Categories > Original > Historical

The civil war diary

by nahgiemecra 2 reviews

A Diary I had to write for a history assignment. I liked it more than I thought I would. It's from the point of view of a girl (Arielle Estelle) who joins the union cavalry with her father.

Category: Historical - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Drama - Warnings: [V] - Published: 2008-07-03 - Updated: 2008-07-03 - 2283 words - Complete

The Diary of Ariel Estelle

Civil war through reconstruction

August 30, 1861- July 26, 1865

August 30th, 1861
Dear Diary,
Today has been a wonderful and eventful day, I just got you new today from pa and Colonel Edward Daniels is coming to Ripon and Kenosha Wisconsin to enlist people for the 1st Wisconsin Cavalry on September 1st. that’s tomorrow! I’m so overjoyed because pa said he would let me enlist with him and the rest of the boys from my hometown. I think it will be grand! Abigail is jealous because she is only 14 and can’t enlist. Aimai doesn’t care- she is too little to understand. Pa says I’ll have to get a hair cut tomorrow so I can look like a boy. Oh, and we have to supply our own mounts so pa’s going to let me ride Roi- our new grey gelding and he’s taking our little chestnut mare Aphrodite. Well, I need to go to bed now so I won’t be tired tomorrow. Goodnight!

September 1, 1861
Dear diary,
I got in! First thing in the morning ma shopped off my hair so I’d look like a boy and pa gave me some of his clothes to wear. They were a bit big but the suspenders and my belt helped make everything fit better. We saddled up the horses and came back in for breakfast. Then we said goodbye and headed 3 miles off to Ripon to enlist. When we got there there were people already forming a huge line. A tall, sturdy, bearded man in a union cavalry uniform was sitting behind a table signing in the people. We were in line for forty-five minutes before we made it too the front. The man introduced himself as Colonel Edward Daniels! My pa shook his hand in greeting and told him his name. The Colonel asked him a few questions as to why he wanted to join, if he was healthy, and all that twaddle and signed down his name. Then he introduced me as Cassandre Betznor! Wow my pa had really planned this out, good thing too because I would have given my real name! He said I was a twice-removed cousin of my ma- who wanted to get out into the world and what better way than in the cavalry. Then I signed my new name- albeit awkwardly, under my pa’s name Robert Estelle. Col. Edward Daniels just nodded and didn’t even act the least suspicious of me, which was a huge relief on my part. The Col. Then told us we would have to wait to be put into federal service and that it might take a long while. He said that once they had the order we would move out though. Until then we would all have to go to a training camp in Iowa off the border of Missouri.

March 10, 1862
Dear Diary,
Sorry I have neglected you for so long. I’ve been busy with the training camp and now we have been put into federal action so we had to move camp into Missouri where we have been stationed. I’ve also been busy keeping up my male appearance. I have to wear baggy trousers, shirts, and jackets. I have to always wear a collared shirt and a scarf to hide my nonexistent Adams apple too. I’m a private as you know and so is pa. I almost never see him except at night in the cabins so I have had to make new friends. All or men and women of the 1st Wisconsin cavalry, company D are great riders and excellent shots so I have no fear of a lapse in skill. I’ve managed to get on the good side of two of the 2nd lieutenants and they have become like brothers too me. They are 2nd lt. Jean Lamar and 2nd lt. Ishmael Scarpa. They are great friends too have but I feel like I’m betraying them by being a girl, sadly there is no way I can tell them- I have too keep my secret. The horses are doing great and I think Roi enjoys charging about with me shooting. Aphrodite is positively beaming whenever pa tacks her up for practice.

April 26, 1863
Dear Diary,
Long time no see. We have been kept busy with our mission in Missouri and Col. Daniels has been sending us on raids into Arkansas. He didn’t have orders from any officials to send us on those raids and that upset a lot of our men so he resigned, and now our Colonel is Col. La Grange. He is a stout man and very ruddy complexioned but a good man all around they say. Today will be the first battle our company goes into, Cape Girardeau. I think we will do well, a few other companies and our artillery and infantrymen will join us so we can form a successful battalion.
Oh, there’s the bugle, got to go get ready this is going to be a big day for me.
Oh and we got new bedrolls and our provisions have improved from the raids, in truth we don’t really have much anyways and some have resorted to theft. The raids however wrong were grudgingly beneficial to us.
-Dear Diary,
Well the battles over. We won, I don’t know how we did with all the men we lost, but I guess the rebels lost more…It was terrible, absolutely terrible. It was so bad, there people were lying everywhere, people screamed and cried for there loved ones and it was just horrendous. I don’t know how I made it, Pa’s all right and the horses too, the horses we really lucky and only got a few scratches, which around here is almost unheard of. 2ndlt. Scarpa was wounded, he’s in the hospital now. I heard somewhere he’s going to lose a leg. He will have to go home afterwards because you can’t ride with one leg. 2ndlt. Lamar says we should give him a going away party at the hospital since he is our pal, Col. La Grange says he doesn’t mind as long as we don’t pick up any sicknesses or go on a day we have too fight. I’m actually worried that his leg will get infected and we will lose him even after it is removed. He also has a lot of pride, he’d probably rather die than go about on a peg. Poor Ishmael, he also lost his little mare Josie.

September 18,1863
Dear Diary,
Well today we are going to go fight the rebels again, this time at Chickamauga. I feel bad because I don’t want too fight anymore, not after the last battle. Also our men are nearly in rags and even our horses look better than us. Lucky for them there is plenty of grass. My feet are blistered and my hands have rope burn from when Roi spooked and tore the rains out of my hands. I guess I shouldn’t complain about my feet after seeing the infantrymen without shoes and socks, but they still hurt. Most of us have even abandoned our fancy uniform jackets for plain things because they made us easy targets. I’m worried though, our men’s’ spirits are down and lots have the Old Soldiers Sickness. Pa got sick with measles so he is at a hospital and 2nd Lt. Lamar lost his horse so he is using Aphrodite now. Ugh there’s the bugle again, time too go throw away my life again.

September 20,1863
Dear Diary,
The battle of Chickamauga ended today, we lost. I’m really not surprised but the Colonel is mad, we made him look bad I guess. Every one was hoping for a victory, it’s just too bad, none of us were really in good enough condition to do much. The only good thing is that Roi has once again astounded me and survived without a scuff. I am assuming I’ve lost Lamar because he hasn’t shown up yet and Aphrodite made her way back to camp rider less. I’m going to have to send a letter to Ishmael about him sometime soon if he doesn’t show by tomorrow. I’m feeling very lonely now, but I’ll get over it, I’ve still got you right? The nice thing is Diaries can’t die, but they can get burned, drowned, or stolen… what am I going to do. I found a real nice old revolver on a confederate officer who was let us say, no longer in need of it. Oh and don’t worry, I thanked him for it. Who knows, it might come in handy some day.

September 25, 1863,December 23,1963, March 14,1864, June 9,1864
Dear Diary,
These dates listed are the only times we have had our food supplies restocked. I am starving and couldn’t write for a while because I lost my pen, and I finally got one off a rebel who didn’t need it anymore. These battles are driving me to the brink of insanity! My clothes are in tatters and my hair has grown out, people are in such bad states of health they can’t even sit up anymore and ride slumped like a bunch of wilted flowers, some even fall of and don’t get back up. The only thing that keeps most of us running is coffee and victory. Most of the men thrive off of victory the same as they would a pot roast since it is all they can get. Aphrodite had gone a little lame from the stress but I was able to leave her at the home of a nice family whose children will appreciate her and I heard she got better. Roi and I are alike in states except that he gets more food. Our water rations are equal and so is our comfort and energy. He is one of the few original horses in our company, many men stole dead rebels mounts after they lost theirs. I made it too the rank of Sergeant.
10 minutes later,
Dear Diary,
I got a message saying pa died and apparently when ma found out she went insane and burned the house down with her, Abigail, and Aimai inside. Now I hope this war never ends because when it ends I’ll have no home to go too. God what will I do?

April 9, 1865
Dear Diary,
The war is officially over! I have been appointed as Sergeant Major, which in my case sucks because I only enlisted for this war, now I’m out of the cavalry. I’m very lucky they never found out I am a girl, I hear they are sending some women to jail for, oh how did they say it; dirtying the uniforms. God does that make me mad, I almost want too go shoot someone for that! Reconstruction has been started and it’s causing some more unneeded tension. I’m hoping for another war so I can reenlist. I’ve still got that revolver, haven’t used it yet, I’m going to keep it with me at all times because even though I can go about as my normal self I still need to defend myself.

April 14, 1865
Dear Diary,
That revolver came in handy today (Thank you Mr. Rebel man) some idiot tried to tell me I couldn’t ride my horse the way a man does and started spouting stuff about how women don’t know their places anymore and I shot him. The sheriff almost got me but I told him the man had grabbed my leg and tried to steal Roi, and he fell for my lie and he let me go. I know it is a bit disgraceful but I don’t have any family to be ashamed of me and I don’t mind humiliating myself so who cares. I will tell you a little secret; I ware men’s pants under my skirts! They are just so much more comfortable.

July 4,1865
Dear Diary,
Well I took to my role as Cassandre Betznor again, but in normal society. It was all very good and I acquired a handsome lot of money but I got in a duel with this ignorant fellow. He cheated and shot before we were going too turn around. He hit me in the left shoulder but I didn’t want my identity discovered so I didn’t go to a doctor and it has become infected. I’m very worried and have called on a doctor at last and given in. Maybe I will be lucky and the doctor can be bribed into silence.

July 26, 1865
Dear Diary,
I’m afraid that even though the doctor was kind enough to keep quiet I have caught pneumonia and my infection has spread throughout my body. I’m not sure what will happen next but if I can survive the war I can survive this, I hope. I wouldn’t want to leave Roi alone in this world. I’m going to send him to the family with Aphrodite tomorrow I think- yes that’s it, that’s what I will do. Just incase you know, I’m not worried about dying or anything, well maybe I am.

Heh, sorry the diary is so short. In class we had to have a minimum of 9 entrees but this printed out was 7 pages, I never realized it was this short though. Hope you liked it ,plz rate, I'd rather be flamed than not know how bad it was, or good! :)
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