My Journal

By: Sarah Anderson

Journal Entry #1

My name is Sarah Anderson and I am a nurse during the Civil War. I have a lot of experience with medical work because my father was a doctor. I am on the Union side and because I grew up and currently live with my family in the North. I don't agree with slavery and I think that African Americans should get their own rights. My family and I live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. My husband, John, is currently fighting in the war on the Union side and I have three kids, my twin girls Martha and Elizabeth, and my baby boy William. I spend my days working at the hospital for my job and taking care of my kids at home.

Journal Entry #2    5/2/14

Andrew: You know I’m fit to be tied with you.

Gracie: Well I hope you get hit by a hornet.

Andrew: Well I’m just toeing the mark, and I want you to get whipped though.

Gracie: I’m going to stab you with an Arkansas toothpick in the bread basket.

Andrew: If you get the quick steps I would laugh.

Gracie: As a matter of fact I’m as fit as a fiddle

Andrew: Well you ain't my possum.

Gracie: At least I ain’t uppity.

Andrew: I was still the top rail #1

Gracie:You better skedaddle before you get hard knocks.

Andrew: Yeah well you’re a kid glove boy, sunday soldier who fights like a sawbone.

Journal Entry #3   5/5/14

Dear Mother,  

I am safe at camp taking care of many soldiers. I am at the same camp where John is but I have yet to find him. There are so many sick and wounded men that my days are constantly chaotic.  I run around treated soldiers that have acquired many diseases including camp fever which is highly contagious. The living conditions at the camp are horrible. It is always cold and the food is terrible. I wish to get out of here as soon as possible because I can't stand the stench of death anymore.


Union soldiers eating their food in the morning. #breakfast

Journal Entry #4  5/6/14

1. Jeremiah, when you chose to stay home with your mom, what caused you to make that choice?  My mom was sick and she need me. Besides my brother was already going to fight and what if something happened to the both of us.

2. Jeremiah, looking back what is something in your life that you are proud or happy about? I am proud that I was making my own decisions and I don't need help from my mom or brother. I was also proud of my brother because he decided to go fight for what he believed in (the south) even though we ended up going on different sides.

3. Jeremiah, what was one thing in your life that you wish had been different? I wish I would have traveled east instead of west because I could have fought Lee's army and wouldn't have been captured hostage by the Confederates.

4. Jeremiah what was it like in Confederate prison? It was awful. I was always cold, tired and hungry. We barely received any food and were crammed into crowded spaces with many other soldiers. All the Union soldiers were together but I didn't know any of them.

Journal Entry #5  5/12/14

Dear Kids,

I settled at camp right now helping people that are sick or injured. Since there aren't many battle going on right now I have a lot of free time. I mostly hang out with other nurses or some of the soldiers. Most of the soldiers are into gambling, play cards, sing songs, and they have lice races. When we have months of nothing to do, some soldiers but on theater shows and they even made a stage to preform on. Surprisingly, most all the soldiers socialized with the Confederates. The food that they give us is worse than horrible. I heard that they are running out of food and they give hardtack which is the hardest food I've ever eaten. There are worms in almost every cracker and another nurse found seventeen worms in one cracker.  I honestly don't know how much longer I can go on like this. There have been so many stomach sicknesses from the salty, raw meat. Soldiers are forcing themselves to eat it because they are so hungry.


Journal Entry #6  5/7/14

By: Gracie Roper & Alex Kelly

I wish I was alive again

Never forget the guy who shot me

Don’t be afraid! Don’t be afraid! I wish I live again

In Gettysburg where I was shot

Early on a hot summer morning

Don’t be afraid! Don’t be afraid! I wish I live again

I wish I was with my family, Horray! Horray!

In the north I shall stand

To live and die again

Up, Up , Up I will rise

Up, Up , Up I will rise

This was a battle during one of the three days of Gettysburg

Journal Entry #7   5/13/14

Today at camp I saw some of the worst illnesses I've ever had to treat. There are so many soldier suffering typhoid fever, malaria, dysentery, and the most common severe diarrhea. There is a higher chance that you would die from a disease that if you were out on the battle field and you were shot. Also most soldiers died from having surgery done. If they were shot with a minie ball and they had to get a body part amputated the surgeons didn't have a lot of water so they didn't wash their hands. And most surgeons were provided with surgery kits but chose not to use them and dug for the bullets with their hands. The wounds would then get infected and many soldiers died. All of my patients that I have seen are in horrible condition and I do my best to take care or them. I am constantly running around to treat my patients and I try to find as much clean water as I can.

This is my farm home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Journal Entry #8  5/14/14

Dear Mother,

As you have probably heard the war is over. The Union has come out victorious and the African Americans are no longer going to be enslaved and mistreated. I am so glad to come home soon and see my husband and kids. I am very pleased to inform you that John was not wounded during the war at all. He did however suffer from diarrhea but did recover quickly. I saw him for only a minute in the hospital but I was not allowed to be his nurse for people thought I would give him too much attention. You might not have known but John's enlistment was over three months ago and he chose to reenlist. He sent me only a few letters throughout the ever so long war, but in his last letter he told me "I have never been so passionate about anything in my life. I feel that no one should own another person, therefore I am reenlisting." I was so proud of him but on there other hand you would understand that I was worried for my life because every moment something could happen to him. I am also so very excited to see the kids. I hope you weren't too hard on them while they were staying with you. I am sure that when I get back William will have grown so much. He is starting to become such a big boy. I also understand that I have missed Martha and Elizabeth's 10th birthday. Tell them that right when I get home that we will go out and pick out something special. You have no idea how relieved I am to be out of that camp and on my way to my home sweet home. See you soon!


Work Cited

Avey, Tori. “Civil War Cooking: What the Soldiers Ate.” Food. PBS, 21 Sept. 2012. Web. 14 May 2014. <>.

Barnes, Richard. “Photographer Brings Civil War to Life with Centuries Old Technology.” NBC News. NBC News, 20 Sept. 2012. Web. 14 May 2014. <>.

“Civil War Era Farmhouse.” Victorian. Victorian Magazine, 13 May 2011. Web. 14 May 2014. <>.

Fink, Jennifer. “Honoring Civil War Nurses.” Nursing Link. N.p., 2010. Web. 14 May 2014. <>.

Gast, Phil. “Upcoming Film Marks Valor of VMI Cadets.” The Civil War Picket. N.p., 28 Dec. 2013. Web. 14 May 2014. <>

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