Home Life During the Civil War


My name is Madison O'Brien. I'm 24 years old and I'm sided with the Union because my Husband is fighting for them. I am living with my best friend Liza since we are neighbors. Plus both of our husbands are in the civil war, so whats the point of living alone when your friend lives next door. My husband is Dylan O'Brien who is currently stationed somewhere down south fighting in the Civil War.

May 17th 1862~

I start the day by making breakfast for me and Liza. With Liza taking place of Dylan it doesn't feel weird making breakfast for two people. After that I normally go outside if the weather is good. Sitting outside makes everything so much better and I can daydream without inside distractions. Sitting on the porch swing and watching the livestock wander around the farm takes my mind off the war. Some days are harder than others I'll be honest but I can't really complain when I'm not the one being shot at. At least I have friends and family I can go to. After siting outside for awhile I normally take care of the family farm since it's just me, well Liza to but she has her own responsibilities to tend to. Sure we keep each other company but we both deal with our husbands differently. To help with the war efforts I can food and whatever leftovers we have to send over to our fighting heroes. Another way I help with the war is that I make clothing for them too. I'll sit down in the living room and sew for a little. By time I'm done with that it's around 10 a.m. Right after I go inside and take a little nap since I had taken care of the animals. It's only a short nap though only around 30 minutes long. When I awaken from my nap I go on a walk around the property to check for anything unusual. The time now is just the beginning of the afternoon, which means I'm done with my morning routine. Around 2 p.m. Liza and I talk and socialize in the living room. We try to keep each other entertained, making jokes, or talking about the most recent stuff. We normally take turns making trips to town. Today it was Liza's turn so I sent her out to fetch our mail and we needed more milk cans. The cows have been producing more milk than we can drink so soon enough we will start selling it for profit. After Liza returns home I take the milk jugs out to the barn so we can milk the cows. We start with milking the cows around 5 and get done a little after 6:30. For the last thing we do before we lay down. We fix dinner and eat in the living room casually talking about random stuff we did today or what we want for our future. Sometimes we talk for hours but other times it might only last an hour. Whenever the conversation dies down I head to my bedroom and read until I fall asleep. While Liza heads to the guest room. That's how most days end.

May 27th 1862~

Dear Dylan O'Brien,

I heard about the the battle you fought in today, over in Hanover Courthouse, Virginia.I miss you greatly each and everyday. It's weird not having you around, but don't worry I'm not alone. Liza is staying in our guest room so we can keep each other company. I wonder everyday what you're doing or if you're okay. I hope this all ends soon so for once more my beloved husband may return home where he belongs with his family. I hope to hear from you soon. No amount of words on a piece of paper could bring you back and I understand that. I can't stress it enough though how much I miss you. Your parents are doing good they always come and visit every Thursday for dinner. Your dad tells all the same childhood stories of you. I always love to hear about the time you went swimming in the pond while riding your horse. Or when you tried to ride a cow when you were 17. Me and your mom can never stop laughing. I always end up talking about our first date or the first time we ever met. The memories are bitter sweet considering you haven't been home for over 2 years. I still have that bottle of wine saved for when you return home. Please stay safe and return home soon.

Love, Maddie

June 9th 1862~

Today I woke up late at 10 a.m. and started the day kind of slow. It wasn't that I was sad because I wasn't. It's just after 2 years of not having Dylan around you start to wonder if he will ever come back. I decided that in my free time today I can help with the war effort. I sat down in the living room and knitted a few wool blankets by the end of the week I should have 3 shipped out. My next goal is to send off any of our spare crops and dairy since I don't need as much that we are producing. I may as well give it away since I won't be able to eat it before it goes bad. Another thing I can do today is make a donation to the soldiers down south. In town they have a mason jar where people can put their spare supplies. At the end of each week the town ships it to the troops. For today I think I've helped enough with my efforts especially since I've spent all day doing these things.

June 17th 1862~

Dear Madison,

I miss you greatly. I know that this has been hard on everyone including you. I'm coming home soon though. The other Soldiers are talking about a battle to end the war today it's going to be the Battle of Boonville. I glad to hear that you still have company while I'm away. Her husband, Louis, is doing poorly though. I'm telling you so maybe you can break her the news. The medics give him 2 months to live but even I know he will be in a great amount of misery. I'm sure they will send him home soon so no one else gets his illness. But I'm writing to talk to you not about depressing war outcomes. Before I announce the great news I suggest you sit down and tell Liza to fetch you a glass of water. So with great happiness swelling in my chest I'm pleased to say that you better be ready to open that bottle of wine because I'm coming home. Just in case you think you read that wrong I'm going to tell you again. I'm coming home....I'm going to be home and see you and my family. After all this time I will come home and run through the front door and hug my wife for the first time in 2 years. I will be able to tell my mom that her little boy is home to stay, because Maddie I'm never going back no matter what. See you soon,.

Love Dylan.

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