The Diary of
Lieutenant Gerald  Fitzgerald


Dear Diary,

It has been about a month since I first enlisted for the Confederate Army. I lived in Kansas and left behind my father, a blacksmith. My brother Thomas Fitzgerald and I are not really close. We play pranks on each other all the time, but it ends with a fight and our dad is usually on Thomas's side. Thomas left for the Union just a few weeks before I decided to leave. I joined the Confederates because Thomas had joined the Union. It was just for spite, but this could cost me my life. I started as a lowly private, but then I advanced through the ranks and made it to Lieutenant! Today is my birthday though and I am now 20 years of age. I wish to serve in the army and not have to experience a single battle. I doubt that I will get my wish.

Civil War Slang Conversation


JUSTIN= Soldier B

RISHI= Soldier V

D: Were running into a hard case here.

B: There will be hornets flying everywhere, remember to take your Arkansas Toothpick and pepper box with you!

V: Want some tar water?

D: I’m not getting wallpapered. I have to be fit as a fiddle.

B: Me either, I want to have some horse sense when we are fighting.

V:Yeah, just like the skunks tell us we have to do to be a top rail #1.

D: That’s just Hunky Dorey.

B: I hope we will not have to see the sawbones after this.

V: Yeah, but a healthy man is about as scarce as a hen’s tooth.

D: Watch out the hornets are coming! We must Skedaddle!

B: Come on possums, lets go!



  1. Dear Father,

Today we have just finished making our new camp feel like the old one in the woods. We finally built houses and finished all the pathways. It is time to start drilling and training for battles and stop doing chores. When we get up in the early morning when the sun has not come up yet, we don our grey uniforms,pick up our muskets and get down to the field where we wait for our drill leader to come. I a person does not come to the drilling on time, then a popular punishment is to tie their thumbs to a tree and let them hang there. And if the drill leader is in a bad mood, believe me when I say that death would be a better choice. After drilling, we go to the lines to get our food and after we eat, we do more drilling until we cannot go any longer. We get about 5 hours of sleep rarely. The average is about 4 hours. I will see you when my year long term with the Confederates is done and if you can, write back to me about how Thomas is doing.


Gerald Fitzgerald

Shmoop Editorial Team. "The Civil War Photo: Young Confederate Soldier." Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 21 Apr. 2014. <>.

Interview With Jeremiah Handley

Interview question 1

Jeremiah, when you chose to stay at home,

What caused you to make that choice?

I felt bad for her because she was very sick and I knew that if I did not stay, she would die soon. Even though she still died later, I gave her more time to live.

Interview question 2

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

I was proud that I drove the Union away and became an officer. This accomplishment made made my life a lot better and improved my image among the other soldiers.

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

I wish I could have gone with my brother so that I could have someone to talk to in the army. Even though it was the right thing to stay with my mom, I still wish that I could be with him.

Interview question 4 (Look back at the italicized section at your "ending")
Jeremiah, do you think that your brother is alive or dead, and if he is alive, do you think you will find him?

I do not believe that he is alive because it has been some time since I have heard from him. I know that he would write back if he was alive. He would have received the letter by now.

I fell on the ground during drilling this morning, to see this. I got a close up view on two drops of dew on a single blade of grass. It was very beautiful

"20 Spectacular Dew on Grass Pictures." Photography Blogger. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <>

Morning Picture

I crawled out of my tent early this morning and ran to the food area. I went into the line and quickly got my food. I sat long table that was not occupied,but soon it filled up.We did not talk much while we ate because we were all lost in thought. When we finished our food,we got up and walked back to our tents to get ready for the drilling to begin.

"Civil War Food, Food in Civil War, Hardtack." Civil War Food, Food in Civil War, Hardtack. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. <>.

Civil War Song

As we march into the battle, we let loose a fierce cry. Let us trust in the Lord. May we fight gloriously, and hope to survive. Let us trust in the Lord.

Chorus: Long live the Confederacy,and down must the Union fall. We fight to defend our ways and protect our families too. But to accomplish what we are trying to do we must trust in the Lord

As we fight in the battle, we shoot our muskets fast and quick, but the enemy does the same. I see friends and foe fall all around me as the fighting wears on.

Chorus: Long live the Confederacy,and down must the Union fall. We fight to defend our ways and protect our families too. But to accomplish what we are trying to do we must trust in the Lord

As the sun goes down, we fight in the dark,but our spirits shine as bright as the sun. We don’t know where the enemy is, but we continue shooting because we have faith in the Lord.

Chorus: Long live the Confederacy,and down must the Union fall. We fight to defend our ways and protect our families too. But to accomplish what we are trying to do we must trust in the Lord

When the sun finally rises, we look around in awe as the Union runs away. We shout our hurrahs and then mourn the dead, but they died for a worthy cause. We walk away in silence, but inside we are beaming because down the Union will fall.

Favorite Food and Hobbies

My favorite food in the army is the desiccated vegetables. Even though they are disgusting, they are probably the best food because they are not infested with worms or weevils, most of the time. Here is the recipe.

1. Get your desired vegetables

2. Squish all  of them into a liquid

3.Put the liquid in a square mold and freeze

4. Eat

My favorite hobby has to be playing cards or chess with my fellow soldiers. Most of them know how to play and are pretty good at it so I have improved in skill over the past few months. We play many different card games with each other and some we just make up. When the cards get worn down or ripped, one will ask their family to send some more and in the meantime we make cards out of paper scarps, tree bark and even food.

This is the kind of things we use to pass our time. The chess set, dice and cards are as valuable as gold to us.

"Life of a Soldier during the Civil War." Life of a Soldier during the Civil War. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. <>.

Disease and Treatment

Yesterday, our regiment got in a little battle with a Union regiment two days ago. We were separated from the other regiments during a huge battle. It was about a hundred from our regiment and 125 from theirs. Even though it was only a low number of people fighting, there were still many casualties. I don't know how many died, but it was a lot. I saw a man get shot in the arms in quick succession three times before finally falling and having his corpse get shot multiple more times by stray bullets. What a way to die. I was scraped by a bayonet protruding from the musket of a deceased enemy. The injury was serious, but not so serious as to amputate. Right now, I am bed ridden and unable to preform drilling. Yes!

This is the picture of the battle my regiment avoided by getting separated from the others. It was a huge conflict and we were slaughtered by the Union. The rest of the war does not look very good for us

"'Allow Me to Mingle My Tears': The Aftermath of a 22-Year-Old Irishman's Death." Irish in the American Civil War. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2014. <>.

Going Home

Apparently, my wounds are worse then they seem. Much worse. I am constantly in pain and am unable to preform the drilling. They are sending me back home to my father and if my brother. I hope that they have not disowned me or something for joining the Confederacy. I am on the train home right now and I do not know if they even know that I am coming home. I am in severe pain right now because the tracks are not very good. This is the only Confederate train system to get back home. I will have to transfer to a Union railroad too so they gave me a Union uniform to use and a fake ID. I just hope this works, because if it does not, I will be put in one of those terrible prisons.

I returned home to see that our house was sold. My father had sadly passed away about a month before and the house and small farm was sold to a man with many slaves. I also got news that my brother had left the war and was somewhere, but was not dead. Now to find him. this is going to be hard

"Newest Robinson Professor Sees History as ‘A Great Connector’." The Mason Gazette RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2014. <>.

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