Civil War Journal, 1861-1865

By: Glenn Davis

Entry #1

July 1, 1861

My name is Glenn Davis. I grew up in Scotland, then moved to a farm near Akron, Ohio. Before I joined the army, I was a farmer and a hunter.  My family includes my wife, Zella, my children, Noah a 7-year old boy, Rebecca a 4-year old girl, and  2-year old boy named Henry.  And my hunting dog, Bo.

Before the war, I was farming crops, corn and beans to be exact. I was happy about joining the army because I am a man who believes that the Confederates are lazy and they do not want to do the work themselves (that's why they have slaves). This is why I am going to fight on the Union side, also, I think slavery is wrong.  I am a Sergeant for this war.

Leaving home was almost grand. The relatives came over to say goodbye, and we had a nice time. Then I had to go, and my family had sent me a prayer for good luck.


My little tent. Too bad I have to share it.

Entry #2

Anonymous soldier: Help! These hornets keeps on hitting us! I’m gonna skedaddle!

*Soldier retreats to forest*

Other soldier (1): This morning I got a hard case of quick step, but these greybacks are even worse than that!!!

Soldier (2): I think if we could move around those Sunday Soldiers, we can defeat them with our Arkansas Toothpicks!

Soldier(1): Bully! They’ll be whipped in no time!

Soldier(2): They have a scarce as hens teeth chance at beating us!

Soldier(1): A fellow possum has been hit! Call for some sawbones!

Soldier(2): I’ll get one in a jiffy!

Entry #3

August 4, 1862

Dear beloved family,

The camp I am at is located near Louisville, KY. Our regiment set up the camp near the town, within walking distance. Sadly, we can’t walk into town unless we have to. Military police are everywhere in the town guarding every street. Our camp has tents, each neatly placed one by one next to each other. The tents have got not too much room in them, just enough for two to sleep in, and I have to share one. At the end of each row of tents lies a campfire, so you can warm up, and tell stories of back home. The lavatory is just a hole that the privates dug up near the rows of tents.

In the morning, normally we get up to a dry breakfast. It is just a bit of cornbread and some wheat that we carry around with us. After, we do our normal cleaning routine, and I usually find some of my lost stuff where I would least expect it. For example, I found a few bullets under my blanket. After lunch, I play cards or chess with a friend. After being recruited, he brought some cards with him, and a chess set. I always win at the card games, but chess is my weak spot. At night, after dinner we have the campfire lit, and tell stories of back home.

When soldiers break the rules, they get punished in weird but cruel ways. If you are caught stealing weapons from a dead friend, you are punished by having your head shaved off and you have to spend a day walking with a sign saying “Thief”.

How is it so far? The children must be sad that I left them. Is the farm still going strong? How is Bo? I miss you all!

Your husband & father,

Glenn Davis

Me and some friends eating breakfast:

Entry #4

Interviewer: Jeremiah, looking back what is something in your life you are proud or happy about?

Jeremiah: I am proud that I have been so loyal to our country, and I have always thought to be positive. If my brother can leave to serve the army, I should be able to leave with him.

Interviewer: When you chose to become a drummer boy, what caused you to make that choice?

Jeremiah:  I decided to tell the truth about my age, I wanted to be loyal to my country too, so I thought doing this would help me be seen in a positive way.

Interviewer: Jeremiah, what is one thing about your life you wish had been different?

Jeremiah: I wish my mother was not sick  When I left to join the army, I had made a tearful goodbye to my mother.  It was sad to leave but I had to go, she wanted me to.


I'm playing dominoes, another great game a friend brought.

Entry #5

September 14, 1861

Dear good friend Thomas,

We do not always have free time. When we do have time, I like to play cards and make myself good food. The food here is a lot different than it is at home. My favorite food here at camp is dried peas. It is fun but lots of work to gather them. Here is the recipe if you want to try it at your house.

1. Gather peas, or buy them.

2. pour  salt on the peas, this will help make them dry, and taste better.

3. Leave out in a very sunny dry spot. Wait at least a few hours, make sure the peas are dry.

4. enjoy your peas!

What I miss most about being away from home is the great corn and beans. At camp, I sleep on the cold, hard ground with only a blanket. I wake up with a headache and must eat it off. This is almost impossible, for the food here is gross and very dirty. Most nights, I have to put out the camp fire, and set up every thing for tomorrow. I miss the dog, and the kids! I miss the farm, the hunting, and everything else!

Your friend,

Glenn Davis

Entry #6 Marching Song

The rebs may have beat us at both bull runs

but we will get them back!

Now’s time for use to use our guns

and blow them over with an attack!

Oh yes well drive the rebs to their home town!

And when we do well hope on their faces they will a frown!

And we will have the pride of victory

And we will make the rebs resign!

Grant has been victorious at Vicksburg

so ya rebels better give up

and we will be heard

cuz we are gonna win!

Oh yes well drive the rebs to their home town!

And when we do well hope they will a frown!

And we will have the pride of victory

And we will make the rebs quit!

The rebs are weak

and we are strong!

They kept the war going long

but we will seek and destroy

and break you rebs up

like a bull in a china shop

Oh yes well drive the rebs to their home town!

And when we do well hope on their faces they will a frown!

And we will have the pride of victory

And we will make the rebs resign!

And the rebs have been brought to their knees

so now our chance!,

its time to seize!

we will win!!!

The Battle of Fredricksburg.


Entry #7

May 1, 1865

| Soldier: | Injury/illness: | Treatment: |

| Shawn Campbell | Wounded hip | Amputation |

| Simon Terry | Dehydration           | Get lots of rest, and only drink juices |

| Jamie Reid | Typhoid fever | Had to drink fruit juices |

So many of my friends have been affected by a disease or an injury. Some of them were killed. Some were lucky. My good friend, Simon Terry, was killed from a severe case of dehydration. He was to drink fruit juices, but by the time the juices came from a captured area near in Georgia, he was long gone. Another friend, Shawn Campbell, was taken by a bullet to the hip. In battle, he was shot. The poor man had been shot by one of his own men. A medic had came right away, and amputated his knee. He died 2 days later. Nurses did not know the exact cause, but knew it had to do with the amputation. One more friend, who surprisingly survived his ailment, was Jamie Ried. He had to drink fruit juces, too, and this time, he got them just in time, and was able to diet on these juices. He was to have apple in the morning, orange at night. He was many of few who survived such a disease.  

Entry #8

April 9, 1865

I felt I had not many days left in my life, but here it is, the end of the war. I thought these southerners would finally give up. Lee had surrendered at the Appomattox courthouse.

The war had brought me loneliness, and now I am so happy that I am back with my wife and the kids.  They were all so  relieved to see me again.

This is a whole change for my country, I now hope those southerners realize that keeping slaves is cruel and they were lazy to do so!

The war is over and I’m happy. Now, not only has our country changed, but as a union officer, I took part in this change. This is a great example of hell, though. Mostly everyone in my camp didn’t survive, and their mothers are worried for them.

Now my family and I are very lucky that I survived. I hope that all will recognize that the war’s end is a great thing to see.

Glenn Davis

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