Dear Journal, (Entry #1)

I live my life nursing soldiers in the war, suffering the terror as countless days past, not hearing from my relatives. I read the news to find out more commotion of the slavery business. Why does such a business exist? It had brought this nation to terrible depths; lives are lost over this endless argument. I don't even know if my loved ones are still alive after fighting many bloody battles. I think to myself, "Oh, Mary Townson, why do you fuss over these passions; why do you worry?" The answer is, I am an abolitionist, and slavery must end. I reside in the war camps, and I will do whatever is possible for a woman to end slavery.

Unsuccessful Conversation (Entry #2)


MT: I’ve really been toeing the mark today, I’m probably fit as a fiddle!

Put soldier name here: I’m played out. It’s time to fill my bread basket.

MT: I can hear them soldiers getting wallpapered. I’m glad that I’m not one of them. After all, I’m a nurse.

Put soldier name here: How long have you been one of them sawbones?

MT: Though I’m a fresh fish, I’ve been through the mill. Earning a degree after a long education requires a lot of horse sense.

Put soldier name here: I really am hungry. Do you have any goobers that I can borrow?

MT: Sure. (hands an invisible peanut to soldier)

Put soldier name here: (Eats invisible peanut) I better skedaddle. I don’t want to get caught by one of those greenhorns.

Journal entry #3: Life at the camps, Morning

Hey family,

I just wanted you to know I am making decent wages out of my job at the war, though it can be strenuous tending to hundreds of wounded soldiers every day. I drew out this sketch for you, to show what it's like in the hospitals. The hospitals within the camps aren't as sanitary as a good one from farther up in the Union, but they are still significantly better than what most soldiers have to sleep in at night. As a nurse, I get to have a private room within the hospital, so I can tend to the soldiers if they require my assistance shortly. My assistants and I are never fully rested, even though we have our own rooms. Though we don't have to attend drills or practice battling skills every occurring day, we always get surprises when soldiers are wounded or sick at night or early in the morning. However, life is overall going fairly well for me so far.

Jeremiah Handley Interview: (Entry #4, Prompt: Fun)

Question 1:

M: When you chose to leave your mother, what caused you to make that decision?

J: I chose to leave my mother because I saw that the end was coming near. There wouldn't have been anything left for me if I stayed. I thought that if I joined the army, at least I would die being a soldier rather than being a lonesome coward. I guessed that my mother died while I was away, and I'm not good at managing the farm. All property was probably lost. I have nothing to turn back to now.

M: What is something in your life that you are proud or happy about?

J: I was proud that I joined the Union, because I was fighting for a good cause. I went as a man with a reputation as being the resistant son of a former slave owner. I saw slaves as humans without rights, and fighting for them gave me my pride.

M: What is one thing in your life that you wish had been different?

J: I wish that my dad hadn't died, and that way I wouldn't have lost my youth and innocence so fast. Kids shouldn't have to join a war, but when they're in poor situations and an opportunity comes along where pay is offered, most would say the poor kid is obliged to enlist.

M: Jeremiah, how do you feel now about being a prisoner in the confederacy?

J: I wish sometimes that wars were not supposed to be so horrible, and it is terrible that a nation should go to such depths as physical harm and strife.

Journal Entry #5: My own song

When we all come home,

The cheer is on our eyes.

Fighting for freedom is no surprise.

There was a tough time,

back in the day

When the North and the South would argue away.

So it led to this war,

and peace will be,

If the Union soldiers fight with glee.

Slavery is cruel,

and it all depends

on whether or not this war will end.

Journal Entry #6 - Life at the hospitals

I am reluctant to say that it is my job to treat the soldiers. At first, life was like normal, but within a few months it all turned into a disaster. I will never forget the gory sights or the sticky feeling of cutting through another person's flesh, the smell of blood and the sound of screaming. I remember one patient, staring up at me with pain. His eyes were glazed over and he could barely react to when I pulled a bullet out of his mangled body. I see the pain and loss on other soldiers' eyes as they drag the dead bodies into trenches, feeling guilty of not honoring their lives more. My actions change peoples' lives in this war, and I wish anything but to be a nurse. I will never escape this terrible guilt.

Journal Entry #7- Injuries healed

I can't say I actually healed anyone-or at least succeeded. I was never trained, and my medical knowledge is low compared to the prestigious descendants of our kind. The blood, the gore, the limbs being tossed! And worst of all, the stench of the rotting corpses! I can't take it. People would rather die than see me. I want to be a soldier instead of a nurse. I've experienced enough trauma for my poor lifetime.

Journal Entry #8 - HOME! Finally

Once I am done with the torturous pain of participating in a war, home will never look the same to me again. I realize after healing soldiers in the war what I wasn't grateful for, even down to the basic privilege of having all of my limbs! I never saw the tasteless grains on a dirty plate as a delicacy, I never lived so many days without seeing blood. I will be joyed to go back and start a new future. The Civil War is over; slaves are free. I'm at peace!

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