My Civil War Journal

By Ann St. Clare

April 30th 1861

Entry 1

Hi this is Ann. I am 15 years old. My family and I lived on a farm near New Orleans Louisiana. When the war started my older brother George joined the Union and my parents have shunned him since. My younger brother David became a Confederate. I decided I want to help so I became a nurse. My parents signed me up to be a nurse for the Confederates. So far it's going good. Even though it's a lot different I think I can adjust.

Entry 2 Dialogue

Person 1 I’m fit to be tied with you.

You're gonna to get whipped

Person 1 I’m gonna stab you with my Arkansas toothpick.

I'm toeing the mark while your quick stepping

What You’re the one who is played out I do twice the work you do I’ve been through the mill

I have green bags while you have quick steps

lets hope at the next battle you get shot so the sawbones will cut off all your limbs

your tight from drinking a lot of tar water

You think that you’ve got the horse sense but you’re as dumb as a rock

Your as smart as a goober

Entry 3 May 17th

Dear Mother,

Hello this is Ann. Life as a nurse is going pretty good so far. I can't tell you the specifics of where we are in case this letter is stolen by the Unions but our camp is set up in the woods and their is a field not so far away. The woods here are very pretty the grass is green, the sky is blue and there are even some flowers. The weather has been very good and we haven't got much rain. There are tents set up everywhere in the woods some crammed together and other spread out. I've seen the higher officers tents, they are a lot bigger some even have chairs and tables. We wake up early every morning for roll call. Then the soldiers march out to the fields to do roll call. The other nurses and I are given instructions from the more experienced on how to treat different injuries and illnesses. I have to try hard to remember everything. After our lessons we get busy doing the chores. Most of the time it's cleaning or cooking. My favorite chore is feeding and brushing the horses. Even though I enjoy some of my chores I am afraid of messing up and getting punished. One of the soldiers stole extra food and he had to march all night long then do the drills the next day. My friend Susan who is also a nurse wasn't paying attention during lessons and she had to do tons of extra chores. So far everything is going good but I miss you.



Entry 4

Jeremiah when you chose to stay home with your mother what caused you to make that decision? I had a bad feeling about leaving her alone. I hated leaving my brother to fight by himself but I think I made the right decision.

Jeremiah looking back at your life what was something you were proud or happy about? I am proud that I decided to join the Union army. Before that I never really made my own decisions and i'm glad because slavery is bad.

Jeremiah what was one thing you would've done differently? I would've fought against Lee instead of gone down West. I might not have been captured and I might of  met my brother if he is still alive.

Jeremiah do you think that your brother is still alive? I don't know I have always had hope that he is, but after being captured and becoming a prisoner I am not sure anymore. He could be locked up like me. I hope that he is okay.

Photo Prompt Color

Photo Prompt Morning : This is the sunrise from the forest where we set up camp.

Entry 5

Dear Susan,

I don't have much time to write we are leaving to a new location today. I just wanted you to know that everything is fine. I have made some friends they are also nurses and we help each other out. I think you would like them. Even though I love my new friends I still miss you. Our peer nurses have decided we are ready to help with big injuries. Our training course only lasted for a couple days and since then we have been treating minor problems. I hope to see you soon then I can tell you a longer version of what I have been doing.



Entry 6

Chorus: Gonna defeat the rebs today march on march on

Verse One: We are going to win today they don’t have a chance bring freedom to all

Verse 2: Don’t be afraid we will destroy them so keep on walking

Verse 3: And when we’re down we’ll have a party and have fun

Verse 4: So last today and you’ll go home tomorrow.

Entry 7

I'm not sure of the exact date but it is defiantly winter know. Even though it's cold the cabins keep us relatively warm. Many soldiers are getting sick from the food but I think they are realizing there's not that much we can do. The food is terrible. The beef is so salty and my teeth hurt from attempting to eat the hard tack. My first piece of hardtack I broke it into pieces and found many bugs. It took forever to take the bugs out so I just don't think about it. We have a lot of free time now that we aren't on the move. I play cards with my friends. We don't have much money so we bet with shells and rocks we find, some of the soldiers taught us to play. Cockfighting is very popular but I hate it. Watching animals kill each other is not amusing to me. I'm thinking cutting my hair off because i'm getting lice. Old cornbread taste terrible but if you make it fresh it taste very good. You butter a pan and make a dough of cornmeal sugar and flour. You cook until the bread rises all the way.

Photo prompt Battle

Here is a picture that was taken an hour before battle.Everyone was prepared so we were trying to relax before battle.

Journal Entry 8

Being a nurse is nothing like I expected. After my first battle I was purely disgusted and sad. For the different diseases there are cures but I don't think the lead surgeons know what they are doing. Sometimes they subscribe different treatments to patients with the same problems. The wounds are big and jagged. Most of the time we have to amputate the patients limbs. I have helped with many of these surgeries. Sometimes we run out of chloroform and perform the operation with the soldier screaming in pain. The limbs are thrown into a pile and there is so much blood. One time I had to help bring the arms and legs to the forest to bury them because our pile was full. It is terrible.

Photo Prompt Fun

These are cards we use to play games when we are not working.

Journal Entry 8

Today is my last day of enlistment. Besides a few colds there has been nothing big today at the hospital so I had this extra time. Overall my time as a nurse was terrible and great at the same time. At first taking care of the soldiers wounds terrified and disgusted me I can now do it without hesitation. Even though the conditions were tough and the food was terrible I am glad that I enlisted as a nurse. I feel I have done my part in taking care of the soldiers and am ready to go home. It will be hard to say goodbye to my friends we became close and helped each other but  I hope we can stay in touch. I have packed my things which isn't a lot. I can't wait to see my family again.

Photo Prompt Home

Since I spent so much time working in this hospital it is only fitting that it is my last photo. This hospital was like my home when I was here and I am ready to leave it for my old one.

Bibliography for the Pictures

Works Cited

“Civil War Collection.” Otrcat. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 May 2014. <>.

“Civil War Hospital.” Battleboro History. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 May 2014. <>.

“Civil War Nurse.” Pinterest. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 May 2014. <>.

“Deck of Union Playing Cards.” The Civil War in Missouri. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 May 2014. <>.

“Flowers in Forest.” My Walls Papers. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 May 2014. <>.

“Places to Take Your Dog.” Wood Lands Pet Resort. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 May 2014. <>.

Comment Stream