The Civil War Life

It is October 27, 1861. My name is Elena Gabbard. We live in Raleigh, North Carolina. In my house lives my child, Samuel, and my husband, Travis. My husband works for the Union troops, and he is stationed at Camp Washington in Portsmouth, North Carolina.

October 27,1861

My day it spread out. It is going to be a calm day, but it may get busy. I hope I get all my work done, and not have to work on some things tomorrow.

 At 7:00 a.m. I fed Sam breakfast. We had eggs, toast, and bacon. He had his cute sleepy eyes, but I knew he was to leave soon.

At 8:15 a.m. we walked to the creek and cleaned our clothing. Not many people walk around outside, but there are many women washing their clothes.

At 8:30 a.m. we have made it home, and we hang up the wet clothes to dry. The clothes will be dry soon, but it is getting colder outside; the clothes won't dry as fast as in the summer.

At 9:30 a.m. Sam has to be at the School, so I walked him there. He was not scared to leave my side. He has grown older, and will soon join the army.

At 11:30 a.m. I had a Union meeting for us spies. We are planning to head south soon.

In the afternoon my plans start to slow down.

At noon I make lunch for when Sam gets home.

At 1:30 p.m. Sam gets home and he has a playdate with a couple of children around the road. Most of their parents are women spies with fathers in the war.

At 2:45 p.m. Sam takes a nap, and I fold the clothes that were on the dry line.

At 3:55 p.m. there is another meeting for us spies, and we figured out a way to raise money for soldiers.

Throughout the afternoon Sam sleeps, and I make dinner. Dinner is done by 5:45 p.m. and we eat. We stay up a little later, but by 7 p.m. we head to bed.

October 28, 1861

Dear Travis,

     I miss you dearly. Your son is getting so big. He looks so much like you. His eyes get even more blue as he grows up. He told me he wants to go into the army just like you. He might be going right into it tomorrow, since it's his birthday. I'm going to be heading to the south to begin my spying. I heard of Battle of Ball's Bluff. There were many deaths, and I'm glad you didn't die. The newspaper heading was "Union Defeated!" There was a total of 1,070 casualties. I hope none of your friends were injured.

     Your Wife,

          Elena Gabbard

October 29, 1861

It is early in the morning and I hear shouting. I run outside and see a bear. I run grab Sam and we head to my friend Josie's house. Her house is more sturdy than ours. She let's us finish resting up, then we get to work.

At 7:15 a.m. she makes us a big breakfast. She says it is so filling we won't need lunch.

At 8:30 a.m. my son talks me into letting him be a soldier, and he packs up his things.

At 10:30 a.m. I pack my things, and I watch my son leave to be with his father. Travis tells Sam will be just fine.

At 11:25 a.m. I go to Josie's house with my stuff, and we get ready to leave to the south. I leave a note carved into the front door of my home. It says,"The Gabbard family is fighting in the war. Please do not destroy our home, but you may stay here if needed."

When the afternoon comes, I know that I am going to be on my way. The south can be a scary place if I get caught for being a spy. We decide to head North for awhile to pick up other spies. We travel by wagon.

At 1:00 p.m. I started my way to the south. I see a major naval force sail for the Hampton Roads. More than 70 ships. I saw the Commander General T Sherman. I made sure I was not to be seen.

At 1:45 p.m. the ships sailed away, and I continued my way farther south.Josie and the other spies went for a hike up the mountains, but I was told to stay down at the bottom. If they are not back before sunset, I must leave.

At 2:30 a man on a horse rides by. He stops and asks me my name. He says I look like his slave, but I am not colored. I tell him I have not seen her, and he seems to look at me like I'm suspicious. He rides away, but it sounds like he stops when he is out of view.

At 3:45 the other spies are spotted coming down the hill. They come down and say they heard the General of Georgia troops. He said they were heading north to attack.

At 5:00 p.m. we hunt down some doe, and eat. We soon after find a place to rest.

October 30, 1861

Dear Elena,

      I miss you too. It is growing to be very cold. Sam has a cut on his head, but he is getting along with everyone here. We have no downtime and it is very tiring. Over 700 men have died, and I was not one of them. I feel guilty knowing they could have lived, and this war would not have to go on if the Confederacy would just get rid of their slaves. Did you find out anything on your way to the south. We are running out of ways to attack, but we will win. Be careful, as I do not want you to get captured. Many people are suspicious, but they do not know of our spies that have just traveled south.

   Your Husband,

          Travis Gabbard

That afternoon I read his letter. It took a couple of days to make it to me. I was worried about Sam's head and how bad the cut really is. It could be an infection and could cause death. Hopefully he stays safe. When the Battle of Santa Rosa Island happened, I swear Travis was in it. He says it was not even bad. There weren't many deaths. Only 67 U.S. soldiers died. It was a victory for the Union. I saw two newspapers. One had the heading of "Union Wins Again!" The other had the heading of it was in the south, and it said "Confederates will soon defeat the Union"

October 31, 1861

      Today I have nothing to do. I am looking through some old newspapers I brought along with me. I see an old newspaper from November 1860. This is around the time of Lincoln's election. The newspaper's headline read "Lincoln Nominated." People say he was a very humorous man. He enjoyed going to the theater and spending time with friends. I thought it was a good thing a president knew how to relax.

     Many people were very happy with Lincoln becoming president. There is a newspaper I have with the headline of "WHOOP-EE!" In the south, they weren't so happy. The north thought it was a good thing because he knew how to make his connections. He kept his connections with the troops, and he visited the battlefields and hospitals.

     My family and I were very happy he became president. We liked the way we thought he would lead, and it has still stuck with us. We love him as president, and I believe he will be a good president for his whole term. Hopefully slavery will end, and we will be a whole country again.

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