Soldier Journal

By: Thomas Greenwood

Journal Entry 1:

My name is Thomas Greenwood, another farmer from a small town in Pennsylvania. I enlisted in the Union army , since my family, my wife, daughter, and son were completely against slavery. The war was imminent so I decided that I should fight for my beliefs. I start as a private and I plan to work my way up.

Journal Entry 2:

Thomas Greenwood: I’m so played out

Billy Bob: We definitely toed the mark.

Thomas Greenwood: I wonder how many other raw fish made it.

Billy Bob: Ahh, we got hard knocked but we’re fine.

Thomas Greenwood: By the next battle we’ll be as fit as a fiddle.

Billy Bob: Bully, we will be hard cases by then!

Thomas Greenwood : Lets go get some sheet iron crackers.

Billy Bob: I’m up for grabbing a root.

Journal Entry 3:

Dear Sofia,

Camp is not what I thought it would be. It is full of chores, drills, and just as frequent, punishment. Right now we are stationed at Kentucky, the broader state, where much fighting has happened over the past couple of days. Although we aren't on the front line we still have people patrolling the camp day and night. We have the control tent, and the food tent where the generals consult and where we get our meals each day. Our tents are then set up around the control center and throughout the camp. The drills, and courses are set to one side where there is space for the many soldiers to train.One morning I heard that a group of a dozen or so confederates were seen not two kilometers from our camp. We still went on with our daily marching, shooting, gun preparation, and camp preparation drills. The fact that confederates were out this far made many people nervous but motivated them to work harder since they knew that they would be the ones fighting soon. In the afternoon, I heard that someone had stolen another soldiers belongings and burned them. The one responsible was forced to dig a well within a couple of days, with very little food and water. This new well we are now using as our prime source of water.

Since the sighting of the confederates, our camp has been more attentive and cautious. The next week, we started on the wall and decided to fortify our camp for more protection. After the construction was complete, we started putting mortars and cannons onto the wall for the preparation if the battle came to us. We definitely had the space for the wall because our camp is in the middle of a huge clearing that is about three miles across. Then you hit the dense forest with its close together trees, bushes, and foliage.

Journal Entry 4:

1) I chose to join the Union because I believed that slavery was wrong, although I had grown up with it. I made my decision that I wanted slavery not to spread, but not just that, I wanted slavery to stop completely. I thought that everybody should be treated as equals.

2) I am proud that I chose to side with the Union and stayed with my mother while she was ill. I loved my mother dearly and was happy to stay with her to the end. I am also proud of the fact that just because my bother joined the Confederacy, that didn't sway my decision, although it may have made me waver or hesitate.

3) I wish that my mother hadn't died as she did and that my bother hadn't joined the Confederacy, but stayed with us till the end. Then I would have liked it if he had joined the Union.

4) In the prison they had nurses that tended to my wounds for almost a full month. It was the winter and I was barely able to make it through. One day, I was finally well enough to be myself again. I knew I had to escape somehow. But that chance never came, because one morning, a battle had broken out near the prison and a hole had been blasted in the wall from the Union cannon fire. I jumped out and ran to my comrades, where they took me behind there lines and asked me about what had happened to me.

A nice sunny morning on the edge of camp. We had to chop down some of the trees to make the fort but it is also strategic because we can see hundreds of yards, so we can't be taken by surprise. The only bad part about it is that it is less concealing. But I guess it is more for the better than the worse. There are also mountains in the distance, where we found a cave that is big enough for all of us to fit in. We would use the cave in emergency situations such as our fort gets overrun and we need to retreat, or in weather conditions.

Journal Entry 5:

The life of a soldier,

Isn't what it seems.

It may sound mary,

It may sound jipper.

But it's not the way it seems.


The life of a soldier,

What many what or need.

But the drills are hard,

The marching far.

It's not the way it seems.


The life of a soldier,

To many sounds so pleasing.

Yet the nights are cold,

And the days are long.

It's not the way it seems.


The life of a soldier,

Isn't what it seems

It may sound mary,

It may sound jipper.

But it's not the way it seems.

Journal Entry 6:

Dear friend,

Life as a soldier is a busy one, full of drills, marching, and many other things to prepare us for battle. But in what little free time we have, there isn't too much to do. The main think we do in our free time is play cards, but if we aren't doing that, we are polishing our guns, or writing letters to family and friends. Sometimes, though rarely, we get half a day or so off. On those incidences, I like to go walking by the stream, or hiking on the mountain near our camp, or now our fort. Although the things we do may sound boring, we don't get much time to do them, so to us, it is how we occupy ourselves.

Journal Entry 7:

Today, after a couple hours of battle, many soldiers were wounded if not killed. One of my inmates that stayed in my tent and my best friend, was shot in the knee. I walked to the surgical tent to wait for my friend. The first thing I heard was people screaming and moaning in agony. Then there was the stench, of decay, of death, and of unwashed bodies. I hadn't smelled anything so horrible. I looked in and saw my friend, he was waiting to be operated on a wooden plank, a puddle of blood under his leg. I went inside and walked over to him. A couple of minutes later, a doctor came over and examinated the wound by probing inside it with his finger. He grabbed me by the arm and led me over to the corner of the tent. He said that there were a couple of fragments from the bullet in his leg, and if he didn't get them out soon, he would have to amputate his leg from the knee down. I asked the doctor to put him to sleep while the fragments are taken out. When the doctor tried though, it didn't work, my friend was in too much pain. The doctor just went ahead with the operation as other assistants, held my comrade down. the doctor wiped the recently used tool on his apron that was splattered with blood. I couldn't watched so I turned away and walked out of the tent. After a half of minute to listening to my friend scream in agony, the doctor came out. The doctor told me that the operation was complete, and that it would take at least a week for the wound to heel up. But for now they needed to move him into a hospital in a near by city. The next day, I said goodbye and watched as he was load onto a carriage and taken away with many other injured.

Journal Entry 8:

I am so excited to be coming home today. I missed you guys so much and thought of you all the time. I am happy the war is over and we have won. There is bound to be a bright future, not just for us but for the generations to come in the united States. I wonder how different our little ones will look. It will all be so... different after coming back from a gruesome war. I will have to get back into the routine of a less eventful but much more pleasing life. I can't wait to see the joy on your faces as I march up the stairs and through the doorway of our cozy cottage. My life will never be the same though, after all the horrible sites I've seen, and the experiences I went through. The war taught us all how privileged we are to have a good government and independence. We all learned a lesson but is took millions of lives just to learn it. I wonder how the families must feel for their lost love ones. All of the soldiers worked hard and long for their own beliefs. The trip is almost done, we are already past the border of Pennsylvania. We will camp here for the night and be one our way in the morning. All heading back to our homes and our loved ones, to be reunited with our family and relatives. See you soon and can't wait ot be back home.



Works Cited

"Picture of Battle Field." Google Images. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2014. < images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSYLcyBm_HfQ2Ej5fvVkd4WuVAomW5zPe_Ftz6PZX84_nhAu-1m_XnLRoWB>. "Picture of Clearing." Google Images. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2014. < images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRDihhQLJRgfFaz1Acuy72UZeD4_OlH_EYZgCLbhj4L-JP3rjGsgVH6eg>. "Picture of Cottage." Google Images. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2014. < images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTC_juWt9Gr_mv_5UvTINGOAUcusuM0uEVX7i74hzbD2hYyKVRmDw>. "Picture of Fort." Google Images. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2014. < images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTygfjm5CfvifaiTYfN9j2-TrJFD_S9l519WuxwsgGAkCI84X2Y>. "Picture of Soldiers Playing Cards." Google Images. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2014. < images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSwNbVEIJc7O6umIC_XQxYjOZROGDC9D0er-JpJFIuZgHu7MwDQ>. "Picture of Union Soldier." Google Images. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2014. <>.

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