's. Today, I tended to one of our soldiers who lost his arm. It was blown off by a minie ball. I have learned to deal with the massacre, the blood, and all of those things, but I cannot comprehend why all of this is going on. I just do not understand why Americans are fighting American's. We all should be a whole. This is the 3rd day of Gettysburg. By the looks of all the wounded soldiers, I'm not sure if the Union will win the war. But, I heard from others that the Union has things under control.

#2

Tori: Hello Robert!. I am 19 years old and I am a chief cook and bottle washer.

Robert: Hello Tori! I am 21 and I am a fresh fish.

Tori: Hey! Me too!

Robert: Wow! Bully!

Tori: We are both hunkey dory!

Tori: I am a little scared to be fighting out on the field.

Robert: I know! My bread basket is turning!

Robert: Actually, I think it is because I ate some bad goobers earlier.

Tori: Do you think you might have to take a quick step? Or is it just the nerves about the battle?

Robert: Its about the battle.

Tori: Well if you take a quick step, you will be fit as a fiddle.

Robert: Ok, thanks for the tip possum.

Tori: Well, while we are waiting for the battle to start, wanna play some cards that my mother sent me?

Robert: But first, let me put my pepperbox down.

Tori: Ok, lets start.

Robert: Black jack sounds fun to me!

(the two play for a while)

Tori: HEY YOU ARE BLUFFING!

Robert: No i am not!

Tori: I KNOW YOU ARE LYING BECAUSE YOUR QUEEN OF HEARTS IS SHOWING!

Robert: Ok, I was bluffing…;

Tori: Wait, lets follow the greenhorns. The battle is starting.

Robert: Ok, I’m not nervous anymore. I finally have a friend.

Tori: Neither am I. I am as snug as a bug.

#4

Dear Mother,

Thank you for sending me the food and clothing I wished for. Also, thank you for that extra special deck of cards you sent me. In the day time, I do not have much to do, other than stock up on extra medicine and clean the supplies. In my pass time, I have up 1-2 hours to myself so I spend them accordingly. Today, we are preparing for the battle of Vicksburg. I did not have much to do, so I decided to watch the soldiers do their back-busting drills.  I walked over to where the swamp met the prairie and sat down on a log. As I watched, I noticed the ground that the soldiers were drilling on was not flat, but indeed very ridged and bumpy. I guess that makes for tough training. Their faces were red as tomatoes and they were huffing and puffing like wolves. I knew these soldiers drilled every day, I mean every time of day, like morning, noon, afternoon, oh, and I forgot evening. From where I could see, one of the soldier tried to escape the camp during a drill. Lets just say his plan did not end off on a positive note. They officers snatched him up, dragged him to an open spot away from the soldiers and tied, both, his legs and arms together. Then wrenched a stick between his two arms and legs. The boy was helpless. He was immobile. I couldn't stand to see what happened next. But, I am not saying harsh punishment is entirely bad. It is for the good of the Union. No one can control them and the soldiers need to know that they have a strong base to fighting off of, they can rely on the Union forces to have their backs. I will write you sometime Mother. I love you.

- Sarah

A view of the open, blank battle field in which we will fight upon.  #chillin

#5

1.) Jeremiah when you chose to leave home and go to war with your brother, what caused you to make that choice?

I left my home and my mother. It was a hard thing to do. But, I had to do the right thing, no, I wanted to do the right thing. I know I should have stayed with my mother and helped her, I mean she is my mother, but I had to go with my brother. I have his back and he has mine. I've always wanted to help fight in the war, to be a grown man, to fight for what I think is right. Besides, this was a great opportunity for me and and I was not going to pass this one up. I am doing what isn't just the best for me, but for my whole family.

2.) Jeremiah, looking back what is something in your life that you are proud of happy about?

Well, looking back on my life, I would have to say that I am proud of when I told the recruiter that I was only thirteen. Although I wanted to be "in" the war, I was a child then, and I wasn't acknowledging that I would be risking my own life. I am proud that I made such a courageous decision. But, I still, technically, got to be in the war. I was a drummer boy. I was happy with that duty and I still got to be with my brother.

3.) Jeremiah, what is one thing about your life you wish had been different?

Since I was a drummer boy, all I had to do was drum. No drills, no fighting, no plans, and no weapons for me. Being a drummer boy was not the safest job. I was not equipped with any weapons of the sort, but the opponent was not to shoot or even aim at the drummer boys. First, us boys were told to get into a single file line. I was near the center of the line. Together we marched, left foot before the right. We took a sharp turn east. I guess the opponents had a fresh meat who thought they were so cool as to fire a shot before at the little drummer boys before the battle even started. Unluckily, the shot happened to hit me right in the shoulder. That is why today I do not have a left arm. This is the one thing about my life that I wish had been different.

4.) Jeremiah, have you ever seen your brother since the battle?

Actually, yes I have. We, often, both, pretend to be sick and leave camp to visit mother and help tidy up the farm. We travel by carriage with our friend Bill who accompanies us along the way. It takes us a mere 3-4 days to get to our farm. Along the way James tells stories of what happens in the battles, and I chime in a little bit about what I did as a drummer boy. James and I have actually become closer now that we have entered battle. Although, I have noticed a little change in James and I think he has noticed it in me too. We are both changing into young men.

#6

Yeah uh huh you know what it is

No more slavery

No more slavery

No more slavery

No more slavery

Yeah uh huh you know what it is

No more slavery

No more slavery

No more slavery

No more slavery

Yeah uh huh you know what it is

Everything I do I do it big

Yeah uh huh slavery that’s something

When they pulled up the whip

I stopped it.

Up in the North

When you see me

You see everything.

No more slavery

No more slavery

No more slavery

No more slavery

I put it down

from my whip

to my cotton gin.

No more slavery

no more slavery

no more slavery

no more slavery.

Black men

all equal

The South scared of us

but the slaves ain’t.

Soon as we stop slavery

look at the South’s place.

Shoot the gun once

break the South’s faith.

Look on the inside

the South horrid.

Mr. Lincoln

you know what his plans are for it.

And I got the slaves to freedoms place

I got the Confederacy checking game

I going all in on every level.

Hear them southerners talk

But there is nothing they can tell us.

Just saved a million,

got another million on my schedule.

No love for the South

they break my heart.

None free

Help them out.

Yeah, uh huh you know what it is…

Everything I do, I do it big

Yeah uh huh slavery that’s something

When they pulled up the whip

I stopped it.

Up in the North

When you see me

You see everything.

No more slavery

no more slavery

no more slavery

no more slavery

I put it down

from my whip

to my cotton gin.

No more slavery

no more slavery

no more slavery

no more slavery

Got a call from my private

this just in.

Slaves love me because I’m messing with the Confed’s.

I’m not a slave owner

I'm an abolitionist.

This ain’t for one night

I’m for real though.

They’re slippin’ real slow

They’re selling white gold.

They got so many problems

they can’t even survive it.

Got a pocket full of sad faces

Give it up because every slave that I am with said they’re….

Yeah, uh huh you know what it is…

Everything I do, I do it big

Yeah uh huh slavery that’s something

When they pulled up the whip

I stopped it.

Up in the North

When you see me

You see everything.

No more slavery

no more slavery

no more slavery

no more slavery

I put it down

from my whip

to my cotton gin.

No more slavery

no more slavery

no more slavery

no more slavery

Stay enslaved like they’re supposed to do

Just kidding slavery

is bad.

And slaves look unapproachable but,

they are super clean and super lean.

You wanna mess with the slaves,

uh uhh,

uh uhh,

uh uhh,

uh uhh,

don’t do that,

and that’s that.

I won’t let them get as far as they want

and they know that.

No more C.S.A., ya

Lets end this war now!

Ya, uh huh you know what it is

Yeah, ya, uh huh you know what it is

You already know what’s down South

You know you should by now

Up in the North

When you see me

You see everything.

No more slavery

no more slavery

no more slavery

no more slavery

I put it down

from my whip

to my cotton gin.

No more slavery

no more slavery

no more slavery

no more slavery

Yeah, uh huh you know what it is…

Everything I do, I do it big

Yeah uh huh slavery that’s something

When they pulled up the whip

I stopped it.

Up in the North

When you see me

You see everything.

No more slavery

no more slavery

no more slavery

no more slavery

I put it down

from my whip

to my cotton gin.

No more slavery

no more slavery

no more slavery

no more slavery

#7

Dear Journal,

So many men. All piled into one camp. It just might burst. Like if you put to much water into a water ballon it will just explode. Lots of men are getting bored these days. There are men walking around drunk, screaming and shouting words that are not of this language or they are prohibited. It is out of control. I saw some men today scratch their heads and find lice in it. The two, sat down at an open table, grabbed a plate, and set the lice onto it. I did not know what was going on because hundreds of men bundled around the tiny table. The men were chanting, hollering, hooting. I finally realized that men were betting on which lice insect would get from one side of the plate to the other side of the plate. "$5.00 on that number 1!" "No, he is two scrawny. $10.00 on that number 2!" After a while, the race was over, and some left over scraps were sent to our camp. I was ecstatic to find out food was coming, until I receive some hard tact with at least 30 worms in it. Overall, camp here is awful and I believe no human being should be kept in such conditions and left with such horrible sanitation and food.

- Sarah Low

These are only a few of the rifles one might see before, during, or after the war.

#8

Dear Journal,

It is 0800 hours. I wanted to go for an early morning walk because life, here at camp, had been starting to get very lifeless and dull. So I woke up this morning to find the 18th Maine drilling, as usual. The soldiers where equally situated. In three lines. They stood side by side, shoulder to shoulder. The general was trotted up and down each row inspecting the privates. Once he was done, he walked back to the front of the lines and shouted out something I could not make out. The trail I was taking was around the pond, and over the rock. Once I got to the rocks, from where I could see, one soldier dropped. He dropped to the ground. No sound, no expression, nothing. I thought it was because maybe another group had a misfire that went wrong. But, I soon realized the soldier was probably in terrible conditions and had probably ate nasty food which caused his body to stop working. And the worst part about the whole scenario, was that no one helped him. No one looked at him, no one tried to help the poor man. He died in vein. He died in a cloud of solitude and regret. Poor young fellow

-Sarah Low

#9

Dear Mother,

But today, today I am coming home. The war is over. I have become such a different person from when I started this problematic journey of being a civil war nurse. I had my doubts about coming here. I knew it was a risk I must take. But, all in all, I am grateful that I did such an amazing task. Although there were many hardships along the way, I, no, we, the Union as a whole, have overcome so much one cannot put it into word. I can picture back to the first battle of Bull Run, when the soldiers were marching. The Rebs also marching across from them. I can vividly picture the scene when our men were shot one after the other. It started at the end of the line and then working its way towards the front. Even though I can now comprehend why the land of the free split, there is one thing I still don't understand, when a soldier in the line got shot, why... Why did none of the other soldiers help him? The others just kept on marching. Why wouldn't one help one of their own wounded, one would have no soul if that did that! This statement is what fueled my anger since the minute I started nursing for the Union. This is what kept me going. And this is why I stayed. Even though I am happy to come home now, I will never, ever forget the time I spent nursing in the Civil War.

- Sarah Low

Brown, Jeff. "Five Ways to Streamline Your Morning Routine." 93.7 the Bus.
Forever Broadcasting, 14 Jan. 2014. Web. 6 May 2014. <http://thebus.net/

sites/default/files/ws_Good_Morning_Sun_1280x1024.jpg>.

"Civil War Photos: After the War." The Atlantic. Atlantic Monthly Group, 2014.
Web. 14 May 2014. <http://cdn.theatlantic.com/static/infocus/ww2_20/

w04_3d09a420.jpg>.

Marek, Peter. "Centralia Students Re-enact Civil War Battle." Missourian. N.p.,
10 May 2013. Web. 5 May 2014. <http://media.columbiamissourian.com/

multimedia/2013/05/10/media/051013_CivilWarDay_PM_611_02_t_w600_h475.jpg>.

"Sarah Low." Sarah Low. New Hampshire Historical Society's Program, n.d. Web. 1
May 2014. <http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs114/1103155922201/

archive/1114622173121.html>.

"Weapons of the Civil War." Kidport Reference Library. Kidport, 1998. Web. 12
May 2014. <http://www.kidport.com/reflib/usahistory/civilwar/Images/
Rifles.jpg>.

Comment Stream