My Experience of the Civil War

By: Miloni Mehta (John Smith)

Entry 1

Background Information Journal Entry

So let me start out with some background information because I haven't written in a journal since I was back home, 6 months ago. My name is John Smith and I am from Illinois. Back home, I worked in a factory, but I didn't feel like I was getting enough pay, so I was hoping to get a steady income for my family out here. Also, I believe slavery is wrong and inhumane and I know this war will help to abolish the spreading of that if we win. I am ranked as a Private for the Union Army. I have a wife at home, Mary, and one daughter (an orphan) named May-Anne at home. I believe she is currently fifteen.

The Union will always reign high

Here's a picture of me!

Here's some hardtack you have probably heard a lot about!

Entry 2

Script With Their Dialect

SOURCES: The Life of Johnny Reb by Bell Irwin Wiley

The Life of Billy Yank by Bell Irwin Wiley

(coming back from hard tack meal)

Miloni- "I can’t believe that we have to eat those dog’s meals every day from now on, while the upity general gets to eat top rail feasts, with all of his possoms near bye. My bread basket is not even full."

Hunter- "Yeah but did you see how tight the General was?"

Miloni- "Yeah, after our meal, I will probably get quick-step. He will only care about us fresh fish as long as we are toeing the mark."

Hunter-"Same, I am whipped and ready to get wallpapered with some Tar Juice like he is. BULLYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Miloni-"Hunkey Dorey!!"

Hunter- "Well I bets SKEDADDLE"

Miloni- "Yeah, us private’s are played out."

Entry 3

Dear Mary,

         Right now, I am somewhere near the border states, I am not really sure. But, I am fine but I definitely could be better. I am living on water and hard tack, barely any sleep, and have to go through constant drills. I seem to live for drills, and it will be like that for the next three years. I am also in charge of picking up the trash with another man I know, and to just keep the camp tidy. It drives me insane! Not everything can be clean to the last detail! And  when I miss a piece, I have to parade around the camp wearing a sign that explains that I was lazy and forgetful! To me, this is cruel and unusual punishment.

Your Husband,


A dull morning for us...

Entry 4

Interview Questions

  • Jerimah, when you chose to stay home with your mother, what caused you to make that choice?                                                            Well, I couldn't just abandon her and leave her alone! It is what any good kid would have done. Did they abandon you when you were in need? No? So, I would have never done that to my mother. No matter the temptations of going into war.
  • Jeremiah, looking back what is something in your life that you are proud or happy about?                                                                                 I am proud to have been able to mature so quickly and choose for myself, to fight for the Union. I did not listen to anyone and made my own choice.
  • Jeremiah, what is one thing about your life you wish had been different?                                                                                                                      I wish I had tried harder to contact my brother. I also wish he fought for the Union so I could have fought with him. I should have stuck by him, because then I was forced to train and fight alone, with no figure of judgment. He was my role-model, and he was also my friend. It also got a little lonely without having a family member that you have known for a long time and you love.
  • Jeremiah, do you plan on trying to contact your brother soon? Or is there now a feud because you have opposing beliefs and are fighting on the opposite sides of the war?                                                  Yes, I have sent mail and word to people in the South, and I plan on continuing to do so until I hear back. Even though he is fighting for the wrong side, he is still my brother and my blood so I could never hate him. I hope that when this war is over, we can return to our house and I can enjoy a peaceful and simple life with my brother, maybe get married and settle down.

Entry 5

Camp Life Journal Entry

Dear John,

Camp life is alright. I mean there are certain games we play to pass the time, but overall it is a bit boring if you do not really know or have a blood relation with anyone at camp. One of the things we do to entertain ourselves is play cards. We play solitaire, 7-8, many different games.

As for the food at camp. I would rather not write about it. It seems like food fit for dogs not people serving for their country. It is disgustingly stale hardtack , water, and raw broccoli once a month. It is terrible and barely keeps us going! Hardtack is made of flour, water and sometimes salt. It does not go bad for months and is very cheap, probably why they have use eat it. What choice do we have?

Your friend,


Entry 6

Marching Song


Verse 1-


Keep your heads... Up!

Keep your legs!

Keep your eyes foc..used!

You'll be marchin a'home soon now

You'll be marchin a'home soon now

Verse 2-


Stay on the road-

Dont go wanderin' about

But stay out of sight!

By the darned confederate

by the darned confederate


Marchin down the riverside

into the storm of hail, treacherously

above the trail of bricks and stones

hiding from the confederacy!

Doin my best to stay warm

under these nets called a coat

Oh, how I wish to take them down!

Taking down the Confedrate

While the Confederate seems to still gloat.


Verse 3-


Marchin down the vallies

Even further from my home

trying to keep my eyes on the road

and my chin held high!

Fighting for the Union!

I'm Fighting for the Union!


Marchin down the riverside

into the storm of hail, treacherously

above the trail of bricks and stones

hiding from the confederacy!

Doin my best to stay warm

under these nets called a coat

Oh, how I wish to take them down

Taking down the Confedrate

While the Confederate seems to still gloat.


I found this painting in our tent. It is what war looks like if you want to know.

Entry 7

Injuries at War Journal Entry

I have seen some bad things here in the war. There is this one man I heard got shot in his knee, another died of chicken pox, and one got a pretty severe pink eye. Later I heard screams and yells coming out of the forest and I bet it was the one that got shot in the knee. Sometimes I question if there is an easier way to heal a man like this, without tearing out his limbs... I sure will be more careful out on the battlefield though, but if I do get hurt, I will nurse myself back to health. I say that those doctors have not the slightest clue what they are doing.

Entry 8

Journal Entry about Return Home

Oh! How I wanted to be home again with my wife and family. And now I finally am. There is no reater plesure in life, then to be with your family. There there is no risk of getting killed, every second of life. There, there are no orders and tireless nights. Now there is just a peaceful house with happy moments. I wondered how they are doing... How they are getting bye. If I was there, there wouldn't be this constant worry. It is a good feeling, but I wonder what I will do next to support my family.

Works Cited

“Are the Feds Preparing for Civil War?” Prepper Central. Silent Prepper, 9 Nov. 2012. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <>.

“The Civil War.” National Park Service. US Department of the Interior, n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <>.

“NA.” NA. NA, n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <>.

Stover, Ken. “Hardtack.” Civil War N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <>.

“The Underground Railroad.” Civil War Days. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <>.

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