My Civil War Journal

By Thomas Davidson

I am Thomas Davidson, a private in the 11th Pennsylvania Regiment.  I'm from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  I fight for the union because I believe slavery is immoral and ought to be outlawed across all the states and because I come from Pennsylvania, part of  the  union.  I joined the army because  I was bored at home and looking for fun.  At home I just did chores and stuff.

Mary Virginia Anne: Where did the pepper box shoot you?

Jayden Lundqvist: I was shot in my left arm by a hail fire of hornets in the battle of Bull Run by dem’ nasty grey coats!

Thomas Davidson: Uh oh, it looks like you've been played out.

Mary Virginia Anne: I’m going to have to wallpaper you, so I can saw your arm off.

Jayden Lundqvist: I was just toeing the mark and it was a pretty hard case game, but I lost.

Thomas Davidson: This looks like a hard case, do your best sawbones.

Mary Virginia Anne: Give me the joy juice.

Thomas Davidson: Here ya go.

Mary Virginia Anne: As soon as I cut off your arm, you’ll be as fit as a fiddle!

Jayden Lundqvist: (Scared) Ugh

Mary Virginia Anne: This will be the best for you, but you might be a little hard knocked for a while.

Jayden Lundqvist: I would agree so…

(Jayden Lundqvist's arm is now cut off)

Dear Mother,

            Life at camp is tough.  We drill all day and if we're not drilling we're doing chores.  It's so exhausting, but it pays off because we eat like kings and are we sleep in nice clean quarters.  Some of the other soldiers object to all the drilling.  I guess when they signed up this would be fun.  Some of them had to endure some punishments like carrying a log on their shoulders, standing on a barrel, or for worse cases bucking and gagging.

Jeremiah, when you chose to stay home and care for your mother, what caused you to make that choice?  Well I fuigured ma would probably need some help and fighting in a war will probably get you killed and at the same time I was not sure I wanted to fight for the Confederacy.

Jeremiah, looking back what is something in your life that you are proud or
happy about?  I am proud that I stayed with my mama, most deserted to fight in the war leaving their mothers behind.

Jeremiah, what is one thing about your life you wish had been different?  I wish I hadn't tried to continue dividing the south because I got caught by confederates and taken to a prison.

Jeremiah, what ever happened to your brother?  I never found out.  I don't think i'll ever see him again.  I haven't heard from him so he is most likely dead and unrecognizable.

Dear Timothy,

               Life at camp is rough.  If I ever get a chance to relax I pull out a deck of cards and find some friends.  The food is disgusting too.  We eat hardtack filled with "protein" which means weevils and larva,but it ain't half bad once ye get rid of em'.  If you want to make your own i've disclosed the recipe within.

How to make hardtack.

Preheat oven to 375°F  The, mix flour, salt, and water together in a bowl. Place the water and salt in the bowl, and slowly add in flour while stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes too thick to stir, at which point enough flour has been added.  Next, knead dough and roll out until it is 1/2" (1cm.) thick. Now, using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 3"x3" (7cm. x 7cm.) squares.  Then, poke four rows of four holes in the cracker using a skewer stick.  Next, lay the crackers out on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Now, place in oven and bake for 30 minutes.  Then, remove from oven, flip crackers over, and bake for another 30 minutes.  Next, take crackers out when they are a light golden brown.  Then, let the crackers cool for 30 minutes before eating.

"3 Ways to Make Hardtack." Wikihow. Wikihow, n.d. Web. 25 May 2014.


Somethin' they don't tell ya one ye enlist is all the putrid diseases you and your fellow soldiers will have to face like diarrhea and smallpox.  On top of that there are infections from the methods use by doctors like amputation with uncleaned tools and severe blood loss from bloodletting.

When I got home my whole family was waiting for me.  I told them everything about life as a soldier.  I told about the endless drills when the weather allowed it, the disgusting food and camping conditions.  I explained all the horrors of battle and all the men who died, then we all silently prayed for all the families of the dead men.

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