Civil War Life

By Saira Alvi

This is a picture of me and my sister when we were little. I have gotten sick and am too weak to fight. I went home. I got to see my family again. It was so different here. My sisters and brother have gotten so old. My eldest younger sister has helped my mom take over all of the chores. She has matured greatly. My mom also looks very tired and worn out.  When I first came home, the first thing I did was take a bath. It felt good to be back home. Then I tried to put on some of my old clothes, but I realized that they were all too loose on me. I've lost all of my fat and I am now as skinny as a stick. I am forced to wear my sister's clothes. The next thing I did was eat. I ate and ate and ate. I raided my house eating all of the food I missed. I ate fresh bread and drank clean water. Everything is going well, but I am still sick and my family is too poor to get me proper medicine. I hope I get better soon. I will keep you guys updated.

Comments:

SamuelHenry: You are so lucky that you got to go home. It is only getting worse and worse here and it is not the same without you.

DanielHenry: We are winning a lot of battles now and I am starting to gain hope, but I'd rather be home like you. We miss you!

This is a painting of one of the battles. Today I would like to share the horror of sickness and illness that is happening right now in the Civil War. In fact, for every one man that dies in battle, four die from sickness. Doctors don't really care much for sickness. At the beginning of the war, they never thought sickness was going to be a problem. We have very limited hospitals and supplies. The doctors are also poorly trained and often their remedies are wrong and only cause more trouble. Right now, there are so many sick and injured people, the doctors think that the fastest way is the right way. We soldiers also don't care much about cleanliness and that is the cause of some of these sicknesses. Almost every soldier here has at least one type of bug on them. Since the soldiers are messy, camp starts to get messy and now it is just really gross. The main cause of death so far is diarrhea. 995/1000 men suffered from diarrhea. I hope we get new, trained doctors soon.

Comments:

SarahJane: Please stay healthy! This sounds disgusting!

JohnDavid: All of this is true. I actually am starting to watch what I'm drinking now because I don't want to get sick.

DrSteve: We are trying the best we can, we only have 2 years of medical school and they don't teach us very much. We also don't have much of the right equipment or supplies.

Today I interviewed Jeremiah Hanley. He is a nice young boy. He is 13 years old. I asked him why he decided to join the army and he said, "I wanted to be with my brother at all costs, even if it means that I have to fight with him. I never want to leave his side, and fighting with him will make it much more comfortable." I also asked him what was one thing he was proud and happy about in his life. He said, "I’m glad that I chose to join the army. If I had stayed home with my mother, she may have gotten sick. I don’t know how to treat illnesses, so I wouldn't want to watch her die." The next question that I asked him was, what was one thing in his life that he wishes would've been different. He said, "I wish my brother didn't get lost. I only joined the army and ditched the train so I could be with him, and now he’s gone." The last question I asked him was, was his brother, James, dead. He said, "Yes. After the battle, when we searched for bodies, James was on the ground, dead, with a shot right through his heart." #RIPJames #JeremiahHanley #CivilWar

Comments:

BillyJoe: This was such a heartbreaking story. Stay strong Jeremiah.

BeckyGeorge I wonder how his mom is doing...

JeremiahHanley: Thanks @BillyJoe. I will stay strong.

This is a picture of some of the higher ranked soldiers eating food. Today I am going to tell you guys what me and the other Civil War soldiers eat and do in our free time. At the beginning of the war, we had a lot of food, but now we're running a bit low on food. The food we get here is really gross. If we're lucky, we get coffee and meat, but usually we get stale, moldy cornbread. And sometimes we get hardtack. Hardtack is like a very hard cracker. You have to dip it in coffee so you don't break your teeth. It usually has a lot of bugs in it, but we don't mind anymore because it is the only food we get. Sometimes we get salted, raw pork or beef. Usually they are so salted that we have to soak the meat in water for a couple hours. I hate all of the food here, but if I had to choose my favorite food, I would choose the meat. I can't wait to come home so I can get some good food. Now I will tell you about what we do in our free time. Since it's winter, we can't do drills outside, so we have a lot of free time to do whatever we please. We usually read, play chess, play cards, chicken fights, and just plain fooling around. Some of my favorite activities to do is play baseball, write letters, sing, bet, and listen to plays. Sometimes we even have chats with the enemies!

Comments:

SarahJane: Ewww! You eat bugs?!

Mom: Glad to hear that you're having fun. Just don't get sick on me.

JohnBrad: You made this sound like paradise! It is way worse than this!

Today, me and some of my friends made up a song. We soldiers love to sing in our free time. Our song goes like this:

Campfire Song

Sitting around the campfire

Singing Johnny comes marching

Sitting around the campfire

drinks and jokes all around

Sitting around the campfire

(CHORUS)

Hurrah!

Hurrah!

Singing the Campfire Song!

Hurrah!

Hurrah!

Singing all night long

Singing around the Campfire

Battle Cry of Freedom

Singing around the Campfire

the Battle Hymn

Singing around the Campfire

(CHORUS)

Hurrah!

Hurrah!

Singing the Campfire Song!

Hurrah!

Hurrah!

Singing all night long

Eating around the Campfire

Eating Salt Pork and coffee

Eating around the Campfire

Fruits and veggies

Eating around the Campfire

(CHORUS)

Hurrah!

Hurrah!

Singing the Campfire Song!

Hurrah!

Hurrah!

Singing all night long

Drinking around the Campfire

Wine and water

Drinking around the Campfire

Coffee and juice

Drinking around the Campfire

(CHORUS)

Hurrah!

Hurrah!

Singing the Campfire Song!

Hurrah!

Hurrah!

Singing all night long

Comments:

BillyJoe: This was so much fun to make! We have to sing this tomorrow around the campfire.

SarahJane: You have to sing this for me when you come home!

JoeBob: Great work! It sounds like a good song.

This picture is of us at camp. I'm gonna tell you guys a little about camp life, here in the war. We just got a new general and he completely changed the way we do things here at camp. Before this general, we would basically do whatever we wanted. We would train here and there of course, but we also got a lot of freedom to do our own things. But with this new guy, everything changed. We have to make sure we stay clean or else we get a log instead of a gun and we have to parade in front of the guard tent for the rest of the day. It is tiring work. We can not swear or leave camp without permission. My friend Tom left without permission one time and he got arrested! Also now, we barely have any free time. All we do is train, train, train. We do drill, after drill, after drill nonstop. That is just the start. I will tell the rest when I come home after the war. #camp #camplife#soldiers

Comments:

SoldierBoyTom: They just allowed me my phone for a couple minutes. Thanks for mentioning me. I'm glad I'm in prison instead of out there! Good luck.

TheNewGeneral: WHAT ARE YOU DOING ON YOUR PHONE? GET BACK TO WORK! YOU HAVE CHORES TO DO!

This is a picture of drills at camp. Today I interviewed Jeremiah Hanley. He is a nice young boy. He is 13 years old. I asked him why he decided to join the army and he said, "I wanted to be with my brother at all costs, even if it means that I have to fight with him. I never want to leave his side, and fighting with him will make it much more comfortable." I also asked him what was one thing he was proud and happy about in his life. He said, "I’m glad that I chose to join the army. If I had stayed home with my mother, she may have gotten sick. I don’t know how to treat illnesses, so I wouldn't want to watch her die." The next question that I asked him was, what was one thing in his life that he wishes would've been different. He said, "I wish my brother didn't get lost. I only joined the army and ditched the train so I could be with him, and now he’s gone." The last question I asked him was, was his brother, James, dead. He said, "Yes. After the battle, when we searched for bodies, James was on the ground, dead, with a shot right through his heart." #RIPJames #JeremiahHanley #CivilWar

Comments:

BillyJoe: This was such a heartbreaking story. Stay strong Jeremiah.

BeckyGeorge I wonder how his mom is doing...

JeremiahHanley: Thanks @BillyJoe. I will stay strong.

My wonderful family. We got this picture taken when I was 7. I am the one holding the baby. My real name is Mary Anne but I am disguised as a man and my man name is Maxon Henry. I am 18 years old. I am from Chicago IL and we live in a small house. I have a mom. My dad died in the year this picture was taken in a previous war. I also have 2 little siblings. 1 Girl named Elizabeth and 1 boy named George. The girl is now 14 and the boy is now 4. When I leave, my sister will be able to take over the housework. At home, I usually did a lot of housework. I was really tired of doing all of the chores so I decided to join the war. I hope to bring some money to my family. #backstory #family

Comments:

Mom: I remember when this was taken! Such nice memories. You've grown up so fast.

Elizabeth: Wow, I was so little! I'll miss you. Please write home.

SarahJane: Marry this is so cute! I can not believe I have never seen this before. You must show me other pictures when you come back.

My name is Marry Anne, but I am disguised as a guy so I could enlist for the war. My man name is Maxon Henry and I am 18 years old. I am officially a Union soldier. Today I got my picture taken for the war. Tomorrow I am going to start training. I will keep you informed. Goodbye everyone! I hope to see you soon! #war #selfie#seeyousoon#CivilWar #Union

Comments:

JohnWilliam: Good luck "Maxon". I will see you there because I am also enlisting for the war.

Mom: Good luck honey You come home soon you hear! Your father would've been so proud of you.

SarahJane: Mary! Why did you do this? When you come back, you better tell me every single bit of it.

JoeBaker: Don't die.

Citations:

Works Cited

2nd South Carolina String Band. Emmitsburg.net. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 May 2014. <http://www.emmitsburg.net/archive_list/articles/ce/misc/2012/songs_2.jpg>.

Civil War Battle. The Heroes of the Confederacy. OurConfederateHeros.org, 2014. Web. 28 May 2014. <http://www.ourconfederateheros.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Major-Battles.jpg>.

Civil War Children. Blogspot.com. Blogger, n.d. Web. 29 May 2014. <http://lh4.ggpht.com/_C4aSk1DJAeM/TIL7olK3skI/AAAAAAAAh4A/XqkYTVs_GyY/s1600/cincinatti2-2.jpg>.

Civil War Drills. Explorepahistory.com/. WITF, 2011. Web. 29 May 2014. <http://explorepahistory.com/kora/files/1/2/1-2-2FE-25-ExplorePAHistory-a0b1h0-a_349.jpg>.

Civil War Families. Civil War Dads. Steve Braun and Liberty Family Resources, 2008. Web. 27 May 2014. <http://www.civilwardads.com/images/CW%20family%20picture1.jpg>.

Jennie Hodgers. Feniangraves. N.p., 1 Apr. 2010. Web. 19 May 2014. <http://www.nps.gov/resources/customcf/people/Hodgers_teaser.jpg>.

Nps Volunteers Portraying Camp Living Conditions. Nps.gov. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 May 2014. <http://www.nps.gov/history/history/online_books/civil_war_series/5/images/fig64.jpg>.

“Union Army.” Galleryhip.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 May 2014. <http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2013/07/02/4a39428r-6c7732490e1793ad8db7fdcecfb3e227cf39c080-s40.jpg>.

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