My Civil War Journal

By: Katherine Holman

Dear Journal,

Hello. My name is Bob Brown. I live in a small city in Rhode Island and I have a house right on the Atlantic Ocean. I live in my small house with just myself and three dogs. I have 5 siblings and parents, but they all moved away. My parents live in Georgia and my siblings live in Maine. I am a successful entrepreneur and trader that sells furs. I decided to join the war because life is getting boring. I am fighting for the North because I think that slavery is bad and unfair. I am a General for the North and I want to win this war.


Bob Brown

Journal Entry #2: Soldier Conversation

Katherine- Hello there, Sunday soldier

Victor- I thought we were possums

Katherine- I am higher ranked than you, fresh fish

Victor- You better be careful or else you will get whipped

Katherine- I do not have to worry. You better skedaddle.

Journal entry #3: Letter to Someone at home

Dear Mom,

Life at camp is okay. Currently our camp is sent up in Illinois. My camp is set up with hundreds of tents for the privates and the lower ranked soldiers and I have a big cabin because I am the general. A normal day at camp involves a lot of training for the soldiers. I spend hours training the soldiers until they get the drills right. After every 3 hours of training, the soldiers do their chores. All what I do is tell the soldiers what to do. It is kind of boring but better than training. Lots of the soldiers are bad. I have to use a lot of punishments on them. For example, one private today talked back to me and that is not allowed. So I tied him up to a tree and left him there until he learned to keep his mouth shut. Hopefully we will start fighting soon


Photo Prompt-Color.  This is a picture of my soldiers fighting for the North. In this picture, they are doing drills.


Reed, Ryan. "Photo Interactive: The Civil War, Now in Living Color."
Smithsonian. Smithsonian Institution, 22 Feb. 2013. Web. 28 Apr.
2014. <


Journal Entry #4: Interview with Jeremiah

Interview with Jeremiah

Jeremiah, when you chose to leave your mother and join the war,
what caused you to make that choice? I left my mother to join the war because she told me to go with my brother. I felt bad leaving her while she was sick, but I had to follow what she said.

Jeremiah, looking back what is something in your life that you are proud or
happy about? Something that I am proud of is making the choice to be a drummer boy. I am proud because I made this choice on my own and did not let my brother interfere with my choice.

Jeremiah, what is one thing about your life you wish had been different? One thing I wish would be different is that I would stay with my mother. I would stay with my mother because I would not have put my life in danger and I would get to see her before she died.

Jeremiah, what were you feeling when you were taken by the Confederate troops? I felt scared and lost because I would be taken to a new place that was probably horrible and I may not last long there.

Photo Prompt- morning

This a picture of a typical morning sky during the war. Some days it is cloudier and others it is more clear. This is what the sky would normally look like at sunrise.


Corey. "More Birding Kazakhastan." 10,000 Birds. 10,000 Birds, 2013. Web. 28
Apr. 2014. <>.

Journal Entry #5: Marching Song

Life in the war is hard

Fighting for freedom; for those who can't use their voice

For a country strong and free

Chorus- Fighting for the North

Fighting for the win

Fighting for freedom throught the US

Fighting for one big strong country

Life in the war is hard

Up early and training

Drills and drills and drills

One false move and you are through

Life in the war is hard

Fighting the enemy who is just another one of us

There are no two sides, we are all one

Life in the war is hard

The constant booms of gunshots; bodies balnketed in red

Never going to end

The war against ourselves

Journal Entry #6: Camp Life


It's winter now and life is better at camp. The housing is more comfortable and the snow and ice make the drills impossible to do. I hope my soldiers will be ready to fight by spring. Anyhow, we have a lot of free time. In my free time, I like to play cards and hang out with the other soldiers. I still have to do work because I am the general, and I got to keep those fresh fish out of trouble. Those soldiers and recruits can get crazy. At night all the soldiers like to sing songs about their homesickness and fears.The food, though, is only worse. Our meat is rarely fresh, same with vegetables. We mostly eat hardtack and cornbread that are stale and infested with bugs. My favorite food, if I had a favorite, would be desiccated vegetables. Desiccated vegetables is supposed to be a combination of beans, onions, turnips, carrots and beets(all dried) and then pressed into bland cakes.


Photo Prompt- Fun

This is a picture of one of the many things we like to do in our pass time. One of our favorite things to do is play cards and other games.


Library of Congress. "Playing Dominoes." Kid Port. KidPort, 2012. Web. 28 Apr. 2014. < Dominoes.jpg>.

Journal Entry #7: Illnesses and Injuries

Dear Journal,

Today was a very disturbing day. I witnessed one of my fresh fish recruits get their leg amputated. There were thousands of wounded soldiers lying around on the floor and only a few doctors and nurses were there. This one recruit was waiting for three hours for the doctor. By the time the doctor came, he ran out of the stuff that is supposed to make the patient go to sleep. So the doctor had the nurse hold the recruit down while he chopped off his leg. You could hear that recruit's scream in New York it was so loud. I have had minor injuries but nothing too major. I had an infection in my arm and the experience at the hospital was horrifying. The nurse washed my wound with dirty water, which probably made it worse, and then she just wrapped it with a bandage. It took a few weeks to recover but I don't think it will ever be back t normal. I cannot wait to go back home.


Photo prompt- Battle

This is a picture of what a battle would typically look like. There were lots of people and many of them were wounded or dead.


Florida OCHP. "Lithograph of the Battle of Olustee." Florida Department ofState. Florida OCHP, 2013. Web. 28 Apr. 2014. < olusteebattle.jpg>.

Journal Entry #8: Coming Home

Dear Journal,

I am so happy to be coming home. I have been fighting in this war from beginning to end and I am so glad to leave. I am going to have to take a train to get from Illinois to Rhode Island. The train ride was long, but I didn't mind the wait. When I got off the train, back in my little town in Rhode Island, I saw my family waiting for me. I was so surprised that my family was there. My whole family who live in the South are here for me. They told me that their homes got destroyed during the war, so they decided to live up here with me. I am pleased to be home and alive. There are some recruits, though, that will never be able to see their families again. The North has won the war and I am happy to live in a new country with new freedom.


Photo Prompt- Home

This is a picture of what it looked like when I returned home to Rhode Island. The other soldiers and I all got to find and meet up with our families where they were waiting for us in the town's center.


Dyer, Frederick. "A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion." The State
Historical Society of Missouri. State Historical Society of Missouri, 28

June 2012. Web. 28 Apr. 2014. <>.

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