Civil War Journal
By Samuel Warren
Dear Journal, April 21, 1861
I have enlisted for the Union army as a girl, Elizabeth Warren, but I am disguised as a boy named Samuel Warren. I want to fight for slaves rights and for them to be treated equally. Even though my family owns slaves I still don't think that it is right to own another person and treat them like an animal. Anyway, I have been away from home for awhile. I miss my mom and dad and my 2 sisters. My other 2 brothers enlisted on the Confederate side and they do not know that I am with the Union. The only person in my family that knows I am with Union army is my mom because if I ever told my dad he wouldn't let me go. I told my mom that she had to keep the secret and if my dad asks were I went she would tell my father that I had gone to my grandparents house for a while, and I will return soon. At the camp so far, nobody has found out about me and I am scared what is going to happen to me if somebody finds out. In camp there is no privacy so I try to be away form the other soldiers. I sometimes gets really lonely and I rethink my choice of enlisting for the army. Well I have to go we are going to have dinner and then we start moving first thing tomorrow morning.
Journal Entry #2
Alex: Hey Possum how are you doing?
Julia: Fit as a fiddle!! Man these hornets are playing me out though.
Alex: Yeah, we’re gettin whipped. My breadbasket is grumblin.I’ve been put through the mill!
Julia: These graybacks be bluffin
Alex: We need some fresh fish. All of our men have been played out.
Julia : Yeah, some of them even have quick step. Our sawbones are workin double.
Alex : Some of the greenhorns are having too much joy juice. Look at them, they are so tight.
Julia: Yeah, they are only doing this for some greenback.
Alex: Better skedaddle, I best be toeing the mark
Julia: Hunkey dorey!! Go get top rail!!
Journal entry #3
Life at camp was nice until, General George B. McClellan took over General McDowell place. Before, we were aloud to do what ever we wanted when we wanted to do it. Now we just to drills form sunrise to sunset. We usually have to do 5 drills a day to keep us in line for fighting. All of us often fumble during the drills because we are complete confused. Some of the drills we have to do are marching exercises, bayonet practice, and rifle instruction. Everyday after we were done with our drills we were set to work. Every solider had to do chores after drills. We would have to clean our tents, build pathways of pine logs, tend to horses , repair equipment and gather food and water. Soldiers also took turns guarding the camp helping with the construction of forts around Washington. Before General McClellan officers would often talk back to the generals and tell them that they did not like them. Now that general McClellan was here they would be punished. Punishments would be "barrel shirt", this is where an officer would walk around in a barrel with arm holes and a head hole cut out for them. Also they would "bucking and gagging", this is where a solider gets a stick in his mouth and his hands are tied. Then he pulls his knees into his chest and sticks were shoved between the elbows and knees. The solider would be in a cramped position for a while. Most of the punishments were to make the soldiers look stupid. Anyway, I have to tend to the horses. Write to you soon
Journal Entry #4
Jeremiah, when you chose to stay home with your mom, what caused you to make that choice? My mom was sick and she needed me. My brother was already leaving and I knew that my mom would need my help. If we both went we both might have died and my mom would have nobody to help her.
Jeremiah, when looking back what is something you are proud of or happy about? I am proud that I am making my own decisions and don't need help form my mom or brother.
Jeremiah, what is one thing about your life you wish had been different? Something I wish had been different was, when I chose to travel west to split the Confederacy in half. I would have traveled east instead so then I wouldn't have been captured by the Confederacy.
Jeremiah, what was it like in Confederate prison? It was awful, i had nothing. I was always cold, and hungry. I got one meal a day, which was just a burnt biscuit All the of Union soldiers that were captured were held in a small jail cell. There were no blankets and if someone got sick everybody else did too.
Journal Entry #5
I wish I was alive again
Never forget the guy who shot me
Don’t be afraid! Don’t be afraid! i wish I live again
In Gettysburg where I was shot
Early on a hot summer morning
Don’t be afraid! Don’t be afraid! i wish I live again
I wish I was with my family, Horray! Horray!
In the north I shall stand
To live and die again
Up, Up , Up I will rise
Up, Up , Up I will rise
Journal Entry #6
Now that winter is coming and battles are ending I am going to have a lot of free time on my hands. Camp life has been boring. In the beginning it was not too bad but now everybody is bored out of there minds. Some the of soldiers are having lice races. They put two lice on the table and they beat which one would get to the end first. Also some soldiers had so much time they put on a huge theater performance. Soldiers pay 25 cents to go and see the performance. Besides past times the food was so bad. There was worms in the hardtack, one o the soldiers counted 32 worms in his hardtack. The beef was put into salty so it wouldn't go bad, but when we had to eat it it was 90% salt. Before we eat it we soak it in water for hours before we cook it. Sometimes we don't even cooked the meat, we usually have raw meat and water from a ditch.
There are so many diseases here in camp. More soldiers are dying from disease then in the battle field. I have had lice in my hair and my roommates have had it more then once. Everybody is scratching their heads and taking baths in dirty stream water to get the lice off of them. The water that some soldiers bath spread diseases to other soldiers. I have only hard of one person that has died of pink eye. There are also mosquito that are spreading diseases that live in the swamps. Another disease that have gotten to a lot of the soldiers is pneumonia, around 37,000 sliders from both the union and Confederate died of this. 1 out of 6 people who got pneumonia died from it. A lot of these diseases spread quickly through out the camp. Camps were so small that whatever one soldier gotten another one did and then another one and so on. Right now I am doing just fine, but a roommate of mine has come down with pneumonia and he has lice too. I don't what lice in my hair again. Well, I will right to your soon.
Journal Entry #8
The war has come to a close and I am coming home tomorrow. I had been through a lot and haven't seen the family in 3 months. I think that dad has figured out that I am not a grandma's house but in the war. I have seen Andy (my older brother who is on the Confederate side) and he didn't recognize me. I saw him on the battle field but I did not see David (my other brother), I think I saw him on the ground. I thought he was died and I looked back a Andy and he looked down at David and started to cry. At that point I new he was died. I was going to start crying but I couldn't cry at a dead Confederate solider, I had to be strong> i held it in all night until I got back to camp and i cried for awhile. Besides David, During the war I had to eat such horrible things and drink things that were from a ditch. i thought that was bad but I meet one guy who was in a Confederate prison for 2 months and looked terrible. He was so skinny you could see his rib cage. He said that life was awful in the prisons, and that there were dead bodies everywhere. Also he got one scoop of beans and a moldy and hard piece of bread for food everyday. That was all he got each day fro 2 months. Anyway, I am glad that I am coming home and that I can see you again. Well I have to go to bed I have a long day ahead of me.
“Camp Life.” Survival Common Sense. Survival Common Sense, 2014. Web. 6 May 2014. <http://www.survivalcommonsense.com/video-how-to-make-corn-meal-mush-recipe-feed/>.
“Civil War Cannon Carriage.” Custom Made. Custom Made, 2014. Web. 15 May 2014. <http://www.custommade.com/civil-war-cannon-carriage/by/johnrobinson/>.
“Civil War Home.” Writer at Home. Writer at Home, 16 Jan. 2014. Web. 14 May 2014. <http://writerathome.com/writing-dilemma-romance-in-the-civil-war/>.
“Drill Practice.” Kidport. Kidport, 2012. Web. 5 May 2014. <http://www.kidport.com/reflib/usahistory/civilwar/life.htm>.
“Playing Dominoes.” Kidport. Kidport, 2012. Web. 13 May 2014. <http://www.kidport.com/reflib/usahistory/civilwar/life.htm>.
“Soldiers Marching to Battle.” Rare Finds; A Guide to Rare Book Collecting. Rare Finds – A Guide to Rare Book Collecting, 2014. Web. 12 May 2014. <http://rarebookfinds.com/francis-trevelyan-miller-photographic-history-of-the-civil-war-2/>.