Frank Thompson's Civil War Journal

Union General Orderly and Nurse

"Sarah Emma Edmonds." Sarah Emma Edmond's Blog. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2014.
<http://sarahedmondsblog.wordpress.com/pictures-2/sarah-emma-edmonds-2/>.

Color Photo Prompt:

"In Living Color." Mail Online. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2014.
<http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2283506/
The-grim-reality-Civil-War-comes-alive-living-color-Photoshopping-classic-images-
vividly-brings-past-life.html>.

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Dear Journal,

  I thought I would just tell you a little bit about myself.  Hello, my name is Frank Thompson; I am currently fighting in the Civil War on the Union side.  I have been a nurse, spy, a general's orderly, and a mail carrier so far in this war.  I change jobs depending upon what my captain and general tell me to do.  

 I had a so called 'family' growing up, but they did not treat me well.  My mother was a coward towards my father because she was afraid of him.  My father would beat my brother who was always very weak in health.  The only friend I had was a horse named Trig.  Then one day my father took Trig away and sold him.  He then sold me to the same old man he sold Trig to and said I had to marry the old man.  You are probably wondering why I am speaking as a girl; it is because I am one.  I ran away from home and became Frank Thompson.  I got a great job as a book-seller with an excellent boss whose family was indeed like a family to me.  They  were as close as family could come.  Then I saw a flyer asking for volunteers for the Union Army.  I decided to sign up and I felt like I had to help my country.  So, here I am.  I have come a long way in this army so far with my close friends Jerome and Damon.  I have to see this war through.

        -Frank

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Funny Story using Civil War Words:

Frank Thompson: I’ve been through the mill in the kitchen today, but the roots are as scarce as hen’s teeth. But I did find some goobers.

Soldier: I didn’t have time to go through the mill today, I was busy being chased by graybacks who wanted to pierce my sheet iron crackers and greenbacks with their Arkansas toothpicks.

Frank Thompson: Did ya see the jailbirds that whirled past here? They look like a hard case being chased by some angry green horns.

Soldier: Yeah, they were wallpapered on joy juice.

Frank Thompson: Completely. Those hornets should catch em’ someday soon. By the way, Aren’t our uniforms hunkey dorey?

Soldier: If you mean sown by kid glove boys as wallpapered as the jailbirds, sure. They were definitely not made by bottle washers. They are snug as.......

Frank Thompson: a BUG!!!!

Soldier: No. A slug.

Frank Thompson: -_- …. I am so fit to be tied with those skunks treating us the way they do. Hold on… I need to go quick-step!!!! AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

Soldier: Top-rail, possum!

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Dear Mr. Hurlburt,

  It has been quite a while since I have last written to you about the soldier's lives around camp, so let me fill you in on what you've missed.  We have been practicing our formations and drills while we are waiting for some action.  Our camp is in a swampy area, so there are many annoying insects and mosquitoes.  Whoever set up this camp did not think things through.  The latrine was set next to where soldiers were served food... many of the soldiers are not taking in the germs well.  

 It has been about a month since our last battle and diarrhea has been spreading like wild fire.  I personally have not been doing drills, but only taking care of all the poor soldiers in the hospital.  I can't take away their pain with medicine since we are short on supplies, but I can get them water and attempt to keep them hydrated.  I also talk with them to make them feel a little better.  For those who were dying, I granted their last wishes with letters home or tried to make them happy by sharing some baked goods with them that were sent to me.  

 My friend Damon told me of his drills though.  They had agility courses including walls to jump over and pits to avoid while running.  They also learned how to stab, shoot, and kill other people.  Some soldiers have misbehaved during drills... our commander did this to a poor drunken fellow:

"Punishment for a Drunken Soldier." Oliver Cromwell Case. N.p., n.d. Web. 28
Apr. 2014. <http://olivercromwellcase.wordpress.com/2012/06/18/
welcome-to-new-york/>.

Keep writing,

-Frank

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Question and Answer with Jeremiah:

Jeremiah, when you chose to stay home and take care of his mother,
what caused you to make that choice?

I stayed with my mother because I love her and she always takes care of me, so it was my turn to take care of her when she really needed it.  I couldn't just go and abandon her here with no one to take care of her.  There are plenty of soldiers to take car of this war, but this man had to take care of his mother.

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

I am proud of myself for choosing the Union side of which I believe in rather than following my brother to the Confederate troops.  After my mother passed, I wanted to serve in the war, but I didn't believe in slavery like my family did, so I joined the Union side instead.  I am proud of the fact that I follow myself rather than others around me.

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

I wish that my family did not support slavery.  Slavery is wrong; we should not have treated other humans like animals, sometimes even worse.  I was too afraid of what my family would think if I stood up for our slaves.

Jeremiah, when do you think you will see your brother again?

I don't know. I am not sure if I WILL ever see my brother again, at least on Earth.  When I fire into the confederate army, I don't know what family I am destroying, let alone my own.

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The morning breeze over the lake near our camp is one of the few beauties I get to see in this war.

"Sunrise over the Lake." Ray McDonald's Blog Thoughts and Reflections. N.p.,
n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2014. <http://raymcdonald.wordpress.com/2012/04/13/
spending-time-with-god-first-thing-each-morning/>.

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I love this tune that our camp whistles, hums, and sings aloud throughout the day, everyday.  http://www.noteflight.com/scores/view/d2af47700742...

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Dear Mr. Hurlburt,

  I usually like to pass my time making mail runs and sending last wishes home to families who have lost loved ones.  I enjoy spending time with my horse and taking a break from all the madness for a few days.  

Most of the soldiers around here gamble to get their mind off things, but I'm not one of those people I am glad to say.

This is my "favorite food": hardtack.  It's really a basic "meal" with flour and water mushed into a cracker, but it wasn't the worst thing on the menu.  I can't say I liked it, but it was nice compared to other foods around camp.  It didn't have any flavor at all.

Your Friend,

-Frank

"Hardtack." The Salt. npr, n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2014. <http://www.npr.org/blogs/
thesalt/2013/07/02/198042487/
civil-war-soldiers-needed-bravery-to-face-the-foe-and-the-food>.

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A lot of soldiers played cards and gambled for fun, here's some of my friends playing a round.  

Soldiers Playing Cards. Game Fort Troops. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2014.
<http://www.gamesfortroops.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/dominoes.jpg>.

"Second Battle of Bull Run." The American Civil War Center. Will Davis, n.d.
Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <http://www2.vcdh.virginia.edu/civilwar/
index.php?section=Exhibits&page=War61_62>.

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Since I am a nurse, I see many, many injuries every day.  From patients screaming because a surgeon is cutting a limb off, to treating the deadly but common diarrhea.  

If we actually had some decent medical supplies, then we could give some patients anesthesia to numb the pain when cutting off a limb.

I never like to focus on what is wrong with the patient, only what I can do to make their lives a little bit more tolerable.  There wasn't much I could do to treat these soldiers; most often I would try to find a cool damp cloth to rest upon their forehead, or give them whatever baked goods were sent to me through the mail.   I get a lot of mail from families who thank me for sending last wishes from their loved ones over to them.  

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Finally I'm home!  Well, I live with my bosses family until I get back on my feet again.  This is their home.

"House in Civil War Time." Williamsville Business Association. N.p., n.d. Web.
28 Apr. 2014. <http://www.willvill.com/history.asp>.

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Dear Journal,

 This is the last time I will write in you.  I am finally HOME!!!  This war was long and hard, but we won.  The Union has won! I am thankful to be alive and that my friends are alive as well.  

  With my pay I am saving to build a home for injured veteran soldiers.  I feel bad that I was not injured and I want to help them in any way I can.

  It's great to be back home, but my friends and I got separated and it will be hard to see them again since they live so far away.  They will always be a part of me, so I say, farewell  to you until we meet again.

Your Friend,

-Frank

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