James' Journal

By: Ashley Chang

Journal #1 Bio:

Dear Journal,

Today is the first day of when I was enlisted. Life in the Union camp during the Civil War is hard especially when you are in a lower rank like a private soldier. Gladly, I am serving on the same side as my four other brothers, but other people were not always as lucky as I was. Some people even fought on opposite sides with families and more. Anyways, I miss life at home in peace with my family in California. I miss the farm in where we grew crops. I miss when life wasn't so serious all the time. But times change and now my brothers and I had to grow up quickly. I want to go back home safely with my brothers. I bid farewell to my journal until I write again. Goodbye.

Journal #2: Skit

(John is Noah Olis, James is Ashley)

John: Hi Possum.

James: Hello Bugger, you seem fit to be tied.

John: I've been through the mill and I am played out today.

James: I’m ready to toe the mark.

John: Be right back gotta take a Quick-Step.

James: BULLY! That’s hunkey dorey!

John: Gotta go take a quick-step, sharpen your Arkansas toothpick.

James: Gotta skedaddle.

John: Bye.

Today I found a rainbow after a hard day of marching around at camp in the rain.

Journal #3: Letter

Dear Mother and Father,

I did not keep track of how many days it has been since I have left for camp, which leaves me with my struggle, not knowing how many days it has been. I really can't wait until my enlistment is over, but still if it is over I am debating on whether to reenlist to fight for what I believe in or not. People may call me crazy to even be debating on these thoughts, but I really cannot decide. Hunger and exhaustion is the only thing that fills up the camp, and everywhere around, I see tired souls that can't wait to go home. There are so many punishments that discipline the soldiers. Some people have to wear barrels around for being rude to their generals and officers. It is a bit less dull here, as I am in camp with my brothers, but I scarcely see them around, which is sometimes the negative problem. I just wish that we can get this Civil War over with, so that nobody has to deal with any of this. Mother, Father, I miss you both and wish you the dearest of health. Please wait happily at our house on our farm, and us five will truley come back to you soon.

With lots of love,

Your son,


Morning is the beginning of the day as this is the beginning of war. #1war

Interview with Jeremiah

Names: Ashley, Cole, and Aamina

When creating our story we read pages 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, and 14.

Your job is to interview the fictional character of Jeremiah Handley and
write out the answers as you believe he would have given them.

Make sure to include information or ideas drawn from your analysis of
primary sources. Cite the source material as your teacher directs.

Interview question 1

Jeremiah, when you chose to go with your brother, and try to enlist into the southern army, what caused you to make that choice?

Jeremiah: When I chose to go with my brother, and try to enlist into the southern army, I did that because I knew that I couldn't take care of the farm very well, and that my neighbors will take care of my mom better, even though I really care for her. Also, she told me that it'd be alright, so I listened to what she had said.

Interview question 2 :
Jeremiah, looking back what is something in your life that you are proud or
happy about?

Jeremiah: Looking back in something in my life, I am happy about the times that I spent with my mom, brother, and dad. I miss the times when we were happy, and when my dad was alive, and when he was alive, it was the time that I was the most happiest.

Interview question 3
Jeremiah, what is one thing about your life you wish had been different?

Jeremiah: One thing in life that I wish would have been different is that I wish that my brother and I had stayed on the farm with my mom because who knows what will happen to the both of us during war. And also, I don't know how my mom is doing and we should have stayed and taken care of her.

Interview question 4 (Look back at the italicized section at your "ending")

Jeremiah, do you think that there will be punishments if you are discovered?

Yes, there probably will be punishments if I am discovered, but although there may be punishments if I am discovered, I don't regret going with my brother because it would have been very hard and lonely without him. So I don't really regret leaving as a soldier.


I wish I was in the land of LA.

Fun times they’re never forgotten;

Went to war! Went to war! Went to war! LA Land.

In LA land where I was raised

Early on one warm summer day,

I went to war! Went to war! Went to war! LA Land.

Then I wish I was in the land of LA, Boohoo! Boohoo!

In LA land I’ll aim for dreams.

To live and die in LA!

Away, Away, Away off west in LA Land,

Away, Away, Away off west in LA land.

Photograph of what you would see during the Civil War.

Journal #6: Letter Describing Life at Camp

Dear Journal,

I am back again writing to you it seems. There is nothing much to really do as a pastime at camp. All there is to do is to gamble, drink, play cards, talk, tell stories, and more, but I have done every other pastimes that aren't restricted at camp the other days, so I have decided to write once again. Pastimes use to be fun and enjoyable, but now soldiers just randomly find stuff to do to enjoy life at camp, even though no one really enjoys pastimes anymore. Pastimes are just used to keep ourselves busy. Luckily, unlike most soldiers here, I am here with my brothers so it isn't too bad here. The food here is terrible. I thought that at least good food would be given. Just two minutes ago I just ate a hard tack. It is the driest cracker known to man. It is water and flour together, argh. To be exact, to make it you have to... Mix the flour, water and salt together, and make sure the mixture is fairly dry. Then roll it out to about 1/2 inch thickness, and shape it into a rectangle. Cut it into 3×3 inch squares, and poke holes in both sides. Place on an un-greased cookie or baking sheet, and cook for 30 minutes per side at 375? (or 350? if you have a convection oven). When it’s done, you’ll want to let it dry and harden for a few days, just out in the open. When it has the consistency of a brick, it’s fully cured. Then simply store it in an airtight container or bucket. To prepare for eating, soak it in water or milk for about 15 minutes, and then fry in a buttered skillet. You can eat it with cheese, soup or just plain with a little salt added. Any way you do it, it’s delicious! Other foods are just as terrible, maybe even worse! Bugs, worms, insects, and other such can be found inside the foods, but many men still eat to fill their stomachs. I couldn't believe my eyes at the desperation of food that many men wanted. I wish to write again soon, maybe to my mother and father instead of my journal. Goodbye, tis the next time.

At camps, playing cards was used as a fun pastime for soldiers who were bored.

Journal #7:

Greetings to my journal once again. Today I am writing because I am disgusted of all the issues with the medical care that is given to the army. I have seen many men that would get their arms, legs, fingers, and other body parts cut off, and it wouldn't even help them. By this, I mean that with these missing body pieces, some men weren't even cured from these remedies. These body pieces though, will be buried in the ground in a hole with a huge pile of other body pieces. Sadly, one of my very good friend, has died because of medical care that didn't really work on him it seems. He died from diarria, just as most of the other men have too. My friend, Smith John was a very good friend who had diarria and no medical workers really understand why he didn't make it, because they used the correct remedies or so they believe onto him. With some whiskey that they gave him, they also gave him some swampy water along with it. A little bit after, he was said to be dead. Not many mourned, because many others were too busy worried about theemselves, because they were sick as ewll. Journal, oh how I wish to get home in great health as long as with my brothers. I wish that this war would end quickly because of these many deaths that I am witnessing, and all these sicknesses that are around me. If I am lucky, I will make it out of this war alive, but if I am extremely lucky, I will get out of this war in perfect condition with my brothers well. Goodbye once again to my journal, till next entry.

My sweet home in California where my family lives. I missed them.

Journal #8:

Dear Journal,

It seems that I am writing in my journal once again. I don't really know why because I finally am back home with my family in California. Writing in this journal seems to empty my feelings into a little piece of paper, which is why I enjoy writing in here very much. As I got home, my mother and father were waiting there outside, they must have waited there for hours after receiving a letter saying that my brothers and I will return home. Being on the Union Side in the Civil War has been a very good decision, even though there were many struggles, because there had been rumors that the Confederate camps were much more tougher and harder to manage in. It doesn't matter in the end though, because my brothers and I have all made it out alive, healthy and able to restart our lives again. I cannot wait until my very first meal at home, or the use of bathrooms or fresh water and such. Throughout this battle, I have been through many tough times indeed, but they all led me to grow older, and realize to not taking everything for granted. But might I write down that as soon as my brothers and I got home, the whole family got into a huge group hug, leading to a family photo afterwards. It was very cheerful and happy, and I don't know what I would do if one of my brothers were injured back home, or if my parents weren't as healthy and happy as they are right now. I just cannot wait until we  can  hang out as a family, or to see some fellow friends or neighbors once again. The fresher scent of California than the battle camps are what I have missed, and I wish that I can continue to stay here for the rest of  my life. My family's and my prayers go out to those lost in the battles, and to their families. Just anyone who isn't able to feel their family's love again in person, is someone who I am praying for. Might I share my experiences to families, friends, and even young children to let them know of the painful experiences that the Union side has had, let alone the Confederates. This may be the last journal entry I will ever write, because I used this as a Civil War Journal. We shall see until next time if I write, goodbye.

-James Smith


"The Civil War." Old South, New South, No South. N.p., 22 Feb. 2013. Web. 12 May
2014. <http://oldnewnosouth2013.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/


"'Civil War' House." Norwood's Historical Society. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 May 2014.


"The Civil War Photo: A Young Union Soldier." Shmoop. Shmoop Universtiy, n.d.
Web. 14 May 2014. <http://www.shmoop.com/civil-war/


"Civil War Soldiers Playing Cards." Learn NC. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 May 2014.


Lester, David. "Civil War Battle." Fine Art America. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 May
2014. <http://fineartamerica.com/featured/

civil-war-battle-david-lester.html>. Reenactment photo.

"Somewhere over the Rainbow." Greensboro Daily Photo. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 May

2014. <http://www.greensborodailyphoto.com/2009/04/>.

Comment Stream