Cecilia Keys

Journal Entry #8

Dear Diary,

I came home today, I came back to Belleville. We won, the Union won! I'm so happy and relieved. I was almost found out by a rebel soldier who thought it odd that I lived by myself. But mother said that he was right. A 17 year old girl on her own, I suppose is odd. But I'm just glad to be home. I'm even more happy that my brother came back in one piece. Dirty, hungry, and tired, but home in one piece. I wish I could say the same for papa, he wasn't as lucky. He's lost his right leg and is stuck in a wheel chair. But he's still alive and breathing so I don't think mother cares, and neither do I. The town decided to have a party later today to celebrate the victory of the Union, and to welcome back home our family and friends. I'm just so happy, I can't even describe. I heard from papa and brother, that the war was terrible. Men blown in half, screams of bravery cut short, stench of death all over, never being clean, and even more gruesome things that they won't tell me. I hope we never have to do something like this again.


Cecilia Keys.

Belleville, with our family returning home. Photo prompt #5

Journal Entry #7

Dear Mother,

You will not believe what gruesome things have come to the little town I'm staying in. Union soldiers brought into enemy camps, you can hear them screaming when a surgeon comes and ends up chopping off a limb. The Confederate soldiers, who are brought to actual hospitals, are treated almost no better then their captives. They simply receive treatment first and shade to lay in. The smell is unbearable and no matter how many flowers I bring into the house to try and rid the smell it never truly leaves the air. Each morning you can smell death in the air along with blood. At noon and until night you hear screams of men in pain. I even saw a little boy once being carried to a hospital because of a gun shot wound to the arm. There are barely enough beds to support their own soldiers. Maybe one or two men being held captive get a bed and even then it's covered in blood, ticks, and lice. I hear even if given a bed they don't sleep in it. I feel that not many of our Union soldiers will live to see freedom once they enter those camps. I hope home out by you is still clean and there's no death.

Sincerely your daughter,

Cecilia Keys

Piano, one form of entertainment I've seen soldiers play. Photo Prompt #4

Journal Entry #6

Dear Mother,

I've grown bored out here in the Confederacy town. I have no work to keep me interested. I spend my time writing to you of course, reading a good book, and cooking. I've read the same few books so many times that I think I could rewrite them on paper word for word. Though luckily cooking keeps me busy. I try to send food to the soldiers if I can. Usually cornbread that doesn't have bugs in it. I'll send you the recipe so you can make some as well. I hope this war will be over soon so I can see you and sister again. Is she doing well? Are you doing well? I hope so, for I am doing well and would hate to be the only one in our family to being doing fine. Is it still safe out by you? I'm still safe for now but when the Union gets closer I've been given orders to leave and return back to Washington.

Sincerely your daughter,

Cecilia Keys


3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup melted shortening or liquid margarine

Mix ¾ c. flour, 1 ½ c. corn meal, 2 Tbs. sugar, 1 tsp. baking powder, and 1 tsp. salt together in a mixing bowl or bucket. Fluff or sift together to combine well. Whip up 2 eggs and 1 ½ c. milk add to the flour mix. Stir in the shortening, ¼ c. melted, or use liquid margarine. Pour into a greased 12” Dutch oven. Bake with 10 briquettes under the bottom and 12 on top in the outdoors. Should be around 30 minutes. Add briquettes, if needed in the open air.

The soldiers marching to their next battle past town. Photo prompt #3

Journal Entry #5

Song- Sung to the tune of Angel with a Shotgun


They say before you start a war

You better have your gun ready

Cause you'll be fac'in the yankees

And they're a tough opponent

So you better watch you back

Cause they'll attack


I'm an angel for the slaves

I will do what ever it takes

So don't worry about it

Journal Entry #4

What will a Confederate prison camp be like?

It will be okay, with two meals a day and small cramped tents to sleep in.

Andersonville is a famous
Civil War camp in Georgia. How serious is Jeremiah's injury?

Only a bullet fragment to the arm, not deadly, unless of an infection.

Will he survive?

I think he will survive as a prisoner and then go get married and tell it to his kids and grand kids.

What has become of his brother?

His brother went MIA(Missing in Action) during the war and was never seen again. Though there have been reports of seeing him but they aren't sure.

The town right outside my window, that I see every morning. Photo prompt #2

Journal #3

Dear Mother,

I live in a small simple house near Vicksburg. I hear they plan on firing at any ship that passes by them if it's not Confederate. I pretend to work as a single girl. I keep entertained in what few hours I have to myself when I'm not finding out information doing the laundry to use as a message to the Union. Quilts are my favorite way to pass along a message. I do occasionally though send actual letters. Reading books are fun when it's late at night. I heard from a friend in the camps that punishment is cruel to the soldiers, and all they do is drill. I hear they make you walk around with logs instead of guns all day. I find that to be horribly embarrassing, but it apparently makes good amusement to others. I found this cute little guy though outside my house once trying to steal a blanket that I was drying.

Sincerely your daughter,

Cecilia Keys

P.S. Here's a picture of the little guy. I named him Thief.

The small brown fox, Thief, outside my house. Photo prompt #1

Journal #2

Michael as- Robert Katya as- Kat Liam as- Joe

Robert- HOWDY Y’all

Joe+Kat- hey Robert

Robert- Y’all drinking tar water

Joe- no im drinking fresh water *chuckles*

Kat- I’m not drinking at all

Robert- well i'm about to get wallpapered.

Robert- Well i’ll meet up with some fresh fish tomorrow to get em yankees

Kat- Give them sunday soldiers a good whippen.

Joe- considering hes tight he will get beaten *chuckles*

Robert- I’ve been through the mill and I know them yankees don’t fight

Joe- if they can’t fight then why did they join the army *chuckle*

Roebert- thats what I’m sayin… Well have a good day ya hear

Joe- I hear ya

Journal Entry #1

Dear Mother,

I'm writing to you before I set out on my first mission into Confederate territory. I'm still safe in the confines of the Union camp. I pray that you are still safe and not in harms way. I've heard no bad news of Confederates near home. I'm going to be working as a spy which is very dangerous. I'll be working from a house to pass along information I hear to the General.

Sincerely your daughter,

Cecilia Keys

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